A Social Democrats councillor in Dublin has pushed for council officials to tell school children how important it is for them to use sub-standard cycle lanes rather the cycling on the extra wide footpath on Griffith Avenue.
Councillor Patricia Roe (Social Democrats) used an opportunity last night at the council’s full monthly meeting to debate progress in cycling infrastructure delivery to ask why school children were not using the sub-standard cycle route that councillors approved.
Cllr Roe said the complaint relates to teenage school children but some locals have said it is mainly younger children who cycle on the footpaths on the road.
The cycle route is sub-standard in width, offers no protection or traffic claiming at junctions, and is also still unfinished.
Even at the junction of Griffith Avenue and the Ballymun Road, where there are separate traffic lights for bicycles and motorists, the council has chosen a system where motorists turning left can do so with an amber light when the bicycle traffic light has green light.
Dublin City Council started planning the Griffith Avenue cycle route claiming the project was mainly for school children, but since then the council has compromised on the safety, comfort and attractiveness of the cycle route. Mainly to allow for extra-wide traffic lane widths.
Cllr Roe said: “At a local area meeting a couple of months ago when the cycle lanes on Griffith Avenue were being discussed, there was a few comments made about the fact that a lot of the secondary school children attending schools off Griffith Avenue still persist in cycling a couple abrest along the footpath.”
“There’s been complaints from elderly pedestrian users about that and I suggested at the time that the office engage with the schools in the area and maybe give a presentation to people on the need and reason why they should use our cycle lanes that have been provided for them. And I’m just wondering has this been done,” she said.
Dublin City Council seems to have ideological issues in avoiding actions such as reducing general traffic lanes sufficiently to provide for attractive cycle lanes or opting for using two-way cycle paths.
The reluctance around using two-way cycle paths is despite plans for extensive use of them in Dún Laoghaire and two-way paths already being used to a large extent on urban streets in London, Paris, a number of Dutch cities, and elsewhere.
Brendan O’Brien, the head of the traffic and transport section of the council, at last night’s meeting, said: “Regarding Griffith Avenue and some of the kids cycling to school, there has been engagement with the various schools.”
He said he would check with an official who is leading this if she had reached all the schools yet. He added there has been ongoing consultation with schools.