Cycling in Irish Cities

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Mon Jul 31, 2006 2:58 pm

thats great , but how come there are so many bicycle wrecks around the city ?
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby StephenC » Mon Jul 31, 2006 3:19 pm

Awww come on...you know the way by know. All these things are done. They just never seem to be done. LOL
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:24 pm

The Garda auction tends to be for bikes that were stolen and recovered rather than bikes that were freed from their forgotten places, afaik. Any bike that would be sufficiently damaged to warrant being cut from a bike rack probably wouldn't interest anyone except a bike shop owner who'd buy a job-lot for parts (which does happen, but infrequently).

The other day I saw some DCC workers with a large wheelbarrow full of 6 or 8 damages bikes, but I couldn't stop to ask them where they'd come from or why they'd decided to remove them. I presume there's a process for monitoring damaged bikes, otherwise there'd be a danger that a bike that had had its wheels kicked in over a weekend (a very common occurrence) could disappear before the owner had had chance to arrange for its repair. I do remember one case where a sign was attached to a bike rack on Dame Street saying that any bikes left there a week later would be removed. It never came to pass, possibly because someone in DCC realised (or had it pointed out to them) that it's not unlikely a person would lock their bike in town for a week or more and go on holidays. (Not to be recommended, it's true, but there's no law against it.)

Just on the number plates thing: Cyclists have a hard enough time making sure their bikes aren't damages in the normal course of events. Putting a number plate on the bike would seem to be just another thing for the local head-the-balls to try to break off. Everything that's not welded on to a bike seems to be fair game for the little gurriers who believe that if it's not nailed down then you mustn't care about it. I had a conversation with a kid (certainly under 10 years old) outside the recent Bike Festival during which he was telling me quite frankly about all the stuff he nicks with his mates- lights, reflectors, bells, etc. Strangely, he didn't see anything wrong with this.

Edit: If you want to see some tragic bike wrecks, go to http://www.seanhillen.com (I linked it in a previous post) and look for his bicykills project. He had a big wall of them - 100 or more photos - at the bike festival and it made for very sad reading.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:35 pm

an idea would be to remove all locked bikes on the first day of the month (first monday say).

on the last day of the month a sticker could be placed on any suspicious bike, warning of removal.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby sw101 » Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:28 am

that's a dreaful idea. one day of the month you're not allowed bring a bike to the city centre?

obvious wrecks should be removed and put in storage. if they're not claimed within a specific time period of (say) a month, scrap them. it's not as if the owner can claim they had much value.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:49 am

sw101 wrote:that's a dreaful idea. one day of the month you're not allowed bring a bike to the city centre?

obvious wrecks should be removed and put in storage. if they're not claimed within a specific time period of (say) a month, scrap them. it's not as if the owner can claim they had much value.



no no.. the day before (or days before) all suspects wrecks and abandoned bikes are marked with a sticker. if they are not gone by the next monday ,take them away.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Lotts » Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:57 am

A story in todays Independent puts a lot of the discussion here in context

[INDENT]L-driver fined €1,500 for injuring cyclist

A PROVISIONAL licence driver who knocked over a cyclist, leaving her with serious head injuries, has been fined €1,500 at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

Alan Smart (pictured right) of The Cloisters, Mount Tallant Avenue, Harold's Cross, Dublin, crashed into Geraldine Murtagh's bicycle after he overtook a car on the inside bus lane because he thought the driver was travelling too slowly.

A victim impact statement read out in court said that Ms Murtagh had suffered brain damage and was no longer able to live an independent life.

Mr Smart (28) pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing serious harm to Ms Murtagh on Harold's Cross Rd on December 31 2004.

Other offences, including speeding and driving with a provisional licence without accompaniment by a qualified driver, were taken into consideration.

Judge Katherine Delahunt accepted that he co-operated with gardai after going to the station voluntarily.

She also said she was satisfied that Mr Smart's remorse was genuine.He was also disqualified from driving for two years.
[/INDENT]

Scary stuff. What an amazingly low fine -
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby StephenC » Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:14 pm

And the disqualification period! Poor aul Geraldine will be out of action for a little longer than 2 years. Im sure the guy is desperately sorry but I would have thought a longer disqualification is in order.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby StephenC » Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:16 pm

ctesiphon wrote: I do remember one case where a sign was attached to a bike rack on Dame Street saying that any bikes left there a week later would be removed. It never came to pass, possibly because someone in DCC realised (or had it pointed out to them) that it's not unlikely a person would lock their bike in town for a week or more and go on holidays. (Not to be recommended, it's true, but there's no law against it.)


I recall a similar sign. I presumed it had come to pass and that the bikes form part f the Garda auction. Oh well another unsolvable problem for the city. Better put down a few hundred more racks then.... I wonder what the do in Amsterdam..Copenhagen.....etc
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:32 pm

Lotts wrote:A story in todays Independent puts a lot of the discussion here in context

Scary stuff. What an amazingly low fine -


What puts this tragic case in even more context is the story contained in a few papers today about the three car passengers involved in a crash seven years ago who were awarded cumulative damages of 815,000 euros for injuries sustained.
One got 204,165 for a fractured leg, another got 165,252 for fractures, and the third got 445,632 for 'injuries'. I don't want to downplay these circumstances, and the parties involved were obviously badly injured, but it does highlight the point I made earlier about penalties not fitting the crime in the case of cycling. In the case cited above, he was overtaking on the inside, driving in a bus lane, doing 47 in a 30 zone and driving unaccompanied - all of which to me screams 'very dangerous driving' - yet his 'genuine remorse' seems to have resulted in a 1,500 fine and two-year ban. (And this is to ignore for the moment his explanation for his actions - that another driver was driving too slowly. What does that say about his attitude to other road users generally?)

If there were an automatic lifetime ban and requirement to pay medical expenses for the rest of the natural life of the victim, I imagine incidents like these would be almost non-existent.

In short: where's the balance?
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Rusty Cogs » Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:38 pm

a boyle wrote: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.


In fairness, where are you going to mount a plate that will always be visibe and large enough to be photographed by a camera (whilst in motion) ?

Let the council collect the bikes. As I said, I'd start with the obviously trashed ones. Then move on to the ones that are locked to (non bike specific) street furnature. You could give them a bit of notice with a tag or an advertisement in the paper. If you got rid of all the abandoned bikes it would clean up the look of the streets a fair bit IMHO. It's not a matter of clearing every bike off the street. Just the ones that are obviously going nowhere. Can't be that difficult surely ?

And I think that Kevin st. auction is recovered stolen goods etc. not bikes formerly locked around the city.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby a boyle » Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:47 pm

Rusty Cogs wrote:In fairness, where are you going to mount a plate that will always be visibe and large enough to be photographed by a camera (whilst in motion) ?

Let the council collect the bikes. As I said, I'd start with the obviously trashed ones. Then move on to the ones that are locked to (non bike specific) street furnature. You could give them a bit of notice with a tag or an advertisement in the paper. If you got rid of all the abandoned bikes it would clean up the look of the streets a fair bit IMHO. It's not a matter of clearing every bike off the street. Just the ones that are obviously going nowhere. Can't be that difficult surely ?

And I think that Kevin st. auction is recovered stolen goods etc. not bikes formerly locked around the city.



sure , i think we will be waiting till the next century before anything is done however. I would agree with you that the bicycles locked to things other than bike racks is quite unsightly . i would give the clampers a set of bicycle locks to 'clamp' bicycles.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Tue Sep 05, 2006 12:35 am

While rummaging around on YouTube recently (can't think why, Graham ;) ) I came across this clip of activity from the recent Festival:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GhrNPpTVOw
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby GrahamH » Tue Sep 05, 2006 5:05 am

QUICK! Someone's using a camera in the IFSC!!! :eek:
Cool moves there - impressive stuff at the very end in particular.

While walking along recently, I thought of you (can't think why, ctesiphon ;)) when I saw this (almost outside the door of Sam Stephenson's former abode):

Image

Interestingly this was mid morning, so none of the rush hour cyclists had seen fit to remove the bin for their fellow lane users either.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Tue Sep 05, 2006 11:55 am

Not only is someone using a camera in the IFSC, someone's riding a bike!! Call the po-lice!!

If this was in the 'How well do you know Dublin?' thread, I'd have the answer straight away. It's part of my route home- N11 southbound, just past Donnybrook church. Often one of the residents of a nearby house parks right in the bike lane here, and mass traffic tends to block all the access points onto the bike lane on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings, so a bin is mild. But I agree- it's odd how most cyclists will cycle around an obstacle rather than move it out of the way. Though I wonder how many cyclists had passed it that day- the majority of cyclists go northbound in morning rush hour and the southbound traffic is fairly minimal here, afaik. And let's not forget the role of the binmen in all of this and, by extension, the role of the city council.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby jimg » Tue Sep 05, 2006 1:08 pm

Regarding wrecked bikes, I saw some council workers removing some very obvious wrecks (basically crumpled frames) with a little portable angle grinder on Stephen's Green the other week. So the council does actually remove these.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby jimg » Mon Nov 20, 2006 7:46 pm

There's a very interesting experiment taking place across a range of cities across Europe as detailed here in Der Spiegel. I like the idea very much and it appeals to my intuition that more rules of the road, regulations, signs, segregation and stricter enforcement (especially for cyclists and pedestrians) are poor substitutes for having basic consideration for your fellow woman/man and prioritising safety (particularly your own) over of rather arbitrary rules. I'm not sure you could apply it to the major arterial routes through a city of Dublin's size but maybe they could experiment with some of the city centre areas; Temple Bar is an obvious candidate as even currently cars, bikes and pedestrians mingle anarchically without causing the end of the world. A similar situation exists de facto in the area bounded by Dawson St, the Green, Cuffe St, George's/Aungier St and Dame St. Even if the safety improvements were marginal, just imagine the aesthetic benefits! The forests of poles and signs could be removed from these areas.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby nikmead » Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:51 pm

Car-free day in Brussels recently
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Car free day in Dublin (2004)
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby manifesta » Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:51 am

Ah, the Netherlands... such infrastructure, such law-abiding citizens, such Utopia.

Sure, Amsterdam remains to this day the only city where I've been clipped while cycling by a passing vehicle, but I'll gladly put aside my bruises and chalk that up to bad luck. However, (call me a pessimist) kicking off this "let's chuck out all the road signs and trust in people's innate goodness" campaign (see jimg's link to the charming little Der Spiegel article) wouldn't seem to be the most, er, effective first step. It seems about as ill-advised as a "pay what you wish" night at the pub. Yes, other major cities like Dublin can learn from the Netherlands' example, but I tend to think it's the exception rather than the rule. Kind of like how scientists should study Keith Richards' immune system... freakishly well-functioning.

However, to be fair, this "road sign-free" idea is not entirely misguided. In fact, the plan has enjoyed a long and colorful history in New York City for example, where cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike are able to effectively communicate through non-verbal signs such as the vigorous fist-shake, the flipped bird, and the "In my refusal to make eye contact or utilize any of my rearview mirrors, I'm going to just charge straight ahead and trust in my fellow citizen's ability to get the f**k out of my f**king way." In a charmingly democratic way, it gets traffic moving in a way that road signs fail to do. It could work in Dublin. Call me visionary.

And as a test run for this no-road-signs policy, perhaps Dublin can begin by removing the "LITTER" and "BRUSCAR" signage from bins and see if that improves the littering problem...
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby jimg » Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:33 pm

Besides your cute Keith Richards analogy, I'm I don't see the basis for you being so dismissive. Not everyone shares your belief that the it's only the exceptional innate superiority of the Dutch that allows such a system to work given that there are pilot programs and concrete plans in many different European countries including with our neighbours across the Irish sea. There are already small parts of Dublin - like Temple Bar - which effectively operate on this basis as stated. Many Italian towns and villages operate using an informal version of such a system and in my experience are very pleasant environments in which both to drive (slowly) and walk and the Italian stereotype certainly is very different to that of the Dutch.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby manifesta » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:40 pm

Sorry to confound, jimg. I belong to the outmoded, old-fashioned quill and scroll tradition that doesn't insert smileys when unleashing my good old-fashioned sarcasm about cultural stereotypes. But I'm actually not a Dutch supremacist, nor did I intend to come across as entirely dismissive of this experiment. (The great polarizing Keith Richards aside)

I absolutely agree with you that there is great appeal to a polite, intuitive system of moving about towns and villages, which is maybe why this system works well on smaller scale projects, as you've pointed out. I think we are actually in agreement that it has great potential (and real life applications) in places like Temple Bar and in villages and towns throughout Europe (not to mention gridlocked midtown Manhattan). I just found that the "unsafe is the new safe" optimism expressed in the article aroused a healthy knee-jerk skepticism. This does not believe I think the idea is entirely without merit.

Aesthetically, I think it's a great idea to scale back on unneccessary road signs that just add clutter, as has been pointed out in other threads. I do not think the same about the total abolition of road signs. Road signs are there, primarily, to serve a practical function. Whether or not everyone obeys the speed limits, they are there to ensure (or at least promote) the safety of drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Bottom line. If there is a dangerous curve ahead, I want to know. If a street is one-way, I want to know. And whether or not I want to travel to (insert culturally stereotypical undesirable place name here), I have a right to have strategically placed road signs with arrows indicating which route I can take to get there.

Out of curiosity, is it the aesthetics or the social dignity of the idea that appeals to you? Or both?

(And please don't begrudge me my skeptically cocked eyebrow. I made it one day and my face froze like that.)
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby KerryBog2 » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:47 am

manifesta wrote:..............Europe (not to mention gridlocked midtown Manhattan).


Manifesta,
Where did you get that notion? The traffic in NCY - even in Midtown - is rarely gridlocked and it always moves more smoothly than in Dublin. One can travel by cab from anywhere in the Upper East Side (10021) to the Seaport/Wall St. area in 15-20 minutes during "rush" hour. You try driving say from for e.g. Mt. Merrion to the IFSC in that time!
And to keep the athletes happy ,Central Park is closed to vehicular traffic at weekends for the boarders / skaters / cyclists / joggers.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby jimg » Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:44 pm

Out of curiosity, is it the aesthetics or the social dignity of the idea that appeals to you? Or both?

There's an element of "it's sounds crazy but it just might work, capt!" to it's appeal I admit. But it's not so much that I fondly imagine that everyone will be tipping their caps and bidding each other top o' the morning as they pass each other in the street and that goodly neighbourly relations will once again reign over society. It's just that the current system just creates an unpleasant urban environment - particularly for cyclists and pedestrians. The most unappealing areas of Dublin for me are those with the most segregation and where all movement is governed by rules - for example at Christchurch - where railings and lights direct the movement for pedestrians, cyclists are chaparoned into unsuitable separate "lanes" and motorized vehicles perform a huge coordinated dance. Also I probably harbour some anti-authoritarian sympathies and have never viewed obeying rules for their own sake particularly virtuous. However for me, the most important benefit, it this approach works, would be in terms of safety and the least important would be the aesthetic benefits even if considerable.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby manifesta » Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:55 am

KerryB, I meant honest-to-goodness midtown traffic: Times Square, garment district, crosstown 57th st. where you could eat lunch in the time it takes to get 5 blocks up Mad. Ave. Traffic flows relatively well along the major arteries on either side flanking Central Park: 2nd Ave, 7th Ave, etc.

Central Park is a great example of how bicycles, pedestrians, and cars can coexist, but that's mostly because cars are limited to a few crosstown streets. Bike lanes are plenty wide and for the most part, pedestrians stay out of the way (always a few bumbling exceptions). Areas like Christ Church feel like such a zoo in comparison and I wish I knew what the solution would be. It's always hard when the main concern seems to be cars first, pedestrians second, and then the bike lanes, "sympathy lanes" as I call them that they toss out as an afterthought.

In NYC there is an excellent cycling path up the West Side Highway where you've got the Hudson River to your left and all of Manhattan to the right. You can start down at Battery Park and cycle all the way up to 180th without fear of being smacked by an opening car door or mowed down by a taxi. But then, the bike lanes are entirely seperate and it is mostly intended for leisure.

What are people's favorite places or routes to cycle in Dublin? And do you feel there is anything comparable in terms of cycle-friendly zones?
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby anto » Thu Nov 23, 2006 3:14 am

Government Support for S2S Project Announced

A new milestone in the campaign was reached today (12th Nov) when the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern T.D. and the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr. Dick Roche T.D. announced their commitment to promote and support the proposal to upgrade and join up various existing sections of promenade and cycleways to form a continuous route around the 22kms seafront of Dublin Bay.

The announcement was made in a press briefing and photocall on the seafront at Clontarf. This is seen as a huge boost to the campaign and follows meetings between members of the group and the Taoiseach and the Minister.

more details on http://www.s2s.ie
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