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Enforcing cycle lane would prevent drivers from parking (illegally) outside Presbyterian church, claims Dublin elder

Church says new bollards designed to prevent drivers parking on bike lane would bring disruption and impede “constitutional right to worship”

A Presbyterian church in Dublin has criticised plans to segregate an existing cycle lane from traffic, which it says will prevent worshippers from continuing to park – illegally – outside the church.

Parking is currently prohibited on the street in front of Howth Presbyterian Church due to the presence of a non-segregated bike lane which runs from Sutton to Howth, two Dublin suburbs. Fingal County Council plans to install bollards along this route as part of a £3.2 million programme aimed at “developing safer infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians in towns and villages across the County”. 

However, the plans have come under fire from the local church. Elder Michael Sparksman told the Irish Times that the proposed bollards would mean that “the right to worship is being overtaken by the right to cycle.” 

“The council suggested people walk, cycle or take public transport but that is really not viable given our age profile and the distances people come from,” Sparksman said.

The church elder admitted that parking on the current cycle lane outside the church is “not strictly” permitted, but said that a “common sense” approach has ensured that no churchgoers have been ticketed for parking illegally during services.

Sparksman also noted that one of the council’s suggestions is that parishioners could park in Howth village and walk to the church, which itself has on-site parking. “That would take 15-20 minutes and what are they to do in the rain? It is an attitude that beggars belief and borders on arrogance.”

“We have a constitutional right to worship. People have been going to worship in this church for 121 years. For the council to decide we can’t do that because we can’t access the place is plain wrong.”

In 2017 Tonya McEvoy, a childcare worker from Co. Dublin, was killed during an Orwell Wheelers club ride after a motorist crossed over a continuous white line to avoid cars parked illegally by people attending a nearby church. 

Meanwhile, a vicar in Henley, Oxfordshire, has criticised the proposed introduction of a cycle route on the pathway between Church Street and Hamilton Avenue. Rev Duncan Carter of Holy Trinity Church claimed that the new route would endanger children who use the current path to walk to school. 

However, the proposals were praised by town councillor Laurence Plant, who argued that the new route would encourage cyclists who lacked confidence on the road or young families to ride their bikes safely.

“Henley is quite difficult to navigate not using the main arterial routes”, he said. “This is a good attempt to make Henley safer and easier to navigate.”

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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46 comments

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Jenova20 | 2 years ago
0 likes

Silly me, thinking roads were for transport - instead of car storage...

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Pedal those squares | 2 years ago
1 like

So if they are not allowed to walk to chruch.....how did they get there 120 years ago?

https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/motors/pastimperfect-1.393382

I think this line sums it up:

RJ Mecredy founded Motor News, Ireland's first motoring magazine and Europe's fifth, in Dublin in 1900 - there were only about 50 cars on Irish roads at that time.

 

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Hirsute replied to Pedal those squares | 2 years ago
0 likes

Everyone lived in walking distance or used a horse and cart.

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Captain Badger replied to Hirsute | 2 years ago
1 like
hirsute wrote:

Everyone lived in walking distance or used a horse and cart.

Except for the proto-motorists, who lived in walking distance and used a horse and cart. Each.

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Rendel Harris replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
3 likes

And wrote letters to the parish council about the proliferation of reckless knickerbocker-clad dandy horse riders.

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chrisonabike | 2 years ago
1 like

Simple fix - drive-in church. "In my Father's house are many garages..."

 

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mdavidford replied to chrisonabike | 2 years ago
2 likes

No-one comes to the Father except through the ANPR.

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chrisonabike replied to mdavidford | 2 years ago
1 like

Jesus Chrysler! That's literally the mark of the beast!

No, I was thinking more of this kind of Ministry...

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ZaphodsSpareHead | 2 years ago
3 likes

I don't see the problem. Why can't they just abandon their cars in the middle of the road in a "not strictly permitted" manner instead of the cycle lane? It'll then be safe for their parishioners who use mobility scooters.

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Captain Badger replied to ZaphodsSpareHead | 2 years ago
3 likes
ZaphodsSpareHead wrote:

I don't see the problem. Why can't they just abandon their cars in the middle of the road in a "not strictly permitted" manner instead of the cycle lane? It'll then be safe for their parishioners who use mobility scooters.

Wanna know why? I'll tell you what it's all about. Punk Rockers!

 

 

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chrisonabike replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
1 like

Is ska ok?

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Rendel Harris | 2 years ago
9 likes

If I did genuinely believe in some form of cosmic teapot and that he/she/it wanted me to worship him/her/it, and that this would bring me a rather large bonus in the afterlife, I don't think a fifteen minute walk - even in the rain - would put me off. I believe that Jesus says, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God," he didn't add "unless there be no convenient parking or it raineth."

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Type17 | 2 years ago
7 likes

I cycle this road regularly, both on Sundays and other days, and it's only an issue on Sunday mornings, with generally no vehicles parked at other times. However, that means that when there is a parking issue, there are also a lot more cyclists (nearby Howth Hill is a popular Sunday climb), and I have had issues with parked vehicles blocking the footpath/road/painted bike lane on a number of occasions (having to take the primary position because of oncoming traffic, then getting abuse from moron drivers coming up behind, etc). There is space in the grounds of the church and Minister's house next door, and there are usually fewer than ten cars outside, so I can't believe that more space-efficient parking there and/or car-pooling from the village, about 1km away, couldn't solve the issue.

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wycombewheeler | 2 years ago
7 likes

“We have a constitutional right to worship. People have been going to worship in this church for 121 years. For the council to decide we can’t do that because we can’t access the place is plain wrong.”

pretty sure the congregaton didn't all turn up in cars 120 years ago.

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hawkinspeter replied to wycombewheeler | 2 years ago
2 likes
wycombewheeler wrote:

pretty sure the congregaton didn't all turn up in cars 120 years ago.

Maybe they all used some old Wolseleys?

//images1.bonhams.com/image?src=Images/live/2007-03/27/7425033-4-1.jpg)

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muhasib | 2 years ago
4 likes

The Rev. Carter states he supports cycle lanes but not in this case, how predictable. While we are concerned with Henley lets not forget this tragic event: https://road.cc/content/news/95681-pharmaceutical-consultant-who-killed-...

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hawkinspeter replied to muhasib | 2 years ago
1 like
muhasib wrote:

The Rev. Carter states he supports cycle lanes but not in this case, how predictable. While we are concerned with Henley lets not forget this tragic event: https://road.cc/content/news/95681-pharmaceutical-consultant-who-killed-...

Was that the killer Dr Helen Measures?

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Captain Badger replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
5 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:
muhasib wrote:

The Rev. Carter states he supports cycle lanes but not in this case, how predictable. While we are concerned with Henley lets not forget this tragic event: https://road.cc/content/news/95681-pharmaceutical-consultant-who-killed-...

Was that the killer Dr Helen Measures?

Are you are talking about Helen Measures, the driver that killed a 21 year old woman with her life in front of her, through sheer incompetence, negligence, selfishness, entitlement and arrogance? That Helen Measures? the Helen Measures who practically got away scot-free with murder?

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Captain Badger replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
4 likes
Captain Badger wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:
muhasib wrote:

The Rev. Carter states he supports cycle lanes but not in this case, how predictable. While we are concerned with Henley lets not forget this tragic event: https://road.cc/content/news/95681-pharmaceutical-consultant-who-killed-...

Was that the killer Dr Helen Measures?

Are you are talking about Helen Measures, the driver that killed a 21 year old woman with her life in front of her, through sheer incompetence, negligence, selfishness, entitlement and arrogance? That Helen Measures? the Helen Measures who practically got away scot-free with murder?

Just to make sure we're talking about the correct Helen Measures, the Helen Measures with the brass neck to stand up in court and blame the victim?

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SimoninSpalding replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
0 likes
Captain Badger wrote:
Captain Badger wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:
muhasib wrote:

The Rev. Carter states he supports cycle lanes but not in this case, how predictable. While we are concerned with Henley lets not forget this tragic event: https://road.cc/content/news/95681-pharmaceutical-consultant-who-killed-...

Was that the killer Dr Helen Measures?

Are you are talking about Helen Measures, the driver that killed a 21 year old woman with her life in front of her, through sheer incompetence, negligence, selfishness, entitlement and arrogance? That Helen Measures? the Helen Measures who practically got away scot-free with murder?

Just to make sure we're talking about the correct Helen Measures, the Helen Measures with the brass neck to stand up in court and blame the victim?

Nurse, bring his tablets, someone has mentioned that bl**dy Measures woman again!

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Captain Badger replied to SimoninSpalding | 2 years ago
0 likes
SimoninSpalding wrote:

..... Nurse, bring his tablets, someone has mentioned that bl**dy Measures woman again!

Thanks. Two large ones please

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brooksby replied to Captain Badger | 2 years ago
2 likes
Captain Badger wrote:
Captain Badger wrote:
hawkinspeter wrote:
muhasib wrote:

The Rev. Carter states he supports cycle lanes but not in this case, how predictable. While we are concerned with Henley lets not forget this tragic event: https://road.cc/content/news/95681-pharmaceutical-consultant-who-killed-...

Was that the killer Dr Helen Measures?

Are you are talking about Helen Measures, the driver that killed a 21 year old woman with her life in front of her, through sheer incompetence, negligence, selfishness, entitlement and arrogance? That Helen Measures? the Helen Measures who practically got away scot-free with murder?

Just to make sure we're talking about the correct Helen Measures, the Helen Measures with the brass neck to stand up in court and blame the victim?

You mean Dr Helen Measures who felt it wasn't her fault if someone fell off their bike in front of her because she drove at them on a blind bend and she then drove over them?  That Dr Helen Measures?

And her quoted statement during the trial, just for reference:

Quote:

'I can’t help it if a cyclist, with all due respect, falls over as I’m approaching them and comes into my line of travel.

'I would expect cyclists to generally remain upright as the first cyclist did and went past.

'When I looked, it was sufficiently clear not to stop me doing that manoeuvre.

'You do not make a manoeuvre if you don’t think it is safe to do so.

'Had everyone stayed upright, there would not have been an issue.

'I had my daughter in the car. I do not drive without due care and attention.'

(Sorry, only just read this thread this far down...).

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hawkinspeter replied to brooksby | 2 years ago
2 likes

Yes, it was the infamous killer Dr Helen Measures

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hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
7 likes

There's a history of oppression of people and their various beliefs and religions (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_persecution) and unfortunately it still happens around the world, so it's a topic that should be addressed. However, I'm not convinced that preventing a bit of parking next to their church really fits the definition.

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Captain Badger replied to hawkinspeter | 2 years ago
2 likes
hawkinspeter wrote:

There's a history of oppression of people and their various beliefs and religions (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_persecution) and unfortunately it still happens around the world, so it's a topic that should be addressed. However, I'm not convinced that preventing a bit of parking next to their church really fits the definition.

On Wiki you say?

Soon fix that......

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NPlus1Bikelights | 2 years ago
0 likes

NOMCs

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TheBillder | 2 years ago
12 likes

As God is omnipresent, the faithful can worship any time, any place, anywhere (sorry for the tautology but roller skates and Martini).

Nothing is stopping them from exercising their superstition and there must be thousands of urban churches where parking directly outside is prohibited,and the prohibition is enforced.

Down with this sort of thing, to quote my theological guide.

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Captain Badger replied to TheBillder | 2 years ago
2 likes
TheBillder wrote:

As God is omnipresent, the faithful can worship any time.....

Heretic! Let's burn him!

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Moist von Lipwig | 2 years ago
15 likes

so by his own logic, the eldery could not access the church in 1901 unless they owned a car? and walking (in the rain or otherwise) was not practical?

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PX123 replied to Moist von Lipwig | 2 years ago
3 likes

The church only became viable once the motorcar had been invented

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