Lack of clarity remains for people who want to cycle in Dublin this weekend

— Bicycle parking restricted on core streets on Saturday.

A lack of clarity remains over what access and parking arrangements will be available to people cycling in Dublin City centre this weekend.

Attendees to the Pope’s mass were promised bicycle parking close to the park but the locations chosen for the “bike hubs” are kilometres from the gates of the Phoenix Park.

This news is likely to disappoint attendees who contacted this website who said they were looking at cycling to try to get closer to the park due to mobility issues which makes cycling easier than walking.

For people who bypass the hubs, it is unclear how far they will be able to cycle or if they’ll get bicycle parking.

In the case of the Castleknock gate, authorities have chosen to use St Bridgid’s Boy School in Blanchardstown as a bike hub. This is around 4.4km from the Papal Cross where the Pope will take part in a mass in the Phoenix Park.

The choice of the location is is despite locations closer to the park being available, including Saint Brigid’s National School in Castleknock, which is 1.2km closer to the park.

On the city centre side, another bike hub at the Dublin City Council at Wood Quay is also over 4km from the Papal Cross via the Parkgate Street or “city” entrance to the park.

A third bike hub located at DIT Grangegorman is slightly closer to the park via the North Circular Road entrance at 3.9km.

The walking distance for all three is around 50 minutes to an hour for an able body person.

Residents, commuters, attendees and other visitors to the city who are cycling are warned by Gardai that they will be instructed to dismount when the meet large crowds of people walking, especially on routes between transport hubs and the Phoenix Park before and after the mass at 3pm on Sunday.

On Saturday bicycle parking restrictions will be in place along a route the Pope is due to take in the Popemobile — but also on a large number of approach and side streets to the route and sites he is due to visit.

Signs have been posted on bicycle racks that bicycles still parked on Saturday will be removed.

The road closures in the city centre on Saturday are listed in a PDF on Garda.ie and pictured in green on this map:

Besides the time when the Pope will be traveling on the route on Saturday afternoon, it’s unclear if cycling will be allowed on any of these roads.

The confusion is so much that Dublin Town, a business group, stressed Henry Street — which is in green above — will be open to pedestrians and shoppers on Saturday.

On Saturday normal match / event restrictions are also due to be in place around Croke Park for a World Meeting of Families event the Pope is to attend at 7.45pm in the evening.

As we previously reported nearly 30% of DublinBikes stations will be closed from midnight tonight.

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.

4 Comments

  1. This whole event (whether you’re a fan of the catholic church or not) could have been a fantastic opportunity by Dub City Council to have a car-free city festival and promote cycling as a legitimate mode of transport. Instead we have this omnishambles.

  2. Its totally mind numbingly bonkers.Leave your bike at the civic offices and get a bus? Are they afraid of geriatrics doing wheelies and ruining the grass .With a park of nearly two thousand acres you would think a field could be set aside for parking bikes.I know that arthritis would stop me walking even half a kilometer however I can cycle across the city.If I had any interest in attending this event these ridiculous arrangements would definitely prevent me doing so.Its hard to imagine any weapons you could hide on a bike that could not be hidden under a coat or even a soutane or cassock.
    Whoever left it this late to announce these arrangements should be fired.

  3. To be fair regarding weapons a bicycle is actually a pretty good way to hide a pipe bomb, or is a damn large pipe bomb depending on how you look at it. This is why bikes are removed from the routes that likely bomb targets might take.

    This means it would be a good idea to have any bike storage area in the park away from where there would be crowds (or the pope) but there should be plenty of quiet areas like that within the grounds of the park. There’s a lot of people going but it’s a very big park.

  4. Eric, we all had the bike pipe bomb conversation back when Meghan Markle came to town! You can’t make a usable pipe bomb out of a naked bike. Bike bombs always use the basket or panniers, not the frame.

    http://www.john-adams.co.uk/2010/01/27/bicycle-bombs-and-the-fourth-policeman-the-freedom-of-information-act/

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