Did you miss the Public Meeting? Catch up here...
We had a big crowd and a great buzz at our first Public Meeting since lockdown, run by Ellen Cullen, our new Campaign chairperson, in the Teachers’ Club in Parnell Square.
First there was some Campaign business…
Long-term member Conor Cahill gave us an overview of the re-structuring of our national body, Cyclist.ie — this is needed to separate Cyclist.ie from Dublin Cycling Campaign, legally and financially. The re-structuring is being led by our member Sandra Velthuis; Sandra has had long working experience of how NGOs operate and their organisation.
Vinnie Meyler, Secretary of the Campaign, announced that planning is starting for our DCC Annual Members’ Meeting (probably happening in October) and we’ll be looking for new candidates for our Executive Committee. Check our newsletter in September and do consider stepping up if you feel you have skills that could help improve Dublin’s environment for people on bikes. An article on the 2021 AMM is posted here.
AND, keep an eye on ‘events’ on the website for details on our Summer Fun Cycle, set for Sunday July 10th. It’ll be absolutely awesome.
After some introductions, we started the World Café part of the meeting. Our aim was to give members a chance to get to know each other, and to talk about cycling conditions in their part of Dublin.
How we feel Dublin’s developing
Ellen and meeting organiser Siobhán McNamara divided the room into the four corners of Dublin. Each corner noted the strengths and weaknesses of their part of town…
People from the northwest expressed concerns about Phibsboro and Drumcondra districts. New facilities on Griffith Avenue, while a bit narrow and swamped with plastic poles, are a huge improvement, but further out Collins Avenue needs work, particularly at junctions. Parnell Square has been greatly improved, and the North Liffey quays are better, but patchy.
Northeasterners rejoiced in the wonderful Clontarf promenade — though cyclists going at high speed were mentioned as a safety concern here. Linking that facility towards the Liffey is to be helped with a temporary East Wall Road scheme, but that only runs to East Road - a bit frustrating. Royal Canal improvements from North Strand to Phibsboro are eagerly anticipated — fingers crossed funding remains available. And the lovely Portmarnock-Baldoyle greenway was praised, though its disconnection from any other route is a downside.
In the southeast, there was mourning for the delays on the planned Sandymount Strand Road facility, and celebration of the Dun Laoghaire Coastal Mobility Route — recently bestowed with an international award! Also in the good books was the Nassau Street contra-flow scheme, while the South Quays got a ‘good-bit-then-bad-bit-then-partly-good’ sort of review. The East Link bridge was put on the naughty step as a really hostile place for people on bikes.
Members from southwest Dublin decried Terenure and Templeogue villages as poor, and deplored the lack of cycle lanes on busy, wide Clogher and Sundrive roads. But the southwest has the gorgeous new Dodder Greenway, now in use by huge numbers of families and people wheeling and walking.
Common themes across the whole city were that enforcement of parking, speeding and overtaking rules is inadequate.
Also, BusConnects is a bit of an unknown quantity at the moment — several people said that the quality of the designs for cycling could be better, and that the success of the whole plan depends on keeping bus and bike lanes clear of private cars — again, this isn’t well enforced even now. But it was agreed that the idea of rolling out better-connected bus and bike lanes in general is great, and should be supported. (The Campaign made a submission about the plans for BusConnects Corridor 1 — it’s posted here).
Bike bunkers, costing €100 a year per bike while residential car parking permits are €40, should be much more accessible for the public.
It was just brilliant to meet in person after the long lockdowns and finally share stories and experiences of getting around Dublin by bike. The feedback will help the Campaign’s Exec decide what to focus on over the coming year.
Council inside track
After the groups reported, we asked Campaign member and City Councillor Janet Horner to tell us a little about what the Council’s working on. Some good news is that the 11-year old Cycle Network Plan is being moved forward over coming months. Plans will be reviewed by the 5 Local Area Committees. Each plan will need YOUR support — Do look your local Committee members up here and email or phone them saying you support cycle lanes and you vote! We don’t have a timescale yet for which routes are first, so you could just email quickly now and ask them if they’ve heard about upcoming schemes. We’ll post any further info we get on the website.
OK… Keep in touch on our website, social media, or check your inbox for our newsletter, which will have details of our next public meeting. Until then, have a happy summer’s biking!
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