Dublin’s newest cycling campaign, I Bike Dublin, is to step up its human chain protest tomorrow (Thursday) by focusing on protecting a cycle lane on a main arterial route for the first time.
The group is looking to protect the cycle lane on the Ranelagh Road near the Supervalu shop between 8.30am and 9.30am tomorrow. The cycle lane around this location is is often blocked by motorists popping into shops or to get coffee.
The campaign’s previous protests have mainly focused on the contra-flow cycle lane on St Andrews Street, a busy but mainly a local access street off Dame Street. Yesterday the group mprotested on St Andrew’s Street and Westland Row (pictured above, from I Bike Dublin on Twitter).
On Twitter, I Bike group said: “We have been asked many times for an action in Ranelagh. The time has arrived. This Thursday (13th) 8.30 -9.30am outside Supervalu. Join us?”
They also said: “Hey, just a thank you note for the support we got at Andrew’s St and Westland Row this morning. That kept us going in the rain!”
The outbound side in the morning, when school and college terms have finished? The real issue here is the SuperValu delivery truck that parks in the lane regularly around 6pm. SV even have a few traffic cones in the shop to cordon off the cycle lane themselves (to make sure that cars don’t block the lane, making van parking difficult?).
It is clear that the City’s provision for goods vehicle deliveries is inadequate. The City enacted a Development Plan for 2017-21 but the issue doesn’t feature. Far too much scarce street space is given over to private car parking slots coupled with its Planning & Traffic Divisions permitting developers to build right to their site pavement margin thus leaving no space from which to create wider pavements for pedestrian comfort and loading bays.
Vehicles fly-parked in cycle tracks pose a hazard to people who cycle – the cycle track must be seen by drivers as a safety feature for cyclists and not an aid to doing business. An Garda Siochana and its members have to understand and embrace this too. It shows that the force is not acting properly to uphold traffic law without fear or favour.
Clamping does nothing to solve the hazard presented to cyclists by a vehicle blocking the cycle track. The vehicle should be removed promptly and the fine for recovery should be set at a high level.
The fine for fly-parking in a cycle track is a paltry €60 plus 1 penalty-point. This level of fine is totally derisory demonstrating that the safety of people who cycle just doesn’t count in Ireland.
FCNs that impact on the safety of cyclists must be markedly increased in order to bring it home to less than careful drivers that we do matter.
Fair play to them. I expect this to be way more fraught with difficulties than St. Andrews. I think regular drivers who want to “run in to the shops for a minute” are going to be more likely to want to start a conflict.
As someone said, blocking the cycle lanes is dangerous for cyclists. When I have to pull out to go around a car parked illegally (which is many times every day by the way) it not only slows me down while I verify that it is safe and perhaps wait for a gap if the road is particularly narrow, it is also an point at which I am increased danger of being hit from behind by a motorist who is not paying proper attention.
I wonder if they have considered using long plungers for this, with people to one side to monitor and explain. I’ve seen these in use for ad hoc lane protection online and they seem to fill a similar purpose without requiring people to stand in the road.
I don’t want to suggest that they were entirely wasting their time, but it seems my observation yesterday that ‘The outbound side in the morning, when school and college terms have finished’ was a curious choice might well have been borne out:
I don’t know exactly why they went with outbound, but images shared with us and on #freethecyclelanes highlight how the outbound lane is used in the morning for people popping into shops for coffee etc. So, it is a problem, even if most people cycling are going inbound at that time.
There is a lot of goods vehicle fly-parking in the outbound mandatory-use cycle track at that time and a lot of outbound cyclists too.
Interesting to observe that ‘regulars’ who park in it decided to go across the road and with impunity parked in the bus stop zone!
The arrogant assumption that you can park a vehicle anywhere at any time is too prevalent. Why? [Parking control failure coupled with paltry fines]
I remember having a conversation with a co-worker about this. We were in work, he wasn’t trying to park and didn’t have any need to justify his current behavior. We were talking about clamping and parking in general and I mentioned that the Spar at the Kilmainham end of the SCR always has people parked outside it and well up the road where there are double yellow lines. My point was that traffic is very bad through there and there is almost always a tailback during busy driving times. Narrowing the road to one lane so you can park has an inarguable negative impact on the congestion there. I was clear that this doesn’t affect me personally since I can just go up the inside of all the stopped cars.
My coworker wanted to know where people would park if they couldn’t park on the double yellow lines blocking traffic and I told him there was usually space around the corner. His reply was that Spar was supposed to be a convenience store and having to walk around the corner after parking your car wasn’t very convenient.
This was when I realized that the majority of bad driving is not down to maliciousness or stupidity or incompetence it is rooted in the fact that people care very much about what is convenient for them and don’t give a damn at all about how they impact other people. If they thought blocking the cycle lanes might inconvenience them due to being clamped or getting fined they might not do it. The fact they are forcing dozens of cyclists out in to the main line of traffic inconveniencing not only the cyclists but the motorists passing too is utterly irrelevant to a lot of people.