Pedal Power community forum – Some thoughts

johnboy 9 October 2008 108

[First filed: October 08, 2008 @ 15:30]

Every now and then readers suggest I should attend some community council event or forum thingy.

I always beg off because I suspect they’re populated by overly intense people. Women wearing capes and men wearing beards.

Last night I went to the Pedal Power Community Forum. Partly I went because I thought I should give at least one of these things a go this election. Mostly I went because a friend’s sig other was organising it and she made me scared about the consequences of not attending.

Women in purple capes were certainly in attendance, and a disproportionate number of the men sported beards. Being a cycling event, however, most attendees were in pretty good physical shape.

As political theatre it lacked bite. All the candidates said how much they loved Pedal Power and cycling. To some extent they tried to outbid each other in promising to deliver Pedal Power’s agenda and then raise it.

Brendan Smyth was on the nose with the crowd for some perceived slight to cycle racing funding in the past.

Richard Mulcahy gathered the second greatest round of applause for reasons not immediately obvious to me.

The greatest warmth in the room came for the Greens Shane Rattenbury who was very much one of the tribe and made sure the crowd knew he owns five bikes.

When it came to the Q&A some issues were universal to the community; “police treat us with contempt”, “urban infrastructure is crumbling”, etc.

On the other hand it was a treat to hear that an overly masculine approach was responsible for a lack of general cycling uptake.

Changes to the L-plate test were suggested to incorporate more cyclist related questions. We look forward to that one bearing fruit in 60 years.

The problem was raised of broken beer bottles on cycle paths. It was suggested that banning open beer bottles in cars would fix this. We wondered if that wouldn’t encourage more throwing of beer bottles out of windows. Shane Rattenbury suggested that the Greens’ proposed container deposit legislation would be help reduce this problem.

To be fair to the organisers though, they’d won before they’d started. By putting together sensible submissions on what’s needed to improve cycling in the community, based around how cycling can improve the community.

The Pedal Power advocacy group are sensible serious people. But they do have a fringe of colourful supporters. Chief among those was the pictured helmet-guy who sounded like he was channelling Rik from The Young Ones.

These events are great for the groups holding them. I’m still not sure they’re adding much to debate and discourse. But there seems to be at least one every night so no going back now.

Here’s some video, apologies for Che’s occasionally shaky camera work:


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108 Responses to Pedal Power community forum – Some thoughts
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SIKOVIT SIKOVIT 5:09 pm 15 Oct 08

I have to say as a car driver .. motor cycle rider and occasional pushie rider that cyclists shit me to tears, they seem to be one of those sectors of the community that want all the rights and none of the responsibilities. The key incident that caused these feelings towards cyclists started many years ago as I walked out of a building onto a footpath ( not a cycle path ) and was nearly flattened by a speeding cyclist who rode very close to the front of the building and if I hadn’t have reacted and gotten out of his way there would have be a painful collision, I walked to my car parked on the street got in started it and prepared to make a U turn to go in the direction I needed to go .. made sure there was no one coming, and started to go .. and what happened next .. the same dickhead cyclist came tearing down the road on the wrong side of the street and I had to stop and give way to him.
honestly why is it that this cyclist along with many others feel that not only pedestrians must get out of his way car drivers also need to move aside and get out of his way, even tho he wasn’t obeying any of the rules the rest of us mere mortals have to heed to. every day I see cyclists use the road expecting the same rights as cars then turn into pedestrians so they aren’t delayed by traffic lights like the cars are, they ride across pedestrian crossing instead dismounting as they’re legally required to blah blah .. I saw a comment up there somewhere wondering why car drivers treat cyclists with contempt .. seems if a little respect was shown to the car drivers perhaps the favour may be returned.

RuffnReady RuffnReady 12:43 pm 11 Oct 08

Ralph said :

The hysteria being spewed from all the part-time pedal power posters is astounding; getting themselves into all sorts of contortions trying to justify why other ratepayers’ money should fund their leisure activities.

Lecherous cretins.

…except that we’re not talking about cycling as a leisure activity – most of this thread has focused on cycling as a TRANSPORT activity.

All I want to see is a bit more maintenance of dedicated cycle paths (which I use for TRANSPORT all the time), and some sort of regular cleaning of on-road paths which are typically littered with glass from bottles tossed out of the windows of oil-depleting, climate-changing gas guzzlers. That is hysterical? How about you STFU?

You, sir, are a tool of the highest order.

Bungle Bungle 6:43 pm 10 Oct 08

I think Ralph’s just fishing.

I’m sure he ‘leaches’ off the Govt for something. Since his car rego doesn’t cover the cost of the roads he’s driving on then that would be a good first example.

aronde aronde 6:23 pm 10 Oct 08

Ralph said :

trying to justify why other ratepayers’ money should fund their leisure activities.

Lecherous cretins.

So just curious do people who advocate for funding for ‘there’ leisure activities such as playgrounds, nature walks, picnic areas, swimming pools, sporting club grants, skateparks and libraries also fall into the category of lecherous cretins because they are asking for ‘other ratepayers money’??

jakez jakez 6:20 pm 10 Oct 08

*Jake wonders if Ralph will ever successfully apply that principle across the board and become a libertarian*

Ralph Ralph 5:18 pm 10 Oct 08

The hysteria being spewed from all the part-time pedal power posters is astounding; getting themselves into all sorts of contortions trying to justify why other ratepayers’ money should fund their leisure activities.

Lecherous cretins.

johnboy johnboy 3:00 pm 10 Oct 08

Matto said :

It’s great to hear everyonje getting along, and apologising.
Where’s vg when you need him? He doesn’t mind sticking it to anyone, and not worrying about the consequences. But still, I find it a hell of a lot easier to read and enjoy posts where there’s not a heap of petty name calling.

VG’s sulking in moderation again. Where he ends up regularly for abusing other commenters.

Something of a recidivist.

jakez jakez 2:30 pm 10 Oct 08

RuffnReady said :

I’ve got to laugh at those people who say that cyclists leach “tons of money” from government coffers… so, exactly how much money goes to cycling projects? $3.6million in the 08-09 budget, or about $10 per ratepayer. Ha! Cycling costs the taxpayer SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!

What about all the other community-funded activities (sports infrastructure, arts funding, etc.) which, you’ll note, don’t pay “registration” for what they do? But no, complain about cyclists and their drain on the public purse – what a friggin joke. At $10 per taxpayer, the carbon abatement alone, not to mention public health benefits, less road congestion, etc. probably pay for that $3.6mil a number of times over.

I think i deserve some credit then for actually whingeing about all of those things in addition to cycling programs ;-P

astrojax astrojax 2:04 pm 10 Oct 08

the conversation has moved on a little, but astrosapien’s “I don’t think it unreasonable to expect that everyone on the roads around me know the laws and obligations, and quite frankly there is no way of being able to identify if someone on a bicycle has that knowledge.” deserves a short comment.

why are school zones for instance so marked, and slated for lower speeds than similar roadways? because things and people ‘on the road’ may not be expected to know their obligations – it is incumbent on the vehicle operator (driver) to be aware of a range of ‘obstacles’ on the road, including other users who may not be driving / road using to your maximal desires and utitlity. sorry about that. s’why express ways specifically ban the use by a range of vehciles and other users to allow quick reliable and easy passage – life wasn’t meant to be easy – this is the ‘attitude’ i was hoping to propagate.

Matto Matto 1:41 pm 10 Oct 08

tylersmayhem said :

My apologies if you thought I was calling you anything derogatory. That wasn’t the intention

There would be no need to apologise for calling me that Astro. I’m sure I’d deserve it, but take it on the chin and not fret about it. My point was simply to draw the double standard it appeared you had shown. Point taken about the quotation marks. I withdraw my gripe…and MIGHT learn some manners one day?! 😛

It’s great to hear everyonje getting along, and apologising.
Where’s vg when you need him? He doesn’t mind sticking it to anyone, and not worrying about the consequences. But still, I find it a hell of a lot easier to read and enjoy posts where there’s not a heap of petty name calling.

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 1:14 pm 10 Oct 08

My apologies if you thought I was calling you anything derogatory. That wasn’t the intention

There would be no need to apologise for calling me that Astro. I’m sure I’d deserve it, but take it on the chin and not fret about it. My point was simply to draw the double standard it appeared you had shown. Point taken about the quotation marks. I withdraw my gripe…and MIGHT learn some manners one day?! 😛

johnboy johnboy 1:03 pm 10 Oct 08

You’re not even close!

RuffnReady RuffnReady 12:55 pm 10 Oct 08

I’ve got to laugh at those people who say that cyclists leach “tons of money” from government coffers… so, exactly how much money goes to cycling projects? $3.6million in the 08-09 budget, or about $10 per ratepayer. Ha! Cycling costs the taxpayer SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!

What about all the other community-funded activities (sports infrastructure, arts funding, etc.) which, you’ll note, don’t pay “registration” for what they do? But no, complain about cyclists and their drain on the public purse – what a friggin joke. At $10 per taxpayer, the carbon abatement alone, not to mention public health benefits, less road congestion, etc. probably pay for that $3.6mil a number of times over.

I’m a driver and a cyclist, but I’m totally sick of a-hole drivers who terrorise cyclists even if they are obeying the road rules, and shiiiteheads who behave like cycling groups are somehow trying to undermine the fabric of our democracy. Get a grip!

(PS Yes, johnboy, I am going for nutter of the month with this, although if you look closely I actually made some sense…)

astrosapien astrosapien 12:41 pm 10 Oct 08

tylersmayhem said :

however I must admit that I am disappointed by personal name calling. I had expected better from a group of adults coming together to discuss issues within our fair city of Canberra, but it seems I was wrong to.

Right, right. So calling me s**tbrains is appropriate under your own disappointment? If you are going to be “disappointed” on here, perhaps practice what you preach! Or perhaps you were just emotional when you called me that!?

Will you respond to this post, or will you just be quite now?

I wasn’t calling you s&*brain… I forgot to add the quotation marks to mark as a quote… My apologies if you thought I was calling you anything derogatory. That wasn’t the intention

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 12:14 pm 10 Oct 08

I’m sure he’ll be quite quite Tylers.

Yes, quiet! 😛

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 12:12 pm 10 Oct 08

Oh, BTW just for the record – I’m not the helmet wearing freak in the picture. It would not be fair to him having people assuming my comments are his.

Quite a committed looking bloke tho I must say.

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 9:58 am 10 Oct 08

I’d just love to see those people who are all for the idea of licensing cycles, lining up during their lunch hours to get “little Billy’s” first bike registered.

It’s all such a hair-brained and half-baked idea. My suggestion is simple – when roads are resurfaced, make sure all major roads have a bike lane included (ideally with a smoother surface), then us cyclists and motorists can keep out of each others way. Mind you, I don’t thins will change the frankly weird general angst toward cyclists.

I know there is a small percentage of cyclists who are wankers, and kick cars etc – but I think it’s a very small number. From my daily cycling experience, there is plenty more ignorance and aggression to cyclists from motorists (hot coffee thrown at me, flicked the bird and spat at – all while in a cycle lane), than cyclists towards motorists. I think generally cyclists have a much better understanding of their rights and responsibilities, and respect for the road than most motorists.

jakez jakez 9:54 am 10 Oct 08

I’m sure he’ll be quite quite Tylers.

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 9:45 am 10 Oct 08

however I must admit that I am disappointed by personal name calling. I had expected better from a group of adults coming together to discuss issues within our fair city of Canberra, but it seems I was wrong to.

Right, right. So calling me s**tbrains is appropriate under your own disappointment? If you are going to be “disappointed” on here, perhaps practice what you preach! Or perhaps you were just emotional when you called me that!?

Will you respond to this post, or will you just be quite now?

aronde aronde 8:52 am 10 Oct 08

astrosapien said :

If cyclists paid the $20 a year … and going off the odd 80,000 cyclists in the ACT you would be pumping $1,600,000 through

I dont think you would end up with $1.6 mllion as you would need to deduct admin costs such as staffing to get everyone registered and ongoing issuing of bills, computer systems to keep track of it all, printing and postage of bills and then there is the enforcement aspect ie chasing up people who do not pay. Of course you could save some money by not worrying about enforcement (as it is only $20) but then why would people bother paying? And increasing the fee would just discourage people from cycling so most likely you would not have 80000 cyclists anymore!

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