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First Entry

24 March, 2010 by Debbie Brace

Welcome to Ecoedge’s first blog entry. Please feel free to email me with your responses or questions, or topics you want to know more about – you never know, this humble blog could evolve into an interactive discussion forum one day…

Ecoedge update

It’s been a busy start to 2010 with a new 3-year strategic plan to guide our growth and development being developed amidst project work. As much as I adore being out in the field looking for scats of an endangered species or rare plants, I’m also enthralled by the all the things that go on behind the scenes in a business, and in business development.

I intend for Ecoedge to be around for the long haul and that means responding in quick time when something like the GFC comes along or when there are significant changes to government funding programs, such as what happened with the new Commonwealth government’s Caring for our Country program.

With this in mind, the beginning of 2010 seemed a very good time to step back and gauge the new economic, political and social contexts we work within, and see how we can adapt to stay best-placed to deliver just what our clients need. I’m very pleased to say that I now feel we’re in an even stronger position than we were last year.

Bunbury Bicycle Users Group

Affectionately referred to as the ‘BUG’, this group was formed by local residents committed to using and promoting cycling as a method of transport, as opposed to just something we do on weekends. They’re providing advice and making suggestions to the City of Bunbury, who have just engaged a consulting team from Perth to review the local Bike Plan. This plan will guide the planning of future bike and dual-use paths, bike lanes and other cycling facilities in and around Bunbury.

Being a keen cyclist myself, I can vouch for the fact that Bunbury is the perfect cycling city, with its wonderful views to ocean, estuary and scarp and its predominantly flat terrain. I was actually reminded of Bunbury when I was cycling in Holland recently – a great number of us also have the luxury of being able to get from home to work without encountering a single hill! One thing that I had no preparation for was the sheer number of bikes being ridden in Amsterdam alone. This is what one of the city’s ‘bike parks’ looked like on one typical workday:

Pic credit to 21st Century Urban Solutions at WordPress (sadly mine of the same thing didn't make it home...)

It’d almost be as hard to find your bike in this sea of bikes as it can be to find your car sometimes! But back to the BUG… I commend the members for founding the group and giving their time to promoting this particularly important cause. Anyone not convinced on the value of cycling and its ability to change cities should take a few minutes to read about Cuba’s bike policy – in just six years, they increased their bike numbers by 2 million. Yep, you read it right – 2 million!

I also applaud the City of Bunbury for being proactive in their review of the plan and encourage them to continue and expand their support of cycling as a means of transport – the City has in its hands a wonderful opportunity to create a safe, interesting, inspiring environment for cyclists – the opportunity to set the standard for cycle-friendly cities in the state, if not the nation.

I understand from council staff that the plan review will take some time; I’ll post updates as new information becomes available.

Well, that’s a wrap. Until next time…