Cycling in Irish Cities

Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Devin » Mon Oct 24, 2005 4:53 am

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.
I accept that if you don't cycle and your experience of cyclists here has been poor as you describe, the system in Dutch cities is not going to be that impressive. But the undeniable fact is that it works. Dutch cities, and particularly Amsterdam, have (in my opinion) the X factor of urban culture. I frequently seriously consider chucking Dublin in and moving to Amsterdam. There is a notable absence of the agression and antipathy you find between all road users in most other cities (though obviously German and Scandinavian cities are good in this respect too), but with all the excitement and vibrancy of a major city.

Some more pics of Amsterdam to try'n back up my point:



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This street - Oude hoogstraat - is like a 'normal' street: - pavement on both sides & road in the centre - but for cyclists only.




Image

In purely environmental terms, the transport energy savings must be colossal.




Image

Damstraat
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Richards » Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:08 pm

Pre Luas, One could cycle down Harcourt Street, Down Stephens Green West to the top of Grafton street and continue down on Dawson street. Since the introduction of LUAS as a cyclist I can not cycle down SG West and continue on to Grafton Street. This morning I was stopped by cycling very slowly during a pedestrial phase of traffic lights turning on the SG South (from Harcourt Street) to access the new cycle lane and continue the long way around the Green to get to my destination on Dawson street.

While I accept that I was technically in the wrong, I do feel that DCC are out of touch with cycling habbits in the city. There should a two-way cycle track around the whole of STG including that area around the LUAS stop and the top end of Grafton Street. Every morning I would see several cyclists (illegally) making their way from harcourt St thru to STG North via STG West.

Just on another issue, Do we really have the worst street surfaces in a major European city ? I am amazed how pot holes exist for years and are topped up with some tar and chippings when the hole becomes massive, telcos seem to be able to dig up streets and put back a surface which is not as good as the one they dug up. Any street which street surface is relaid is usually dug up some weeks later and the merry life cycle of the street surface starts again. Sorry for the this rant, but cycling in Dublin just seems to become more difficult every day and the authorities dont seem to care.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby jimg » Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:41 am

The whole of Stephens Green is a disaster for cyclists; it's virtually impossible to cycle onto it, around it or off of it safely.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby paddyinthehouse » Fri Nov 11, 2005 8:01 pm

On reading through the posts on this thread, I'm getting a very negative impression of cycling in Dublin... which I find very hard to agree with. Over the last three years, I have clocked up a few thousand miles in and around the suburbs and city of Dublin. My various routes over that time include many of the cycle lanes that come in for such criticism in this thread, as well as numerous roads with no lanes at all. I have seen all of the dangers posed by inconsiderate motorists & jaywalking pedestrians, and have, for my part, broken the odd red light too.

Once you accept the risks to life and limb inherent in the activity, cycling remains the one and only way to get around the city of Dublin. It is the only transport mode that offers guaranteed journey times, at any time of day or night, unaffected by any external influence. While admitting that cycle-lane provision in Dublin is far from perfect, I feel that many of the posts on this thread over-state the negatives and, dare I say it, :eek: seem to be induced by the 'siege-mentality' of many cyclists.

Until this summer, I would probably have been as vocal as anyone in condemnding the under-provision of cycle facilities in Dublin city. However, I relocated to the Capital of Culture some months ago, via a brief stint in a provincial town. Cycling in these environments has made me see just how easy and accommodating Dublin city is to cyclists. Motorists anywhere outside Dublin actually don't seem to know what a cyclist is, and certainly don't expect to see one sharing their roadspace. In my time in Cork, I have yet to encounter a single dedicated cycle-lane. And if ye thought ye had potholes in Dublin, just wait til ye see the craters in Cork boy! And, for all that, I still wouldn't be parted from my beloved bicycle!

In a nutshell - be grateful for what you have in Dublin, for the story outside the Pale is a lot less rosy!
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ivuernis » Sat Nov 12, 2005 1:06 am

Devin wrote:I accept that if you don't cycle and your experience of cyclists here has been poor as you describe, the system in Dutch cities is not going to be that impressive. But the undeniable fact is that it works. Dutch cities, and particularly Amsterdam, have (in my opinion) the X factor of urban culture. I frequently seriously consider chucking Dublin in and moving to Amsterdam. There is a notable absence of the agression and antipathy you find between all road users in most other cities (though obviously German and Scandinavian cities are good in this respect too), but with all the excitement and vibrancy of a major city.

Some more pics of Amsterdam to try'n back up my point:



Image

This street - Oude hoogstraat - is like a 'normal' street: - pavement on both sides & road in the centre - but for cyclists only.




Image

In purely environmental terms, the transport energy savings must be colossal.




Image

Damstraat


This must be where good cyclists go when they die ;-)

If the Dutch lived in Ireland it would be the richest nation in the world,
but if the Irish lived in the Netherlands it would probably have sunk.

That last quote is lifted from somewhere but I can't remember where.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby dodger » Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:01 pm

If the Dutch lived in Ireland it would be the richest nation in the world,
but if the Irish lived in the Netherlands it would probably have sunk.

please try to remember where you read this as i look a good laugh. what vacuous nonsense.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby KerryBog2 » Mon Nov 14, 2005 7:17 pm

It's a mis-quote of Bismark who, when discussing the Protestant work ethic, is supposed to have said "If the Dutch lived in Ireland, Ireland would be the bread basket of Europe. If the Irish lived in Holland they would drown."

Afraid to keep me head down, I might drown.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Morlan » Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:44 pm

Saw this over at boards. http://www.warringtoncyclecampaign.co.uk/facility-of-the-month

Click the black arrow on the site to view more.

I love this one:

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This one meter long cycle path in Leeds provides a useful training facility for novice unicyclists. Once the basic skills have been mastered the unicyclist can test their proficiency by remaining upright for the entire length of the path, including a 45° bend. They can then progress on to longer and more demanding facilities.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby jimg » Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:15 pm

There was a rather odd attempt to add cycle lanes in Ballsbridge. Each was a about a hundred meters long. Going towards town, the lane (just two white lines actually) lead the cyclist out between two lanes of vehicular traffic before abruptly disappearing. Whatever about finding yourself in the middle of the road, any cyclist foolish enough to follow the letter of the law would have killed themselves if they tried to turn left using the cycle lane. I'm sure the champions of law-and-order would insist that yes, out of consideration for other road users, all cyclists intending to turn up Herbert Park Rd. or Clyde Rd. should cycle into the middle of three traffic lanes before executing a sharp left turn across the path of a lane of moving vehicles. After all rules are rules and we can't have people taking the law into their own hands.

Anyway it was obviously so ludicrous, out of embarassement they've burned the end of the lane off. Back to the drawing board fellas and perhaps this time, have a little think about it before starting to slap down the road paint.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:30 pm

Thanks for the link, Morlan.
jimg wrote:I'm sure the champions of law-and-order would insist that yes, out of consideration for other road users, all cyclists intending to turn up Herbert Park Rd. or Clyde Rd. should cycle into the middle of three traffic lanes before executing a sharp left turn across the path of a lane of moving vehicles. After all rules are rules and we can't have people taking the law into their own hands.

I respectfully call- bullshit.
There's a similar provision on the stretch of the N11 between the bottom of Beaver Row and Eglinton Road, where the red lane jinks to the right for town-bound traffic, but I can't think anyone would seriously suggest that a cyclist turning left up Eglinton Rd should use that section of the lane.
There's a difference between the type of law-abiding behaviour I have advocated on this thread and your interpretation of my request. Ultimately that nonsensically literate reading does nobody except the anti-cycling brigade any favours.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby jimg » Wed Nov 16, 2005 9:00 pm

I respectfully call- bullshit.

Yes ctesiphon, I was referring to you. :D

I can't think anyone would seriously suggest that a cyclist turning left up Eglinton Rd should use that section of the lane.

How about whoever formulated the rule of the road concerning the manditory use of cycle lanes? They didn't leave a provision for this case, did they?

So in a case like this, you'll break the law for your own convenience. After all, given your concern to be law-abiding, you could dismount your bike before the lane sweeps into the middle of the road and proceed, walking your bike along the footpath, to the other side of the junction. :rolleyes:

At least we can bicker about which laws can be ignored in which circumstances instead of presenting it as a simple choice between being an outlaw or law abiding.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:14 am

Moi? Lucky guess! :D

Thinking about this over dinner, I arrived at much the same conclusion as you, jimg. (I know, I'm sorry, I was looking forward to the fight too.) It seems to come down to this:
My reason for drifting out of the N11 lane onto Eglinton is that I would be endangering myself by staying in the lane (though I'm not sure how mandatory a lane is where there's a left-turning slip). I suppose that's your reason for riding on the footpath and breaking red lights too. So it just seems that we've each set a threshold of personal danger beyond which obedience is flexible, but our thresholds would be at different levels. Would I be onto something?
Obviously, mine is the right one, though. :rolleyes:
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby jimg » Thu Nov 17, 2005 5:52 pm

I know, I'm sorry, I was looking forward to the fight too.

To be honest, my enthusiasm is waning. I almost regretted rejoining this thread pretty much straight away. I've probably said all I want to really. Maybe we should view the backtrack in Ballsbridge as something positive; i.e. that someone somewhere is actually looking at and evalutating the lines that are being painted on the roads.

So it just seems that we've each set a threshold of personal danger beyond which obedience is flexible, but our thresholds would be at different levels. Would I be onto something?

Indeed you would. It's a good way of thinking about it. In addition to the two factors you've identified there (personal safety and obedience for the law), I have to admit convenience is also a factor when making a decision while cycling (despite the way I tried to present it as purely an issue of personal safety). If it weren't we could walk our bikes everywhere on the footpath which is surely legal as well as probably being safer. So we all weigh each of the three factors slightly differently, I guess, when making cycling decisions.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Devin » Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:12 pm

Perhaps it is a good time to turn to another (hopefully less contentious :) ) aspect of cycling in cities: Green Routes.

In a healthy, liveable city you would have not just good cycle routes on roads and streets, but good ‘green routes’ - cycle paths away from the traffic; i.e. alongside canals, rivers & coastal areas, and through parks - for the population to enjoy. But, as with the former, Dublin is hugely deficient in this.



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No cycling in the very place it is needed. The River Dodder is a great green corridor running in a SW to NE direction through the south of Dublin. But in the Terenure/Rathfarnam area, you are greeted with these signs (above) telling you you can’t cycle :confused: . Then a little bit further on, as the Dodder makes its way towards the Liffey, you have this nice parallel pedestrian/cycle route (below) at Milltown.
Ok, the first pic is on the north side of the Dodder and thus in DCC, while the pic below on is on the south side and so in DLRCC, but it is these kind of inconsistencies that make Dublin such a headwrecking place to live in at times.


Image
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby anto » Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:11 am

UCD has no roller blading signs in Belfield...
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Devin » Mon Nov 28, 2005 1:39 am

Image

Another absurdity:
When you are going out along the coast road towards Clontarf, a nice airy pedestrian/cycle path by the sea begins at the junction of Alfie Byrne Road – ‘great’, you think. Then after about 100 yards, the path splits in two (above) and the cyclist is sent back out to the coast road beside the fumes and traffic :confused: .

On the southside coast, similar inconsistencies are found; there's no cycling at all on that nice (but short) stretch of promenade at Sandymount, while there's one good stretch of traffic-free cycle path between Booterstown Dart station and Blackrock (KerryBog2 mentioned this recently in another thread).

There's a great plan for a continuous cycle path around the whole coast - 'S2S' - but I don't know what stage it's at. Its website hasn't been updated since March '04, so that's not very encouraging: http://www.s2s.ie/ - some interesting comments in the 'emails' section.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Richards » Mon Nov 28, 2005 12:38 pm

In fairness. The cycle track from Alfie Byrne Rd to the Wooden Bridge is one of the better cycle tracks in the city. My only gripe would be the Sunday strollers letting their kids, dogs, wander aimlessly along the cycle track putting themselves in danager not to mention the cyclists.
Further on up towards Howth, (running from the Blackpitts to Sutton) the cycle track is even better and it is one of my favourite cycles. Great views of the city, mountains and the Bay and no traffic for about 3 miles.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby PDLL » Mon Nov 28, 2005 1:09 pm

As a pedestrian who frequently uses a cylce-track for walking with a stroller, I empathise with the frustration of cyclists. However, with a stroller there are very very few places you can walk with any degree of comfort and/or safety from traffic and ever-undulating footpaths. If there is a lack of facilities for cyclists, there is equally a lack of facilities for pedestrians with strollers who simply want a peaceful and safe stretch of ground to walk on. Solution - when making new cycle paths, make them broad enough that they can be split down the middle to cater for both the two and four wheelers in society.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby dc3 » Mon Nov 28, 2005 1:30 pm

Note the second Dodder photo. With the combined cycle / pedestrian path.

The path joining from the right actually carries far more pedestrians and cyclists, starting out on the Dodder walk here.
They enter from the other path below from the right. It has, of course no sign or pictogram at all saying which side of the combined path below, is for the cyclists, and which one is for the pedestrians.

You have to walk to the end of the path, at the bridge near Ashtons, to find another sign explaning the dividing line, what it means or what either group is supposed to do here.

Not unusually then, there are bikes, prams and people on both sides of the line on most days.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:05 pm

PDLL wrote:As a pedestrian who frequently uses a cylce-track for walking with a stroller, I empathise with the frustration of cyclists.

You empathise? But you are the enemy. If you want to use the bike lane, get a bike.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby PDLL » Mon Nov 28, 2005 4:21 pm

ctesiphon wrote:You empathise? But you are the enemy. If you want to use the bike lane, get a bike.


Eh - if you want to use a road, get a car.....! Great logic there.

Never saw cyclists as enemies personally, but if this is the mentality of a road user, is it any wonder there are so many fatalities on our roads. I empathise with them for the following reasons:
- I know how absolutely painful and dangerous it is cycling in areas where there is no designated cycle lane (I speak as one who has been a cyclist in the past and is, more often than not, a pedestrian at present);
- as a person who frequently walks with a stroller - I know how painful and dangerous it is using ill-designed and broken pavements that are often blocked by some fat-ass pig's car half way up on the path.
- because I believe that the lives of people who choose not to use cars should have the same value as those of people that do use cars.

I will continue to use cycle paths for walking although I know that this bothers cyclists as
a) the chances of a bike killing you in the event of an accident are less than that of a car;
b) a number of purpose built cycle paths are broad enough to accomodate other path users in the same way that roads are often broad enough to accomodate trucks, cars and motorbikes. I would argue that all future cycle lanes should be specially designed to cater for the needs of pedestrians and cyclists.
As regards dogs and kids running around - well this can happen on a normal street too. Unfortunately, no single road/path user has dominion over others. It is a matter of consideration for your fellow road/path user, nothing more, and I am sure that cyclists above all should have an appreciation of the needs of fellow road users.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Mon Nov 28, 2005 6:30 pm

The logic (which you misinterpret) is that a cycle lane is provided for cyclists, a footpath is provided for pedestrians (in case you missed it, I was as hard on footpath-using cyclists earlier in the thread as I am on bike lane-using pedestrians here). A road (to clarify your 'counter-argument') is provided for all vehicular traffic, bikes included. It's only pedestrians who shouldn't use a carriageway. So my logic is sound, thanks.

The basis for your empathy is flawed- as by 'empathy' I understand identification with the plight of another. Nowhere do you mention having been a cyclist on a bike path with a meandering pedestrian in front of you. Sympathise by all means, but empathy is a step further on.

So please keep off the bike path and I'll keep off the footpath. Your justifications for your continued use are pretty weak: your chances of being killed are further reduced if you use the footpath (to say nothing of the chances of you endangering the cyclists); and if a bike path is provided for the exclusive use of cyclists, please respect that (regardless of whether it is wide enough for you), and if it's a dual cyclist/pedestrian path, keep to your side.

I agree that more dual paths should be provided, despite my reservations about users encroaching on each others' territory, but until such time as they are provided keep off the bike-only ones- cyclists do have "dominion over others" in that case, despite what you might wish. And if it bothers you, by all means start lobbying your councillors/TDs.

I do not claim to speak for road users, less still do I claim to speak for motorists. I speak for myself, a cyclist who uses bike paths, a pedestrian who uses footpaths, and a road user who uses roads for cycling and for public transport.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby PDLL » Mon Nov 28, 2005 7:00 pm

ctesiphon wrote:cyclists do have "dominion over others" in that case, despite what you might wish.


All I can say is that I am glad you cycle and don't use a car - phew.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby ctesiphon » Mon Nov 28, 2005 7:19 pm

You are presuming I would bring the same attitude to driving as I do to cycling, which in fact is both true and is not (though they are two sides of the same coin).
It is true because I would respect the rules of the road as I do the rules of a bike lane- the rules of the road as you know accommodating all modes of transport.
It is not true because I would never as a motorist presume 'dominion' over other road users as you seem to be implying, because of the aforementioned rules of the road.
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Re: Cycling in Irish Cities

Postby Devin » Tue Jan 10, 2006 10:12 am

Yes Richards, the cycle path to the Bull Wall/Wooden Bridge is actually good as Dublin cycle tracks go; it's separated from the road properly with a dwarf wall (and the further stretch towards Howth is also good). But given the choice, wouldn't you rather a path by the sea in this location, where you're about 50 mentres away from the traffic?



[align=center]~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~[/align]



Image

Image

This is another area that needs attention: The top picture is Vondel Park in Amsterdam (sorry about all the Amsterdam examples but I was there recently, and also because it's the holy grail of city cycling). There are cyclists milling through it all the time. The bottom picture is Dublin. There is NO CYCLING IN ANY of the city parks in Dublin (except ones where there is also traffic).

Obviously not every single one of the parks in Dublin would be suitable for cycling. But I'm tired of all the rubbish you read in Development Plans about 'enhancing the cycling environment blah-de-blah'. It doesn't mean a thing when all the time the cyclist is just forced onto the motorised traffic system and away from anywhere it might be more attractive to cycle, like parks. We need a Bernard Delanoe/Ken Livingstone-type figure to begin to really change all of this.
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