A woman has said she was knocked off her bicycle when someone in a car opened their door without looking in Salthill in Galway — a collision type which is referred to as a ‘dooring’.
A at incident happened near the promenade car park, this is along where, in February, Galway City councillors voted against trialling a cycle path along Salthill. Campaigners this week pointed out the irony that the 6-month trial was rejected largely due to parking concerns but that hundreds of parking spaces are currently closed temporarily for events, with no apparent consultation held and there’s been no major objections.
The incident this morning was originally reported in local media as a “female cyclist had fallen off her bike” and “found lying on the road this morning”. Although this has now been updated to reflect the woman’s account of events.
According to Galway Beo, a Garda spokesperson said: “A female cyclist fell off her bike and has since been taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries” and added that the “road remains open”.
Ciara Curran, a Galway-based GP, said: “This was me. I was knocked off my bike into oncoming traffic by someone opening the door of a parked car. Partly due to poor road design and lack of a segregated cycleway for safe cycling. Next time I might not be so lucky. What is it going to take to make our roads safe?”
The Galway Cycling Campaign replied on Twitter and said: “Ciara, we feel furious. And very relieved that you’re okay. This is the nightmare we hope never happens to us, and why we volunteer our time and energy to try persuade councillors, TDs, Gardaí, and Galway City Council to make our roads safer.”
Separately, the campain said this morning: “If you find this to be a curious decision to reallocate public space to a private enterprise, let your councillors and Galway City Council know. We could’ve been ending a 6-month Salthill cycleway trial. Where’s the alternative plans promised last February??”
Jawdropping is the only word I can muster to describe the irresponsibility of the Irish Government and councils around Ireland, that are encouraging people to walk and cycle.
How do they have the gall to do so when in cities and towns and in rural Ireland we have, at best, a smattering of safe pedestrian and bicycle user infrastructure?
The vast majority of our roadways fall well below the standards of many countries, in terms of safe walking and cycling.
In other countries citizens ask whether they would encourage their grandparents to cycle or allow their children to cycle on their roads. This is the measure of their concern.
Here, however, we promote cycling with little or no proper provision that would be so inclusive.
The local council is the problem. The government is providing the money for active travel (walking and cycling), but it’s up to local authorities to implement projects. It’s incredible they wouldn’t even trial a scheme over the summer. Time and again a scheme gets close, only to be dashed down by some loud voices claiming the sky will fall. The easy option is always to do nothing.
Nothing will change until voters speak up and tell their local rep’s that a new approach is needed. Then repeat the message at every opportunity.
I hope Ciara hasn’t sustained the serious injuries that I did when this happened to me in Dublin. And I hope she recovers well. The driver is responsible for checking behind them before opening such a door, which these days is effectively a large wall appearing out of nowhere that we cycle right into. It can cause very serious and permanent, life changing injuries.