— Council claims to be supportive of cycling while continuing to install restrictive barriers in pandemic.
Images of bollards on a revamped cycle route in South Dublin have attracted local and international attention — but these are only one of many new barriers installed by South Dublin County Council on cycle routes in the last year.
UPDATE 28/02/2021: South Dublin Council this morning said: “The installation at Stocking Lane is under review”.
The plastic bollards — which have gained attention since photos started circulating on Twitter yesterday — were recently installed on a revamped cycle route on Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.
IrishCycle.com asked South Dublin County Council given its continued heavy use of barriers on cycle route, how can the council continue to plan a cycle network relying on parks when the council will likely install barriers which make such cycle routes ineffective and often out of bounds to people with disabilities or families with larger bicycles.
A spokesperson for South Dublin County Council said: “The Council is actively preparing a programme of work referred to as Cycle South Dublin, which seeks to deliver a connected and safer cycle network for people of all abilities. Public consultation on this programme closed in December and a final programme is now being prepared to bring to full Council.”
“As part this programme improved cycle lanes across parks are identified. As part of the detailed design of these routes, the teams working on our parks and our cycle infrastructure will assess each individual scheme and will need to determine the best solution in each instance, which will need to take account of context and existing behaviors,” the council said on Monday night.
IrishCycle.com has since given the council more details on the location of the bollards and will update this article if any further comment is forthcomming.
(article continues below tweets)
If you thought challenge number 1 was good well you are in for a treat! This is 100 m further up the hill where you can navigate (not sure what this obstacle actually is) number 2! And for a bonus we estimate 90cm clearance there on the left. 😭 https://t.co/wu4LM6c9FP pic.twitter.com/P0CA3KHJb9
— South Dublin Cycling (@SouthDubCycling) January 25, 2021
Very disappointed to see @sdublincoco installing restrictive chicanes at footbridge over N4 in Lucan. All it does is create conflict. And it must be hard to get a cargo bike through that gap. And it looks like cyclists are just using the grass instead… @SouthDubCycling pic.twitter.com/eHP5ITag7H
— Leo Talbot (@EllPeaTea) November 8, 2020
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It's very disappointing to see @sdublincoco installing new #kissingGates in Dodder View Park. These openings were clear for buggies, bikes, kids on scooters & wheelchairs for months. Now the park is either a battle to enter or just off limits. 1/? pic.twitter.com/0g1wIdXUCp
— Simon Smith | Regulatory Upright Signpost (@linef4ult) December 29, 2020
In reply to the tweet on restrictive chicanes at footbridge over N4 in Lucan, South Dublin County Council at the time tweeted: “This was done by our Traffic Section on foot of complaints received from the public to address the ped./cyclist conflict and cycle speed. Ample room for mobility impaired and bicycles to pass through the gap in the barriers.”
While in reply to installing the kissing gates in lockdown last year, South Dublin County Council at the time said: “As part of improvement works SDCC are erecting kissing gates to stop the use of scramblers and to make the park safer.”
The position on kissing gates on cycle routes in South Dublin County Council seems to be supported by most councillors in the area. One councillor who has came out vocally against them is Cllr Carly Bailey (Social Democrats) who said kissing gates don’t stop scramblers and access to the routes should be treated as an equality issue.
In reply to a conversion on kissing gates last year, Cllr Bailey said: “All kissing gates need to GO! It was up for discussion again a few meetings back. I asked that this be treated as an equality issue. SDCC have committed to progressing alternatives. Some councillors agree. Some still think they’re needed to prevent scramblers. We’re getting there”
Cllr Bailey added: “The gates don’t even prevent scramblers. They only prevent those who need wider space to access the park. I can barely get my ebike through. Large strollers, power chairs & cargo bikes can’t at all. I’ve been supporting @D12BikeBus in their brilliant efforts also.”
And before anyone mentions scramblers, the existing kissing gates do not keep them out, so why should others suffer because of a failed attempt at curbing antisocial behaviour?#KissTheseGatesGoodbye https://t.co/BRnGL7UiAI
— South Dublin Cycling (@SouthDubCycling) July 24, 2020
— South Dublin Cycling (@SouthDubCycling) September 22, 2020