Stop The Cycle of Hate

at | 137 Replies

Do you cycle?

This year has been the deadliest for cycling in almost a decade with 15 people killed while cycling on Irish roads… a 50% increase on 2016.

Kieran Ryan, of the Dublin Cycling Campaign writes:

…As the rate of fatal collisions has increased, so too has the level of hostility faced by people who cycle. Acts of impatience and aggression have become everyday occurrences and contribute to a sense that our roads are becoming less safe.

One factor that adds to this animosity is the hate speech against cyclists that is frequently published and broadcast by various media outlets, without the usual checks and balances that are applied to other minority groups.

Some people might feel that the use of the term “hate speech” is overly dramatic, but I have struggled to find another phrase that accurately describes the vitriol that is hurled at cycling advocates anytime they try to highlight the serious issues facing people who cycle in Ireland.

Hate speech can be defined as anything that incites prejudice or violence towards a targeted group of people. Many media organisations are wantonly publishing articles and opinion pieces about cycling, and cyclists, that meet this definition.

Likewise the radio and TV stations whose “shock jock” hosts spout accusations of widespread law-breaking by people on bikes, and gleefully read out tweets and texts to back up their own biased views.

Every time a cycling advocate appears on TV or radio they are bombarded with claims of misbehaviour and deviance. These defamatory assaults would not be directed at, nor accepted by, representatives of any other minority group, so why is it deemed acceptable to direct hate at people who choose to cycle?

….People on bikes have enough problems negotiating deathtrap junction layouts and cycle lanes that resemble obstacle courses. They do not need the further challenge of dealing with otherwise sane drivers being wound up by what they see and hear in the media.

It is time for Irish media organisations to start taking their responsibility on this topic seriously. If they continue to ferment antagonism towards a group of vulnerable road users like cyclists, it is inevitable that they will be at least partly responsible for someone dying or being seriously injured on our roads.

Cycle-hate is potent, dangerous and ultimately futile. It needs to stop.

Cycling And Hate Speech (Kieran Ryan, Dublin Cycling Campaign)

Pic: Dublin Cycling Campaign

137 thoughts on “Stop The Cycle of Hate

  1. Owen C

    “One factor that adds to this animosity is the hate speech against cyclists that is frequently published and broadcast by various media outlets, without the usual checks and balances that are applied to other minority groups.”

    You ride a bike. You are not a “minority group”. The Nazis or Commies or Americans did not come for you in the middle of the night. Cycling is not a religion or race or way of life. It is a means of transportation. Grow the fupp up.

    Reply
    1. Nigel

      No they’re not which makes singling them out as scapegoats for everything that’s wrong with roads even more stupid and so relentlessly dumb, parochial, reflexively tribal, counter-productive and self-defeating that it turns any effort at improving infrastructure into a time-and-energy wasting policy-level toxic internet spat. Thanks for pointing that out.

      YES I AM AWARE OF THE IRONY.

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      1. Owen C

        “which makes singling them out as scapegoats for everything that’s wrong with roads”

        But we don’t. Its a problem for city centers and perhaps some large suburban junctions. People don’t cycle around the countryside or on motorways all that much. Outside of the Dublin canals, cycling isn’t really an issue.

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        1. Nigel

          There’s a next logical step there that would reflect the valid interests of people interested in developing cycling infrastructure in this country but there isn’t room in this comment box to make it.

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  2. Jocky

    Irish cyclists are really the the most pathetic group of whiners. I cycle a lot but never felt the need to associate with other cyclists no more I would with pedestrians or motorists.

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    1. Nigel

      You see what happens is you join together with other people with shared interests in order to make your voices heard and bring about the changes and improvements you wish to see happen and people will call you whiners because they disapprove of people doing that whether they care about the changes or not.

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    2. Bairbre

      I cycle, walk, drive and whine. As a cyclist in dublin I feel my whining is justified. It’s not safe and there needs to be more investment in infrastructure.

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        1. Baffled

          The above comments from ReproBertie and Postman Pat are classics of the cyclist genre. Wail about abuse from other road users, then dole out abuse to complete strangers on the internet.

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          1. Baffled

            The palpable anger from the latest four comments merely serves to illustrate that it is the cyclists who have the real anger management issues when it comes to navigating roadways.

  3. Christopher

    I was cycling on Dean St in the city centre and there is a point where all car traffic basically stops. I could see that the pedestrian lights to cross were about to turn green but I decided to crawl slowly past the pedestrians to get ahead of the crossing ready for the green light for the road to change. I was fully aware of all the pedestrians and was literally crawling but one guy got a fright as he didnt see me and he pushed me off the bike and yelled “What is wrong with YOU!” with so much hatred in his eyes, it was scary. I was in complete shock and really upset at the overreaction (yeah I was teary I admit). I got off my bike and walked up to confront him- I tapped him on the shoulder and just told him “There was no need for that and no need to hit me”. To his credit he could see that I wasn’t there to have a fight with him I was just there to show him that I was upset. He apologised (genuinely I think he just reacted and felt bad immediately after) and walked on but I was shook by the whole incident. Road rage is a real problem and this could all be solved if proper bike lanes were in place that were actually enforced. Pitting pedestrians, cyclists and drivers against each other all the time is not a solution (especially like me if you are all 3 and am put in danger by all 3 daily).

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    1. Owen C

      I think its great that you began your story by explaining how you broke the law, but yeah, its everyone else’s reaction and the lack of investment in cycle lanes that’s the problem.

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      1. Nigel

        If you have to break the law and risk assault in order to travel safely on the road then yes it is the lack of investment in cycling lanes that is the problem.

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      2. Murtles

        There’s Owen the minority hater. Hates cyclists so much didn’t even read what Christopher wrote, just straight to accusing him of law breaking. “I could see that the pedestrian lights to cross were ABOUT to turn” (I’m assuming it’s one of those countdown clocks) so therefore pedestrians did not yet have the green light to cross. Pushing someone off their bike because you’re not paying attention is a mickey move.

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        1. Owen C

          Well done Murtles, try reading it properly yourself.

          “I could see that the pedestrian lights to cross were about to turn green but I decided to crawl slowly past the pedestrians to get ahead of the crossing ready for the green light for the road to change”

          If he wasn’t going through the junction (ie a green light for him), then the lights were already red from his perspective. He acknowledges he was trying to get ahead of all the traffic (cars and pedestrians) by going past the white line where he was actually supposed to stop. This isn’t necessarily some big bad breaking of the law, but if he was trying to meander through pedestrians despite it being a red (for cars and bikes) light, its not a wildly surprising turn of events that someone got annoyed.

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          1. Joseph Dunne

            Owen, cop on. Assault is assault. End of. Moving carefully to the front of the queue, which is the safe thing to do on a bike, does warrant being assaulted by some idiot who was not paying attention. I’ve had similar experiences on a regular basis and my light was green so do spout moronic nonsense about people crossing lines etc. There is a level of aggression towards cyclists right now I’ve not seen in 33 yrs cycling in multiple countries. Just be aware folks most cyclists wear a camera and the Gardi are prosecuting based on the footage so go for it.

      3. Christophe

        Yep- I admitted it- the point of my story was that it was a minor one and it resulted in someone assaulting me- someone with evident anger issues and hatred for cyclists. Do you go around hitting drivers that go through amber lights? Pedestrians who wander into the road on red if they think that there is no traffic? Get off your high horse and look at what I was saying.

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  4. Yowzah

    I cycle. I drive. I walk. I live in the city.

    My friends, family, colleagues cycle, drive and/or walk too. I’d like them all to be safe and get to where they need to be, quickly and without hassle.

    The debate has been constructed around drivers vs. cyclist vs pedestrian – this is kinda stupid as pits everyone against each other. It should really be against Dublin City Council and only against them and their perpetual use of organ harvesting as a means to please the moon gods, this has been covered up with all this noise about homelessness, and Catalan flags. The real operation here is harvesting organs and until we wake up and smell the coffee we’re just stooges in the machine

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  5. Listrade

    I’m a cyclist who’s had their fair share of incidents and accidents. I disagree though.
    It’s not hate speech on the very real technicality that cyclists aren’t a protected group. Unless we make cycling a religion…dunno worth a shot.
    It’s not hate speech either because despite having had accidents involving careless drivers, none deliberately set out to hurt me. They were careless, negligent and all that, but it wasn’t deliberate. That is why I have a major issue with this approach.
    Hate speech is real. Hate speech is fuelling violence and assault. It is embarrassing, whether for clicks or out of a genuine belief, that you seek to include cyclists into the plight of many protected groups who experience actual hate and actual violence.
    Safe cycling is an issue. As is safe driving. As is safety for pedestrians. Same collective issues, nothing malicious, just very bad road safety.
    I get the point on the media. George Hook and his salute on tv. He was only there as someone who has consistently had a beef with cyclists (to say the least). He wasn’t there to add to the debate, he was there to be controversial and be anti-cycling. I get that. But it isn’t hate speech.
    I’ve experienced aggression while cycling. I’ve experienced it in the car, I’ve experienced it walking…maybe it’s me…but the same person effin and jeffin at a cyclist is also effin and jeffin at another driver or a pedestrian.
    There is a point in there, we’ve seen a pattern of allowing definition changes in the media towards several groups. Social Welfare recipients, homeless, immigrants, unemployed, etc. The media has facilitated the spin on redefining who these people are so that we no longer care about them.
    As a campaign group you do what you have to in order to keep the message going and to change perceptions and to raise awareness, but in particular to change government policy.
    Claiming it is hate speech will probably do more harm to the cause for cycling safety than good.
    It also does harm to those who are dealing with actual hate speech and actual violence.
    Get a new PR strategy soon. Please.

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    1. Nigel

      I agree it’s not hate speech for the reasons you give, but much of it mimics hate speech, unconsciously I hope, and it would be nice if people were made aware of it and conscious of it. Not sure how to deal with it if you’re on the receiving end of stuff like, eg, that George Hook display. You point it out and people are criticising you for it more than they are Hook. Devising a PR strategy for something so irrational must be a nightmare.

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      1. Listrade

        Agreed to an extent. But taking this route is pretty pathetic. It’s overall road safety, 33 pedestrians killed. Are they victims of hate crimes too?

        Are pedestrian safety advocates claiming they’re victims of hate and inferring deliberate violence against them?

        There were 46 cyclist deaths in 1989. We’re now at 14 and with more and more people cycling. It varies year on year, but the overall trend has been sharply down. Cycling is getting safer as more people cycle. As with all road deaths you get blips in years. As with workplace fatalities, you get blips, but the overall trend is down.

        This ridiculous path of saying its hate will do nothing. Nor will throwing out the fear aspect of it being dangerously unsafe. There are safety issues with any road user, but the overall trend is to it being much safer now. This approach will put people off cycling when we want more of them on the roads.

        The stats are all here:
        https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1dbV6PZjKZEXqx0qn29pPJT_cpNgqznLyZ_PO0mDmfR0/edit#gid=962936607

        The strategy is simple, use the data. The biggest uptake in cycling is for commuting and that is in and around Dublin City. 95,000 people regularly cycle into and around Dublin city. Double what it was in 2011. That’s Dublin city alone. In 2011 4 cyclist were killed in Dublin city, in 2017 with double the amount of cyclists, 1 was killed.

        In 2011 4 were killed for the whole of Dublin, in 2017 5. Again with double the amount of cyclists.

        We need a better understanding of the data. Is it commuters? is it recreational (i.e. people out on their own at weekends on country roads)? It’s not victim blaming, it’s not hate speech, its trying to find out how to stop the deaths. The approach above, the approach overall is just trying to peddle fear in place of actual policy.

        That’s the fault of the overall road safety strategy, nobody is using the data. The RSA don’t release raw data, you can only get the data they show and how they show it.

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        1. Nigel

          Obviously cyclists killed by motorists aren’t victims of a hate crime, but there is hateful rhetoric and there are deaths, and it’s an ugly juxtaposition. I’m not sure people like Hook are interested in statistics, though I honestly can’t fathom why not, except as blind reflexive rivalry. Inasmuch as the ‘hate speech’ needs to be confronted and disarmed, it needs to be shown how stupid and irrational it is. Statistics should do that but it never seems enough. Talking about hate speech may not be useful but perhaps it’s understandable if you’re being subjected to that rhetoric constantly.

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  6. postmanpat

    Fat…sorry.. heavy set/big boned motorists are the biggest…sorry..larges….ehhh ..most vocal critics of cyclists.

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  7. Baffled

    I refer our cycling brethren to Corinthians 9:24 -27:

    “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified”

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  8. Increasing_Displacement

    Had some woman wearing no helmet and no hi vis deliberately hit my mirror in anger 2 weeks ago because she had to cycle around a storm drain that i was next to in traffic and she didn’t feel I’d left enough room for her to cycle. That’s the kind of mentality and entitlement cyclists get a bad name for. And there’s a lot of it. Should I have driven on the wrong side of the road? Or on the mid-line blocking motorcyclists who actually pay road tax? No.

    Note: I’ve been knocked off my bicycle and motorbike by car drivers, before you jump on me for being anti anything.

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        1. Nigel

          He’s saying that irritation and anger and irrational lashing out at others are traits shared by a sub-set of all road users, as are rule-breakng and dangerous behaviour, but concentrating on dividing road users by chosen mode of transport and pitting them against each others as competing rather than sharing the same interest in safe road infrastructure is counter-productive. Well, that’s what I’m saying anyway.

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    1. ReproBertie

      Increasing_Displacement, do you not see the irony in saying “blocking motorcyclists who actually pay road tax” since, as someone who both drives and cycles, you are a motor tax payer, even when cycling?

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      1. Donal

        The use of the phrase “pays motor/road tax” in any discussion on this topic instantly makes me assume that the user believes that those who are using the mode of transport for which they pay that particular tax have more right to the road than those who aren’t using a tax inviting mode of transport at the same time.
        Instantly undermines their opinion as far as I am concerned

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        1. Owen C

          Not about “right to use the roads”. See it more as a “well, if you want your own infrastructure (cycle lanes), you may need to contribute towards it”

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          1. Donal

            Not “right to use” but “right to”. As in, I am in my car right now so I have a greater right to be occupying this patch of tarmac than that cyclist, who is free to use the roads also but better not get in my way

    2. hugh sheehy

      Whether or not she was wearing a helmet or hi-viz is entirely irrelevant.

      And yes, it would have been courteous of you to leave space. You could, for instance, have chosen to stop before the storm drain and left her some room.

      But hey, your righteous indignation is your armour against courtesy.

      And no-one pays road tax ‘cos it doesn’t exist.

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  9. Charger Salmons

    I’m a huge supporter of pro-active measures to make cycling safer and more widespread in city centres.
    Fewer vehicles and more cyclists always make for better cities – Amsterdam would be my favourite small city in Europe for that very reason.
    In this instance I can see where the Dublin Cycling Campaign is coming from but their campaign might attract more credibility if it admitted that a small minority of cyclists persist in behaving like complete tossers who believe they have a moral right to own roads and pavements.

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    1. Killian G

      Goodness. When Captain Obvious isn’t being childish and abusive, his comments are terrifically obvious and mundane. Can’t decide which is more unpleasant. You can easily imagine him droning on and on and on, listening to his own voice – oblivious that everyone else has long since left the room.

      Do you wear red trousers, Charger?

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    2. ZeligIsJaded

      Its’ an irrelevance.

      What are you saying? – that road safety measures should receive less attention/credibility until every driver avoids breaking any laws. Is that the measure of your suggestion.

      If you step back from it, give yourself a moment and re-approach it, you’ll realise that you are talking waffle.

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    3. Innaminna

      I don’t think they have ever not admitted it. It is not as if anybody claims that cyclists are somehow angels, but the point is that every single time people who cycle and campaigners for cycling safety and rights try to discuss the very real hate directed at cyclists there is always this whatabouttery. Yes there are plenty of cyclists who break the law, who have no clue about road safety etc etc, but cyclists will be more likely to admit those things and be more responsible when drivers stop making out like they are sainted and that people who cycle are guests on the road.

      The fact of the matter is that car drivers routinely behave like complete tossers to cyclists, pedestrians and other drivers. As a relatively recently driver this behaviour is not yet normalised for me so it is very stark and obvious and it is hell out there. Drivers who frequently should not be on the road in charge of a motorised vehicle, completely flouting or ignorant of the rules of the road, sometimes an inconvenience holding up traffic by moving into a junction when the way isn’t clear and then blocking traffic from the other direction when the lights change, sometimes seriously dangerous changing lanes or taking turns without looking or indicating, and the difference is that motorised vehicles have a far greater ability to maim and kill.

      One of the things I have experienced a lot recently with it getting dark earlier is the number of pedestrians who walk immediately behind or in front of the car when you are manoeuvring, especially in slow traffic or car parks or running across the road all of a sudden and gosh it can be annoying or give me a shock as it can happen so quickly and I’m inches away from hitting them. What about these people? Should we make all pedestrians wear high viz and helmets and take lessons on how to cross roads and walk around cars, or is it ultimately my responsibility to be aware of the dangers and to be vigilant, to use my mirrors correctly and often, to check my blind spots, to be aware of cyclists coming up on either side or pedestrians likely to run between cars at any moment? I say the buck stops with me when I am driving a car, it is my responsibility as a driver as the impact of my lack of vigilance, and so the responsibility, is greater. If it were a gun for instance, whose responsibility would it be if someone got in the way and got shot? Even at a shooting range the person firing the gun has a moral responsibility, and I would assume a legal one too, to ensure at all times that they are vigilant about ensuring that no person is in the way of the gun while firing, even if the people there should be expected to act safely and lawfully and not get in the way.

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    4. hugh sheehy

      ALL cyclists have a moral right to own the road just as much as anyone in a car. On any “moral” basis they have more rights.

      And if we did an inventory of complete tossers per mode of transport, car drivers would predominate since the vast majority of them speed in urban areas.

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  10. Eoin

    What I would say to the people with the irrelevant and predictable “lycra” and “whiner” comments is that as someone with 20 years experience cycling in Dublin it is only in the last 2 years that I have become totally fearful for my life and now finally given up. I’m simply too scared. I was involved in a pretty serious incident through no fault of my own and an acquaintance of mine was recently killed. I cant afford a car and the bus is unreliable. Taking a little extra care wont affect you too much, just like holding the door open for someone, common courtesy. I simply don’t want to die.

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    1. Owen C

      ““On a winter’s afternoon in 2002, he was cycling up a one-way street in Dublin 4 on the wrong side of the road, when he hit a pedestrian who had stepped out in front of him. Roger Handy (56), a respected auctioneer, had looked in the direction of oncoming traffic, but never saw O’Hegarty who was coming the opposite way.
      O’Hegarty claimed that he offered to help him, but the man refused. Some question this claim on the grounds that Handy had suffered such serious injuries, it was unlikely he would have been able to respond to an offer of help. Two weeks later, Handy’s wife, Jane, allowed his life support machine to be switched off.
      O’Hegarty received a €350 fine for reckless riding of a bicycle and a €100 fine for cycling on the wrong side of the road.”

      Less pedestrians die or are seriously injured from cyclists. But equally it does happen. The point here is that its not “cyclists good, need protection from hate speech”, its that road users, of all shapes and forms, need to take personal responsibility for their actions, including their illegal ones, regardless of how they perceive both themselves and other road users.

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      1. Nigel

        No the point is that calls for more road safety infrastructure being met with objections that the roads are dangerous make no sense whatsoever, but do make lots of noise and amount to demands that one set of road users take collective responsibility for the behaviour of every member of that set, leading to counter-demands aimed at other sets of road users, and it’s all so bloody pointless.

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      2. Innaminna

        That is very much the same kind of response as “All Lives Matter” in response to the Black Lives Matter campaign – we are talking about what is the greater problem here, when was the last time a driver was killed by a cyclist? Also, not a very nice response to someone who has just told you that they have lost someone recently and in fear of their own life have had to make a pretty big adaptation to their life. It is this kind of lack of empathy towards people who cycle that is the problem, people who cycle have become dehumanised.

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      3. spudnick

        One. That doesn’t diminish the poor man’s individual fate, but seriously. These things have to be examined in context. Cyclists are not killing people on the roads.

        As for some of the other comments, you’d swear that, like Muslims or travellers, cyclists should have some kind of PR body on hand to issue a statement once a month deploring the ‘behaviour of a minority of their group’.

        (By the way, if that incident above is the one I’m thinking of and O’Hegarty was the courier, then some of the commenters might be pleased to hear that as a result of the incident in the succeeding year he sank into a spiral of drug addiction and homelessness.)

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    2. Goodnight Ireland

      Starting point for cyclists should be obeying the rules of the road, before complaining about motorists or cycle lanes. I don’t really see an issue with motorists mostly. A large group of cyclists do what they want on the roads, doing things you would never think of in a car. For instance moving into the right hand lane when over taking a bus. A lot of cyclists just go for it. No signals, no waiting, sure the cars can just break. I say this as a commuter cyclist.

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      1. Nigel

        Case in point. I don’t remember any footpath or motorway work ever being made conditional on the good behaviour of all pedestrians or all motorists, but cyclists are different somehow?

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        1. Owen C

          motorway work is usually conditional on users paying for it (directly through tolls or indirectly through motor tax/VRT/fuel duties), however. It ain’t all about money, but it ain’t not about money either.

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          1. Nigel

            All infrastructure work is conditional on being paid for so I don’t see how that would justify making one type of work additionally conditional on the good behaviour of all its users.

        2. Owen C

          Its not a “trade off” (there is no way to measure accurately or ensure behaviour is improving), its simply pointing out the issue with asking general taxpayers to pay for infrastructure for one group (cyclists) whom they may have concerns with the behaviour of, particularly if that group don’t seem to see a problem with this behaviour. At least with the roads, drivers can point to the various direct taxation they are levied for every year.

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          1. ReproBertie

            Drivers and cyclists are not a separate species. Do you really think that most cyclists don’t pay motor tax as well but choose to cycle for the convenience?

          2. LW

            In fairness, this is the truth. It’s not just cyclists, or just motorists. People are dicks. Segregated cycle lanes would be fantastic, and stop people fighting over the same patch of road. Then we could all go back to giving out about the ones within our own tribes, be we cyclists or motorists

          3. Nigel

            Cyclists are general taxpayers. Cyclists are not collectively responsible for the behaviour of all cyclists. Better and safer infrastructure is in everyone’s interests. Singling out cyclists for arbitrary treatment based on inaccurate but self-reinforcing preconceptions rather proves the point of the original post.

          4. Owen C

            Drivers are general taxpayers too. They pay for cycle lanes just as much as cyclists do. But at least drivers make a direct contribution from their use of the roads.

            Yes of course cyclists are often motorists too. But it was the original poster who decided to make cyclists a separate species given the “hate speech” he claims is being made against them.

          5. hugh sheehy

            By that logic, since road tax doesn’t exist and car tax is based on emissions, you’re actually asking for general taxation to subsidize cars. But you probably can’t see things like that. Too hard.

          6. Nigel

            Well, I would argue that it’s the ‘hate speech’ that’s attempting to make cyclists, ridiculously, into a separate species, to which you are contributing. Infrastructure for cars is vastly more expensive to build and maintain, and the costs associated with motoring, from policing to accident and emergency to pollution, are huge. That’s why they’re taxed directly, not to build a few slivers of cycle lane.

          7. Owen C

            Hugh, you have VAT, VRT, Motor Tax, insurance levies, fuel duties. For someone with a €30k car, thats around 40% on VAT and VRT up front (€8.5k), c.€300 per year on motor tax, €50 per year on insurance levies, and €300 per year on fuel duties. Thats €15,000 over a decade that that car will be owned for. We have 2m cars in the country. Thats €30bn a decade (the maths above is reduced by taking a low end new car value, but increased by assuming cars only last 10 years. These probably balance out). But you’re right, road users are no doubt being subsidized somehow.

            Meanwhile, cyclists pay VAT on the original purchase, and then that its. 75-100 quid per bike? A million bikes? c.100m over a decade. Lets see how much cycling infrastructure that buys.

          8. Nigel

            Cycle lanes are essential safety infrastructure in a road system dominated by cars. It only makes sense that the lion’s share of funding comes from motorists, since they’ve pushed other, cleaner, more efficient and less damaging and less dangerous road users to the edges and margins.

          9. hugh sheehy

            Yes…which the VAST majority of cyclists also pay on their cars. And then they cycle. So they pay the taxes but do neither the environmental damage, the damage to the roads, or the damage to people’s timetables since they don’t cause traffic jams.

            So the people actually driving cars are asking for being subsidized by the people who aren’t.

          10. Owen C

            Nigel, some of that is reasonable. However, cycling, as a means of commuting or for general travel usage, is only practical for a small minority of the population. We live in a relatively low density country (in terms of height), so most people have to travel moderately long distances. Public transport is average compared to many other cities. Additionally, given the wet weather, cycling is not necessarily practical for much of the population for much of the year (I work in an office with 250 people and 6 showers/changing units). A plan B is generally required using the road for some or all of it. So the vast majority of investment in roads is not because people *choose* to use the roads, its because there is little other means to get around the city. Cycling is generally a choice, a very healthy one and one that should be supported, for both health and congestion reasons, but like i said way back above, the complaints about other road users, to the point of calling it hate speech, while being reluctant to accept cycling’s own flaws, at the same time as wanting more money that will never be paid back, will be difficult for a lot of people to accept.

          11. Nigel

            Cycling is obviously not possible for everyone – for a start there are people with disabilities for whom it is not suitable – but in towns and cities it is possibly and even desirable to vastly increase the number of people who choose to cycle, which will have a knock-on effect on the number of people who will cycle for leisure.

            Investment in cycling infrastructure will pay off in reduced pollution – air and noise – reduced maintenance and policing costs, reduced severity of accidents, increased overall health in population, increased productivity due to reduced commuting times and reduced traffic delays, while the cities and towns will become more attractive to visit and stay in and less congested, noisy and smelly. Less parking means more space for development, increasing density, reducing pressure on housing and reducing suburban sprawl and ribbon development. It should, of course, go hand in hand with improvements in public transport. Cars are a huge negative liability in a modern society, damaging to our health and environment and a massive drain on resources.

      2. ReproBertie

        “I don’t really see an issue with motorists mostly”

        Be serious. Take every set of traffic lights in Ireland as an example: Green = go, Amber= speed up, Red = two more cars.

        Motorists being morons doesn’t excuse cyclists though. You are 100% correct on so many cyclists changing lanes, or even just shifting position in a lane, without looking. It’s incredibly dangerous. A part of training to ride a motor bike is learning the “life saver” glance over the shoulder before switching lanes. It should be standard practice for cycling too.

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      3. hugh sheehy

        The vast majority of drivers speed in urban areas but you “don’t really see an issue with motorists mostly”. So you’re just wrong. There is an issue.

        And would it be reasonable to stop spending anything on the roads because most car drivers speed? Actually, maybe it would.

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    3. edalicious

      I’ve been cycling for around the same length of time Eoin, since I was a young lad heading to school, and I agree that the amount of aggression on the road has increased dramatically over the last few years. I haven’t packed it in yet though; life’s too short to spend an hour plus per day sat on a bus.

      What really gets me is the risks that people take with my life so that they can get to a queue of traffic quicker. Dangerous, aggressive passes so that they can spend an extra ten seconds staring at the back of someone else’s car. People complain about being delayed on their commute by cyclists but they spend most of the time on that commute stuck in a line of cars.

      I have a theory that people are angry at cyclists because, while they’re sat impotently tapping on the steering wheel, waiting for some eedjit who’s looking at their phone instead of paying attention to the lights, we’re sailing past them, wind in our hair, (rain and mud in our faces) always progressing towards our destination, leaving them in our dust.

      Reply
  11. ReproBertie

    Six weeks cycling should be a pre-requisite for a provisional driving licence. Spending time as one of the most vulnerable road users is a great way to increase awareness of just how vulnerable they are.

    “Sorry, I didn’t see you” doesn’t un-break any arms.

    Reply
    1. ZeligIsJaded

      I think this is a great idea. Probably not workable, but a simulator might be a start.

      Dublin also needs signs indicating that cyclists not only can, but must occupy the middle of a lane where there is no dedicated cycle lane provided.

      Reply
        1. ZeligIsJaded

          Try sharing a lane designed for one vehicle with a car/van/truck/lorry.

          It will seem less bonkers afterwards.

          Overtaking a cyclist should be treated the same as overtaking any other vehicle.

          I think consideration for traffic behind is good manners, and where there is room, provide it, but a lot of our lanes are not sufficiently wide for this.

          Reply
          1. Owen C

            If the cyclist is on the left hand side of the lane, you can overtake with another car coming the opposite way, if all users (drivers and cyclist) are careful. If the cyclist is in the center this is impossible, you have to wait for a fully clear lane, which in the city center may simply not happen.

          2. pedeyw

            I occasionally occupy the middle lane on my bike because I have a right turn coming up and taking up that lane early is safer than trying to cross two lanes of traffic. It doesn’t stop me being beeped at by motorists, but it does make me less likely to get hit.

          3. Owen C

            To position yourself for a right turn is fair enough. Suggestion here seems to be that its the default position in the event of no bike lane.

        2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          I don’t disagree with the idea but no need for the prescriptive element, I think.

          Generally when I get freaked out by traffic like that I just hop off the bike and walk with it on the footpath. I don’t need to cycle along the quays, or anywhere near them or the Luas (works) so I’m lucky.

          I don’t think having cyclists pootling along in the middle of a lane holding up traffic is the answer either. There are a lot of those guys around. Kind of self-important slow cyclists on high nellies.

          Reply
          1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            I think I’m a brilliant cyclist but I know I can take chances the odd time.

            But I agree: just be courteous. It’s that easy. Guess it’s the same in life in general.

      1. Owen C

        “Dublin also needs signs indicating that cyclists not only can, but must occupy the middle of a lane where there is no dedicated cycle lane provided.”

        Look dude, i can only pull you up on what you said, not what you wanted to clarify later

        Reply
        1. ZeligIsJaded

          “I think consideration for traffic behind is good manners, and where there is room, provide it, but a lot of our lanes are not sufficiently wide for this.”
          I had already said it

          Reply
      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        If Topsy is cutting and pasting it, I would gently suggest using the edit button to change Simply to Simple.
        Simples.
        Simpleton.
        But I digress.

        Reply
    1. hugh sheehy

      Simpler solution. Ban cars from the city streets. They pollute. They cause traffic jams (they ARE traffic jams). Their use is bad for people’s health. They’re obnoxiously loud. etc., etc., etc.

      Reply
  12. Macconnait

    On dame Street last Friday night, round 7:00PM, cross the intersection w/ George’s St when the lights turn green. About halfway across a cyclist comes flying out between two cars and misses me and another dude by inches. Despite shouts from myself and others he never so much as looks back. I was on my way to meet my Sister, who is clinically blind and walks with a stick. She was hit by a cyclist on a pedestrianised street 3 weeks ago. So spare me

    Reply
    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      I’m sorry to hear both stories. But this blanket blaming of everyone in a group because of a few bad apples is what has the world in a state o chassis these days. Dicks be dicks, no matter what they’re doing/who they represent.

      Reply
      1. joke bloke

        yea, the ‘few bad apples’ thing kinda falls apart when you see almost every cyclist breaking the rules everywhere you look at any stage of the day.

        Reply
        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          It’s not illegal to cycle on footpaths. I think a lot of people get exercised about that, without knowing the facts. Obviously you have to do it with due care and consideration, but it’s legal.

          Reply
          1. Brother Barnabas

            Obviously I wouldn’t dare contradict you, but are you sure that’s correct?

            Cycling on the path was omitted from the list of things that’ll get you a fixed-charge notice (I think so that children can do it if necessary), but it is illegal to cycle in a designated pedestrian zone – and they include footpaths.

            I could be wrong. And of course I do recognise that you’re better than me in every way.

          2. Cian

            Article 13 of the 1997 Regulations makes it an offence to cycle on a footpath unless you are entering or exiting a property.

            “13. (1) Subject to sub-articles (2) and (3), a vehicle shall not be driven along or across a footway.
            (2) Sub-article (1) does not apply to a vehicle being driven for the purpose of access to or egress from a place adjacent to the footway.
            (3) A reference in sub-article (1) to driving along or across a footway, includes s reference to driving wholly or partly along or across a footway.”

            where it earlier defined a vehicle as
            “(5) A reference to a vehicle in these Regulations shall, unless otherwise specified, mean a mechanically propelled vehicle (other than a mechanically propelled wheelchair) and a pedal cycle.”

            http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/1997/si/182/made/en/print

          3. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            Go on away with your ’97 Regs. Road Traffic legislation is a shambles: without consolidated legislation it’s almost impossible to keep up.

          4. spudnick

            It’s an offence, but it’s not enforced (to allow kids to cycle to school). If you’re over four feet tall and are cycling on the path, you deserve a stick in the spokes. Get on the road with the rest of us.

          5. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            It’s not included on the fixed charge list for cyclists.
            I don’t advocate it: I always walk with my bike when I’m on a path like a good citizen/right wally.

        2. RiderOnTheStorm

          e.g. in the photo at top – one quarter of the cyclists can’t be ar$ed to even use the cycle lane dedicated for them and one sixth of them couldn’t be bothered to wear a helmet.

          Reply
  13. thecitizen

    If i drove my car like cyclists ride their bikes I’d be arrested fairly quick.

    -Traffic stopped? Sure I’ll just drive on the footpath real quick.
    – No parking? Sure I’ll just leave my car beside a lamp post on the footpath blocking impaired pedestrians.
    -Traffic lights? Sure I’ll go around the pedestrian that doesn’t see me, presuming they will keep going in the same direction and at the same speed.

    Cyclists are the most self-entitled road users by a long way, and I say this as a pedestrian, cyclist and driver. Maybe they should be asking themselves why their is so much dislike their direction?

    “”If you run into an a$$hole in the morning, you ran into an a$$hole. If you run into a$$holes all day, you’re the a$$hole.””

    Reply
    1. Nigel

      ‘If i drove my car like cyclists ride their bikes I’d be arrested fairly quick.

      -Traffic stopped? Sure I’ll just drive on the footpath real quick.’

      I mean, if a motorist did that they’d be arrested for mass murder, but cyclists? Nooooo. So unfair.

      Reply
  14. nellyb

    Enforced fines and community service for serial offenders – pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike, focus on causality, not the means of transportation.

    Reply
    1. hugh sheehy

      Even better, confiscate the chosen mode of transport. Speed in a car? Car taken. Run through pedestrians on your bike? Bike taken. Run people down as a pedestrian? Shoes taken.

      Fair to everyone.

      Reply
  15. D

    So yesterday, I nearly hit a cyclist who came at speed through a red light. I avoided him, but beeped at him – to say WTF are you doing. I was subjected to a tirade of abuse and a middle finger while he continued through the junction as if had every right to go through a red. Lots of cyclists obey rules of the road, but as a motorist it is really difficult when a significant number of cyclists do not. I am very careful and respect cyclists on the road – cyclists should afford respect to other road users and obey rules if the road.

    Reply

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