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Pedal Power community forum – Some thoughts

By 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:

What’s Your opinion?

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108 Responses to
Pedal Power community forum – Some thoughts
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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 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 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 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 6:20 pm 10 Oct 08

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

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 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 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


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