Human barrier protects cycle lane in Dublin before Nightline truck driver parks up

A new group of cycling  campaigners, under the name ‘I Bike Dublin, successfully kept the contra-flow cycle lane on St Andrew’s Street clear for around an hour and a half at rush hour this morning.  

The lane at St Andrew’s Street is well-known for illegal loading and parking on it, and as an example of chronic inaction by the Gardai and Dublin City Council.

Close to the pre-arranged time to finish the human protection of the cycle lane a truck driver driving a Nightline truck who wanted to park in the cycle lane refused to move and caused a traffic jam back onto Dame Street.

The truck driver would not listen to the cycling group or other motorists who asked him to move on. The cycling campaign group said that other trucks of the same size had passed and there was no issue of blocking the general traffic lane. 

The protesters said they moved as it was past the pre-arranged time to finish. 

“It was bizarre. He just chose to stay there and start giving out about helmets and bikes breaking red lights,” the group said on Twitter

The group said it will hold similar events again. It said: “The I BIKE Dublin crew will be back on the same spot next Tuesday at 4.30pm. All cycling supporters are welcome to join and stay in touch.”

I Bike Dublin said in a statement: “The group was formed to help create public awareness of cycling as a legitimate mode of transport and to undertake some actions that could be seen as activism, though the initial group is intent on minimising conflict and intends that all of our actions are in accordance with the law.”

It added: “None of us want to be faced with court action or a court conviction, so all our actions are intended to be legal. We will aim to stop drivers from taking spaces intended for cyclists. We will not block drivers who are already on cycle lanes. We will encourage them to move off by direct requests and by making noise with good humour, something like the SF Bike Lanes movement.”

23 Comments

  1. Was the driver Irish? The comment about the red light sounds quite Irish…

  2. The driver is not at fault here. Why is that being assumed?

  3. @GerW — exactly what fault of the driver is being assumed?

  4. The driver is shown trying to park on a cycle lane and on double yellow lines. This does not look legal but I’m open to correction.

  5. The driver was trying to park; he just made a wide turn in which he crossed on to the cycle lane. Then he refused to back up (I think people offered to help him back). When the event finished he drove on and around the corner. Waay too big a truck for the little road.
    A lot of trucks & vans were going by and turning right onto Suffolk Street against the blue arrows directing them down… is it Church Lane? Maybe it’s a diversion, but no diversion is signposted.
    The loading bay on the other side of the street was full of empty cars and vans with no loading seeming to be happening.

  6. Under health and safety legislation and guidance all those who drive for work are required to conduct a full and sufficient hazard identification and risk assessment for their activity.
    It is clear that many employers are not factoring in the safety of vulnerable road users (VRUs) when they permit their drivers to park-up illegally in bicycle tracks/paths during their period of operation.
    #freethecyclelanes [ see freethecyclelanes.vool.ie for a compendium] shows the nationwide extent of this illegal activity. It is clear that the authorities are not prepared to tackle the scourge simply because its all about the economy stupid and nothing should be done to inhibit business activity.
    Adopting this approach externalises the cost of doing business onto degraded road safety for VRUs, which is just not acceptable any longer with 10 fatalities of people who cycle so far this year.
    The HSA needs to deal with this safety issue in its guidance for driving for work. http://hsa.ie/eng/Vehicles_at_Work/

  7. I feel the mob mentality of the cyclists surrounding him may have caused him to act out of character and rebel in protest. I’m not condoning it but I do understand it. As a professional driver the chances are he’s seen a lot of wreckless and dangerous cyclists which lead to his frustration. Seeing as most of this human barrier seems to be retirees with plenty of time while he himself was possibly on a hectic work schedule this probaby infuriated him even further, hence the protest. Let him without sin cast the first stone. Interesting debate wouldn’t you guys agree?

  8. @GerW Given that you seem very interested in having a debate, you’re welcome to comment here, however, you must follow the rules here: http://irishcycle.com/comments-policy/

    For clarity:

    You broke the “play the ball, not the man or woman” when you called the group “retirees with plenty of time “, when you don’t have a clue who the people are.

    You’re also trolling when you use words such as “mob mentality”.

    You’re trolling by saying you were not defending him when your first comment said “The driver is not at fault here” — you’re welcome to try to defend him, you’re not however welcome to defend him and then claim you didnt just defend him.

    If you can’t follow the rules, please don’t bother try posting — our comment section is not going to become like the troll-invested comment sections on most websites.

  9. @GerW – ‘a hectic work schedule’ literally means cutting corners with JIT deliveries and it puts VRU safety at risk.
    This work practice is no longer acceptable on our roads.

  10. Stephen McManus June 27, 2017 at 10:46 pm

    @Mike, you are spot on. A huge part of Dublin trying to become a livable city is to switch city centre logistics to electric cargo bikes and the city providing needed infrastructure to accommodate this modern and more people-friendly way of getting things done – for the sake of all road users and the people working in logistics. There just isn’t enough space for the current way things are done and people’s tolerance will diminish as they become aware of the options available.

  11. Truck driver myself. And have had my fair share off run in’s with cyclist. (Other truck drivers ,bus drivers and motorist also). I’m not posting this to wind anybody up. But we don’t live in a perfect world and I have had to manoeuvre around obstacles that shouldn’t be where they were but that’s what I did and just got on with it on a daily basis. I know this street well as I deliver in the area quiet a bit. And trust me no truck driver brings his truck near that place unless he has to. Most deliverys in that area are made early in the morning not because we like getting out off bed at 4 am but because we have no choice but to try get in and out before the hole city wakes up. It’s fair enough that council puts in facilities for cyclists but they don’t seem to take into account that big vehicles need more space than there leaving for them. Another thing I think worth pointing out is that some cyclists not all ,seem to think there immune or exempt from traffic and get highly annoyed if they get held up in anyway shape or form.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is from my own experiences is that I wouldn’t park illegally or block a bus lane or cycle lane ,if I had a choice. But it’s not a perfect world and I am forced to some times. I am also forced to deal with other people blocking me and I just have to work around it.

    So I don’t agree with people going out off there way to deliberately make a delivery drivers life any harder when all he is doing is trying to make a living. There is nothing stopping the cyclists manovering around him.
    It should be left up to the Garda to inforce this area not a cyclists group.

  12. Stephen McManus June 28, 2017 at 8:57 am

    Dylan, in a perfect world the Gardai would enforce the rules of the road and all road users would follow these rules. But this is not the case and our roads are turning into chaos.
    I am a participant of yesterday’s protest and we are very aware of the challenges that professional drivers face. But while we are sympathetic, we feel that safety of cyclists is a price too high to pay. Cyclists are vulnerable road users as the recent death toll shows.
    While there seems to be a conflict between cyclists and commercial drivers, the real issue should be between the county councils and your employers. Neither you or I can tackle unsuitable infrastructure or the stress you are put under by your employer.
    That cycle lane is a contraflow lane, meaning that cyclists are not just forced onto the road by anyone parked there, but they are pushed into oncoming traffic, which should not be acceptable from ANY angle you look at it from.

  13. I would sympathize with delivery drivers in this situation, but at the end of the day, it is illegal to park on double-yellow lines and cycle lanes no matter what pressure the driver is under, and his feelings on cyclists and helmet use are irrelevant.

    Clearly, the fact that there is a designated loading bay that is full of parked cars across the road left him with few options, and further underlines the fact that the current traffic management and enforcement system is failing both parties; cyclists and delivery drivers alike. However, we would be far better focussing our combined energies on changing the status quo for the benefit of both parties than wasting time squabbling amongst ourselves.

  14. Good point well made stephen

  15. @cian was not my intention to troll so it may have been misinterpreted that way which is unfortunate. Interesting story and interesting debate all the same.

  16. Agreed it is illegal to park in a cycle track, and illegal to drive in a so-called mandatory cycle track (continuous white line). Not defending the truck driver in any way (since a cycle track was involved), owever, it is actually legal to park on double yellow lines for the purposes of loading and unloading. If we’re going to call out others on being foul of the law, we need to make sure we understand it ourselvs!

  17. It’s not legal to unload on a double-yellow line if you cause an obstruction.

    But what’s an obstruction? And to whom?

    Causing people on bikes to move into potential conflict with vehicular traffic could be interpreted as obstruction. But then again as the Gards seem to not notice 99% of illegal parking, they’d probably just say that ‘in their opinion it wasn’t causing an obstruction’.

  18. Kenneth Dowdall June 29, 2017 at 10:22 am

    What all seem to fail to see in this, is nobody has the right to uphold the law, except the GUARDS and no group should think it can cordon of sections of the road.Each side of this debate are both right and wrong, in a perfect uncongested city everbody would be happy.So if everybody obeys the law all will be well, that means both cyclist and motorist.

  19. @Kenneth — that’s not at all strictly true. A large number of state bodies have law enforcement powers.

    Individuals do not have the right to enforce the law, but there are common law rights to come to the aid of others.

    More so than that there’s a right to protest.

    How do you think the public and even a judge would take to the idea of the Gardai arresting protesters who are only protecting a cycle lane?

  20. Kenneth Dowdall June 29, 2017 at 11:13 am

    I would agree with you if the action group had protested on the kerb and not on the road, if this action group feels so agreaved by roadusers are they going to not stand at traffic lights and stop cyclists that break the lights again I say both sides are right and wrong but we see more motorists clamped for illegally parking than we hear of cyclists being prosecuted for breaking lights.

  21. @Kenneth basically you they their in the wrong because they are highlighting the problem they think is most important? If you want to protest by standing with hands linked across a pedestrian crossing when the green man is lit, that’s up to you.

    Parking and loading in cycle lanes is at epidemic levels, people have a right to protest about it. They don’t have to also protest for your issue.

  22. @Kenneth
    You are familiar with the phrase “whataboutery”? Mentioning a completely separate issue does not count as an argument for or against the actions of anyone in this case. I might as well say that your implied criticism of cyclists running red lights is invalid because you did not also protest the fact that as many as 4 or 5 cars regularly run practically every red light at every junction in Ireland by sneaking in just after it changes and often blocking other drivers. That too is annoying, illegal, irresponsible and much more dangerous given the weight and size of the vehicles.
    The thing is, much like your mention of cyclists breaking red lights, it is entirely irrelevant to the discussion.

  23. It’s become a type of mantra by many.

    Are you highlighting problems faced by people on bikes who have very real and justified fears concerning their safety?

    Oh yea, but whatabout red lights?

    As if the safety of any person should be held to ransom by the actions of other completely unrelated people. FFS.

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