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Some bus and taxi drivers need to dial down the anger around cyclists… for their own sake if for nothing else

COMMENT & ANALYSIS: Most of the time too many drivers out there know they can get away with acting unsafely around cyclists… but how does it make any sense for professional drivers to do so?

How it worth the stress, blood pressure, or even annoyance? How it it worth loosing your job and possibly going to jail if you do kill somebody or even just end up with a serious conviction from close passing the wrong person?

It’s crystal clear enforceable is lacking — two videos posted by the Twitter account “The Lazy Coconut are just typical examples of the behaviour of some apparently professional drivers. Both on the quays in Dublin, but could be in other Irish cities.

The first is at Ellis Quay on the quays near Smithfield — this has for a long time been a problem pinch point along the quays, both a blockage in fitting in the Liffey Cycle Route unwillingness to transfer space to cycling, and also a familiar place you’ll get close passed.

It’s only a short section before the cycle lane starts again, but if you don’t “take the lane” here (cycle in the middle of the lane), there’s a high change of a taxi or bus driver close passing you.

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My own experience is that if you do take the lane at the above location, you’ll likely be on the receiving end of aggression. Recently cycling here, a taxi driver close passed me, so, I signalled and moved out with loads of space before the bus driver behind me reached me.

The bus driver — who has loads of time to slow down — lost his mind over this and he kept his hand on the horn until I stopped in front of him and made it clear I wasn’t moving until he stopped beeping.

30 second ahead the road widened — I moved into the cycle lane and he drove ahead. I followed slowly enough and there he was around the corner waiting at traffic lights waiting to turn up Church Street. Of course the bus was out of service and the driver was likely rushing home.

Then, secondly, there’s the below video — among one of the worst close passes I’ve even seen.

This kind of driving — outside the Four Courts where there’s a quay-side cycle path — is inexcusable even if cycling was banned in the bus lane. In this case, the bus lane is also a cycle lane:

There’s plenty of reasons to be cycling in the bus lane rather than the cycle path on the other side, including turning into a side street or not being able to make the messy and poorly designed crossover at the previously junction, at Church Street.

But no reason should have to be explained. This isn’t the way anybody should be acting around another human.

Why do some professional drivers keep acting like this? Some drivers have been behaving like this trying to scare or punish cyclists off the road for decades… isn’t it about time they realised it isn’t going to work?

Some bus and taxi drivers need to dial down the anger around cyclists. If they want to think selfishly, then for their own sake if for nothing else. Why bother with the stress of it? If your hate for cyclists more important than your health and possibly your job or even freedom if you end up killing somebody?

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2 comments

  1. interesting that that everybody is tagged in twitter post apart from the Gardai, the ones actually responsible for enforcement

    Reply
  2. Scary. I cycled from Inchicore to Parnell Square (north) all last week. I thought I’d take the north quays route and go up O’Connell Street as it would be safer. Yeah, right. Between that impossible junction at Church St, the abrupt and repeated disappearance of wand-protection, and ‘sharing’ with house-sized buses barrelling along at speed, the north quays cycle route is astonishingly badly designed – especially if you want to take a left anywhere after Croppy’s Acre. Obvs not designed by anyone who cycles but hey it’ll look good. In the end I did a combination of protected-lane cycling, cycling through quiet roads/places (eg IMMA, Mary’s Abbey), footpath-cycling (Four Courts, Military Road) and non-protected ‘contraflow’ cycling (Capel St). It still wasn’t perfect but I think I gained months of life from being less stressed. In my experience the Expressway drivers are the ones who do most beeping and close passing.

    Reply

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