Re: Re: Dublin’s Bicycle Clutter
So, as I was walking back from my local shop this evening (In London) I watched this bellend cycling with no lights/hi-vis, no helmet and no handed going the wrong way on a narrow and fast moving one way road, reading a text on a phone in his left hand and making a call from another phone in his right hand and then wobbles in front of a car. Unfortunately he managed to avoid it, just. So, FXR, maybe you have a point after all. Some people are muppets, and sometimes these muppets get on a bike (or in a car, or on the footpath). However I still contend that for a cyclist with his/her wits about them, bending a few rules is not a big deal, and a lot of the time it would be silly not to. Responsible cycling, does not necessarily mean pedantically abiding by every law, especially if those laws were made with the motorist in mind, and not the cyclist.
Moving along a bit. I have an issue with the title of this thread. Why doesn’t it read “Dublin’s Automobile Clutter”? The problem here is clearly not the cyclist, its the car. (For the record, I have a licence, and occasionally do drive and when I drive I do follow all the rules as meant for motorists.) But I cannot think of a single good reason why a city like Dublin could not be car free, after all its no LA. With the exception of deliveries, tradesmen, emergency services and mobility impaired, what average commuter actually needs a car? With a half-decent road bike, any able bodied adult should be able to manage a 10km cycle in no more than 30-40mins, and 10km each way is entirely within reason for a daily commute. For scale that’s roughly the distance from Dun Laoighre to St Stephen’s Green.
Cars are terrible things in cities, they should be left outside, a busy roadway is as divisive as a river, they pollute and cause congestion, they knock people down. I cannot think of a single negative consequence to a cycle dominant city but plenty of positives, nor can I think of any real reason why it could not be achieved (and no, being lazy and fat and afraid of the rain is not an excuse)
It’s not a case of the odd cyclist acting recklessly or a few occasions where cyclists mount the footpath to avoid a dangerous situation. In Dublin the vast majority of cyclists go from A to B by the most convenient route regardless of pedestrian areas, rules of the road or the safety of themselves or anyone else. Not one person has provided any evidence to the contrary. The thread is not called Dublin,s Automotive clutter for the same reason it’s not called Dublin’s Georgian Façades.
Motorists in Dublin pay thousands of euro in taxes, levies and have a myriad of rules and regulations to deal with. If cars were not necessary a lot less people would buy them. The bicycle will never completely replace the car. Pretty soon the powers that be are going to bring in a congestion charge. That still will not take all the cars out of Dublin city centre. There are not enough underpasses or bypassing bridges and not enough space.
Forcing people onto bicycles sounds like Pol Pot decreeing it’s back to Year of the Two Wheels. Public transport in Dublin is inadequate to say the least. Dublin does not have a uBahn and the bus timetables seem at times to have been written by Hans Christian Anderson. As bad as it is bus routes are being reduced and as is the number of buses on those routes that remain. Most people don’t have jobs where they can arrive soaked to the skin neither can they carry their goods safely on a bicycle. Dublins roads are badly maintained, badly planned, cramped and not regulated enough. Cycle lanes are badly planned to the point of being a joke and drivers park in them while many lanes even pass through bus stops. On top of all this the majority of cyclists do everything they can to make things as dangerous as possible for themselves and others.
In this video you can even see where all the elements combine just in one busy little side street:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi10h5sySkE