Cycling in Irish Cities

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby cobalt » Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:02 pm

a boyle wrote:Move the cycle lanes to one side of the road only , and seperate the space from the rest of the road with concrete bumps , making sure they are just high enough to discourage all but the most hardy of drivers from entering the lane...<...>...Instead we have these red strips that actually seem to attract danger instead of warding off.
I have 2 problems with the concrete barriers:
(a) The lanes are usually narrow, so if you get stuck behind a slooooooow cyclist it's very difficult to pass them out]weeks[/I], again often not easy to swerve around!

I quite like the red strips insofar as when trying to swerve round the cars, pedestrians etc. at least the red strip is something to gesture at , to show them they're encroaching on cyclists' space. Having said that, many of them are really badly designed/positioned.
ctesiphon wrote:I heard of a case in Britain (I think) where a driver argued successfully in court that although he was parked in a cycle lane, as nobody had seen him drive onto it, nobody could prove that he had.
:rolleyes:
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby hutton » Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:05 pm

a boyle wrote:almost all the cycle lanes are a joke.


Nail + hammer. Crap designs by rd engineers who couldnt give a toss, LA's that think the tracks are only to be used by either misfits or foreigners, and a general thatcherite mindset of "anybody who is still using public transport by 30 is a failure". :mad:
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:22 pm

[quote="cobalt"]I have 2 problems with the concrete barriers:
(a) The lanes are usually narrow, so if you get stuck behind a slooooooow cyclist it's very difficult to pass them out]

That is why i thought they should stick the two cycle lanes to one side of the road, so that you would have that wiggle room to overtake someone.

Also i meant the kind of bumps along the docks. this is what i am talking about , a series of bumps so that cyclists can easily get in and out of the laneway.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:03 pm

a boyle wrote:I definetely think that the traffic corps should be running around handing out fines left right and center : not yielding , not stopping, using the right turn lane just to get in front of everyone going straight , cyclists not wearing a helmet ,etc etc.

Not wearing a helmet is not against the law.

a boyle wrote:But i have to disagree regarding setting aside a cycle path , surely that is a good idea. They give a perception of safety which is probably the most important thing to encourage more cyclists. If people perceive it to be safe , they will feel safe , and far more will use the cycle lanes. Then i think you will find people respecting them more, as they will be used , which currently they are not.

Removing every motorised vehicle from the roads also gives a perception of safety, to give just one (admittedly far fetched) example.

Also, the pic you posted shows yet another design flaw in bike lanes. the concrete bits are aligned in one direction only, so getting off that lane is easy mid-lane, but joining it mid-lane is impossible unless the cyclist stops and turns more than 90 degrees. hardly encouraging.

Here's that picture anyway- now I really must go. Gotta get into my bright pink lycra bodysuit.:)
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Wed Jul 19, 2006 6:28 pm

ctesiphon wrote:Not wearing a helmet is not against the law.


Removing every motorised vehicle from the roads also gives a perception of safety, to give just one (admittedly far fetched) example.

Also, the pic you posted shows yet another design flaw in bike lanes. the concrete bits are aligned in one direction only, so getting off that lane is easy mid-lane, but joining it mid-lane is impossible unless the cyclist stops and turns more than 90 degrees. hardly encouraging.

Here's that picture anyway- now I really must go. Gotta get into my bright pink lycra bodysuit.:)


In that case think it should be against the law to cycle without a helmet, i have had way too many near misses ...

yes yes if you get rid of cars you make it safer , but you need to get people's confidence of cycling being safe before you will convince people to cycle. Telling people that cycling is safe if they leave their cars behind is a chicken and egg situation that is just not going to wash.

Good point regards the attached photo , pity the dockland development people didn't spot it. in truth you would only need to place such bumps every 3 / 4 feet . just enough to keep a car out of the way.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby jimg » Thu Jul 20, 2006 12:09 am

In that case think it should be against the law to cycle without a helmet, i have had way too many near misses ...

Why stop there? It should be against the law to cycle without a helmet, kneepads, elbow pads, torso armour and ankle supports. :rolleyes: If that saves a few injuries then extend the law to cover pedestrians too. I'm sure there are a few injuries to pedestrians which could have been prevented by helmets.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:08 am

if that is how you feel fair enough, but after being knocked over twice i wouldn't dare cycle anywhere without a helmet.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby cobalt » Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:17 am

ctesiphon wrote:Also, the pic you posted shows yet another design flaw in bike lanes. the concrete bits are aligned in one direction only, so getting off that lane is easy mid-lane, but joining it mid-lane is impossible unless the cyclist stops and turns more than 90 degrees.
Yes, this is my problem with these. By the time you've stopped the bike and manoeuvred back into the lane, whoever you passed out has caught up again (unless you cycle for a good bit on the road to build up enough distance so that even when you stop to get back onto the lane they're still well behind - and having to stay on the road like this defeats the purpose of the cycle lane in the first place). The lanes are just hopelessly inflexible the way they're built at the moment.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Thu Jul 20, 2006 11:28 am

cobalt that why i thought of putting both cycles lanes to one side of the road . also i meant the bumps as a means to keep cars out not keep bicycles in. these bumps could be spaced out much more, and faced off parralel instead of at an angle, would that work ??
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby cobalt » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:14 pm

Both tracks on one side of the road would certainly work to give enough width to pass, but I'm not sure of the implications for actually travelling - e.g. if you wanted to make a left turn and your cycle track was actually on the right hand side of the road, you'd have to cross all the traffic going both directions to do so. Although at a glance you might think that's no different from the current situation where you're on the left of the road and want to turn right, in fact it is worse because you've not got the benefit of filter arrows etc. that are set up to allow cars to turn, as would be the case if the bike were on the same side of the road as the cars. You'd end up having to cross with the pedestrians. And there's never going to be continuity between all the streets for which side of the road the cycle lane is on. It's a nice thought, but I think it'd end up making cycling desperately cumbersome, so people whose primary motivation in cycling is to get around the city efficiently just would stick on the road with the cars. And then the car drivers would get frustrated because we're not in the cycle lanes.

A parallel rather than angled barrier, well spaced out, would certainly be better than what's currently there in the photo, but as I said before, my personal preference would be for no barrier - just proper disciplining of the cars so they don't venture into the cycle track - i.e. religious awarding of the penalty points for this offence every time it happens. My preference is partly based on the glass problem, which I have to say is a bit of a bugbear of mine. No barrier means the cycle track would get swept as the sweeping machines go round the road verges (and also crushed by the drivers who inevitably do stray into the cycle track).

In fairness, I find cars better about observing cycle tracks on the road than pedestrians are about observing cycle tracks on the pavement. In general, pedestrians seem to wander round oblivious to their surroundings, whereas at least most drivers are paying some attention!
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:29 pm

cobalt wrote:Both tracks on one side of the road would certainly work to give enough width to pass, but I'm not sure of the implications for actually travelling - e.g. if you wanted to make a left turn and your cycle track was actually on the right hand side of the road, you'd have to cross all the traffic going both directions to do so. Although at a glance you might think that's no different from the current situation where you're on the left of the road and want to turn right, in fact it is worse because you've not got the benefit of filter arrows etc. that are set up to allow cars to turn, as would be the case if the bike were on the same side of the road as the cars. You'd end up having to cross with the pedestrians. And there's never going to be continuity between all the streets for which side of the road the cycle lane is on. It's a nice thought, but I think it'd end up making cycling desperately cumbersome, so people whose primary motivation in cycling is to get around the city efficiently just would stick on the road with the cars. And then the car drivers would get frustrated because we're not in the cycle lanes.

Nor would it solve the glass problem, which I have to say is a bit of a bugbear of mine.


Ok so what we need to do in that case is increase the time alloted to pedestrians (and consequently cyclists) .

Vis a vis broken glass and peddles , thats is a question of maintenance . If such a laneway included both directions it ought to be wide enought to allow one of the specialized cleaning vehicles you see in temple bar to pass over and suck up all beneath it.

I think the cumbersome nature of making certain turns ought to be outweighed by the fact that despite the growth of different areas in the city , the vast majority of people go in one direction -- town.

perhaps my idea ought to be consider as a stage. I.e. a way of initially getting people out of cars , thereby freeing up space which could then be reassed and reused in a better way. we have to start somewhere.

I know it rains alot but i firmly believe that if one was just to provide something like a physically seperated cycling lane people would jump at the chance. Car commuting is one of the most soul destroying inventions of the last century.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby cobalt » Thu Jul 20, 2006 1:44 pm

a boyle wrote:Ok so what we need to do in that case is increase the time alloted to pedestrians (and consequently cyclists).
Still will never be as much as for cars. I don't think cyclists who cycle for efficiency rather than pleasure are going to buy it.

a boyle wrote:I think the cumbersome nature of making certain turns ought to be outweighed by the fact that despite the growth of different areas in the city , the vast majority of people go in one direction -- town.
But we also have to get home again!:)

I sound horribly negative here - and I don't mean to be really. On the whole, I enjoy cycling round Dublin.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:06 pm

i am not so naive as to think that some porker is going hop on a bike to save time. But i do think there are some people who are in cars would like to cycle. The sight of people on bikes leisurely cycling by as they sit in traffic would encourage a lot of people to migrate .

As regards cycling through the city ; you are a braver man than i.

What i am really trying to get is that this is a fairly simple thing to do , which can improve things without any perceptable disimprovement to car drivers. Because let's face a large part of the problem is that with so many having to use cars it is difficult to argue reduction in car access unless you can guarantee enormous improvements in congestion, which of course you never can . every car driver that decides to take the bus/walk /cycle is just a quickly replaced by someone else.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby cobalt » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:29 pm

a boyle wrote:What i am really trying to get is that this is a fairly simple thing to do , which can improve things without any perceptable disimprovement to car drivers.
But, being selfish, it would be a perceptible disimprovement to me, a cyclist. I'd either be slowed down significantly, or would have to become 'one-of-those-irresponsible-cyclists-who-don't-use-the-cycle-lanes-and-deserve-no-sympathy-if-they-get-knocked-down (TM)'. Nice red stripes (positioned appropriately, which is a problem on several roads at the moment), and policed with zeal - perhaps accompanied by a major ad campaign* - so cars simply don't enter them would be a far better solution for me. The law is there. If someone built up half a dozen penalty points in a week from driving in a cycle lane, surely they'd change their behaviour? And it would be such easy pickings for the gardaí - way simpler than speeding. I'm sure they'd love it.

* Ad campaign would have to be along the lines of 'driving in cycle tracks will get you penalty points and it'll be a real pain when you lose your licence' not 'driving in cycle tracks kills cyclists' because otherwise it'd scare away all the people a boyle is trying to lure onto bikes!
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Thu Jul 20, 2006 2:50 pm

expecting a car to sit behind another car turning right , instead of nipping into the cycle lanes is just never going to happen .

No amount of policing will ever provide the level of respect for road traffic rules you seek. Sad maybe (personnallly i don't, i think it is a good thing that people in general are disrepectfull for some of our road traffic rules as they are a joke.)

not even in germany do they have that level of respect and as a result they often segregate cyclists.

far better to provide an exclusive space for cyclists , i think you concerns regarding left and right turns are over inflated. but no matter is not much more to add.

the idea is stated , it will never happen , and the just recently published census comfirms that we have cemented the development of the country for the nest century as a long commuting los angelas style environment. Even if we put cycle lanes in who the fuck is going to use them since all young people are living in athlone, portlaoise, and portarlingtion (i don't even know where that is).

There is some good to this government . but when it comes to the nuts and bolts of living : it's like two deaf and dumb monkeys at the controls ...
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby cobalt » Thu Jul 20, 2006 3:57 pm

Yes, I think we'll have to agree to disagree about cycle lane design. But I'm not "expecting a car to sit behind another car turning right, instead of nipping into the cycle lanes". I am expecting some cars to do so, and a corner of me even wants them to do so occasionally when it's safe (to crush the glass to powder)! What I also want, however, is to make car drivers as self-conscious and as careful when they do so as they would be if they were breaking a red light... look to see is it safe, double-check, triple-check, make extra sure there are no cyclists anywhere near (as well as no gardaí) and only then go into the cycle lane. I think that's possible.
i think you concerns regarding left and right turns are over inflated.
I just know my behaviour as a daily cyclist for the past several years. For example... a junction where a main road going straight ahead has a left turn. The cycle track is on the (left hand) footpath. I want to go straight ahead.
(1) If I leave the cycle track and move onto the road I can cycle straight ahead, along with the cars - moving onto the road early enough before the junction that I'm not going to clash with any cars that are filtering left because I'm on the road before the left filter lane is created, and I don't go into it (so as I advance I am in the middle of the road, at the left of the 'straight ahead' lane). Once I'm past the junction I've to get back onto the cycle track on the footpath, which I do at the next place it's dished for a gate (I don't have a mountain bike). Fairly fast and simple. And as I said above, most drivers are pretty observant (as long as you do stuff far enough in advance).
(2) If I stayed on the cycle track I'd have to go as far as the junction, squiggle round a metal barrier, stop at the junction, wait for the cars filtering left to have all gone (and strictly wait for the pedestrian light, which is also the bike light, to turn green), get as far as the island in the centre, squiggle round another metal barrier, cross the other half of the road and continue on. (That's not even counting all the pedestrians that are standing in the part of the footpath that's marked as a cycle track, blissfully unaware that they're in the way.) The whole procedure is unnecessarily cumbersome and slow, and I don't do it. I don't see many other cyclists doing it either.

Hence my belief that if cycle lanes are unnecessarily awkward to use, however safe, they won't be used by any but the most timid cyclists. And the most timid cyclists won't cycle unless these ultra-safe cycle lanes are everywhere, which they never will be, so the lanes won't really be used much at all. And then the Corpo will say "What are we putting these things down for? Those irresponsible cyclists never use them anyway!" and won't realise it's because their design is crap.

I repeat – many car drivers are pretty good about watching out for bikes. (Most pedestrians are woeful.) What I want to do is to raise the awareness of all drivers to such an extent that they're hyper-conscious about the dangers of entering a cycle track and make damn sure it's safe before they do so.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:06 pm

Sorry to interject in your debate, lads. Just one minor thing:

a boyle wrote:not even in germany do they have that level of respect

They have it in The Netherlands.

I was at the Dublin Cycling Campaign annual lecture a couple of months ago and a woman in the audience asked how could cyclists make themnselves more visible. She was asking about lights, high-vis jackets etc., but it occurred to me that cyclists would be more visible if the penalties for hitting them were higher. You can almost guarantee that if a motorist were to get the death penalty for killing a cyclist, they'd make damn sure not to do it.
I know it's an extreme example, but it serves to illustrate that motorists obviously see the existing penalties as minor relative to the crime, or have a level of confidence that little if anything will happen to them in the event of an incident.

anyway, sorry to interrupt. As ye were.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Thu Jul 20, 2006 4:39 pm

that is very good point. culpability in accidents might change driver behaviour. certainly it would make a bigger impact over some fine for entering a cycle lane (the latter would only be perceived as unnecesary nanny state nonsense).

Is such a change possible though? we are the only state in the eu (and europe i think) which has a consitution.

I am no barrister or solicitor, but i seems very unlikely that you could pass a law where a driver would be automatically guilty of reckless driving if he/she hit a cyclist. Even something less severe would be difficult. It has been pointed out to me that what holds ireland back in some ways is that we have a little too much democracy. (i am not sure if that is true but it is at least worth thinking about.)

They do respect cyclists in holland ,but is that not a result of there being so many ? if we had such a large number of cyclists then i think drivers would take care .

It seems with most of these things that it is a chicken and egg situation , nobody is going to cycle till lots are already cycling. And nobody wants to lose space on the road unless everyone will benefit. come on think about it these piddly strips will never get us anywhere.

a seperate space for cyclists, priority at some junctions, taking the ground floor of the corporation car parks and giving them over to cyclists. a good sturbborn middle finger raised to car drivers , and we might get somewhere.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby jimg » Thu Jul 20, 2006 5:37 pm

if that is how you feel fair enough, but after being knocked over twice i wouldn't dare cycle anywhere without a helmet.

I'm genuinely surprised to hear this. I've been cycling on and off in Dublin for nearly 15 years and I've never been knocked over - if by being knocked over you mean hit by a car. My cycling accidents have included falling after hitting wandering pedestrians (twice) and crashing into the side of a car which took a sudden left turn into a side street from slow moving traffic. The former resulted in some scratches and bruises and the latter a broken finger. Also years ago, I crashed into a pole 10 yards after mounting my bike having consumed a large amount of whiskey - I mistake I learned from.

I sound horribly negative here - and I don't mean to be really. On the whole, I enjoy cycling round Dublin.

I not only enjoy it, I love it; especially when the weather is good.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Sat Jul 29, 2006 11:20 am

A few pictures from last weekend's Dublin Bicycle Festival.

Image

Image

Image
Paddy Waters, a bicycle clown. Sadly I didn't get a picture of the bit where he stands on the bike - one foot on the handlebars, one on the saddle - and goes around in circles.

Image
Wheel building workshop with Sean O'T. Enlightening and entertaining.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby cobalt » Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:28 am

I see from a recent article in the (London) Times that Ken Livingstone is proposing bikes should have numberplates.
The Times, July 28, 2006
Cycle numberplate plan to catch lawless riders
By Nicola Woolcock

CYCLISTS in London could be made to fit numberplates to their bikes under plans being drawn up by Ken Livingstone, the capital’s mayor.

All bicycles would be registered so that riders breaking the law, by cycling on pavements or going through red lights, could be caught on traffic cameras. Mr Livingstone is also investigating a possible ban on jaywalking, which is illegal in some countries.

Speaking on the London radio station LBC yesterday, Mr Livingstone said: “I think, I’m now persuaded, we should actually say that bikes and their owners should be registered.

“There should be a numberplate on the back so that the ones breaking the law, we can get them off the cameras. It’s the only way you can do it.”

Mr Livingstone was responding to a listener’s question about what the mayor would do to stop cyclists using the capital’s pavements.

He added: “You’ve got to have legislation, but I think, most likely we’ll look at putting up what’s called a private Bill and I think I can get the London boroughs — all of them, irrespective of parties — to most likely go along with that and have a proper vehicle/bicycle registration.”

Asked if that meant licence plates for bicycles, he said: “Yes, so you can catch the ones — the ones that are obeying the law, it makes no difference — but the ones who are going over red lights, driving on pavements, you get ’em.”

When asked about banning jaywalking — whereby people cross the road other than at zebra crossings or when a “green man” sign is shown — he said: “In America jaywalking is illegal, but in America you have this situation that at virtually every busy junction there is a zebra crossing and as the lights change the pedestrian has priority and only when they’ve crossed can then the cars turn.

“Now when John Redwood [the Conservative frontbencher] recently came up with some transport policies, that was the only one that I thought we should look at, and we are looking at that.

“But if you are going to ban jaywalking you’re going to have to have a lot more actual formal pedestrian crossings.”

Concern has increased over the behaviour of cyclists because of the rising number of bicycles on the roads in London.

Figures released last month showed that the number of people cycling in the capital had risen by 50 per cent in the past five years. Between 1993 and 2003 the level remained almost unchanged, but there are now 450,000 cycle trips in London every day.

It is thought that concerns about pollution, overcrowded and expensive public transport and the wish to keep fit have inspired the boom. Fear among commuters about using buses and the Underground after the July 7 terrorist attacks is also believed to be a factor.

Transport for London claims that investment in the London Cycle Network will mean that there will be 560 miles of cycle routes across London by 2010. Its annual expenditure on cycling has risen to £24 million for 2006-07.

Reflecting the interest in cycling, London will be hosting the start of the Tour de France next year, with an opening ceremony in Trafalgar Square.

Comments by Times readers.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Mon Jul 31, 2006 12:24 pm

seems like a good idea,

if bicyles had small license plate you could easily remove the wrecked bicycles locked all over the city, and either charge the owner for getting rid of them , or return them to the owner.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Rusty Cogs » Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:23 pm

a boyle wrote:seems like a good idea,

if bicyles had small license plate you could easily remove the wrecked bicycles locked all over the city, and either charge the owner for getting rid of them , or return them to the owner.


I really don't see this happening, where are you going to mount a plate big enough to be seen by cameras which wouldn't be obscured by the actual cyclist, his coat, bag etc. I can't see seven year old kids heading down to Store Street to get their plates mounted to their bikes.

I would like all the abandoned bikes to be removed from the city though. They could start by taking all the wrecked ones. Whilst doing that they can tag all the rest, If they are still there in a month then take them too. In an ironic twist, I some times have to cycle around Dublin looking for a space to park my bike.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:03 pm

yes but it is not impossible . just a little bit of effort . such plates don't have to be very big to be readable, not if they are made of the similar shiny material to signposts.

As a cyclist myself i know all too well of the crazy dangerous things cyclists do.

I don't think the gardai would be allowed to simply collect the hundreds of wrecked bicycles . Even if they were allowed they won't do it as it would cost them a fair bit to dispose of them all. they would want to be able to charge the owners.

with all the computers and things around , a fairly simple system for registring you bicycle could be put in place at modest cost.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby StephenC » Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:23 pm

a boyle wrote:I don't think the gardai would be allowed to simply collect the hundreds of wrecked bicycles . Even if they were allowed they won't do it as it would cost them a fair bit to dispose of them all. they would want to be able to charge the owners.

with all the computers and things around , a fairly simple system for registring you bicycle could be put in place at modest cost.


Actually they do this already (or rather the city council do) and the bikes are auctioned once a year from Kevin Street station.
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