A recently established Better Streets coalition for NSW received a major boost this month, with the appointment of a campaign co-ordinator.
Manly resident Dominic Nevin, 27, has been appointed to the new full-time role with Better Streets, which was formed late last year to provide a framework to help advocacy groups, businesses, GPs, schools and other organisations move quickly and effectively towards safe, healthy, climate-friendly and people-friendly streets.
“This position will help us accelerate the goals of the Better Streets coalition campaign and really take us to the next level.”
A Better Streets statement to its members says Dominic’s “energy, knowledge on active transport, enthusiasm for active transport and sustainable urbanism, organisational skills, and commitment will help us tremendously the next few months”.
Dominic is an advocacy volunteer for Bicycle NSW, an energy advisor, a graduate of a Sweden-based course in climate change leadership and has worked on student activist and political campaigns.
“This position will help us accelerate the goals of the Better Streets coalition campaign and really take us to the next level,” the statement says.
Dominic will work with the Better Streets volunteers, build its coalition of aligned organisations and individuals, assist with its digital campaign, and support training development of local groups.
He has been contracted until the end of April, to help drive the campaign in the lead-up to the NSW State election.
“It’s going to be a couple of intense months but the grass roots organisations I’ve spoken to so far have all been very positive,” he said.
“I certainly feel a big responsibility bringing together the array of talented volunteers involved with the coalition.
“Our volunteers are incredibly qualified in many areas and will carry this campaign. My key role will be to support them as much as I can.”
Dominic says he grew up in a family of cyclists and always had a deep interest in transport and the environment.
However, his commitment to active transport and sustainability really intensified when he completed a climate change leadership course in Sweden under climate scientist Kevin Anderson.
Studying and living in Uppsala for 16 months opened his eyes to the potential for cycling to be a predominant mode of transportation.
“It was quite surreal coming from Sydney,” he said.
“When I returned to Australia, I got rid of the car I had and found a job in a local bike shop. I worked there as a bike mechanic for around four years, alongside doing my geography degree, because I wanted to learn the ins and outs and possibilities of how far bikes could be a transport option in Sydney and NSW.
“I started volunteering at Bicycle NSW eight months ago, working in their advocacy section and doing some website design, and when Better Streets came on the scene, it was really exciting to hear they had a role coming up.
“It was something I would have been volunteering for anyway.”
He said one of his key goals will be to help boost bike commuting from one percent of journeys in NSW to 15%.
“I’m committed to making Better Streets as effective as possible, as a passionate bike commuter and advocate of cycling and walkability.
“Every day I appreciate the walkability of Manly but I’m very aware it’s a very privileged position to be in and I’m passionate to take that opportunity out to other areas of NSW as well.”
New Date for Better Streets Weekend
A Better Streets Weekend planned as part of the campaign has been pushed back a fortnight to 25th and 26th February to give Bicycle User Groups greater opportunity to get involved.
Share service providers Lime, Beam and Zoomo have all given a commitment to participate in the event, which Better Streets is holding in partnership with Bicycle NSW.
The weekend will promote cycling, scooting and walking as a mainstream transportation option, to the widest possible audience, with Bicycle NSW conducting community rides with discounted entry fees.
Share service providers have given an undertaking to support the initiative by offering a 75% discount off their 60 to 90-minute ride passes for the weekend, while a US-based shared mobility management platform, Ride Report, is partnering Better Streets to provide an analytics report on key statistics from the weekend.