The Meat In A Dublin Bus Sandwich




Jacky Grainger defied death cycled from College Green to Westmoreland St and on to O’Connell Street in Dublin.

The journey prompted her to write an open letter to Dublin City Council.

She wrote:

Hi Dublin City Council, after nearly being crushed to death under a car wheel [yesterday] morning trying to cycle in one tiny lane shared by buses, cyclists, cars and taxis, from College Green on to Westmoreland St, I then faced, (as all cyclists on this route do every day) the prospect of this ‘wall of steel’ in order to get from Westmoreland St straight down onto O’Connell St.

This is the scene every single day here, right outside Bewleys (Starbucks, whatever) if you’re going straight ahead. I am not a nervous cyclist by any means, but this is absolutely *terrifying*.

Most bus drivers here do their best I feel to look out for us – but they shouldn’t have to! And I’ve had more than one conversation with bus drivers hanging out their window who think it’s ridiculous too!

There is NO provision for cyclists here and it is only a minor *miracle* that’s someone has not been killed yet. What is being done about it and when can we expect change?

In fairness.

78 thoughts on “The Meat In A Dublin Bus Sandwich

    1. AliveDublinCyclist

      What’s the alternative? Wait? You just get sandwiched between two other buses coming up either side of you moments later.

  1. Panty Christ

    Generally DB drivers are pretty fine professionals, they do their best for all on the road. It’s those other donut brains that drive for bus eireann that are the danger.

    1. Vote Rep #1

      Agree 100%. DB drivers are the gentlemen(women) of the city. Coaches and taxi drivers are the worst. I cycle the quays each day. THe north quays are generally fine as you share with the buses and they are generally stuck in traffic anyway. The south quays on the way home are awful though. No room for manoeuvre there at all.

    2. Nilbert

      Agreed. Bus Eireann drivers are psychotic.
      Also those city tours buses that drive up the quays and into the phoenix park. I am regularly clipped by one of those. Only yesterday, I gave one the tutting of his life.

  2. AssPants

    If it is so terrifying to cycle on Westmorland Street, how about maybe change your route, rather than redirecting the city’s traffic :)

    Alternatively, you could even take the bus for your commute.

      1. Nessy

        +1 Tish
        Perhaps we can make cyclist immigration compulsory. We can export our problems. We’re good at that ;)

    1. Caroline

      Not to worry, Westmoreland Street will likely soon be permanently closed to car traffic, making it much easier to reconfigure it to accommodate bikes :)

    2. Feckssake

      You are literally redirecting some of the city’s traffic by telling cyclists to take a different route

      1. ahjayzis

        But they’re not the Very Important People on their fat arses in their big cars, Feckssake!

  3. jake38

    I find bus drivers are the sanest people on the roads. I suggest the cyclist wait behind one of the buses rather than trying to squeeze between them.

      1. AliveDublinCyclist

        Lads if you wait you just get buses eithersife if you behind those ones, seriously. It’s an impossible situation.

      2. RockyRoader

        Waiting behind buses on the bike is poisonous – I’ve tried it, ended up a wheezing mess.

    1. Nessy

      except allegedly this guy:

      Even if a cyclist “takes the lane” on this road, which is the safest option to do, they’re faced with buses turning left and right (onto Fleet Street) and centre and pulling off from the numerous bus stops. Buses often pass by cyclists who inadvertently end up sandwiched inbetween like in the photo above.

      I think the author is trying to point out that there’s no segregation of traffic and cyclists or even any designated area for cyclists to safely cycle without competing with 2/3 ton buses for space . Coming from O’Connell Street to D’Olier Street carries the same problem

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        Ah, ok. I cycle but wouldn’t go near the city centre/quays. Luckily I don’t have to.

        1. Nessy

          Yeah you’re literally juggling with death turning from Dame St./College Green to O’Connell Street and the reverse direction is just as bad. I reckon there and the Quays must be the worst places for cyclists

  4. E

    Now I would go through that gap myself if the lights were red and you could see the green man for the pedestrians. If you can make it when they are stopped it will be grand. If they are moving don’t do it!

    But I see people doing the stupidest things with buses and trucks every morning. going up the inside of the buses around college green at the moment, when it is clearly a one lane system, then getting stuck, the bus can’t see them and it moves. It is insane! I saw someone overtake a truck on the inside that was turning onto O Connells bridge a while back.

    I feel like this video needs to be posted again. I had never realised how little they can see.

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      Holy. Poop.
      They should make trucks left-hand drive over here so they can see.

      BOOM. I must go on Dragon’s Den.

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          I’m taking that as a compliment. Thank you, kind sir.

    2. Jam who?

      Jeasus, that little video just scared the poo out of me. I cycle every day and am regularly forced to undertake trucks and buses at junctions. I think I will be walking on the footpath past them when I can from now on.

      Also there no real avoiding Westmorland street to go from South to North unless you want to risk injury cycling over the Tempal Bar cobbles and carrying your bike over obstacles, which is what I do on the odd occasion I cross the Liffy. I do wish I had a video of the time my wheel got stuck between a gap in cobbles. I can see how for an onlooker it was probably hilarious.

      1. E

        It’s a bit of an eye opener isn’t it?
        I wouldn’t go as far as to getting off your bike. Just stay behind them or well in front. If the light is red I will undertake but make sure that you can make it before it’s green and make yourself well seen when you’re in front.

        I like to make direct eye contact with drivers when changing lanes or coming through traffic. I have a feeling this comes across as angry glaring instead of what I was hoping was acknowledgement that I am there. The struggle of resting bitch face is real.

  5. Smashmouth

    If its so terrifying and unsafe why dont you just walk the few hundred metres instead of running the gauntlet of death

  6. Scundered

    Just take up the lane yourself, it’s your right, and wait. You should never end up in the position above.

    1. Nessy

      I’ve taken the lane and ended up like that in a bus sandwich. Sometimes it happens whether you want it to happen or not. No matter how safe you cycle on that stretch (and on D’Olier Steet in the opposite direction) It’s very possible to find yourself wedged in like that because there are no provisions to stop it from happening

        1. Nessy

          That’s what taking the lane is, getting into the middle of the lane and owning it. But you’re eventually pushed out of the middle by traffic (taxi, bus, cars etc.) and then you potentially end up in a sandwich either way.

          Only the other day I took the lane going around a roundabout (a small one) yet a 4 x 4 Landrover Discovery still managed to smash his way into the inside of the lane. Had I stayed to “own it” any longer I’d have gone under his wheels. Not how you plan to be at 7am in the morning

          1. Scundered

            I cycle across Dublin twice a day and often use the lanes shown in pic. When in middle of lane I’ve never had bus driver try to force me out, though it does happen when sitting to left of lane, just don’t give them the space to overtake in first place.

  7. Joe Small

    I cycled on the day of the Dublin Bus strike (there’s another one coming!) and even found it unnecessarily stressful without any buses on the road. Now I just watch in awe/horror at how cyclists aren’t crushed daily around D’Olier Street/College Green/Westmoreland St. I fear for those cyclists who feel they have a god-given right to weave between large vehicles.

  8. H

    Scary stuff, something similar happened to me as a pedestrian along there many years ago, I was a young teenager at the time and I thought standing on the far side of the back of the bus I had just alighted was a safe place to try and cross the road from … until the other bus arrived, needless to say I didn’t do that again.

  9. Disasta

    Planning doesn’t exist here in this country, logical planning anyway.
    Planning dictated by brown envelopes certainly exists.

    Said it many times before, cycle lanes and vehicles don’t mix. Those bus/cycle lanes are a recipe for disaster.

  10. Shifty

    “If its so terrifying, change your route..”
    “If its so terrifying, get the bus…”
    “If its so terrifying, why don’t you walk…”

    “If you’re afraid of getting raped, don’t wear skirts”

    1. E

      Woah, slow down there.
      While those “if it’s so terrifying..” comments aren’t helpful at all ( ignore them they are just numpties)
      There is a very very big difference between victim shaming and people running into traffic.

  11. Tish Mahorey

    There is a plan for a cycle lane from College Green to the bridge as part of the reconfiguration of that area post Luas works. But the cycle lanes in general need to be wider so that drivers understand it as a separate lane to the one they are in.

    Cycling between traffic like that is dangerous. I would get off the bike and walk it along the footpath for that stretch or use a different route if possible until they install a proper lane there.

    1. ahjayzis

      London’s rolling out Cycling Superhighways – physically separate from the road with kerbing. It’s really the only way to go.

          1. Ned Flanders

            Ignored by cyclists, to clarify. There is a hardcore cohort of lycratrolls who seem to love holding up traffic / cycling on the road in preference to any cycle lane. I appreciate some cycle lanes are rubbish, full of glass and dished paths.

          2. Turgenev

            No. Cyclists virtually universally use good cycling infrastructure – witness the short run of excellent protected cycle lane by the Grand Canal from Rathmines to Northumberland Road or so. Mostly when cyclists don’t use cycle lanes it’s because they’re potholed, dotted with slippery manhole covers and wheel-grabby drain covers, full of glass, parked on by selfish drivers and scattered with broken glass; in other circumstances they may be ‘shared’ with pedestrians who wander around as if in some 18th-century French dream of a rural idyll, unseeing of the bikes and ready to plunge in front of them at any unwary moment.

  12. Kolmo

    Cycle like you are 100% invisible to everyone, including other cyclists, all the time – that’s how I stay alive for 20 years of Dublin City commuter cycling, or I am very lucky. The North Quays are just like the pic above but slow moving – I’ve stopped cycling the South Quays, frazzled drivers, too many Buses, oblivious pedestrians, murderous taxi drivers (only some!), too many close calls.
    Dublin Bus drivers are very good, and remarkably patient despite the congested nature of the streets.

  13. fluffybiscuits

    He should’nt have to alternate his routes but at the same time he has a responsibility to himself and others as all others do on the road. What he did being sandwiched between the two buses was grossly irresponsible. Perhaps it might be better to use public transport until the cycle lanes are improved just for their own health and agitate for better conditions.

    PS If you do get walloped by a bus can I have your TV?

  14. Tish Mahorey

    Dublin Bus drivers a on the whole very good and very patient. What’s the point in being impatient and in a hurry driving a bus anyway? It’s not like you’re going anywhere other than back again.

    1. Feckssake

      Why do they jumpbthe lights ever single time then? They go when the pedestrian light goes red not when they have the green light.

  15. Joe Small

    When it gets very bad, I just get off the bike and walk on the pavement for a bit. Just the sanest option. I don’t appreciate cyclists who use the bad traffic as another excuse to cycle at me on the pavement though.

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      I found out on this very site that it’s not illegal to cycle on footpaths. I had laboured under the misapprehension that it was, and spent a lot of time glaring at people who did.
      I always hop off and walk, though, as I am a tremendously courteous person.

      1. Tish Mahorey

        “I found out on this very site that it’s not illegal to cycle on footpaths.”

        Which is why you are mistaken.

          1. Ned Flanders

            Ooh a rare instance of a troll proven 100% wrong on BS. Will they respond? Will they twist their previous response to fit the new shíʇ that has come to light? A nation holds its breath…

        1. Nessy

          Nope, they’re not mistaken. The only part of the law that would suggest a cyclist couldn’t cycle on a path would be if they cycled “without reasonable consideration.” Juggling knives and cycling at speed over 30kph on a path, could potentially incur a fine

          The full list of offences covered by the fines from August 1 are:

          1. Cyclist driving a pedal cycle without reasonable consideration.
          2. No front lamp or rear lamp lit during lighting-up hours on a pedal cycle.
          3. Cyclist proceeding into a pedestrianised street or area.
          4. Cyclist proceeding past traffic lights when the red lamp is illuminated.
          5. Cyclist proceeding past cycle traffic lights when red lamp is lit.
          6. Cyclist failing to stop for a School Warden sign.
          7. Cyclist proceeding beyond a stop line, barrier or half barrier at a railway level crossing, swing bridge or lifting bridge, when the red lamps are flashing

          1. Cian

            Wait, wouldn’t cycling on a footpath be covered under: “3. Cyclist proceeding into a pedestrianised street or area.”

  16. ahjayzis

    Congestion charge anyone?

    Driving your car solo into/through the city centre to get to work is antisocial behaviour.

    1. Ned Flanders

      Dublin needs a lot of right turns against traffic removed. A congestion charge will be sucked up by a lot of people, mind numbing hassle of driving might not be.

      What that does for Dublin city centre commerce is another question. Maybe the cyclists will lose their jobs as a result, problem solved…

      1. Turgenev

        Protected bicycle lanes resulted in a 400% increase in retail profits for the areas they transited when they were brought in in Seattle.

  17. Paps

    This is also the stuff you have to deal with, green light for traffic, red light for pedestrians. Woman just walks out without looking.
    Happens shockingly often.
    D’olier Street and the lower part of O’Connel St and onto the bridge are absolutely awful to cycle in in the morning. Buses everywhere, pulling into stops, changing lanes, lots of cyclists its a tragedy waiting to happen.

  18. future Taoiseach

    cyclists will be banned because it is 2016 after all!!!! wake up people! we have cars now!

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