New bicycle parking removed in Sandymount after emergency motion from Cllr

New bicycle parking installed in Sandymount last week was promptly removed by Dublin City Council after complaints from retailers and an emergency motion from a city councillor.

The motion was in the name of Labour Party councillor Dermot Lacey and is due to be discussed at a meeting staring at 3pm (see webcast).

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The bicycle stands installed on Sandymount Road — which are part of a wider expansion of bicycle parking — were removed in about 24 hours.

“I want to bicycle racks in a safe place in Sandymount and would like to meet on site quickly to deliver them quickly,” Cllr Lacey told today.

He said he doesn’t have an issue with the principal of car parking being replaced with bicycle parking, but he added: “I don’t but this has to be done sensibly. That one wasn’t. I have not opposed any other one.”

The Sunday Times yesterday reported that Paddy Johnson, owner of the McAuliffe’s Pharmacy said that he does a lot of cycling himself but that there was “no consultation” and the bicycle parking racks were “just plonked outside my shop with one of them blocking the fire exit.”

The motion by Cllr Lacey said:

Emergency Motion for South East Area Committee:

This Committee:

Notes the extract below from correspondence from the Sandymont Tidy Towns Committee in relation to the installation of bicycle racks in Sandymount village.

Notes also that there was no consultation with Councillors in relation to the installation of such stands.

Supports the view from the local community that these locations are damaging to the interests of Sandymount Village.

Agrees that there are several alternative appropriate locations within less than five minutes walk form the village.

Agrees to work with the Manager to identify and agree alternative locations taking an equal number of Bicycle stands as proposed for Sandymount Road.

Requests the Manager to have the stands arrogantly placed on Sandymount Road to be removed.

Dermot Lacey

Dear Mr. Keegan

Re: Proposed Bicycle stands and waste management issues in Sandymount Village

We are writing to you from the village of Sandymount in Dublin 4 where we represent the Sandymount Tidy Towns Community Association (STTCA). We also work closely with the Sandymount & Merrion Residents Association (SAMRA) and are part of our local Business Network. While separate bodies, we work as voluntary teams maintaining the beautiful, historical and heritage village of Sandymount and we run a number of community events throughout the year promoting social cohesion and building on the community spirit of our village.

We are writing to you firstly in relation to the immediate works about to take place installing bike stands on Sandymount Road, taking up three car parking spaces. For the past two years we have been seeking extra bicycle stands and worked closely with the South East Area office, they worked on a walking audit with us of the village this year and we agreed with them key locations on suitable wide footpaths for new bike stands, the installation of which is due this summer. At no point were any stands on the street mentioned.

On May 1st works started on the street to apparently install new bike stands. This will take up valuable street car parking spaces of which there are few enough in our village and which our shops and businesses need for deliveries and also try to ensure safety for pedestrians. The Sandymount Business Association are furious at such a measure. All of this has been undertaken with no consultation what so ever with the local community. We cannot understand how when we have such good engagement with the South East Area in DCC, in planning our village that this work suddenly begins.

It will cause major problems with parking and pedestrian safety as it will be placed so close to a pedestrian crossing and ignores the wide footpath spaces around the Green we have already identified and that we understand are due bike stands. The lack of communication and joined up thinking is seriously questionable and undermines the work we as a community group in conjuction with DCC have done to date . We have been asking for a complete traffic management and traffic calming discussion with our group for many years as the Village has huge problems for pedestrians, older people and those with disabilities in the local REHAB and Enable Ireland Centres. As a community we face constant challenges trying to cross the busy Green junction. Following on from the aborted attempt to install a traffic island at the junction of the Green and Seafort Avenue, which was halted because busses were not able to get around said corner. This installation only exacerbates the situation.

IMAGE: Archive image.

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  1. There may be good reasons not to place bike spacing in these specific locations, but I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect a public consultation before every bike stand is installed.

    “just plonked outside my shop with one of them blocking the fire exit.”

    Are these ones which are taking the space of an existing parking space? Would a car not also block the fire exit?

  2. If the bike parking is where the cars park, it is sheer hypocrisy on the part of the pro-cycling councillor.

  3. totally agree with everything e.slat, either a prominent supporter or another mason bro parks his car at that spot!

  4. There was NO CONSULTATION before they objected to this bike parking! Sheer arrogance!

    See how this works? When something you don’t like happens you either a) complain about no consultation or b) claim the consultation was a sham where our concerns weren’t listened to. For the purposes of this tactic ‘consultation’ means ‘opportunity to veto’.

    It certainly appears that any claims about a fire exit being blocked are completely spurious, included purely to make it appear that this isn’t completely self serving. Even if there wasn’t a parking space there, surely the footpath isn’t blocked. I can’t see how the fire exit is blocked using any reasonable interpretation of ‘blocked’. Without that it certainly looks like the objectors have nothing. Let the driver park in a perfectly good spot no more than five minutes away.

    So, what’s the real reason for the objection? It certainly seems like it is simply losing a parking space right outside his shop. So I assume he’s not against cycle parking in general, it can be put outside someone else’s shop, or perhaps away from the shops altogether. That certainly seems like the convenience of a single motorist is being put ahead of the convenience of 10 or so cyclists. How can anyone justify this? Seemingly with fanciful claims that bicycles block fire exists and parked cars don’t.

  5. One wonders if the same intensity of effort was put in originally by Councillors, residents and businesses when the car parking-slots were designed and set out in this village and the charging regime established?

  6. @Eric
    Assuming that the Bike parking was going to replace the car parking space outside this pharmacy, the shop owner must see it as an imposition on his customers (or his own) ability to access the premises. For some reason, he does not value the additional custom that could potentially be brought by having 10 bike parking spaces there instead. He might be of the opinion that his best customers would not be inclined to cycle.

    From the Street View perspective, this spot does not seem particularly better suited to bike parking than any other, so I would imagine that there is an element of “Why should I be the one to facilitate this?”. For example, the Tesco across the road has an unused trolley bay set back from the road that would be ideal for bike parking.

    While this kind of blinkered thinking is frustrating, it is at least understandable. When implementing new cycling infrastructure in the ridiculously piecemeal fashion that we do, it is no great surprise that no individual shop owner wants to be the first to blink in accepting something that may or may not impact his business negatively. He or she knows that a quick call to a Councillor and a bit of manufactured outrage will see the problem go away.

    That said, a holistic approach involving a complete revamp of local transport options and full consultation gives the naysayers time to build a spurious case and lobby hard to have the whole thing shot down as we have seen in the case of the quietway. The answer must be a concerted effort to win over local public opinion with a clear case for change. Some of the local reactions to the quietway being cancelled indicate that what local support there would have been for the project was either unaware of it or not sufficiently motivated to speak up in it’s favour.

  7. someone should tell them they cyclists are not allowed to cycle on footpaths, so putting them on footpaths doesn’t make sense. They should also be told that bikes parked near pedestrian crossings are mush safer than cars, finally a 5 minute walk to a bike stand is quite ridiculous. if I want to pop down to the pharmacy I won’t park my bike 5 minutes away, pop in buy what I want and then walk 5 minutes back to my bike. I don’t think that they understand how practical cycling is.


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