A simple change of habit would make the proposal to allow bikes on footpaths less fraught (“Safety fears over council plan to allow bikes on footpaths”, November 5). All cycles are equipped with a bell, but few cyclists use it. As a regular cyclist in the inner city I use my bell frequently as a courtesy warning to walkers (and sometimes other cyclists). Most people respond well, and everyone appreciates a polite thank you.
Gillian Appleton, Paddington
Andrew Taylor reports on the recurring debate around risks and benefits of cyclists sharing the footpath with pedestrians. The mortality and morbidity from “car on cyclist” accident is so much greater than “cyclist on pedestrian” that make it unreasonable to force slower “comfort” riders onto the crowded Sydney roads when sparsely used footpaths are available. There will always be careless drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians at some time, so accidents will always unfortunately occur. Let cyclists share the footpath in areas of low pedestrian traffic. High density pedestrian and car areas should be made “cyclist free”, but with cycle lanes then provided.
Hugh Wolfenden, Bellevue Hill
As a teacher at a senior coeducational comprehensive secondary campus, the news that girls are surging ahead of boys in the HSC comes as no surprise (“School test scores reveal gender gap”, November 5). The Year 12 presentation assemblies see very few boys on the podium except for sport awards. While we have separate awards for boys and girls in sport and leadership roles, the academic awards do not. Maybe we need to change this mindset and give more boys the opportunity to stand out academically to their peers.
Geoff Eagar, Toowoon Bay
Surely more concerning than the HSC gender gap is the alarming discrepancy between country and city and wealthy and disadvantaged students. The government is always keen to put the onus on teachers to base their practices on data-based evidence. It’s time they followed their own advice and used the location and socio-economic data provided by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to allocate funds and resources more appropriately. This seems to be an effective strategy to improve educational outcomes. It is not acceptable that one group of students can expect to be three times more likely to achieve a band 6 based on their background.
Anne Croker, Woonona
I note that the Botanic Gardens has relocated its herbarium to Mt Annan (“Herbarium’s inner beauty ready to bloom”, November 5). All very well. Mt Annan and Mt Tomah Botanic Gardens were established for different purposes and are accessible by road. As far as I am aware they are not accessible by any other means, nor does the rail network run any rail/bus tours to these locations. So for those who do not drive, how can the public access these interesting resources?
Julia Bovard, North Sydney
Contrary to your correspondent (Letters, November 5), I find that the Dulwich Hill Light rail line is heavily used on all days of the week (including weekends). I doubt that Transdev would have added extra carriages to the fleet and increased the frequency of the service if that were not a fact. It provides quick access to the city through areas poorly serviced by slower buses. Does the writer use the light rail frequently? My experience is that at times it is difficult to find an empty seat.
Peter Wotton, Pyrmont
It seems Indonesia is trying something new to reduce the divorce rate and violence by giving some education before the wedding day to both the groom and the bride (“Indonesia’s passport to wedded bliss”, November 5). Maybe Indonesia can send their course curriculum to Australia to see if we can have a similar education, given both the divorce rate and violence as prevalent as in Indonesia, if not more.
Mukul Desai, Hunters Hill
Of course it can be a shock reading one’s electricity bill, but there is an alternative (“Complaints rise along with power prices”, November 5). Consider going back to the Dark (literally) Ages. No electric light, no instant hot water, no TV, no air-conditioning or heating, cook over an open fire, get rid of all those entertaining gadgets. Would your life be better? I know it seems to be the only alternative at times, but that is being selfish; think of the damage you would be doing to wealthy conglomerates. Have you forgotten that some years ago the state government decided to privatise our electricity; to sell off for short-term gain a useful facility, like water, run for the benefit of the people, to companies whose main aim is to make a lot of money for shareholders? Like most privatisation, the public does not benefit. Until that grievous error is rectified prices will continue to skyrocket. That’s profit, that’s business.
Nola Tucker, Kiama
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/for-whom-the-bell-tolls-what-cyclists-must-do-more-of-20231106-p5ehwu.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_national_nsw What cyclists must do more of