#VC19: Public invited to Velo-city parade tomorrow with family event at St Anne’s Park

IMAGE: An older section of the S2S in Clontarf.

— Public invited to join delegates and cycle to St Anne’s Park.
— Cycle to be followed by family event in St Anne’s Part in Clontarf.
— S2S southbound to be closed for short time to take volume heading northbound.

Despite Dublin City Council saying otherwise, sources still believe that Gardai (Irish police) may have to close more roads than planned for the Velo-city conference parade late on Wednesday (tomorrow) at 4pm.

Delegates from the international Velo-city cycling conference taking place in the Dublin Docklands are due to start from the Convention Centre at 4pm on Wednesday before cycling to the northern section of the S2S Dublin Bay cycle route. The attendees will be under Garda escort between the convention centre and the two-way cycle path.

Members of the public are set to meet conference attendees at the junction of Clontarf Road and the Alfie Byrne Road. Some are expected that some will join attendees at the Convention Centre or along the route as it is the easiest way from much of the city out to Clontarf.

The route from the Convention Centre is around 7km to St Anne’s Park — which is shorter than usual conference parades, which are usually above 10km and includes city centres and temporary road closures. The advertised public route is just 4km. More details for the public can be found at velo-city2019.com/bike-parade.

A high percentage of the delegates usually attend the Velo-city bicycle parades. It’s expected that there will be around 1,200 attendees at the conference this year in Dublin, which a bit short of the previous estimate of 1,500 attendees.

Other sources think that the parade will be able to be accommodated on the two-way cycle path in Clontarf, a large number of members of the public are also expected. A council spokesperson said that Dublin City Council expects between 1,500 to 2,000 participants in the parade, including the public and conference attendees.

The Garda press office did not respond to requests for comment on how they expected to handle a large volume of cyclists.

A spokeswoman Dublin City Council said: “The cycle track along Clontarf Promenade is a 2 lane cycle track. For the purposes of the parade, the 2 lanes will be used as a one way (outbound) track allowing the 2-lanes to be used for Parade participants. This will adequately accommodate participants travelling 2-abreast. The Event Management Plan for the Bike Parade has been developed by a professional Event Management Company in collaboration with An Garda Síochana and other key stakeholders.”

We asked Dublin City Council why it did not look at a longer route including the city centre and road closures — a spokeswoman for the city council, said: “The route chosen maximises the potential for community participation from residents of the North East Inner City, Fairview and Clontarf areas.”

She added: “These areas will see the development of high quality cycling facilities over the next three years. The parade presents an opportunity to increase visibility and awareness of cycling for transport or leisure purposes and gives the opportunity for local communities to engage with international delegates. Such local engagement would not be achieved by focusing on city centre cycling.”

The spokeswoman said: “Dublin City aspires to be a future cycling city. A key strategy for delivering on the vision is encouraging more people to take up cycling and creating an environment that facilitates cycling by people of all ages and capabilities. A 4km route that is a predominantly segregated cycling facility is considered more likely to appeal to families and less experienced and family cycling, a cohort that is the backbone to uptake of cycling. Furthermore this route allows participants to cycle in a scenario that is closer to real life cycling environments, consistent with the network that Dublin City Council is building.”

In a lengthy statement it also said that the Dublin City Council takes enormous pride in being the only capital city with a designated UNESCO Biosphere within its administrative boundary.

In recent weeks the council has also removed obstructions along the route, including sign polls which used to be located in the middle of the cycle path.

A spokesman for the Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “The Dublin Cycling Campaign is hoping the Velo-city Bike Parade that starts at the Convention Centre Dublin for delegates, and meets with local families and community groups in Clontarf, before all cycling on to St. Anne’s Park, with be an opportunity for everybody of all ages and abilities to experience the joy of cycling in our city, without fear from motorised traffic.”

“We are being assured by the organisers, Dublin City Council in cooperation with An Garda Síochána and a private events management company, will be able to accommodate the thousands expected for the fun, sociable, free, family-friendly cycling party,” he said.

He said: “The Dublin Cycling Campaign hopes the Council’s choice of route outside the city centre, as would be usual for most previous cycles in the conference series, does indeed see a significant uptake by local communities. We very much hope the delegates find this year’s Bike Parade along parts of Dublin Bay, compares favourable with the positive experiences they would have enjoyed when Nantes, Vienna, Nijmegen and Copenhagen opened up their streets for Velo-city in previous years.”

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.

1 Comment

  1. As usual Dublin City Council does not want the Motorists upset by having this parade going through Dublin City centre, out of site out of mind

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