As many of you will know, I see the bicycle as an efficient solution to a lot of our cities problems with congestion, and pollution and that if we can move people from cars to bicycles we will be able to make a difference in our attempts to reduce carbon consumption and avoid catastrophic climate change. I cycle to work daily, but there are many challenges, which I believe put other people off travelling in this way. I think we need a comprehensively designed cycling network to make cycling easier for all.
Staff in Cork Hospitals have asked their council to make it safer for them to get to work: Irish Cycle .com -Medics seek support for hospital Greenway. My own workplace is near the Royal Canal Greenway. However, despite a cycle lane across the hospital campus, I have to travel in the wrong direction and ‘around a block’ to reach the greenway, or alternatively cross a motorway access roundabout.
The solution is a network of cycle lanes and greenways that gets people to where they need to be. Greenways need to connect places of employment and education, rather than simply being slotted in where space happens to be found, which seems to be the current plan. We have been left with a patchwork of lanes which dump you back into the main stream of traffic at every pinch point.
The Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network plan, (see link here) has been on the National Transport Authority website since 2013, but we hear very little about it. It needs to be revisited and reinvigorated.
The two canal routes need to be linked, so that leisure cyclist can have a circuit to get around. The Phoenix park needs to be brought into the network. Roads which are having their bus services reduced by BusConnects could have their cycle facilities enhanced, so that the two networks complement each other. Cycle superhighways like the canal routes need to branch out in certain places, so that the Royal Canal Route interfaces with the Tolka Valley and gets people safely up the N3 corridor. Lots of fresh thinking is needed.