Dublin’s first cycle lane protest since Covid to focus on Westland Row where bollards removed “for BusConnects”

The first cycle lane protection protest in Dublin since the Covid-19 pandemic started is to focus on Westland Row this Monday. where bollards were removed “for BusConnects”.

The protest on Monday is in addition to the #IBikeBop Critical Mass taking place this Friday evening at 6pm, starting at Parnell Square North, opposite Hugh Lane Gallery.

I Bike Dublin, a campaign group, called on people to join them this evening (Friday) and again at 8am this Monday, June 27 at Westland Row in Dublin.

Most locations which I Bike Dublin has staged protests at have had bollards installed at them to try to cut down on illegal parking. But Westland Row — a notoriours spots for illegal parking — had its bollards removed last year.

After the bollards were removed, Dublin City Council confirmed to IrishCycle.com that the bollards were removed on Westland Row for BusConnects.

I Bike Dublin said today: “While you are all getting ready for this evening’s #IBIKEBop we have also been preparing for next Monday’s return to action.”

“We will be meeting on Westland Row at 8am to protect the cycle lane and ensure that people cycling have safe passage unhindered by parked vehicles,” the group said.

The group added: “Westland Row has long been one of the most abused cycle lanes in the city and we were disappointed when the wands that had been added during the pandemic were removed last year, with predictable results.”

Earlier this week, Ciarán Ferrie, a spokesperson for the group, said: “There has been some improvement in cycling infrastructure in the city, but the city overall remains a hostile place for people cycling.”

I Bike Dublin said that the installation of plastic bollards along almost all the cycle lanes where it had carried out previous protest actions is welcomed but that “this can only every be a temporary solution”.

Ferrie said: “The wands do not provide the necessary level of protection, are not robust enough to withstand the damage caused by vehicular traffic and when damaged, they create a further hazard for people cycling. The also create more visual clutter in a city that is already blighted by an excess of poles, signs etc.”

“We need to see a more robust, effective and attractive solution to segregated cycleways, one that does not make the city less accessible for people with disabilities,” he said.

On enforcement, Ferrie added: “The policy of persuasion and education that An Garda Síochána has followed to date hasn’t worked. We need to see more proactive policing and heavier penalties for parking on footpaths and in cycle lanes, driving in bus/bike, speeding in urban areas, breaking red lights and dangerous overtaking – all of the illegal and dangerous driver behaviours that impact on the safety of people cycling.”

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