Comment & Analysis: After delay, after delay, after delay with planned cycling projects this website has started to write about quickly building at least a basic cycle network, but, the more we look at the issue, the more the issue of ‘politics of space’ pops up.
Politics of space defines our streets and roads — it’s a phrase which makes clear that how we divide up our public space is a political issue. Especially at junctions, it’s best to call it the politics of space and time.
Take a key example like the canal bridge at Rathmines. It’s not that small:
The space between the footpaths on the bridge at Rathmines could fit something like this — with the black bike lane on the left being a right-hand turning lane as a connection into the canal route:
Another nearby example is the bridge at Harold’s Cross, which is much the same — made worse by the higher hump and the doubling up of cars going outbound:
Again, the space between the kerbs could fit something like this:
The above suggested layouts could be trialed using Dublin Orcas, which have bollard inserts:
The suggestions would not cost much at all. It’s not a matter of cost.
Bus priority also should not be used as an excuse here. If authorities want to give more priority to buses then bus-priority traffic lights ahead of both sides of the bridges can be used. As it stands, there’s only one inbound lane on both bridges and that would not change. The narrow width of the other lane likely causes more problem for buses. Banning the outbound right hand turning lane could be done on safety grounds alone.
Should we wait for BusConnects’ Core route project? That could take at least 6 years or, if there’s more delays, the better part of a decade.
It’s a matter of what’s seen as important — bicycles already exceed the number of cars crossing the bridge at Rathmines. But safety and comfort also needs to be taken into account here — the city wants people to cycle but don’t see providing safe and attractive space as a priority.
Around Dublin, children are been cycled by their parents and some are cycling along side their parents in more notable numbers — those children should not have to wait until they are grown up for change which will make Dublin’s streets safer for cycling.
September subscription drive update: IrishCycle.com has reached its target of 270 subscribers by the end of August -- thank you to all who have helped! Our new target is to have 300 subscribers by the end of 2022 -- originally this was hoped to be exceeded by the first year of running the site full time (end of October), but this is unlikely and so the new target is the end of the year.
If you can help push IrishCycle.com above 300 subscribers, please subscribe today for €5 or more. If you have already done so -- thank you!
Please remember, every month there's a natural drop-off in subscriptions due to people getting new cards, cards stolen, Revolut not topped up etc.
IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.
There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!
Monthly subscriptions will give IrishCycle.com's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year IrishCycle.com had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.
I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.
The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!
But currently, it's only around 1.6% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via ko-fi.com/irishcycle/tiers