Dublin’s streets a “nightmare” for cyclists and pedestrians says Greens

Greens

Image: Centre, Eamon Ryan – Pink hi-vis vest to right, local election candidate Sandra Dunne (DCC, Crumlin Kimmage) – Green jacket to right, local election candidate Ciarán Cuffe (DCC, North Inner City)

— Party says Dublin has potential to be one of the best cycling cities in the world

Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan, said today that despite the good news of increases in the numbers of commuters cycling, road engineers are still fixated by getting as many cars through every junction.

Calling for the cycling revolution to continue, Ryan who is an MEP candidate for Dublin, said: “For all that good news [regarding cycling], the design and maintenance of the Dublin road network still remains a nightmare for cyclists and pedestrians alike. Our road engineers are still fixated by getting as many cars through every junction, leaving everyone else in their wake. Wide one-way streets are impossible to cross, and pinch points on the existing cycle network cause real hazard. Potholes which can throw you off your bike are getting deeper by the day. There are no safe routes to school for our kids.”

He added: “We have put in some new cycling infrastructure over the years but the reality is that any improvements in the road system have stalled due to a lack of political will. It is time for that to change. We need to start by tackling the city centre where wide one way streets destroy city life. At the same time we can build first class cycling lanes along all our seafront, rivers and canals which will give us a core route of green ways that could make this city the envy of the cycling world.”

He called on Dublin’s four councils to devote 20% of their total transport budget to pedestrian and cyclist friendly initiatives.

“The National Transport Authority have set out a plan of routes that should be built. We need to show some vision and leadership and rethink how the whole city can work. What Dublin needs is a real plan and vision for the future,” said Ryan.

Local election candidate for the party in Dublin’s north inner-city, Ciarán Cuffe said: “Cycling facilities in the city centre have improved, but there’s so much more that needs to be done. The first thing required is a vision for Dublin that makes space for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Cuffe, who was a former junior transport minister in the last government, added: “Dublin has the potential to be one of the best cycling cities in the world. With the right planning, some political will, and financial commitment from central government, we can easily catch up with cities such as Copenhagen.”

5 Comments

  1. I needed a good laugh. Thanks. Eamon Ryan, former minister in the Government that wrecked the country. He did sod all for cyclists when he was in power and now he’s planning on doing sod all from Europe. Well at least he’s consistent. As for Ciaran Cuffe, nice guy. Voted for him in Dun laghaire. Pity he didn’t influence the County Council to make roads safer for cyclists when he was there. The place is a night mare for cyclists and it gets worse every time the council makes changes to the road network.

  2. John Murphy – Criticisms are more convincing if they’re less sweeping, and there are plenty of very good and very convincing criticisms that could be levelled at Irish governments, both central and local, when it comes to cycling. Surely, however, you don’t really think that the Cycle to Work Scheme, one of Ryan’s policies when he was a Minister, “did sod all for cyclists”?

    Also, if you think the DLRCC area is “a night mare” for cyclists and that “it gets worse every time the council makes changes to the road network”, would you apply that to the changes made to the road network at Newtown Avenue in Blackrock? This website has suggested that it is “the best designed contra-flow cycle lane in Dublin”.

    We certainly need to criticise our politicians and our local authorities for their many failures when it comes to cycling, but we also need to be fair and to acknowledge their successes.

    (Just for the record: I have no affiliation to the Green Party or to any other political party, and I never have had any such links.)

  3. Skangerlandskangerland – Thanks for the response. Just for clarity I am not politically affiliated either. You make a very good point in respect to the Cycle to work scheme. I had quite forgotten about that. That was a great idea put into action. So apologies to Eamon, but he was still part of the administration that wrecked the country.

    Unfortunately changes to Newtown Park avenue came too late for me. After 19 years of cycling up and down this and Leopardstown Road, I am glad something has been done to make it safer for cyclists. I was hospitalised twice following accidents on the leopardstown Road end of that journey. On a lighter note, has safety for cyclists improved at the Whites Cross junction? The weaving cars used to make the top of the road a little scary for me. And did thy finally remove the turnstile at the end of Albany avenue?

    As you suggested I should probably have articulated some of my cycle issues better, so here goes; I think the cobble stones in Lower Georges street in Dun Laoghaire has made cycling more hazardous.
    I cycle from Dublin to Glasthule.

    Making Lower Georges street way, Northbound, means a detour up by Bloomfields, down Convent Road, down Sussex Street and up Marine Road, simply to get from Lower to Upper Georges Street. I think this has made the journey longer and more hazardous.

    The alternative, along Crofton Road means sharing the Road way with Busses, HGV’s etc. again making it more hazardous.

    The new pedestrian crossing at the train station in Dun Laoghaire has included a hazardous trap for cyclists trying to reach the Marine Road junction.

    The inclusion of islands on the re-developed Queens Road has narrowed the roadway making it hazardous for cyclists.

    The other alternative, up the Widow Gambles Hill, means a hill climb and a sudden end to the cycle lane into a narrowing curving road with parked vehicles on the left hand side. I don’t feel safe here either.

    Moving to the other end of Dun Laoghaire. The resurfaced Lower Glenageary Road has included a cycle lane at the top end. This forces cyclists to turn left at the roundabout. No provision has been provided to go anywhere else. Unfortunately I don’t want to go left.

    The roundabout mid way along the Lower Glenageary Road is hazardous as well as most cars simply drive over it leaving little room for a car and bicycle if they exit together.

    The (€470,000.00) roundabout at Killiney Towers has a shared pedestrian and cycle solution. That is to say it’s a cycle, walk, cycle solution. Not very cycle friendly for a huge investment of public money.

    The re-aligned Bakers Corner junction puts cyclists at risk when crossing from Abbey road to Rochestown Avenue as cars head for the road they cut off cyclists. At least they sorted out the bus stop arrangement that made obeying the law seriously hazardous.

    The re-direction of traffic off Pottery road has led to an increased volume of traffic on Rochestown Avenue. No provision for cyclist was made before the change came into effect. The road is narrow, poorly maintained and unsuitable for the higher volumes of traffic.

    Heading towards Dublin along abbey road the roundabout at TEK is too tight to turn at anything but crawl speed unless you want to go under the wheels of cars using the same entry. Cyclists are regularly cut up by cars exiting the roundabout, especially by cars heading for Deansgrange.

    The Blackrock bypass currently has no provision for cyclists and the cycle lane on Newtown Avenue is virtually impossible to get to legally. I know there were proposals to upgrade this but I have little confidence the Council will get it right. Their track record to date is not great.

    The shared cycle/bus lanes on the Rock road are better than now than they used to be but there are regular collisions between cyclists, buses and cyclist Taxis/cars on both sides of the road.

    I am aware that there are other cycle facilities in the DLRDCoCo area. Some of them must be good. I just haven’t seen any. All in all, where I live and where I need to get to, has been made more dangerous every time the council makes a change to the roads. I am only speaking from my own view point. But it is my honest assessment.

  4. Skangerlandskangerland – I had to take another look at the “the best designed contra-flow cycle lane in Dublin” reported by Irishcycle.com. It is remarkable. The surface is good quality. It is even, mainly unobstructed and has good protection. Unfortunately, as suggested in my previous post, it is virtually impossible to get to legally. The only access routes are along Idrone Terrace, which is not safe or the lane way at the back of Idrone Terrace, also not safe.
    In retrospect, I concede that the Bus/cycle lane along the Rock Road is better than what was there before, still not exactly safe, but better. Apart from that, I go back to my original statement, “The place is a night mare for cyclists and it gets worse every time the council makes changes to the road network”.

  5. Remember it’s DLR who have designed the Braemor Road scheme which is one of the best sections of cycle route in the country:

    http://irishcycle.com/2014/04/27/preview-churchtown-cycle-route-not-a-million-miles-from-perfection/ p

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