Oil and dirt from building sites mixed with dry weather is suspected by campaigners to be the cause of a high number of people falling from their bicycles around Dublin city centre in the last week.
Dublin City Council did not respond to a request for comment made late on Friday afternoon which asked if the council is aware of an unusually amount of reports of cyclists slipping on oil spills on the city centre’s roads and streets. Some areas were covered with sand after oil spills last week, but people reported on Twitter that there was residue remaining after the sand dissipated from heavy traffic.
The Dublin Cycle Campaign has complied reports from more than 120 people who have witnessed or experienced falls which have resulted in injuries from cuts and bruises to fractures.
In a press release issued today, the cycle campaign said: “One of the victims, who fell at a junction in Stoneybatter, reported that he had suffered a dislocated elbow which required surgery, and that while he was ‘waiting for the ambulance to arrive two other cyclists fell at the same corner’.”
Kevin Baker, chairman of the Dublin Cycling Campaign, said: “What quickly became apparent to us were clusters of falls in the vicinity of major construction sites near Dublin city centre.”
He added: “Our hypothesis is that heavy vehicles travelling to and from these construction sites are depositing dirt and oil on our streets. The lack of rain [last week] could have led to a build-up of these hazardous materials, creating greasy slicks in many areas.”
The campaign said that analysis showed a spike in the number of falls on Thursday 23rd, Wednesday 29th, and Thursday 30th January when there was no wet or freezing weather reported by Met Éireann’s weather station in the Phoenix Park.
“If we are only relying on rainfall to keep our road surfaces clean and safe, then that is not nearly good enough,” said Louise Williams, vice chair of Dublin Cycling Campaign.
She added: “It is the duty of those responsible for creating these hazards to make sure our streets remain safe for people who cycle. We are extremely concerned for the safety of people trying to get around Dublin by bike.”
The campaign said that the construction sites at the centre of the clusters include the National Children’s Hospital in Kilmainham, the Technical University of Dublin (formerly DIT) campus at Grangegorman, and multiple large construction sites in the Docklands area.
It said that it has submitted “an urgent request to Dublin City Council asking for specific junctions to be thoroughly cleaned immediately”.
The junctions where multiple slips and falls were reported include Macken Street and surrounds with 7 falls reported in this area; and Thomas Street and Thomas Court with 6 falls.
Three falls were reported at following junctions: Rialto Roundabout; Blackhall Place and King Street; Ormond Quay and Swifts Row/Jervis Street; Gardiner Street and Beresford Lane. While two falls were reported at Gardiner Street and Dorset Street; North Strand and Seville Place; Lincoln Place and Westland Row; and James Street and Echlin Place.