Better Streets would like to welcome Monique to the Co-ordinator role. Monique is a cargo bike mum with two little kids. She's lucky to live on Gadigal land in the centre of Sydney near the Bourke Street cycleway.
She loves seeing people of all ages, shapes and sizes can enjoying quiet tree-lined streets on foot or by bike and wishes everyone had access to urban spaces like that. It makes her sad and angry that so much of our public space is dominated by cars.
Monique says she joined Better Streets to be part of a positive movement for change. She's here to listen to people’s concerns, find the common ground and weave together a story of our shared values. She looks forward to working together to create better streets for everyone, especially our kids.
Where are you based: Sydney / Gadigal
What do you do for Better Streets?
I've done some work on the website, trying to make it more streamlined to learn who we are and how to help out (like adding the big yellow "Get involved" button). I was one of the marshalls at the Better Streets Weekend as well. I also do work with BIKEast (who are Better Streets coalition members) advocating for better cycleways in the Eastern Suburbs.
Lately I've been working on an online map to help people find bicycle infrastructure in their area so they can work out good routes to ride: https://sydneybikemap.ethan.link/
Why did you join Better Streets?
Riding my bike to explore Sydney and get around has been so good for my mental and physical health. There's nothing better than riding home after a tough day and feeling stoked afterwards, or taking a little detour along the way and discovering an interesting new place. I want us to build enough bike infrastructure so that everyone can have that experience.
I'm also interested in making our streets more fun, beautiful, enjoyable places to be. I love walking through the city with friends, sometimes we will walk halfway around the city chatting without even realising it. George Street, Darling Harbour and Barangaroo are such beautiful places to be at night. Although sometimes we will accidentally walk to Barangaroo before we've eaten and then remember you can't get anything for under $20 there.
What is your favourite street in the world and why?
George Street for sure!! It's like the spine of our city, everyone walks down there if they want to go north/south. It's so full of activity, particularly in winter when it gets dark early, and there's some beautiful architecture along it too. And no traffic noise or fumes of course! It's what I show visitors to Sydney.
Bourke Street in Surry Hills would be a close second, I love that it's such a long cycleway that takes you so many places. It's crazy to think it was completed all the way back in 2011 when there were barely any cycleways, and still holds up as a great quality cycleway. And soon to be connected properly to the city via Oxford Street!
Where can we find you online:
I have a Mastodon account where I post about cycleways, transport and urbanism. Mastodon works similar to Twitter but not controlled by a single company. There's lots of other great urbanist and cycling folk on there.
Dr John Stace has finished his journey by e-bike across Australia from Perth to Sydney. The 5,000 kms took 63 days of riding 80 kilometres a day. He did this to raise awareness of the need to create Better Streets for people to support healthier and happier lifestyles.
John travelled solo across the Nullarbor, a treeless desert 1,100km across. He camped along the way. Roadhouses are 300 kilometres apart so he carried 3 bike batteries. He caught a ferry from Cowell to Walleroo near Adelaide.
Getting to Adelaide took 29 days, 2,700 kilometres across incredibly harsh arid desert. It's the only road to Perth, the world's most isolated capital city with loads of freight trucks for which he had to pull over for to let them pass.
John stopped at Adelaide, because of the massive floods across 4 states, some areas where he was to travel to were being evacuated. It was unsafe to continue and the decision was made for him to return home to Perth and to re-commence in mid March.
In March the journey restarted, ohn rode to Albury-Wodonga along the might Murray River to Tumut, Jingellic through the Brindabella range to Canberra, camping all the way.
After a 6 day break in Canberra over Easter loading up on Easter eggs, John was joined by his daughter Sara Stace for the final leg to Sydney and his 13 year old grandson for one day. Canberra to Shellhabour, Wollongong with a 2 kilometre walk on a motorway at Kiama. Then up to Bundeenda to catch the ferry to Cronulla to arrive in Sydney.
Today John and Sara dipped their wheels in the Pacific Ocean at Bondi Beach, marking the completion of John's goal of 80/80/80, 80 kilometres a day for 80 days before he's 80 years old.
John says as a doctor if he could prescribe a pill that would make you healthier and happier it would be exercise. But we need streets where kids and grandkids can walk and ride safely. Better Streets help communities to ask for better footpaths, cycleways and street calming.
You can donate to John's ride here.