For the 2013 Cycling in Dublin newspaper, we surveyed Dublin’s TDs and councillors to get an overview of politicians’ opinions on cycling; here we publish extra details with analysis by Cian Ginty and Colm Moore. Results should be read in the context set out across the following pages:
How supportive are politicians of cycling friendly measures?
FULL TEXT: The following are the full words of lines cut off in the below chart – these lines were clear and complete in the questions:
Of the 59 who answered the question, 100% were supportive or very supportive of DublinBikes, the city’s public bike share system, and similar schemes. Nearly as many, 58 (98%), were supportive or very supportive of the bike-to-work scheme that gives workers a tax rebate on bicycles used primarily to get to and from work.
There was strong, but less overwhelming, support for Dutch or Danish-style cycle paths, even if it sometimes means removing traffic lanes or parking. 59% were supportive or very supportive. Most of the remainder were neutral, at 27%, while only 14% expressed unsupportive or very unsupportive attitudes.
The proposed Phoenix Park to Point Village cycle route which will likely involve reconfiguring the Liffey quays to provide a better experience for pedestrians and cyclists gained strong support, with 66% supportive or very supportive with only 5% being unsupportive.
A speed limit zone of 30km/h in Dublin city centre gained controversy, but respondents from across Dublin showed support for the use of the speed limit — varying depending on area where it is used.
There was very strong (92%) support for 30km/h speed limit zones at schools, 69% were supportive or very supportive of such zones in residential areas, and 61% were supportive or very supportive of lower speed limits in town and city centre locations. The remainder of respondents were neutral. Only the use of 30km/h in town and city centre locations attracted any notable opposition — which was still low at 19%. Zones of 30km/h beside schools attracted no opposition, while only 5.1% of respondents were unsupportive of 30km/h zones in residential areas.
Politicians were generally neutral to unsupportive (combined 81%) of barriers on cycle routes, such as the ‘kissing gates’ that feature on some of the western section of the Grand Canal route from Ballyfermot to Adamstown.
Barrier-free cycle routes (combined 97% supportive or neutral) and shared use areas (combined 78%) where cyclists, pedestrians and wheelchair users mix without kerbs, barriers or bollards received a strong backing, as did contra-flow cycle paths (combined 90%) allowing cyclists to safely go two-ways on one-way streets. Allowing bicycles on Luas off-peak or when it’s not busy received 76.3% supportive opinion.
On-the-spot fines for cyclists, similar to those that motorists receive for offences like speeding, had 22% respond as very supportive and 42% supportive. If introduced, such fines are likely to be much more common than the currently rare court prosecutions, but errant cyclists would be able to avoid a court conviction.
– By Colm Moore