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Dublin could have cycle lanes protected by rows of parked cars

Proposals could see miles of segregated routes around the south of the city

Dublin is considering plans to move cycle lanes, so that they are placed between the pavement and a line of parked cars, in an effort to protect cyclists from moving traffic.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) is commissioning a feasibility study to see whether bringing the proposals to the south of the city might make riding safer.

It’s thought that a new route, called the “Georgian Parkway”, could link the Grand Canal premium cycle route, to all the south Georgian squares.

The system of using parked cars as a safety barrier is already used by some cities, including Copenhagen and Montreal.

“The concept of ‘Parking Protected Cycle Lanes’ is that parked cars, instead of being the hazard to cyclists they now are, could be used to protect cyclists from traffic,” Fine Gael city councillor and doctor Paddy Smyth, who proposed the idea, told the Irish Times.

“It involves reconfiguring the road so that you put the cycle path directly adjacent to the footpath. You then have a buffer zone, just under three foot wide between the cars the and cyclists, then the parked cars, then the road.

“Given the negligible capital investment required and the massive potential increase in amenity to both bicycle commuters and tourists using the Dublin bike scheme, it really is a no-brainer. The only capital investment required for the this entire network is paint.”

There would be some parking spaces lost, but Dr Smyth called this ‘fractional’.

“If completed, a family will be able to cycle from Tallaght along the Dodder Greenway, which is currently being developed, to Grand Canal Dock, along the Grand Canal greenway to Mount Street Upper, and then all they way into Merrion Square, Stephen’s Green or even the Iveagh Gardens and never once have to cycle beside a moving car,” Dr Smyth said.

Dublin has seen its fair share of cycling concerns in recent weeks, with just this week a cyclist dying from his injuries after colliding with a pedestrian in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

A 59-year-old man from Castleknock, was riding in the cycling lane of Chesterfield Avenue in the direction of the city at around 8.40pm on Monday. Between the Castleknock Gate and Áras an Uachtaráin he collided with a man in his 30s.

The cyclist was taken to Beaumont Hospital but died from his injuries on Wednesday night.

And while Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary can never be said to speak for all Dubliners, he was out and about this week making controversial remarks – his latest being a suggestion that cyclists should be taken out and shot.

The businessman made his comments in a keynote speech at the Creative Minds conference at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin this week.

At the event, organised by the US Embassy, he took aim at the city council’s ambitions to get more people cycling.

"That's all we need in Dublin is more blooming bicycles," he said. "In a country where it rains about 250 days a year, the way forward for Dublin is more bicycles.

“Let's just go back to walking altogether. Soon we'll be living in caves designed by Dublin City Council. Traffic won't work, there's nowhere to park the cars and yet this is a smarter way forward.

“We should take the cyclists out and shoot them."

 

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