Saturday, September 30, 2006

The cycle path debate

We are campaigning for safe off-road cycle paths because children need the space to learn, safe from motorised transport.

There are many arguments for and against off road cycle paths.
You can find details, and contribute to the debate on Wikipedia in the Cycle path debate.


amd said...

Hi Ken,

Good to see another north Co. Dubliner posting here, I'm around Swords and Donabate a lot on the bike myself.

Regards the debate, well I'm not a fan of off-road cycle paths at all. In Dublin they tend to be badly designed, implemented and maintained, and lend support to motorists who believe that cyclists should not be on the road.

In fact, there are several that are downright dangerous - particularly the one on the North Strand going into town - crossing a bus stop and 3 side roads before dumping the fast moving cyclist back into traffic over a dodgy kerb and into a junction.

I believe that the only thing that will help cycling in the city is an information and education campaign along the lines of "share the road".


Ken O'Connor said...

I welcome your comments. The Dublin Cycling Campaign is doing excellent work to improve the lot of urban cyclists. The focus of this campaign is to provide safe routes for families and young children. Adults have the wherewithal to 'take command of the road' when necessary. Kids under 10 need the space to learn. They need the space to fall off and get up again without fear of being run over by a bus, car or lorry. We have a unique opportunity to put in place continuous cycle ways along the coast - with ZERO road junctions. I want to see this opportunity seized and deivered upon. This does not interfere with the rights of cyclists on roads, and I totally agree with you regarding the need for a "share the road" information campaign.


Damien said...

Like amd, and for the same reasons, I prefer on-road cycle tracks, though I agree with Ken that off-road ones are good for learning.

I don't think that cycling is dangerous, but it appears that way when people don't have the appropriate skills (if no one got driving lessons we'd think that driving was dangerous). With the current focus on obesity, I am surprised that cyclist training courses are not very widespread.

I'm 35 and have been commuting by bike for at least 23 years. I do 18 miles a day now. It keeps me fit and I am lucky that my employer has a shower. Many other companies are not so enlightened.

My tip for commuters: I have a mirror at the end of my right handlebar. It's a God-send. Can you imagine driving without mirrors?

John in Blanchardstown said...

I think the idea of off-road facilities for under-tens is a good one, though I'm with amd and damien in preferring to cycle on-road myself. One point I'd like to make, however, is with respect to the idea that all this "does not interfere with the rights of cyclists on roads". As you know, the law currently requires cyclists to use cycletracks where they are provided, so an off-road facility might well result in cyclists losing their right to be on an adjacent road at all. I wonder if you are aligning your campaign with those, the Dublin Cycling Campaign included, who would like to see the law on compulsory use changed?

Ken O'Connor said...

John, I would like to see the law changed.

To date the focus of this campaign has been on 'leisure cycling' - especially for families and young children.

Last summer, I enjoyed a cycling holiday abroad with my family - mostly on off-road cycle routes. I noticed that 'serious' cyclists remained on the road. I always assumed that 'serious' cyclists would do likewise in Ireland.

This has been an oversight on my part. Thank you for raising this.

amd said...

Hi Ken,

I noticed that 'serious' cyclists remained on the road. I always assumed that 'serious' cyclists would do likewise in Ireland.

This has been an oversight on my part. Thank you for raising this.

Absolutely. Please do not underestimate this issue! The compulsory use of inappropriate cycle facilities is anathema to anyone who cycles for more than family outtings. Bicycles are vehicles and are the chosen, often sole, mode of transport for many of us. If successful, your campaign may force North Dublin cycle commuters onto completely inappropriate cycle paths designed for a different purpose, and they would have every reason to oppose your campaign as they are likely to be on that route day in, day out.

I'm sure you realise it's worth taking all viewpoints into consideration!


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