Re: Re: Dublin’s Bicycle Clutter
Personally I have only skipped lights when I have felt my safety is in danger if I pull out at the same time as the heavy traffic beside me. Fo example high trucks and buses if they don’t see me can pull into the left and crush me easily – this has nearly happened to me a few times. I’m sorry but the fact is most experienced cyclists know instinctively when their life is at risk in certain situations and you just can’t follow everything by the book in many situations. Especially in a poorly planned city like Dublin. I think you forget just how vulnerable a cyclist is to serious injury on a daily basis if they don’t keep their eyes open. And sometimes that involves pulling onto a pavement if you think you are going to be hit by a truck or bus.
I took these photos on Ormond Quay
I know how vulnerable cyclists are David. In fact I may be far more aware of the dangers than an awful lot of cyclists seem to be. Just look at this behaviour which is common and recurring: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkMRHupiXlU
I was sitting in traffic not so long ago. Looking up at the junction a truck came into view signalling to turn towards me. All the indicators were flashing. Being a bigger vehicle he has to pass the centre of the junction to make the turn. As the cab broke left a cyclist came into view alongside the truck, head down, peddling away, oblivious to everything. The front wheel knocked him off the bike. He went face down on the road and was desperately pawing the ground as the truck swept over him. The centre bulge of the axle caught his bulky back pack which jerked his body to his left. His head went under the front wheel. He died instantly though I imagine to him his last minutes felt like an eternity. He had a wife and children.
I was about a hundred metres away looking straight at him. I went to the inquest about a year later as a witness. A fire brigade officer, over a cup of coffee, gave me some more of the details I could have done without. He described the cyclists face mashed into the spokes of the bike. Over a year after the accident the truck driver still hadn’t recovered. He had a nervous breakdown. That’s not the only time I’ve been on a street when a cyclist got killed.
The root of the problem is Dublin City Council who seem to be absent most of the time. I can name one problem after another on the streets. A lot of them only need some paint and intelligent planning to fix. Today I was talking to a friend of mine. The entrance to his business is constantly blocked by a parked car. The street was dug up one time then patched with tar which covered the double yellow lines. He’s been reporting the problem constantly and trying to get the double lines repainted. That’s been going on for 9 years now.
If there are situations where it can be proven by research that there are instances where the law should be changed then that’s what should be done. In the meantime DCC has established by their failure to run the city that widespread breaking of the law is acceptable. It’s “Do What Yah Like Dublin” because there’s nobody watching.
Many streets in Dublin necessitate thinking beyond the rules of the road for pure safety reasons. Cycling along the quays is one case in point. Coming from the Point the cycle lane disappears up and down onto and off the road in incredibly dangerous ways if you were to follow them. They actually encourage you to pull onto the road, into traffic. No one in their right mind would do this. All for the sake of a badly planned cycle lane that doesn’t run in a straight line, on one of the most dangerous roads in Dublin center.
It’s as if the inhabitants of Dublin City Council offices travel in and out of the city by helicopter. Any individual resident of Dublin city could walk around for a day and make a list of problems just by looking at the state of the place.
In terms of parking there should could easily be more parking spaces allocated to bikes in laneways off the main road to avoid clutter. The parking frames are also very poorly designed in many areas of the city IMO. The should be angled – not straight and eating up half the pavement space – most are not. They should also be properly spaced – not crammed together – most are not. Try getting your bike out of the bike parking space at stephen’s green shopping center and you’ll see what I mean.
I think this illustrates your point;
Also many of the bikes parked in the spaces are dead bikes that have been there for months and are eating up valuable parking space. There ar a few of these on Dawson street. One that was being abused by the Celtic Whiskey Company for advertising, which they eventually took away, but left the broken bike they were using to secure the spot.
This kind of thing:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aeos7H8xLdQ
The Council themselves have been placing parking rings on many of the poles in the city recently. Maybe they just need more of these. Dublin is full of poles as we well know, but there are plenty of opportunity for well designed bike parking if it properly planned and designed. As it is there isn’t either. Again, you should be taking this to the DCC and their useless new ‘cycle officer’, not blaming cyclists.
I looked at those rings. That DCC put them up doesn’t really recommend them. You’ll find an example on Trinity street. In the video Dublin’s Bicycle Clutter you can see a cyclists on one of those small trick bikes squeezing past two pensioners right where a bike is locked to one of the rings. The street cleaners I spoke to told me bikes locked to poles mean that a part of the street can’t be cleaned. The situation basically is this: you can more or less lock a bike to anything anywhere any time.
The one place you’ll almost certainly never see a bike locked is a bus stop. The bus drivers tell me that Dublin Bus have any bikes locked to Bus Stops removed. I’m not inclined to take that without reservation. None of the bus drivers could subsequently tell me of ever having come across the situation.