‘This Law Should Be Enforced’

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Sign on a cycle lane in Phoenix Park last year

Further to Michael Cullen’s letter, in which he recounts seeing seven people breaking the law within 10 minutes, it should be a record, but is probably not.

Cycling on the footpath is not subject to a fixed-charge notice (on-the-spot fine), but it is against the law and is subject to a fine of up to €1,000, and possible imprisonment for three offences within 12 months.

This law should be enforced because cyclists do not have third-party insurance. If knocked down and injured by a cyclist, a pedestrian would be unlikely to obtain compensation.

Michael Regan,
Donnybrook,
Dublin 4.

Cyclists and footpaths (Irish Times letters page)

83 thoughts on “‘This Law Should Be Enforced’

  1. ironcorona

    Pedestrians should remain at least 3 meters from one another.

    If one pedestrian knocks over another, the injured party is unlikely to obtain compensation.

  2. PhilJo

    As a regular cyclist (commuting and leisure spins) anyone over 15 cycling on the footpath is an inconsiderate moron, it’s on a par with taxis that pull in for a fare without warning in front of you or delivery trucks that leave the rear facing decapitation device (or hydraulic lift gate) out over the bike lane.

    1. Robert

      Just like anything else, it depends on your attitude. If you’re booting down the path you’re just begging for slap. Sometimes needs must though, and if you’re considerate I don’t see how that can be problem. Except for the grumpy indignant.

        1. Robert

          If it’s a matter of a few minutes I do. I never cycle down grafton st for instance. But please don’t let me personal account limit your big fat brush of rage.

        1. Scundered

          …true, always weigh up the opposition before making contact. Just a matter of giving karma a helping hand.

          1. Scundered

            true also, though I wonder would any cyclist dare to do so, as it would be obvious they were cycling illegally.

  3. Gerald

    If taxis, buses and cars actually obeyed the rules of the roads and respected a cyclists right to use the same road, or even the cycle lane on that road. I wouldn’t have to use a footpath.

    Cannot tell you the amount of times I’ve been knocked off the bike only to have them drive off without a care in the world. And that’s with two sets of lights, reflective jacket and a bright green helmet. All this and the guarda are reluctant to even take a statement.

    The laws not enforced on both sides, and both sides have dickheads that don’t represent their side well. The only difference is that a cyclists isn’t driving around in a few hundred kilos of metal that could easily cause a hell of a lot more damage than a cyclists could ever do.

    1. Sheila

      This^

      The amount of drivers that break the red filter light as they turn left from Rathmines onto the canal. The infuriating thing is they don’t even realise they’re doing it! The Guards would have field day there.

      And any cyclist I meet on a footpath gets a glaring – I know, that”ll teach em :)

      Also pedestrians can be idiots too.

      *sighs*

  4. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

    It’s not illegal to cycle on footpaths. It is illegal to cycle dangerously on footpaths.

    1. Blonto

      Saw bloke being fined €200 in court for cycling on a footpath.
      Might not be on-the-spot fines, but you can still be called up on front of the moral expert in court.

    2. 3stella

      The law is it is illegal to cycle in pedestrian area. this covers footpaths, pedestrian crossings etc. it is never legal to cycle on the pathway unless it is specifically marked as a dedicated cycle lane.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        Nope. That’s not the law. It is legal to cycle on footpaths: they left that in to encourage parents with children who cycle. It’s a new thing.

  5. Robert

    Interesting point of view. I wonder does his reasoning apply the other way around for pedestrians on cycle path. Do pedestrians have 3rd party insurance if a cyclist hits them. Like the pensioner who died after hitting a stray pedestrian a few months ago? http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/cyclist-fighting-for-life-after-a-collision-with-pedestrian-in-the-phoenix-park-34680463.html

    I had a pedestrian swear at me the other day for nearly hitting her after she stepped out on the road in front of me. B1tch.

      1. Robert

        I’m actually pretty tolerant if they’re not taking up the whole thing – but the looks of shocked indignance I get from the crowds of European types I have to yell at in the phoenix park are hilarious. As if the sign for “Cycle Lane” doesn’t translate into their language.

        1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

          I find saying “DINGALINGALING” gets em moving quickly with hilarity all round. It’s particularly handy around The Barge in summertime.

        2. postmanpat

          I saw two young lads driving a €200,000 fast and obnoxiously loud Italian sports car between the monument roundabout and Furze road a few summers ago when the park was busy on the weekend. Flying around like maniacs. Driving INTO small tailbacks of normal traffic and revving the engine waiting to get to the crossroads then breaking away at high speed towards the upper glen road, then whizzing back a few minutes later and doing the same thing again. It was unreal. ,I was walking up towards the visitors center and saw them repeat this the whole way. The police were around and were doing nothing about it. It must have been a diplomatic immunity brat situation or something. I felt like asking the guards to do something but I knew better then to tell a guard their job also I hate guards in general. The driver and passenger looked about 15 and were defiantly not yuppies , I thought it was only a matter of time before they lost control and hit someone and felt like keying the car every time I waked past them . I’m sure the police would have intervened then .The laws the law I guess (?)

  6. mamma roma

    bodger all you do is cyclist clickbait and you used a pic that has nothing to do with anything, you’re a bit dim and an embarrassingly transparent manipulative c*nt to boot. Well done you.

    1. Robert

      well – if you were regularly attacked by stray car doors, sleep walking pedestrians you might be a bit wound up too.

  7. Dave

    FFS – cyclist rushing down a footpath at high speed expecting people to get out of the way = dickhead, it’s also rare given the number of cyclists out there. Cyclist going at a reasonable pace on a footpath and acting like they don’t have an automatic right of way = perfectly reasonable, it’s also the vast majority of cyclists on the footpath.

    Can we all just move on now………..?

    1. Owen

      There will be no moving on until this horse is fully flogged.

      Now, in the instance of children learning to cycle, and perhaps not in full control of their bicycle, what is the legal approach to this? Should we blame the parents, or shout at the kids in an aggressive manner from a distance not exceeding 4 inches from their face?

        1. Owen

          Indeed, this was my initial thought, but literature and common phrases indicates they may get back up and try again. I fear we would be overwhelmed and potentially fatigue quickly, limiting energy available for witty responses on blog pages.

    1. 3stella

      Well, If Owen Keegan of DCC bothered his bottom to represent all people of Dublin instead of his beloved cyclists.
      something might…

      A citywide ad campaign of the law coupled with no cycling pavement markings at problem points would go a long way to clarify & illuminate the cycling on footpath defense nonsense that always permeates this tread.

  8. Joe

    I was hit by a cyclist who was cycling on a footpath. She cycled up behind me and apparently rang her cycle bell to warn me to get out of her way. I stepped right into her way as I was about to cross the road after failing to hear her approach. I was not expecting a cyclist riding on the footpath behind me.
    She was very apologetic after she hit me.

    I am profoundly deaf since childhood.

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      Ringing a bell to get people to get out of your way isn’t really an excuse, is it? That’s just being a douche, when you’re cycling on the footpath. I NEVER move when people ring their bells to get me to move. That’s me being a douche too, I guess.
      Hope you weren’t hurt.

      1. Turgenev

        I ring a bell to tell people I’m coming up behind them; it’s only courteous. Usually as I go past I say “Just telling you where I was” or something like that. Doesn’t seem to offend people.

        However, all the sad rage at cyclists shows how badly Dublin needs Dutch-style cycling infrastructure. If the government wants to change the modal share of cycling and walking – currently at a pathetic 1% of people in Dublin – and increase it to 10% as is their plan, they need to build good cycleways.

        The fact that the Sinn Fein mayor of Dublin recently used her casting vote to prevent contraflow cycleways being put into one-way streets shows the level of ignorance and stupidity around: this would have taken thousands of cyclists safely off main roads.

    2. Robert

      I bought a bell. Worst idea ever, it just adds fuel to the fire. As a pedestrian there’s nothing more insulting than a cyclist who couldn’t be bothered to at least say excuse me.

    3. Scundered

      Sorry to hear that, no cyclist should be moving at a fast pace close to pedestrians when there are so many things that could potentially happen, especially now with closed-back headphones being popular.

      I commute across Dublin twice daily and it pays to ride defensively, even in the bikes lanes.

    4. Owen

      This is great argument to support the development of full, thought through, and decently constructed cycle lanes. Sorry, not to take away from the situation, but anything else is mitigation to a problem that could be designed out.

      Why can’t we look at the planning regs for roads? Ensure cycle lanes are mandatory for example. Only then could you enforce a law of no cycling on pavements, preventing this accident from occurring.

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        I cycle along Willbrook Road in Rathfarnham where they’ve put a cycle lane in that takes up 1/2 of the road. Cars dart past me into the other lane to pass me out and often nearly clip my handlebars. It’s nerve-wracking for all concerned as I’ve both driven and cycled that road. I’m often cycling along it wondering what could be done to improve it and there’s nothing. It’s just not safe. The footpath’s too narrow and windy and I don’t cycle on footpaths anyway.
        Based on this anecdote, I think nobody should make any effort to fix cycle lanes anywhere.

        1. Owen

          Aye, but that’s downstream mitigation. Tha’ts the problem. “stick one in, it’ll work fine – is not the answer. Which seems to be what has been done where you are talking about(?).

          A city wide cycle plan, looking at flow routes, green ways, and separation of cars, bikes and pedestrians. Reducing car allowances into the city to start, then linking all city bike hubs with cycle routes. Then linking planning regs to a city wide approach.

          Yes, never happening in Ireland. Not without a sweeping reform of the political system.

    5. Tucker Done

      *this reminds me of the story our religion teacher told us in school when we were being taught how abortion is wrong. he listed all the supposed “defects” that a foetus had – parents were poor, potentially deaf, had three arms (you get the picture) – then asked for a show of hands as to who would abort. I sh!t you not. for those who put up their hands he said to them, with a fair amount of smugness, “you’ve just killed beethoven”

      * trigger warning cycling+abortion in this post

      1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

        “Well, Beethoven’s zombie foetus.”
        Did you say that? You’d probably have been beaten to death.

  9. rotide

    Purely anecdote based but I never used to get bothered by cyclists since I rarely drove. I’ve been driving a lot more in the last year though and that coupled with walking around the baggot st canal area, I’ve come to the conclusion that cyclists are mostly complete and utter morons.

    So many of them thinking that it’s perfectly reasonable to cycle on the footpath only serves to back this up.

    I’m assuming that’s the same type of cyclist that thinks it’s fine to take up half the road going at roughly 10kph and doesn’t make any attempt to let the faster traffic through.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      “I’ve come to the conclusion that cyclists are mostly complete and utter morons.”

      Your personal feelings are not fact. Hopefully you’ll learn that one day.

      “So many of them thinking that it’s perfectly reasonable to cycle on the footpath only serves to back this up.”

      Lol!! I’m not even trying to wind you up, you are *seriously* dim.

        1. MoyestWithExcitement

          Aww, poor little Rotide has to resort to clichéd lines now because he’s not smart enough to come up with his own. Honestly, you’re about 16 and you’re pretending to be a grown up, aren’t you.

    2. Nessy

      Purely anecdote based but I never used to get bothered by MOTORISTS since I rarely LEFT MY HOUSE AND LIVE IN MY OWN BUBBLE. I’ve been VISITING THE REAL WORLD a lot more in the last year though and that coupled with walking around the baggot st canal area, I’ve come to the conclusion that MOTORISTS are mostly complete and utter morons.

      So many of them thinking that it’s perfectly reasonable to BLOCK the CYCLE LANES only serves to back this up.

      I’m assuming that’s the same type of MOTORIST that thinks it’s fine to take up half the road …

      Goes well both ways Rotide – in fairness

      1. postmanpat

        Purely anecdote based but I never used to get bothered by looking up since I rarely moved my head. I’ve been looking up a lot more in the last year though and that coupled with walking around the baggot st canal area, I’ve come to the conclusion that clouds are mostly complete and utter morons.

        So many of them thinking that it’s perfectly reasonable to block the sun only serves to back this up.I’m assuming that’s the same type of clouds that thinks it’s fine to rain on the road

    3. Scundered

      Purely anecdote based but I never used to get bothered by motorists since I rarely cycled. I’ve been cycling a lot more in the last year though and that coupled with walking around the baggot st canal area, I’ve come to the conclusion that motorists are mostly complete and utter morons.

      So many of them thinking that it’s perfectly reasonable to use their phone when driving only serves to back this up.

      I’m assuming that’s the same type of motorist that thinks it’s fine to take up the whole road going at roughly 10kph and doesn’t make any attempt to let the faster traffic through, whilst on the phone.

  10. Increasing Displacement

    Motorists are not paying attention…at all usually. There’s a phone, a radio, the temperature.

    Cyclists are paying attention to themselves, their heart rate, their music, the fastest way from A to B, be in onto the path or fast between a parked car and slow moving traffic.

    Both sets are dopes. Its a recipe for disaster.

    Throw in pedestrians with headphones and a phone glued to their face and its nightmare material.

  11. Turgenev

    The government aren’t paying attention. Cyclists want good infrastructure that’ll give them their own space. Drivers want them out of the way. Building the Liffey, Dodder-Mountains-to-Sea, Grand Canal and Royal Canal cycleways would make everyone happy.

    Meanwhile, people who can’t afford to save for houses are buying cars (thousands), paying insurance (hundreds more), paying car tax (more again), paying for petrol (thousands per year), new tyres annually (hundreds), parking (hundreds per year) and getting the car mended for the NCT. If they got rid of the cars and rode bikes, they could save minimum €3,000 a year more. And the health service would have an immediate and continuing drop in patients, the roads would be cheaper to mend, education would get a boost because pupils and students would arrive awake, fit and alert.

  12. Illuminati16

    What about beaver row it’s way too narrow …. A quick scoot up on the footpath provided there’s no pedestrians …. what’s the big deal?

    1. Turgenev

      Beaver Row is one of the places that would be siderouted by one of the cycleways the government has axed – the fabulous Mountains-to-the-Sea cycleway along the Dodder, which is almost complete and just needs the various parts joined up; this cycleway would allow people from the suburbs all along the Dodder to fly down all the way to Ringsend and the quays.

      Among many strong contenders, the removal of funding for the Dodder and Canals cycleways so that the few millions they’d cost could be pumped into the bleeding wound that is the multibillion-euro Luas building project must stand out as the worst and most stupid decision by this government.

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