Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dublin City Cycle

I'm all for getting more people on their bikes in Dublin City... kinda...

I think the council and the government have got it all arseways to be honest. Suddenly throwing a few thousand more people out on to the streets on bikes without improving road conditions or providing proper training is a fucking joke if you pardon my French.

The one thing more dangerous than motor vehicle users in the city is other cyclists. I'm more scared of middle aged women on hybrids than I am of HGV's. You never know what the fuck they're going to do!

The whole attitude to cycling in the city has to be changed, and that is going to take a lot of time, maybe a generation. It has to start in schools by providing children with weekly cycling classes, getting them comfortable on bikes from an early age. There should be government subsidised adult lessons available as well, cycling with small groups around the city, with experienced city cyclists, like messengers, teaching adults how to assert themselves in traffic and stop feeling like targets. If cyclists can't look over their shoulder to check traffic and still ride in a straight line they shouldn't be riding in traffic, in my opinion.

The whole network of cycle lanes needs to be adressed as well. While there are some decent ones in the suburbs, along the canals for instance, their overall design seems to be from the standpoint of people who do not ride bikes in the city.

Drivers need to be made more aware of how the cycling infrastructure works. Bicycle traffic lights, eg. Bull Alley/Golden lane do not exist in drivers eyes. I've been nearly slammed twice recently at this intersection while following the 'cycle' green light. Bike boxes at junctions, that are there to allow cyclists to get ahead of the traffic for making turns etc. are always just sat in by cars, forcing cyclists to go beyond this and in many cases through the pedestrian area in order to make their turn. I appreciate that most of this is not due to driver negligence, but due to lack of education.

These arguments and more have been argued a hundred times on many websites, the reason I bring it up again here is because of the Dublin City Cycle that took place at the weekend.
Not only am I infuriated that the same ignorant asses that told us 'not in a million years' when we proposed our route for CMWC organise this 8km traffic free ride through the city, using part of the course we proposed (I always suspected it was because we're couriers, and I feel that has been confirmed), I'm also aggrieved that they feel that this might somehow contribute positively to cycling in the city. Why not spend the money on making the roads a bit safer or on some education, showing people what the streets are like without traffic only highlights how dangerous it is when there is traffic on the roads.

Finally, the partners for this event included the Dublin Transport Office, The Department of the Environment andEuropean Mobility Week. Can I ask why we didn't have this cycle on, say, a Saturday afternoon? Might have had more of an impact on the public consciousness. What traffic is there in dublin at 9.30 am on a Sunday morning? Cowards.

Apologies for the disjointed nature of this 'rant', but when I get emotional I can't order my thoughts very well.


Anonymous said...

Same sort of assessment on the boards.ie cycling forum


Re a courier race, a non-backalley backalley, perhaps approach Cycling Ireland, who knows they may be amenable and give some support, or a bit of weight behind the idea.

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