Hmmmm... I could spend a week jotting down my observations and feelings on this subject and still only be scratching the surface. A few to begin with:
DCC Director of Traffic (Eoin Keegan?) was reported as saying at the Velo-city conference in May that he believed that the cycle lane network in Dublin has not worked- numbers of cyclists have not risen despite the provision of a city-wide network. To which I would reply, it's one thing to provide cycle lanes, another thing to maintain
them. Daily I cycle the N11 and I can not recall it being cleaned even once- in fact, where the lane is 'on road', it regularly becomes the area into which broken glass etc. from the road is cleared. Not only that, the installation job was done so cheaply in the first place that the red tarmac surface has lifted in various places down through the years.
Also, wheelie bins, bus stops (with passengers and luggage) and parked cars are a regular feature of the obstacle course. For the record- parking on cycle lanes (full-time, or during their 'active' hours) is prohibited, end of story (Dublin parking regulations, 1962). I don't care if you're just popping in for two seconds to drop back that overdue DVD, or if you're unloading a marquee and need to park right at the driveway of the house. Park somewhere else, somewhere legal.
However, I think part of the problem is that the N11 lane was so badly designed in the beginning. I once had a running argument with a motorcycle Garda (who had incorrectly accused me of breaking a red light) for a few hundred metres as I pointed out that the lane was an inconvenience to use- at each driveway, junction, patch of broken glass, parked car etc I'd say 'inconvenience', until after 15 or so instances of this he just sped off. Some 'improvements' have been made to the lane in the last few years, but it all still gives the impression that it was designed for the convenience of motorists rather than for the safety of cyclists.
Finally (before this turns into a thesis), I wish cyclists would be more law-abiding. If you want to go against the flow of a one-way street, get off and walk. Red lights apply to all road-users, not just the motorised variety. Footpaths are for feet. If we are going to shout loudly that our rights aren't being respected, we must make sure that we are respecting the rules of the road ourselves. Even minor infringements give motorists the ammunition they need to dismiss us all with one gesture ('bloody cyclists'). And if a motorist does right by you (even if it's just them acting lawfully), be grateful and show it. This is a PR matter as much as a legal one.
Now look what you've started, Devin.
I'm sure I'll be back soon.