Cycling in Irish Cities

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Richards » Wed Sep 28, 2005 1:37 pm

Because Dublin City Centre is one big complex of one-way streets all controled by Traffic Lights it is almost imposable to put in place comphrensive 2-way cycle lanes. This would require an expensive rethink on how traffic flows thru Dublin.

I am not so sure that the so called cycle frendly Owen Keegan would be prepared to accept such radical change since the cost could be quite large and every lobby group such as ibec, truckers, Dublin Bus etc are all asking for better traffic flows, no tolling, bus lane usage etc.

I do think the idea of a kind of cycle czar would be a good idea for Dublin. - A good first step
Richards
Member
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 9:35 am

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Frank Taylor » Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:05 pm

Do contraflow bike lanes require a kerb to separate bikes from car traffic? It would seem dangerous to cycle against traffic without it.
Frank Taylor
Senior Member
 
Posts: 530
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 9:38 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:20 pm

Edit: accidental post.
User avatar
ctesiphon
Old Master
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 3:39 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:41 pm

Excerpt from an Irish Times article by Paul Cullen from early June (forgot to note the date on my cutting).
--------
TRANSPORT AND TRAFFIC CHIEFS CLASH OVER PROMOTION OF CYCLING IN CITY
The head of the Dublin Transportation Office, John Henry, and the director of traffic at Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan, have clashed over the city's efforts to promote cycling.
Mr Keegan yesterday criticised the promotion of cycle lanes, saying they had failed to achieve their primary objective of halting the decline in cycling.
Promoting cycle lanes was the most controversial traffic measure promoted by the council, with "huge levels of opposition" from the general public, he told the Velo-City conference on urban cycling.
Mr Henry said Mr Keegan was being pessimistic and expressed confidence that "we've turned the corner" in relation to cycling numbers. Increased investment in recent years in a 300km network of cycle lanes around the city would eventually encourage more people to use bicycles as a means of transport.
Mr Keegan said an exclusive reliance on improving cycling infrastructure "does not work". While the publichad accepted and were often enthusiastic about improvements in pedestrian and bus facilities, this was not the case with cycling infrastructure.
Reducing the number of car lanes to facilitate the installation of cycle tracks at busy junctionshad resulted in massive opposition.
Local politicians stood for election every five years and there was a limit to the number of "unpopular interventions" that could be imposed on them, Mr Keegan told a conference debate on transport in Dublin.
"We have failed to sell the cycling project to the general public. They have bought into other aspects of traffic management but not into cycling."
Cycling was suffering a haemorrhaging of young users and if this continued, "there won't be any cyclists because young people won't know how to cycle".

--------
I said it in my first post to this thread, but maybe it bears repeating- cycle lanes must be provided in the interests of cyclists (rather than to facilitate motorists) and they must be maintained. It's poor design, lack of respect by other road users for the lanes, broken glass, parked cars etc. that are off-putting for potential users. Solve those problems and I'd venture a change will come. It's not a case of providing the bare minimum, it's a case of making it an attractive option- a viable alternative.
Even if people get a bus from home to town, they could still use a bike for around-town travel. This might interest IBEC- there's an economic advantage to be gained from bike lane provision, not just the economic problems they see in reduced car access to the city centre.
User avatar
ctesiphon
Old Master
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 3:39 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Richards » Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:30 pm

I would imagine that some kind of kerb or bollard would be required to seperate cyclelanes and general traffic.
Richards
Member
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 9:35 am

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby GrahamH » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:40 am

Often wondered do people ever use cycle lanes to cycle in the 'wrong' direction, and have you found it to be safe?
Is there any rule against this?
GrahamH
Old Master
 
Posts: 4580
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:24 am
Location: Ireland

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Devin » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:54 am

ctesiphon wrote:...However, as long as Eoin Keegan is in charge at DCC I think it will be an uphill battle. I get the feeling that cycling provision is too much of a headache for him- witness his Velo-City comments in May about the bike lane network having failed. No, Mr Keegan, it is you who has failed.
Maybe DCC need a cycle planning officer?
Just a correction]'“we’ve turned the corner” in relation to cycling numbers'[/I]. - We have in our feckin arses! Cycling in Dublin is becoming a more minority practice every day. And the way the tired old km quantity of cycle lanes is wheeled out - as if it were in itself a measure of success - ‘300km’ - 300km of cycle lanes squeezed in at the edge of the dirty, unhealthy, unpleasant and dangerous environment that the city’s roads are.

I was also pleased with Keegan’s comments because they tallied with the findings of a recent An Taisce report which I worked on - Dublinspirations - which noted that although a fairly comprehensive network of cycle lanes had been introduced on arterial routes over the past seven years, cycling in Dublin remained an oppressive and treacherous experience compared to other European cities, and that a total rethink was necessary.

As Keegan says, cycling has not been sold to the public.
Devin
Old Master
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby anto » Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:59 am

I cycle between Dalkey and Leaporsdtown and there are a good few cycle lanes, including the crappy one from Whites Cross and its amazing the amount of people who go the wrong direction on them. I don't think they're even aware of what they're doing. It's esp. prevalen when the cycle lane is part of the footpath. The latter never work very well, pedestrians are always walking in them blissfully unaware. They're actually quite dangerous.
anto
Member
 
Posts: 251
Joined: Mon Aug 19, 2002 12:58 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:59 am

Correction duly noted, Devin. Cheers.
However, I still have concerns about Owen Keegan's comments, as he seems to be saying "We've failed, and that's that," rather than "We've failed so far, but there is a solution."

Re cyclists going the wrong way on bike lanes- I often wondered if some cyclists think that bike lanes are actually designed to facilitate this practice, i.e. they think cyclists going in the direction of the traffic should be on the road and that 'with flow' lanes are supposed to be contra-flow lanes for them.
Either way, I do see an awful lot of it (and, as I said above, I even do it myself for about 30m. of the N11 every morning).
User avatar
ctesiphon
Old Master
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 3:39 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Devin » Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:41 am

ctesiphon wrote:Owen Keegan...seems to be saying "We've failed, and that's that," rather than "We've failed so far, but there is a solution."
Yes, I too would like to hear more about what he thinks actually needs to be done. The section on cycling in the council's Development Plan contains objectives to improve things as you would expect, but doesn't, I feel, convey the gravity of the situation. It starts off with: "Cycling has the potential to transform the city's quality of life..." (bolding added) ..hmmmmm.
Devin
Old Master
 
Posts: 1509
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 10:27 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby burge_eye » Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:09 pm

Graham Hickey wrote:Often wondered do people ever use cycle lanes to cycle in the 'wrong' direction, and have you found it to be safe?
Is there any rule against this?


Do cyclists actually follow rules per se??? The next time I nearly get mowed down by a cyclist going through a red light or pedestrian crossing I'm simply going to push them over. Cyclists are so badly behaved that they do not deserve special treatment. Feck the cycle lanes, I'm buying a hummer.
burge_eye
Member
 
Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 11:55 pm

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby GrahamH » Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:06 pm

Who said drivers aren't antagonistic towards cyclists? :)

There's bad eggs burge eye. There'd be more motorist bad eggs too were it not for the contraints put on that mode of transport.
But yes you do always encounter poor cyclists - only the other day walking through the Coombe on a pavement a cyclist lashed past causing me to stop in fear of him crashing into me. It's not this that was irritating, but rather there as a brand spanking new wide cycle lane running alongside the kerb! AND the road was empty! :rolleyes:
GrahamH
Old Master
 
Posts: 4580
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:24 am
Location: Ireland

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ConK » Wed Oct 12, 2005 6:58 pm

There is a contraflow cycle lane running from Sir John Rogersons quay to City Quay - along the south side of the Liffey in front of the new Sean O Casey bridge. I've been using it for maybe 2 years - it only occurred to me recently as a result of the direction of the "bicyle diagram", that it is contraflow.

Its excellent and fast. I think that is because it is one of the only cycle lanes that isn't half of a car lane.
ConK
Member
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 3:05 pm

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby crestfield » Tue Oct 18, 2005 11:10 pm

burge_eye wrote:Do cyclists actually follow rules per se???


Could not agree more. I have never been hit by a car, but twice I have been hit cyclists. Thats aside from all the other times I move to avoid being hit at a pedestrion crossing thats in my favour. Cyclists appear to be a law unto themselves. Now I find my self looking both ways when crossing a one way street incase I'm hit by a fast moving cyclist. Not mention those who cycle on the path of the quays to avoid crossing a bridge, as they are on the wrong side to the direction they wish to travel in. :mad:
crestfield
Member
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:57 am

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby tommyt » Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:45 pm

crestfield wrote:Could not agree more. I have never been hit by a car, but twice I have been hit cyclists. Thats aside from all the other times I move to avoid being hit at a pedestrion crossing thats in my favour. Cyclists appear to be a law unto themselves. Now I find my self looking both ways when crossing a one way street incase I'm hit by a fast moving cyclist. Not mention those who cycle on the path of the quays to avoid crossing a bridge, as they are on the wrong side to the direction they wish to travel in. :mad:


Take it from someone who has earned their living cycling around Dublin ,without exaggeration it is a WAR for space on those mean streets! Every mode of transport from shank's mare to the juggernaut is competing for the limited access poor transport planning has created in Dublin. I could gripe about every other mode of transport you could mention and they would be legitimate greivances but it is pointless. My suggestion-unless someone is seriously out of order- just get on with it! If you can't handle it move to a more civilised society. My suggestion would be a medium sized Dutch city of your choice!
tommyt
Member
 
Posts: 455
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:39 pm
Location: D5

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:01 pm

tommyt- quick question. I've heard the phrase 'shank's mare' before, but do you know where it came from?
Ta.

PS Rather than move to a more civilised society, couldn't we just create one here instead? By, say, not cycling across ped crossings when the peds have a green man? It would be a start.
User avatar
ctesiphon
Old Master
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 3:39 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby tommyt » Wed Oct 19, 2005 7:25 pm

: : : : what does "ride the shank's mare" mean. And Also what is the origin of this phrase. I have but 1 hour to find this information out. So PLEASE EMAIL me back with the information

: : : I dont know the origin but your phrase means to go on foot, to walk.
: : : The link below may help with the origin.

: : From "A Hog on Ice" (1948, Harper & Row) by Charles Earle Funk: "To ride shanks' mare (or pony) -- This means to walk; to use one's own legs, for the shank is the part of the leg below the knee. It has been a jocular expression for two hundred years or so. Possibly it arose from playful allusion to a Mr. Shank who had no other means of conveyance, but more likely it was an invention of some Scottish wit."

http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/6/messages/245.html

Agree with the cyclists and ped crossing observation.However the shoe does fit on the other foot.Try cycling through any busy ped junction when the little man is red,e.g. jnctn of Abbey &lwr O'connell sts..It is a question of manners alright ,not just rules and regulations.Unfortunately a significant proportion of citizens possess neither courtesy nor common sense in their everyday urban interactions-not however, a subject worthy of discussion on a forum dedicated to built environment matters...
tommyt
Member
 
Posts: 455
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:39 pm
Location: D5

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby crestfield » Thu Oct 20, 2005 10:38 pm

tommyt wrote: My suggestion would be a medium sized Dutch city of your choice!


Interesting that holland should be brought up. I have been to both Amsterdam and the Hauge and found conditions for pedestrians even worse. Little distingtion is made between raodways/ cycle paths/ tramways and pedestion paths. The conduct of the cyclists I found to be similiar to those here, just there was a lot more of them and therefore more dangerous.

People often speak of Amsterdam being a good model for an urban environment. I can't agree cause even though cars dominate Dublin at least we pedestrions have the paths to our selves (with the exception of the quays as mentioned) . As well as that, pedistrian areas are not dominated by cyclists here either.

I'm not implying that cyclists are the only ones to blame, I see reckless behavoir by pedestrians and motorists (I have never driven a car by the way) every day. Its just that cyclists appear to protray themselves like upstanding people being hindered by other road users. Instead their just as bad as the rest!
crestfield
Member
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:57 am

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Oct 21, 2005 2:15 am

crestfield wrote:Its just that cyclists appear to protray themselves like upstanding people being hindered by other road users. Instead their just as bad as the rest!

Not guilty to the latter]do[/I] have a place on a board such as this, I'd have thought. Not just in posts, but as rules of thumb for citizen interaction. I don't think you can divorce the citizen from the city.

ctesiphon.
(Fresh from nearly being knocked down by a BMW SUV and one of those stupid steroid Minis at Donnybrook church. Front and back lights, 4 reflectors and a wally band, if you must know. :mad: )
User avatar
ctesiphon
Old Master
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 3:39 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby GrahamH » Fri Oct 21, 2005 2:39 am

:rolleyes:

No doubt if you were wearing a novelty hat with a siren and flashing LEDs they wouldn't have seen you.

One thing that's very noticable in Dublin is the level of Chinese people who cycle relative to the 'natives'. I did a truly gruelling project a couple of years ago, involving standing about in the city centre for hours on end getting various opinions from cyclists. The amount of Chinese cycling was and is extraordinary - they accounted from what I experienced at the time (outside major rush hours) for about 40-50% of all cyclists!

They come from a cycling culture, and evidently think nothing about cycling around Dublin upon arriving here - by contrast Dubliners just don't do it! It served to demonstrate for me that while yes, there are impediments for many people to taking up the bike in Dublin, there clearly is a cultural issue too given the level of Chinese cycling in exactly the circumstances. We all live in the same city after all - they're not experiencing anything different to ourselves!

Of course one factor to take on board is that they are for the most part students, so naturally are more inclined to cycle, but even so they pull way above their weight in the cycling population. Even the other day I was watching all the cyclists pouring down from South Richmond St towards Portobello Bridge on the commute home - a considerable number were again Chinese.
GrahamH
Old Master
 
Posts: 4580
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2002 11:24 am
Location: Ireland

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Richards » Fri Oct 21, 2005 10:31 am

Given an option between a car (including the cost of running one) and a bicycle, I am sure that a Chinese student would go for the car option!
Richards
Member
 
Posts: 64
Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 9:35 am

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:34 am

Probably true, Richards. They are certainly abandoning the bikes in Beijing as fast as humanly possible- coming to view them as a sign of a 'backward society' that doesn't tally with their new hi-tech Olympic image. I heard Richard Rogers on the telly not so long ago tell a story about being in Beijing and commenting to the mayor (?) about how great it was to see the number of bikes in the city (9 million, if Katie 'litejazz' Melua is to be believed :) ), and the mayor misunderstood and pretty much said 'I know, but we're doing something about it, they'll be gone before too long.' RR's point was that they are the ultimate form of sustainable city transport.

I agree, Graham, the number of Asian cyclists in the city is remarkable. However, quite a few of them are pretty bad cyclists- meandering along roads, wrong way on one way streets, wrong way in bike lanes, and few lights/reflectors. I'm guessing it's in large part due to the fact that they come from a very different cycling culture where bikes have freer reign in towns. Hard to make these points without attracting the wrath of some right-on wet-lib, but I don't think my eyes deceive me. I do welcome them onto the streets, as the more cyclists there are the more visible we all are, but their behaviour still frustrates me as a fellow cyclist.

Graham Hickey wrote:No doubt if you were wearing a novelty hat with a siren and flashing LEDs they wouldn't have seen you.

You're probably right. Now where did I put that receipt for Hector Grey's?
User avatar
ctesiphon
Old Master
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2005 3:39 pm
Location: Dublin

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby jimg » Fri Oct 21, 2005 1:07 pm

Could not agree more. I have never been hit by a car, but twice I have been hit cyclists.

I know what you mean, but you've missed the real villians. I've only been hit by a cyclist once but I've been bumped into by other pedestrians over twenty times while innocently walking the streets of Dublin. They really are a law of their own: always breaking the law ignoring lights, no consideration for anyone, never looking where they are going and yet they are constantly whinging about cyclists and motorists. :rolleyes:

I walk (daily), cycle (daily), drive (only about once a week - I'm going to sell it given how little use I get out of it) and use public transport (a couple of times a week). Doing so, I think, gives a bit of a more balanced view of the city and the interactions between people using different modes. You certainly don't develop an attitude that pedestrians/cyclists/motorists (whatever is "other" to you) are a bunch of bastards; each has a different perspective and most within each group are reasonable. There are ignorant rude people in each category believe me; if you really believe that there are more rude cyclists than pedestrians or motorists, your view is seriously skewed.
jimg
Member
 
Posts: 480
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2004 9:07 pm
Location: Zürich

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby tommyt » Fri Oct 21, 2005 3:16 pm

crestfield wrote:Interesting that holland should be brought up. I have been to both Amsterdam and the Hauge and found conditions for pedestrians even worse. Little distingtion is made between raodways/ cycle paths/ tramways and pedestion paths. The conduct of the cyclists I found to be similiar to those here, just there was a lot more of them and therefore more dangerous.

People often speak of Amsterdam being a good model for an urban environment. I can't agree cause even though cars dominate Dublin at least we pedestrions have the paths to our selves (with the exception of the quays as mentioned) . As well as that, pedistrian areas are not dominated by cyclists here either.

I'm not implying that cyclists are the only ones to blame, I see reckless behavoir by pedestrians and motorists (I have never driven a car by the way) every day. Its just that cyclists appear to protray themselves like upstanding people being hindered by other road users. Instead their just as bad as the rest!



Medium sized city was the crux of my argument. Next time you are in the Netherlands visit Groningen, Eindhoven, Nijmegen or Alkmaar for example to see how an urban centre can function and accommomdate all traffic comfortably. I know all of those towns are a lot smaller than Dublin but are on a par with our provincial cities. You will find if you spend any length of time in Dutch towns your radar will attune to the different streetlife that characterises the Dutch urban experience
tommyt
Member
 
Posts: 455
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:39 pm
Location: D5

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby crestfield » Fri Oct 21, 2005 7:36 pm

[quote="jimg There are ignorant rude people in each category believe me"]

I agree entirly with you. I fear I may have come across wrong, I'm not saying cyclists are the worst road user. I never claimed that all cyclists as a collective group were all reckless.

As I pointed out in my prevous post I dont believe cyclists are more rude then other road useres, its just that they so often paint themselves as the victums by their pursure groups, yet I never hear a mention being given to their resonsibilities. As I already stated I see reckless behavoir by pedestrians and drivers daily. The bigy pet hate I have for cars is the use of the mythical 3 second delay on traffic lights, that is abused to the point where the light is gone red for the pedestrian by the time they all cars use the delay between their light going red and the pedestrians going green.

As regards SUVs a ban should be put on them in urban areas as they are danger to other all road users (arugably even other cars) and the driver has no exuse as why such veichele is needed for city driving.

My comment about Holland was not a rebuttal to the suggestion made rather I was wonder what the opinion of those who are fans of the urban environment in Amsterdam thought (I mention it as it is so often sited as a good example of a city)
crestfield
Member
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:57 am

PreviousNext

Return to Ireland