Mayor replaces reserved car parking spot with 10 bicycle places

Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council’s mayor has transformed his reserved car parking space into 10 bicycle parking.

The Green Party councillor is just asking that users of the five bicycle stands, which hold two bicycles each, to keep one space free for him.

Posting the above photo on Twitter, Ossian Smyth said: “I had this installed today. I don’t need ten spaces, so anyone who wants to park their bike here is welcome- so long as you leave me a slot!”

The move by the mayor in the south Dublin area contrasts with the mayor in the Dublin City Council area who has said he will accept a mayoral bicycle which will be donated to the council but he has dismissed the practicality of using in for official events as he has to carry the mayoral chain and some documents — items that would easily fit in a basket, front crate, or panniers.

It is understood that the plan to convert the car space to 10 bicycle spaces in Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown pre-dates fundraising for a bicycle for the mayor in the city area.

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

8 Comments

  1. How will we recognize if the mayor’s bicycle is already there,does it have a crest of DLR

  2. Wish the bike would have gone to DLRcoco mayor instead

  3. Perhaps he could hang the chain from the handlebars. Or get a special mayoral bike lock.

    Personally I think whoever organised the bike for Niall Ring should just give it to Smyth instead. I don’t believe that Ring cycles much, if at all, and it would just be a waste. Luckily the Lord Mayor position rotates around pretty quickly so maybe the next one can replicate this idea and be deserving of the mayoral bicycle.

  4. @Eric
    I disagree that this is a waste. The donation of a mayoral bike is a clever move that exerts a subtle pressure on the mayor himself and those that come after him to do more than just pay lip service to cycling. Ossian Smyth’s action is similar. Close attention will be paid to any attempt to remove these cycle parking spots by future DLR mayors. Soft power can be an very useful tool if exercised effectively.

  5. Ah, but the publicity benefit is still achieved, and even magnified by a statement that they changed their mind.

    I think the parking space move is made more clever by the fact that so many people have an (ill founded in my opinion) bee in their bonnet about how public sector employees get free parking and that is root of most transport ills (somehow). Any mayor should be worried about the PR effect of granting themselves a free parking space in light of this. Even though I think a majority would have no problem taking away from cyclists and giving to motorists they won’t like a councillor giving themselves a benefit that the poor hard working man in the street has to pay for.

    I also like the fact they put in regular sheffield stands and not the wheel benders beloved of people who run car parks.

  6. I am not sure that there is any doubt about public sector parking in Dublin.The HSE offices just across the road from Heuston stn is served by bus, dart arrow commuter trains and inter-city trains and has a carpark of several hundred spaces. The civic office at Wood quay has a huge underground carpark that necessitated removing much of the remains of viking Dublin.
    The carpark at the Dail has been extended out across the lawns at Leinster House. There are thousands of other car spaces in Dublin that readers can identify.

  7. But every private sector employer I have worked in in the city centre has also had free parking. What percentage of the cars choking the city are belong to public sector workers versus private sector. People fielding this argument are just having a cheap pop at the public sector knowing that their audience are primed to blame them for everything.

  8. I fail to see the relevance of the provision of private parking by private companies to the argument that the public sector provides thousands of parking spaces at taxpayers expense which mitigates against the efforts to get people to abandon car commuting in favour of more sustainable modes of transport.

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