Year-in-review: Walking and cycling in Ireland in 2021

YEAR-IN-REVIEW: What was your favourite walking and cycling related event or story in 2021?

2021 was a busy year for walking and cycling. Although IrishCycle.com recently reported that there was a €132 million underspend on walking and cycling projects in 2021, we have been reassured that this funding should be spent in 2022 as staffing levels are ramped up in the newly formed active travel sections of councils around Ireland.

It was also a year of change for IrishCycle.com. Less than two months ago, this website took the jump to ask readers to subscribe to make our journalism sustainable. The experiment of if it will work or not is ongoing: So-far 200 readers have subscribed monthly out of an average of 15,800 visitors per month to this website this year (just over 190,000 visitors / 370,000 views this year in total).

Below is a list of our top 40 most read articles in 2021. Articles that did not make the top 40 list but are worth a read include:

Why there is hope for enabling walking and cycling in Ireland — the main reason is the strength and volume of the people now pushing for change. It’s natural for a news-focused website to focus on newsworthy issues but (despite claims otherwise) IrishCycle.com covers a mix of positive and negative stories.

Sometimes heated issues get the most attention, so, it’s worth remembering there are projects that are going ahead and there is good news.

Like the Parnell Square East east contra-flow cycle route which opened in February, it was announced in March that it was to be extended to Blessington Street and by May it was opened. This is only a short route but has a big impact allowing people to avoid a system of one-way streets and junctions which are hostile to people on their bikes. Next step, segregated routes in both directions and across the city?

Talking about things heating up. Cycling as a way to help decarbonise transport is featuring more and more. It is a “risky and potentially costly gamble” for Ireland to rely on electric vehicles for emissions cuts, experts told Ireland’s parliamentary Joint Committee on Environment and Climate Action. A report by the Committee then recommended that an ‘avoid-shift-improve’ approach is needed to reduce climate emissions.

2021 also saw health, climate and cycling groups combine to call for urgent action. Following on from 17 Dublin school principals calling for action to “avoid a tragedy on the roads” at the end of 2020, 2021 saw a similar call from 28 school principals in Galway. This can be dismissed but combined, it’s a sign of change.

It’ll be a bumpy road ahead, but after covering cycling and related issues for over a decade, I can say there is a shift in thinking happening. There’s still a lot of minds to be changed and we have to remember that change is not painless.

Top 40 most read news and comment articles

  1. Dublin shop claimed to be sacking staff because of cycle lane now hiring
  2. 5 things to help make Sandymount cycle path trial a success
  3. Labour Cllr who supports footpath parkings claims “militant wing of Green Party” with “fascist” behaviour put a “fatwa” on her
  4. Motorist fined €1,000 for careless driving after scraping by cyclist while bus oncoming
  5. Mixed feelings as red route selected for Galway to Athlone greenway route
  6. Motorists need to give cyclists time and space, says brother of woman killed 5 years ago
  7. A commuter town comparison between the Netherlands and Ireland – From Baarn to Naas: Part 1
  8. Walking and cycling routes to schools project suspended across south Dublin — Cllr
  9. Dublin Bus called on to act to avoid “appalling” overtaking of father and son
  10. Cllr Flynn refuses to clarify issues around ‘Cycle Lane Action Group’
  11. Man knocked off his bicycle in head-on hit-and-run crash with Audi driver in Kildare
  12. Here’s why the Galway Ring Road will never be built
  13. Dublin TD mounts email campaign against cycle path to schools
  14. Tributes paid to filmmaker and cycling campaigner, Paddy Cahill
  15. Capel St / Parliament St public consultation response is Dublin City’s largest ever
  16. Dear Neil… Should anti-cycling ranting be called out for the bullshitting it is?
  17. 11-year-old girl dies in hospital after collision with man driving a van
  18. Strand Road cycle route trial given red light by High Court
  19. 80-year-old man dies after being knocked off his bicycle in collision with car driver in Dublin
  20. Deansgrange cycle path to detour into graveyard to avoid disrupting cars
  21. Pedestrianising Capel Street 24/7 would “inconvenience businesses” says new Lord Mayor
  22. Dunkettle to Carrigtwohill route to be one of Ireland’s first interurban walking and cycle routes
  23. Royal Canal ‘Deep Sinking’ public consultation to restart after lockdown
  24. Witnesses sought after road rage incident on Dublin’s South Circular Road
  25. Cllr Mannix Flynn wants pedestrian priority at traffic lights reduced to pre-Covid state
  26. War of the Deep Sinking: The Battle of words for the Royal Canal in Dublin 15
  27. 14km of new cycle routes planned for the Phoenix Park
  28. Deansgrange cycle route will be a compromise, but better than elsewhere in Ireland, says council
  29. Councillors force deferral of key section of routes to school plan in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown
  30. Dublin council official threatened with harm against their family over walking and cycling project
  31. Mostly mediocrity and junk: “Key” walking and cycling projects listed in 2022 budget
  32. Strand Road Cycle Route on Trial: Parts of judgment reads like a transcript of Newstalk show
  33. 280 indoor bicycle parking spaces to open on Dublin city centre’s northside
  34. Gardai investigating van driver crushing bicycles parked outside Dublin school
  35. The Government isn’t coming to get your car… so, why is an Irish Times columnist acting like it’s possible?
  36. Irish Rail trains to get extra bicycle space
  37. Ireland’s National Development Plan isn’t compatible with climate action
  38. Council given €20.7m in walking and cycling funding “happy” with steel pole in middle of shared path
  39. Man knocked off his bicycle in collision with motorist in Phoenix Park
  40. 0% VAT on bicycles sold in Ireland to be examined following EU rule change

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