Council conducts 20 public engagements on cycle route of just 1km

— One resident claimed cyclists travel at 100km/h and calls councillor racist against Irish people for proposing cycle route.

Dublin City Council has conducted 20 different public and stakeholder engagements on the Fitzwilliam cycle route, which is just 1km long.

The council said it received 1,763 submissions on the project, which is the largest number of online submissions it has recorded to date. The vast bulk of submissions — 1,710 — were supportive of the cycle route. Commuters made up the most submissions but a majority of all submissions types including from residents, businesses, and councillors were supportive.

Only 20 submissions focused on expressing concerns about the project and 33 were said to be not relevant to the scheme.

All of the public engagements — run between June 2018 and last night — included a number of public meetings, public consultation and one-to-one meetings with residents and cycling campaigners.

Sources said that the public meeting last night was the clearest sign yet that most of the focus from the objectors to the scheme was relating to car parking. To ease concerns on the loss of some parking spaces which is planned, the city council is also looking at allowing resident with parking permits to use their permits on different streets.

Another parking-related worry is that residents will have to cross the cycle lane to access their parked cars because the cycle lane is parking protected — this is a design which has been used widely in Cork City for a number of years, it is a standard feature of cycle routes in cycling-friendly cities, and buffer space is planned to be wider than that often used in other countries.

At a public meeting tonight, attended by around 25 members of the public, one of the public attendees accused Cllr Paddy Smyth of being a “racist” because the cycle route which he first proposed was for foreigners and for tourists, not residents.

Cllr Smyth, who is not contesting the local elections this year, said on Twitter: “Easily the high point of my five years in local politics. How I will miss this job!”

A number of sources confirmed the comments and that the same man claimed some cyclists have traveled at 60mph or 100km/h on the street.

The meeting was also told that Irish Water have said they need to upgrade a water main under the street, so this will likely delay the project.

Some design changes were also outlined at the meeting including the DublinBikes stand on Merrion Square being moved to provide a fully protected cycle lane and having a wider buffer zone around parking spots reserved for people with disabilities and mobility issues.

Officials said safety and user audits backed the design of the parking-protected design of the scheme.

It is also understood that how the junctions will work — including the traffic light sequence — was not discussed at the meeting. This is widely viewed by cycling planners as well as transport planners as being key to making protected junctions work for people cycling and walking.

The redesigned drawings for the project are expected to be presented to local area councillors at their next committee meeting.

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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.

3 Comments

  1. Yes there was one voice there with some very extreme comments. There were some other more balanced views too.

    Safety was raised by a number of people, both when car passengers are crossing the cycle track, and when pedestrians are crossing the road. There were concerns raised by disability groups about some elements of the design of crossing points.

    I can understand the concern from car passengers. It’s difficult to gauge when you haven’t seen an example of the finished scheme. The reality is, it’s going to be a very wide space, with plenty of room to get from car to the path.

    I’m more concerned about the crossing points. It appears they will be unmarked, apart from a raised level. They should add zebra stripes to make them more obvious to traffic on the road, motor and cycle. This would be consistent with priority for the pedestrian. An unmarked crossing is more likely to be overlooked by cars, and will probably not be used by vulnerable pedestrians (elderly and slow moving). I hope they review this element before the final delivery.

  2. Can we get the details of the 100km/h cyclist please. We would dominate the Tour de France.

  3. It is endlessly disappointing how the people from well-heeled parts of the city that generally purport to be among the most educated, conscientious, charitable, upstanding, “eco-friendly” (sure don’t they drive a hybrid Lexus?) citizens in the state can actually be the most virulent in their objection to even the smallest loss of what they see as their entitlement. In this case the possible loss of a few car spaces in which to park those Lexus’s massively outweighs the needs of those bloody eco-warriors from the lesser suburbs and anybody else outside their privileged bubble come to think of it.

    David McWilliams has an article today on the same obnoxious pulling up the drawbridge mentality on the part of the lucky few in the IT:
    https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/david-mcwilliams-contented-classes-could-be-biggest-threat-to-irish-economy-1.3810055

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