Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby FXR » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:47 pm

I posted this video as part of a series (see below) based on observations of cyclists in Dublin. The comments I think speak for themselves. Despite the fact I made no attempt to promote the video or even post it on any relevant websites it shot up over 5,000 views within 3 days.

Dublin's Bicycle Clutter.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkMRHupiXlU

With the government aiming to have over 160,000 people cycling to work daily by 2020 is this situation out of control.

Dublin Cyclists Wild Frontier.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkMRHupiXlU
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby Service charge » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:32 pm

The problems is Dublin is designed for cars. Lots of one way systems, complex sets of traffic lights and ridiculous rules regarding parking in many areas.

Dublin City Council is light years behind most northern European cities in how it treats cyclists.

For instance I frequently have to travel from Stephen's Green east to Adelaide Road. If I am to take the car route it essentially triples the journey and forces me have to cross fours lanes of traffic on the north green and a further three lanes on Dawson Street. It is scary at the best of times but since most cars are speeding on the Green it is suicide. So I prefer to cycle on the wide and most empty footpaths on the Green and then along the Luas tracks or wide footpaths on harcourt st.

The current road traffic system forces normally law abiding people to break the law, because it is frequently safer and far more practical to do so. Again look at the poor state of most cycle lanes, they are terribly dangerous and force cyclists to use footpaths and smooth roads including oneway systems.

Bicycles are different to cars, they should naturally have flexibility more akin to pedestrians. Many of the oneway streets in the city centre have ample space to allow contra-flow for bicycle lanes. At the same time many footpaths have space for cyclists.

Off course they should not be absolved from obligations such as use of lights and bells, and keeping a careful eye on pedestrians, but I think you are all stick and no carrot!
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby batten » Mon Jun 06, 2011 9:52 pm

do you not realise that the Rules of the Road don't apply to cyclists?
My favourites are the ones who totally ignore traffic lights and the others who think that cycle lanes are bi-directional.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby missarchi » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:12 pm

Yeah we might have declare the entire area a crime scene and close all the roads for a few months...
I don't know if that bridge can take the weight of all those cyclestests.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby missarchi » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:44 pm

Fxr you will love this check out 0:57

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvJWaHCLSos
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby wearnicehats » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:24 am

Service charge wrote:The problems is Dublin is designed for cars. Lots of one way systems, complex sets of traffic lights and ridiculous rules regarding parking in many areas.

Dublin City Council is light years behind most northern European cities in how it treats cyclists.

For instance I frequently have to travel from Stephen's Green east to Adelaide Road. If I am to take the car route it essentially triples the journey and forces me have to cross fours lanes of traffic on the north green and a further three lanes on Dawson Street. It is scary at the best of times but since most cars are speeding on the Green it is suicide. So I prefer to cycle on the wide and most empty footpaths on the Green and then along the Luas tracks or wide footpaths on harcourt st.

The current road traffic system forces normally law abiding people to break the law, because it is frequently safer and far more practical to do so. Again look at the poor state of most cycle lanes, they are terribly dangerous and force cyclists to use footpaths and smooth roads including oneway systems.

Bicycles are different to cars, they should naturally have flexibility more akin to pedestrians. Many of the oneway streets in the city centre have ample space to allow contra-flow for bicycle lanes. At the same time many footpaths have space for cyclists.

Off course they should not be absolved from obligations such as use of lights and bells, and keeping a careful eye on pedestrians, but I think you are all stick and no carrot!


umm - Adelaide road is about a 2 minute cycle from Stephen's Green East via Earlsfort terrace??. All in the right direction. On a road.

when driving in dublin I often find it much more practical to go the wrong way down the road and not bother to stop for traffic lights. Cyclists are a menace.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby StephenC » Thu Jun 09, 2011 10:12 am

You cant go straight onto Earlfort Terrace from SSG East. The road (primarily for buses) takes you onto Lwr Leeson Street. You can of course get off the bike and use the crossings.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby wearnicehats » Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:20 am

sorry, but you can.

There are 2 bus stops outside the shops on earsfort terrace served by buses going straight on from the green. The 15A is one of them
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby Service charge » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:30 am

All wrong wearnicehats.

There is no travelling south on SSG east, unless you are a bus. No other traffic is allowed use the southward lane, no room for bicycles as the lane is so narrow.

The quickest legal route is still around the green, up dawson st, across to molesworth st, down kildare street, back on to the green, down merrion row, on to baggot st, past itzwilliam sq, across leeson st, along hatch st to arrive.

So my original point sticks, and you just proved how ignorant most people are of the city streets and the treatment of cyclists.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby FXR » Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:42 am

Sorry for not replying sooner but I'm not getting any notifications from this site.

The overall theme here is not just cyclists rather the bigger picture is that the City of Dublin is suffering an almost total absence of management.

Dublin is a small city and it's not possible to adequately accommodate all those who use the streets to the point that each interest is fully catered for. Dublin was not designed from a blank sheet in it's present size: it evolved almost haphazardly.

In the case of cyclists there is no enforcement of any laws or any attempt at management of the thousands of cyclists. The more wheelchair friendly the city has become the more cyclists have populated pedestrian areas. A cyclists using the footpath, breaking red lights etc can individually, case by case, seem innocuous. The problem is the complete freedom cyclists have to do whatever they like is acting as an incubator for the kind of behaviour in the slideshow below.

Dublin Cyclists Wild Frontier.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkMRHupiXlU

PS: In terms of pedestrian streets, bridges and walkways it's very often forgotten that pedestrians include the visually impaired, small children and wheelchair users.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby missarchi » Fri Jun 10, 2011 4:29 am

why cyclists use the footpath?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x1cMIwZzfI
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby wearnicehats » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:10 am

Service charge wrote:All wrong wearnicehats.

There is no travelling south on SSG east, unless you are a bus. No other traffic is allowed use the southward lane, no room for bicycles as the lane is so narrow.

The quickest legal route is still around the green, up dawson st, across to molesworth st, down kildare street, back on to the green, down merrion row, on to baggot st, past itzwilliam sq, across leeson st, along hatch st to arrive.

So my original point sticks, and you just proved how ignorant most people are of the city streets and the treatment of cyclists.


ahhhh yes - the old contrafloe bus lane exclusion. Good job I don't cycle otherwise I'd be in it along with all the other cyclists and, indeed, the 2wheeler Garda I saw from the bus yesterday

why don't you just walk with your bicycle up to Earlsfort terrace? or dismount and cross at the pedestrian crossing at the NE corner of the green onto Merrion Row? Laziness?

Why do you think you deserve to get somewhere easier or quicker than someone in a car and, because you don't like it, feel like you the normal laws don't apply?
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby Service charge » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:46 pm

FXR: I see where you are coming from to an extent but the fact that you don't concede any ground means you are probably just an anti-bike nazi?

Bicycles are the least resourced transport in the city, yet offer the most benefits for the economy, city and ppl. There is ample opportunity to develop the city to accommodate bicycles but our city father ignore them. Take a trip to amsterdam or copenhagen. City centres where you aren't drowned out by traffic noise on every single street nor do you find yourself seeing cars parked on both sides of their finest buildings and along every single street.

Look at films of Dublin in the 1950s, thousands of happy cyclists.

For instance bicycle parking (another pet hate of yours): why are there so few places specifically designated for bicycle parking in Dublin? Why couldn't the city offer a similar scheme to Dublin bikes by offering secure, monitored and dry bike sheds and sell the advertising space on the side? Alternatively a small charge for daily secure parking of bicycles might pay for itself. I can't think of one such space currently in Dublin. Yet there are thousands of car and bus spaces and god knows how much derelict and empty land.

I note in the Sunday Times it was mentioned that bicycles don't pay road tax: neither do pedestrians or Dublin Bus. And road tax doesn't cover the roads budget every year, nor does it pay for all the road crashes and injuries using the fire, garda and health services. Central taxation pays for most of the road space not motor tax. Not to mention the fact that bicycles don't tear up the road or cause pot holes.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby Service charge » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:59 pm

As for you wearnicehats:
Why do you think you deserve to get somewhere easier or quicker than someone in a car and, because you don't like it, feel like you the normal laws don't apply?


I don't deserve too, and I'm not asking too. I am simply asking that the city council consider cyclists as legitimate road users. So where they propose one way systems that they include contra-flow bike lanes where space permits. Or where there is ample space for pedestrians a bike lane be provided, for instance the east side of SSG would easily fit a bike lane, as would south king street. Or bridges include cycle lanes: both O'Casey Bridge and the Millenium Bridge could easily accommodate a cycle lane, otherwise cyclists are forced onto the quays, which are blatantly not a place for bikes.

As for the law: there is virtually no enforcement of traffic law in Dublin. I don't see why I should have to risk my life juking it out with speeding vehicles when I can safely share space with pedestrians (provided of course that I cycle carefully and slowly). I can't think of a single serious injury caused by a bike hitting a pedestrian in dublin, sadly I can't say the same for bikes/pedestrians and cars.

As I said before, bikes are far closer to pedestrians than cars and should be given flexibility closer to pedestrians than cars.

Both you and FXR are ignoring the fact that cars kill pedestrians and cyclists very regularly in this city.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby FXR » Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:01 am

Service this is the situation: it's a fact that the majority of cyclists in Dublin are breaking every law possible and showing no regard for pedestrians or other road users. In the meantime lobby groups and the monkey-see-monkey-do types who populate politics in Ireland are spending more and more taxpayers money with no real critical examination of the situation.

For example in the video Dublin's Bicycle Clutter bicycles can be seen locked to almost every available object in the street.

A common response to that is that there are not enough bicycle stands. There probably aren't. Where there are bicycle stands the authorities don't seem to have thought too deeply about the locations. For example there is a bicycle stand at the top of Grafton St. This encourages law breaking and dangerous behaviour. The bicycle stand can only be reached legally from Stephens Green North. Cyclists all day ever day can be seen cycling on the pedestrianised Grafton St, Sth King St and coming the wrong way from the College of Surgeons to reach the bicycle stand. When bicycle stands are placed it ought to be considered how cyclists are going to reach them.

But is the problem also caused by the fact that cyclists in Dublin will just go where they like by any route they like regardless? There is a new secure bicycle stand not far from Stephens Green. Dublin City Council and it's bicycle mandarins have cost the taxpayer more money by providing free (to cyclists) a section of Drury Street car park. Cyclists are not using it to any great extent while the streets around it have bicycles locked to everything and anything.

See here: http://s532.photobucket.com/albums/ee327/Falconer1st/Drury%20St/.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby pico » Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:59 pm

Perhaps the gardai should take the NYPD approach.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzE-IMaegzQ
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby FXR » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:18 pm

pico wrote:Perhaps the gardai should take the NYPD approach.....
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzE-IMaegzQ


The cyclists in the video tried to explain to the police officer that cycling in the bicycle lane is not always the safest option.

Why then does the cycling lobby demand I pay for more and more cycle lanes costing up to 1.6 million per kilometre? The amount of money being spent needs to be questioned at least. In all the campaigning for more rights and facilities for cyclists there is never a mention of cyclists contributing a single cent to the economy.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby wearnicehats » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:57 pm

there's no doubt that the lycra crowd have to put their money where their mouths are.

The dublin cycling campaign charges €20 for membership. make it €100 and put the other €80 towards cycle lanes.

There are myriad of cycling clubs around the country - attach a similar levy.

Increase the tariff for the dublin bike scheme by €1 for all trips over 30 minutes.

a concerted Garda campaign to fine every cyclist breaking the road laws €50 on the spot or their bike is confiscated and another €50 to get it back- all proceeds towards cycle lanes

a government levy on all bicycles and associated cycling equipment

of course this allows thousands of daily cyclists to slip through the net but hey - they're all so environmentally aware they'll be only too happy to make a voluntary donation in return for a suitable dayglo vest
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby FXR » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:49 pm

After looking at the situation I'm inclined to thing the so called "cycling lobby" are not so much concerned with cycling as with committee-ism. If cycling in certain is not a problem then the law should reflect. Certain offences should be "decriminalised". Instead of loading the Gardai with another addition to the long list of society's ills why not have bicycle wardens?$


The fines could be lowered to reflect the fact an offence with a bicycle is less serious on the scale. The wardens could issue on the spot fines of €40 for cycling on pedestrian areas and have the power to remove bikes from street furniture.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby Service charge » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:14 pm

Well you have both conveniently skipped over my points re tax.

Motor vehicle users contribute only a fraction of what it costs to build and maintain roads, provide Garda, fire and health services at accidents and general policing of traffic. Why should general taxation have to pay for this? Well because we all use the road network in some fashion.

Pedestrians similarly don't pay a cent to use footpaths, crossings etc.

So why do you deem cyclists as different?

As for contributing to the economy cyclists actually do: every person that cycles to work reduces congestion, reduces wear and tear on road, and keeps fitter so is less of a burden on the health service.

If all the city's cyclists were to drive the city would be gridlocked. The more we encourage cycling in this city the more the city has to gain.

As for every single cyclist breaking the law: a similar accusation can be leveled at car drivers (breaking lights, speeding, driving in cycle lanes etc) and pedestrians (jaywalking).

All in all traffic policing in Dublin is a shambles.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby FXR » Wed Jun 15, 2011 12:36 pm

Service charge wrote:Well you have both conveniently skipped over my points re tax.

Motor vehicle users contribute only a fraction of what it costs to build and maintain roads, provide Garda, fire and health services at accidents and general policing of traffic. Why should general taxation have to pay for this? Well because we all use the road network in some fashion.

Pedestrians similarly don't pay a cent to use footpaths, crossings etc.

So why do you deem cyclists as different?

As for contributing to the economy cyclists actually do: every person that cycles to work reduces congestion, reduces wear and tear on road, and keeps fitter so is less of a burden on the health service.

If all the city's cyclists were to drive the city would be gridlocked. The more we encourage cycling in this city the more the city has to gain.

As for every single cyclist breaking the law: a similar accusation can be leveled at car drivers (breaking lights, speeding, driving in cycle lanes etc) and pedestrians (jaywalking).

All in all traffic policing in Dublin is a shambles.


Under the Road Traffic Act a cyclist is classed as traffic. A pedestrian is not. An individual motorists pays 10's of thousands of euro's directly as a result of that mode of transport.

Cycling requires additional facilities not already in existence for which they will not pay one red cent. Those facilities are going to cost millions of my money. It's going to come out of the pockets of people who can't afford childminders or healthcare. There is no magic pot of gold that this bankrupt country has in storage from which ad hoc committee's can line up to make funding requests.

Cyclists lobby groups are demanding changes to the law and expensive facilities specifically for cyclists. There is evidence to suggest that cyclists may use those facilities only when and if they feel like it and otherwise ignore them.

Motorists do break the law. Thousands of them get fined. As regards cyclists breaking the law it's neither here nor there. Breaking the law is not a competition.

It's a fact: cyclists in Dublin break every law every second of every day. The show no regard for pedestrians, other road users and endanger themselves. Nothing will be done about this. The only solution would be for cyclists to take responsibility for themselves and start showing consideration for others voluntarily. The shams who run the city are never going to come up with anything.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby missarchi » Wed Jun 15, 2011 1:54 pm

So fxr based on your calculations is a dead cyclist an asset or a liability to the tax system? If so how by much?

"Eighty per cent of cycle accidents occur when bicycles travel straight ahead and a vehicle manoeuvres into them. The most common contributory factor is 'failed to look properly' on the part of a vehicle driver. The evidence shows the bike simply is not seen on city streets," she said.
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby wearnicehats » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:32 pm

missarchi wrote:. The evidence shows the bike simply is not seen on city streets," she said.


especially when riding at dusk or dark without lights or high vis gear. Or when breaking a light. Or riding the wrong way up a one way street. Or riding adjacent to the rear passenger door of a car approaching a left trun junction.Or, like the guy yesterday who I saw turning right at a no right turn junction and - unfortunately - narrowly avoiding getting flattened by a bus

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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby bigjoe » Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:55 pm

interesting videos from storyful.com about riding a bike in New York.
http://storyful.com/stories/1000004447- ... erous-game
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Re: Dublin's Bicycle Clutter

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jun 16, 2011 12:28 am

FXR, you do yourself a disservice in highlighting perfectly valid issues by taking an entrenched position. To generalise about ‘cyclists’, and to tiresomely pitch them in a battle against 'motorists', does nothing for either perceived ‘side’ and gets people’s backs up.

Nobody can deny the level of law breaking in Dublin amongst many of those who cycle, but we have no statistics on this. To make broad statements such as “the majority of cyclists in Dublin are breaking every law possible” is simply unfair and untrue. Yes, there is widespread breaching of traffic law, but to blow it out of proportion, or only give one side of events, helps nobody. Similarly, to even differentiate cyclists as a distinct ‘lobby’ is nothing short of preposterous. Notwithstanding the Road Traffic Act, cyclists in a dense urban context are but another version of pedestrians. They are not an alien group – they are ‘everyone’. Anyone can be cyclist, as much as one can be a pedestrian. Not everyone can be a motorist, by way of financial constraints, lifestyle or skills. To accommodate a cyclist is to accommodate society. To accommodate a motorist is not always in the common interest. Yet, I do not object to investment in road infrastructure, in spite of the fact I do not own a car and rarely have cause to use road-based public transport. But as a pedestrian and a cyclist, the overwhelming balance of financial support for roads is an unacceptable fact of life I have to endure on a daily basis. To claim that infrastructure has to be put in place for the sole use of cyclists is ridiculous – it is for the benefit of civil society. The quoted costs are even more ridiculous and warrant no further comment.

I agree rigorous enforcement is needed, particularly over blatant breaking of lights, lack of lights and visibility equipment, dangerous behaviour and cycling in dedicated pedestrian zones. I don’t think anyone would object to this. But one MUST consider the Dublin context, which has a city centre with little to no provision for cyclists. Simply put, cyclists ARE entitled to greater permeability and access through a street network than vehicles, the latter of which demand greater regulation and management due to their speed, relative inflexibility of movement, and consumption of road space amongst other factors. Those who object to cyclists having such rights are typically those who do not cycle, so do not understand the necessity of contraflows, dedicated lanes where required, or having to cycle on pavements or against the traffic to avoid dangerous conflicts with vehicles.

Without question I agree that there is a defiant and unmanaged cycling culture in Dublin, but rather than objecting to it, one must be constructive and ask why it exists. The most obvious reason is that Dublin does not accommodate the needs of cyclists, so cyclists must work out their own management system, often governed by personal safety, which in the eyes of the law is a culture of indiscipline. But the same equally extends to pedestrian culture in Dublin - because the city consistently refuses to acknowledge their needs in signal sequencing, pedestrians refuse to acknowledge designated times and crossing points. A culture of indiscipline – albeit a modest national trait – is magnified where design fails to respond to need. In the case of cycling, quiet back streets are usually the safest and most comfortable for cycling, but invariably are one-way streets – often lightly trafficked. Likewise, direct major arteries such as Dame Street often end in a dead-end for cyclists as a result of the one-way system for access to Grafton Street. St. Stephen’s Green is another case in point, as charted earlier (also bearing in mind that convoluted one-way and diversion systems take a fraction of the time for a vehicle to navigate than a cyclist).

What we need in Dublin is proper for provision for cyclists that responds to their needs, that over time - and it will take time – to eradicate the unmanaged cycling culture that has developed in the city in recent years.
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