Why cyclists don’t like cycle lanes – part 2 of many

By Alastair McDermott | November 17th, 2006

Cycle lanes are not the buggers that cause my left eye to twitch uncontrollably, my real problem is with cycle paths .

What’s the difference? Simple enough: the former are on-road lanes, the latter are off-road, shared with pedestrians and bus stops and such-like. Have a look at cyclopath2001′s definitions – fantastic site and the photos in this post are from his site. Some of Dublins Hundreds of Kilometres of cycle routes - quote from CorporationOk, you’re still with me?

Likes: GSOH, non-smoker, on-road. Dislikes: pedestrians, off-road, bus stops. But let’s be realistic: in Ireland both the on-road and off-road variants suck.

The issue we have with cycle routes in Ireland is summarised thusly:

1. Cyclists are required by law to use the cycle lanes, where provided.

2. The incompetent moronic non-cyclists, may they forever suffer somewhere unpleasant, who “designed” these cycle lanes, well, they’re idiots. Or corrupt.

Actually, as anyone with the slightest knowledge of Irish politics will realise, those last two aren’t mutually exclusive. I have slightly more respect for the guys taking money. May they suffer for infinity-minus-one in the aforementioned unpleasant place.

Ok, so we’ve established, quite vehemently, that I am not a fan of off-road cycle paths. Why?

Because in Dublin they are badly designed, implemented and unmaintained. They are dangerous. They are uncomfortable to cycle on. They lend support to motorists who believe that cyclists should not be on the road.More laughable attempts at Engineering from Dublin Corporation. Leave it to the professionals, guys!

There are several that are seriously dangerous – particularly the one on the North Strand going downhill into the city centre which laughably crosses a bus stop and 3 side roads before dumping the cyclist back into traffic over a kerb and into a junction with traffic lights, and traffic turning left across the arriving cyclist. Wait, wait – I’m not done! This joke of a cycle path is shared with pedestrians and is runs parallel to a busy housing estate. Was I being harsh on the incompetent morons? You decide.

Here’s what I posted on the Fingal Safe Cycling blog comments:

The compulsory use of inappropriate cycle facilities is anathema to anyone who cycles for more than family outtings. Bicycles are vehicles and are the chosen, often sole, mode of transport for many of us. If successful, your campaign may force North Dublin cycle commuters onto completely inappropriate cycle paths designed for a different purpose, and they would have every reason to oppose your campaign as they are likely to be on that route day in, day out.

Are you laughing or crying yet?

I understand and support their campaign to have safer places for kids to cycle, and I hope they’re understanding of the position of daily cycling commuters and why more inappropriate cycle lanes is worse than the status quo of inadequacy.

Read part one of  Why cyclists don’t like cycle lanes.

Comments

By Cheesecloth on November 23rd, 2006 at 5:49 pm

I don’t think that track on the North Strand is actually a cycle lane any more (if it ever was). There are no signs indicating the start or end of the track. Remember that if the guards ever hassle you for riding in the bus lane.

Hey Cheesecloth. Yeah I absolutely hate that one and have used it once (the first time!) out of many, many trips that way. I always use the bus lane now, and since I’m usually fairly moving on that section it’s never any hassle.

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