It’s often said that signs are cluttering Dublin’s streets but one sign in particular is doted all over part of the Shelbourne Road and some side streets in Ballsbridge — no bicycle parking signs.
“There’s a theme developing or emerging around the Pembroke area where businesses or somebody is putting out a sign to say don’t park your bike here and there may not be bike racks to park your bike,” said Cllr Claire O’Connor (FF).
The city councillor questioned the no bicycle parking signs erected in Dublin 4, especially near a new building where there was no on-street bicycle parking installed.
At the South East Area Committee meeting last month, she said: “One place I’m thinking of is Avoca [Ballsbridge Food Market] in Pembroke. There’s signs there right across the street saying don’t park your bike here. It’s kind of like saying cyclists are not welcome.”
Cllr O’Connor asked what is the status of the signs and why businesses might be putting them up.
When IrishCycle.com visited the area on July 6 there was a large number of no bicycle parking signs on both sides of the road — including at least four on one side and seven signs on the east side of the road and a side street.
The signs include those which are attached to Dublin City Council speed limit signs on the east side of the road and a sign which states “it is prohibited to park bicycles in this area” is posted beside what seems to be the public footpath on the west side of the road.
No bicycle parking signs can are sometimes seen as an issue with a lack of designated parking and sometimes as a positive sign that there is demand for bicycle parking. Such signs are can be seen on some shop windows in Dungarvan town and, are very common in busy Dutch town and city centres.
While D4 isn’t at Dutch levels of cycling just yet there’s clearly was some demand with bicycles outside shops and cafés at around 11am last Thursday morning.
The Avoca Ballsbridge Food Market is located in a relatively new building development, Number One Ballsbridge, but there is no public bicycle parking stands outside. There are some bicycle racks across the road but these seem to be well-used and may be unable to handle all of the bicycles parked on the west side of the road at busy times.
IrishCycle.com asked Dublin City Council a number of questions, including if such bicycle parking wasn’t a requirement of the planning permission, why wasn’t it (For clarity: IrishCycle.com has not been able to find the planning file for the development and, in any case, no wrong doing is implied here).
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Dublin City Council did not respond to a number of requests for comment, with the first one in the middle of last month.
IrishCycle.com also attempted to seek comment from the management of the Number One Ballsbridge buildings, the Comer Group, but no response was received before publication even after repeated attempts to contact the company since June 6.
Number One Ballsbridge, which is a development of two large buildings featuring retailers and offices, fronts out onto Shelbourne Road, and to a lesser extent onto Pembroke Road. As well as Avoca, the development hosts a number of businesses including the Government’s National Oil Reserves Agency, Butlers Chocolate Café, The Park Café, software company MongoDB, financial services company Waystone, digital marketing agency Frank & Bear, Eden One spa, and The Art of Coffee.
Across the road, on Crampton Avenue, a private road which acts as access to office buildings and apartments, there is also a large number of no bicycle parking signs.
The only company name visible was on the signs of the Shelburne Building, a new development which is accessed via Crampton Avenue. But the company that is named on the Shelburne Building’s sign, IPUT, a commercial property company, said it did not have responsibility for Crampton Avenue.
IPUT said: “We would like to clarify that Crampton Avenue is not owned by IPUT. It is owned by Campton Ltd and managed by JLL on their behalf.” The statement added: “IPUT is committed to promoting cycling as a sustainable means of transportation, with its Wilton Park neighbouring development featuring 178 bike spaces.”
Compared to the 178 bicycle spaces, the office block only has 44 car parking spaces. It also features 17 showers and “extensive end-of-trip facilities”.
Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) did not respond to a request for comment made via its website before this article was published.