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Canadian Urban Institute distances itself from views of expert for group lobbying against Irish walking and cycle project

The Canadian Urban Institute has distanced itself from remarks which were apparently made by its former director made about a 600 metre walking and cycle project in Cork.

UPDATE 23/11/2022 AT 19:40: The Canadian Urban Institute has since further clarified that the remarks were not made by its former director. The newspaper has now taken down the article and IrishCycle.com has reached out to the Echo for comment and expects a further update tomorrow.

The plan by Cork City Council for the Tory Top Road includes a segregated cycle track in one direction, new and improved pedestrian crossings and raised surfaces at junctions to reduce speed and give greater priority to pedestrians and people cycling.

A “Glenn Miller”, is quoted by EchoLive.ie as “an expert for” Tory Top Road Residents and Businesses, a group lobbying against a Active Travel project proposed in Cork City, and “a planner with the Canadian Urban Institute.”

When tagged on Twitter in response to the Echo article, the Canadian Urban Institute tweeted: “Hi folks! Thanks for bringing this article to our attention. There appears to be some confusion. Glenn Miller has retired from CUI, so his comments do not represent the views or perspective of the organization.”

Miller is quoted by the newspaper as stating: “It is important to be aware of the specific spatial needs of older people from the outset of planning in order to create more walkable communities and age friendly spaces.”

As well as a new cycle path, Cork City Council said that the project includes “raised pedestrian and cycle crossings at junctions and accesses along the route”.

The Echo reported that Miller said the existing extra wide footpath outside the businesses in Tory Top Road is a “relatively safe people friendly space for young and old alike.” It quoted Miller: “It is a space where they can stop for a chat outside as they use the shops, takeaways, pharmacy and cafes on the road.”

This footpath was narrowed not for the cycle path but due to fears over loss of parking. The planned width of the footpath was reduced between two drafts of the project drawings (see below), so that more car parking spaces could be provided.

Conn Donovan, chairperson for the Cork Cycling Campaign, said: “Surprised to see comments from a member of the Canadian Urban Institute for a short cycle lane project in Cork.”

He tweeted the journalist who wrote the article that he is “More than happy” to “direct you to regional and national planning/transport experts.”

Donovan said: “It’s important to note also that the original plans had wider footpaths outside the shops but there were calls for more parking so plans were changed to herringbone bays which need more space.”

Clarification 23/11/2022 at 19:40: The original first paragraph of this article has been changed, it originally said: “The Canadian Urban Institute has distanced itself from remarks made by its former director made about a 600 metre walking and cycle project in Cork.” Clarity was also added to the third paragrap, it originally said that “Glenn Miller, is quoted by EchoLive.ie as…” but has been changed to “A ‘Glenn Miller’….” IrishCycle.com is seeking comment from the newspaper and hopes to publish a new article tomorrow (Thursday).

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1 comment

  1. So the expert testimony was fabricated. It would be very interesting to know what was the source of this information; the protest group or the reporter or someone else and whether this is a frequently use tactic in these kinds of situations.

    Reply

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