Gardaí urged to make cycle lanes and tracks safe for use
Dublin Cycling Campaign (DCC) “liberated” a section of cycle lane on Ranelagh Road (near Elmpark Avenue), Dublin 6, between 8.30 and 9.30am on Friday 31 July to highlight the issue of illegal parking in cycle lanes and the danger and discomfort this poses to people travelling by bike. This problem is well known to anyone who cycles regularly in Dublin and other urban areas yet An Garda Síochána only managed nationally to issue 144 fines to drivers who parked illegally in cycle lanes in all of 2014.
Why do we get upset by this? When a cycle lane is blocked it forces people on bikes to veer into the main stream of traffic. This is particularly problematic and scary for children and those new to urban cycling.
Dublin Cycling Campaign recently started the Twitter campaign #FreeTheCycleLanes @Dublincycling to highlight the issue. Hundreds of instances of illegal parking in cycle lanes/clearways during their period of operation have been posted already. See http://freethecyclelanes.vool.ie/ for a compilation.
The Garda response is that they are reluctant to target drivers who park illegally because the drivers are trying to make our cities work economically – for deliveries, etc.
“An Garda Síochána are using ‘discretionary policing’ to allow motorists to park willy-nilly in cycle lanes, rather than considering how to make the roads safer for people who cycle…….or might cycle if conditions were more conducive” says Keith Byrne, Chair of Dublin Cycling Campaign.
Dublin Cycling Campaign is calling for the serious issues of speeding, dangerous overtaking and parking in cycle lanes to be addressed in a way that will make Irish roads safe and attractive environments in which to walk or cycle for people of all ages and abilities.
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