Is it time to ban kissing gates and other restrictive barriers on greenways and cycle routes?

Is it time to ban kissing gates and other obstructive barriers which block legitimate cycle route and greenway users? Vote in our twitter poll or leave a comment below…

We started the poll after reading a post about kissing gates on the Maynooth Cycling Campaign’s website, it said:

“Whatever the origin of the name, kissing gates are not in accordance with Rural Cycleway Design, the Irish design standard [nor are they compliant with urban standards or general access standards]. They prevent or make passage difficult for many cyclists with non-standard bikes such as tag-alongs, trishaws, cargo bikes and bikes with panniers from accessing greenways and parks. However, this has not prevented local authorities or Waterways Ireland from approving their use.

In the post-Corona world, they are a cause for concern as kissing gates cannot be used without moving the gate by hand. As a result, one infected person could spread the virus to several hundred. It is regrettable that in the past local authorities including Kildare County Council installed such features. It is even worse that in recent days South Dublin County Council has installed one at the entrance to the Dodder Greenway in Tallaght. It gave the excuse that there was a need to stop scrambler motor bikes and that the decision was taken earlier in the year. You would think that someone in local authorities would assess the risk from kissing gates, kiss them goodbye and install bollards in their place.”

— Maynooth Cycling Campaign post

We’re posting this here as the response on twitter has been surprisingly strong, with many pointing out the barriers also block access for people with disabilities:

One comment highlighted how the new South Dublin County Council barrier on the Dodder Greenway even blocks normal bicycles:

Some people replied to the poll saying that the barriers stops scrambles or horses, but just as many contradicted this:

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. ciaran o connor June 5, 2020 at 11:50 am

    Weren’t these kissing gates the exact reason how Yaman Umuroğlu @maltanar was trapped by a gang of skangers in Inchicore back in Nov 2019? They battered him black and blue with bars and stole his bike, precisely because these gates slowed him right down

  2. They are nothing else than a nuisance and need to go.

    Passed something the other day that works much better: https://goo.gl/maps/bHVoE2ewUPbyTfmDA
    Not sure if cargo bikes can get though but that would only be a matter of making the gate shorter.
    This was on the other side of that path: https://goo.gl/maps/R31DnmaNNLAA1kg88
    Also a good solution

  3. These gates discriminate against the handicapped and users of many types of bicycle, many used by disabled cyclists. The range of cyclists excluded include those using the following.
    Tricycles
    Recumbents
    Tandems
    Cargo bikes
    Bikes with child seats
    Bikes with panniers
    Any bike longer than standard.
    Bikes with stabilizers
    And as mentioned above they are a source of great danger to solitary cyclists who risk serious injury or death as it leaves them very vulnerable while trying to get through.
    If you think they stop horses accessing the greenway get a shovel and a wheelbarrow and see how much dung you can collect for your roses along the route.
    Its long past time to kiss them goodbye.

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