Dublin’s lord mayor wants to merge buses and cars on “very small” section of quays

— Mayor says he does not know of anyone who brings bags of shopping on bicycles.

Dublin’s lord mayor, Cllr Brendan Carr (Labour), last week clarified his comments on the Liffey Cycle Route — he said he supported the segregated cycle route, just not the idea of  diverting traffic for it. But his suggestion would mean cars carrying mostly one person blocking buses full of people.

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He made his comments on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny show, with presenter Jonathan Healy, after he told The Irish Times last week that he opposed the current proposal for the Liffey Cycle Route.

The lord mayor implied all traffic would be diverted up the one route around Smithfield when the council has, a number of times, said that this is not the case and that it also expects traffic reduction.

He was offering an alternative to a proposal to diverting cars off the quays between Blackhall Place and Church Street at the Four Courts. 

Cllr Carr said: “Bring cyclists down onto some kind of boardwalk, a wooden boardwalk, and bring them out onto the quays… at that stage we can merge both the private (motorised traffic) and the buses for a very small part of the quays. When the quays open up [to be come wider] again, get back into having a designated bus lane.”

“Motorists are coming into the city and keeping businesses alive,” he added. When the presenter said that “so are cyclists and people on buses”, Cllr Carr said: “I don’t know any cyclists who come into town and do bags of shopping and bring them home on their bike.”

Jonathan Healy asked the mayor that “maybe you’re trying to convince them to get out of their car and use public transport and cycle… I accept that there will always be people who will drive but maybe there are those who will be encouraged to use public transport”. The mayor said that he’d encourage people to cycle but that “That’s a completely another debate.”

The primary aims of the Liffey Cycle Routes include to make cycling safe and encourage people to switch to cycling.

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  1. He clearly hasn’t seen a cargo-bike! And it’s worth repeating that all the large stores do home deliveries.
    Dublin Cycling Campaign has started a hashtag campaign #ShopbyBike. It wants folks to post images to Twitter using this hashtag @DublinCycling. Go fill those bikes with large items!

  2. Ah c’mon now Mr Mayor, do you seriously think that all those cars coming along the quays every morning are coming in to do their shopping?

  3. 90% motorists don’t do shopping, they drive in to town park for 8 hours and then drive home.

    I may agree with his plans if they introduce a 4 hour limit in city car parks and remove staff parking from public servants. let them use public transport

  4. This unelected mayor seems to be very out of touch. His narrow views doesn’t seem to represent the people of the city at all. His pro motoring pontifications is making him a voice for a minority, the few who still choose to use the incredibly space inefficient car. The majority of people in Dublin City travel on foot, bicycle and public transport. He seems determined to ignore that facts and figure no matter. Maybe it’s time he stepped down as he’s a complete embarrassment at this stage. He is not speaking for the people of our city.

  5. I do a lot of Shopping by Bike in the City, that is why I have two rear Panniers on my Bike. I had to get new Clothing as my stuff is wearing out. Cardigan ,three pairs of Trousers ,Boxer Shorts. I got a few items of Clothing two Months ago as well. If I am in the City I generally get Groceries rather than try and get them in a Supermarket in my Locality. I am tired by the time I get near Home. So Mr Carr I am one of the Cyclists that gets Shopping in the City.

    Most of the people who use the City are Cyclists, Pedestrians, Use Public Transport, not Cars. The Car Drivers usually only passing through or are Commuters going to work.

  6. @Conor Whilst I’m certainly on your side in regards all of this (your article referenced above) I wonder if ‘facts’ make a blind bit of difference in any of this.

    I remember something similar happened with Richard Dawkins who, at the time, held the chair at Oxford for the public understanding of science (the position was created for him, ifrc). Dismayed at the attacks on evolution by creationists in the USA, he felt that if only they could be presented with the evidence, then surely they’d change their minds.

    Unfortunately the outcome and result was very different to what he had hoped for. You see, the vast majority of creationists (and most religious people) don’t hold their views because of reason and evidence. They hold the views they have for emotional reasons. Presenting them with the ‘evidence’ and the ‘facts’ had very little effect on them at all, and indeed caused many of them to become even more entrenched in their beliefs.

    So what has this to do with the present debate (such as AGS claiming that cyclists should wear HiVis & plastic bike hats)? Well, as I’ve noticed when trying to discuss such issues with people in person, and over the interwebs, many of them don’t hold the views they have because of evidence, but because they have an emotional response to seeing cyclists whizz by them as they sit in traffic. They have an emotional response when they see cyclists behave in a way which they feel breaks the ‘rules of the club’ (car-club rules I hasten to add). So trying to present these people with ‘facts’ or ‘evidence’ is met with an emotional response and has little effect. For eg, witness the witless statements from Mr George Hook as he states for the umpteenth time that he HATES cyclists “with a passion”.

    So what can we do? Unfortunately the answers aren’t always clear, and doubtless one-size-fits-all response just won’t work. And doubly unfortunately, whilst the evidence that cycling has a net-benefit for society is very compelling for those of us on this side of the fence; it’s practically meaningless for a hardened car-centric personality such as George Hook or Jeremy Clarkson.

    Perhaps the best thing each of us on a personal level can do, is to show people we know who drive cars that we’re not monsters. The majority of dangerous idiots that drive at you in order to bully you off the road wouldn’t dream of acting that way if it was someone they knew that was on on the bike they were driving towards. So that’s one thing I do each day, I speak of my problems with cycling in a dangerous environment in a way that (hopefully) humanizes cyclists to car-drivers, so that the next time they get annoyed with a cyclist as they sit in traffic, hopefully they’ll think of me (and hopefully, that won’t make them even more annoyed, lol).

    On a larger-scale, what can we do as a ‘community’? Again, I think one good approach (and there will be many other good approaches) is to try and humanize people who use bikes. I think it’s a bad thing, whenever there’s a photo-op, to present people on bikes as festooned with HiViz and plastic bike hats, as this is almost inevitably seen as a mark of the beast to some people who drive. When they’re sitting down at home, or down the pub chatting with their mates, the people they’re chatting with aren’t dressed in such garb. Thus they don’t identify with people dressed in HiViz & plastic bike hats.

    So, I think that whenever there’s a photo-op, I think we should try to present people on bikes as just that – ‘people’ who just so happen to be on bikes. Their mate in the pub, their husband, their wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, mother, daughter, father, son. Present us as just normal people; not people about to engage in some sort of hazardous activity. Present us as people who pay taxes, and deliver services, and who are part of the wider community. People who care about the community we live in. People with jobs, and hobbies and responsibilities.

    And just for clarity, I’m not against also presenting the facts and the evidence; just that we shouldn’t expect that such an approach will work with some, or even the majority of people who are ‘against’ cycling.

    Just my 2-cents worth.


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