End This Cycle


Friday on the Dublin quays

As I look at photo of another cyclist seriously injured this morning, one must ask, when are Dublin authorities going to get serious about cycling in the capital?

I spent five years in Budapest in mid-1990s after Russian rule – Hungary had very low GDP but cycling was totally separated from traffic and whole families could cycle beside the Danube on Sundays.

Hungary was basically a second-world country at that time and yet it prioritised cycling.

It was simply a case of political will – which apparently is not present in Dublin.

Denis Hanley
Newtownards, Co Down.

Irish Times Letters

Thanks Ultan Mashup

Friday: A Vicious Cycle

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26 thoughts on “End This Cycle

  1. Cian

    I’m making a guess here, fell free to correct me:

    Budapest in the 1990s (after Russian rule) – with very low GDP probably had very low level of private car ownership – and a high rate of cyclists. Which meant the roads were relatively uncongested – allowing the allocation of segregated lanes without upsetting everybode.

    Dublin 2018 is highly congested – and the replacement of heavily used [car] roads with (currently) under-utilised cycle lanes is a big ask.

    I think Dublin should be going down a cycle-friendly route – but comparisons to Budapest in the 90s is, IMO, not valid.

    1. b

      Budapest was also built and designed with large Paris like boulevards which makes it alot easier to build and fit in cycling routes in comparison to the streets of dublin where even the removal of some trees or one driving lane gets the interest groups out in force

  2. Dav

    I’m not trying to victim blame here, just speaking to a broader point I feel has been lacking from the discussion here but, judging by the turning circle of that truck, how anyone could think it a wise idea to proceed inside of it is beyond me. Granted that truck probably shouldn’t have been there in the first place, but that doesn’t excuse individuals from exercising personal responsibility. Just because you’re entitled to the moral highground doesn’t give you the right of way . The sad fact about cycling in the city is there are always drivers out there willing (or simply too oblivious) to call a cyclist on their bluff. As soon as this is realised, your potential for accidents are greatly reduced and I’m saying this as a courier of several years. And yes, maybe the cyclist in this instance could have been paying attention… but based on the evidence provided, that seems dubious at best

    1. ZeligIsJaded

      Why is it dubious?

      Are you suggesting that every time a truck approaches from behind, a cyclist should break and dismount in case the driver feels like turning left??

      1. Cian

        Funny, I read it more like:
        “every time a cyclist approaches from behind, the cyclist should be careful when undertaking the truck in case the driver feels like turning left”

        1. ZeligIsJaded

          Exactly my point.

          I don’t have the facts, but who is to say who was in front approaching the point where the accident occurred ?

          Starting a sentence with ‘I don’t want to victim blame…’ doesn’t mean one isn’t.

          1. Cian

            human nature? I’m going to assume that the truck driver didn’t do this on purpose.

            If the choices are either
            a) the cyclist was ahead of the truck, and the truck driver overtook him, and then chose to turn left (knowing? he had just passed a bike)
            b) the truck was ahead of the cyclist, and the bike started to undertake. The truck driver chose to turn left (not realising the bike was there)

            I’d assume that it was b.

            But you are right. We don’t know what the situation was.

          2. edalicious

            There’s a potential third option; given the turning circle of the truck, he would have to continue straight into the junction for a fair distance before beginning his turn, making it appear to someone behind that he was actually going straight rather than left. As you can see in the photo, the truck is ,uc further across the road than you would expect from a vehicle aiming to end up in the leftmost lane. An inexperienced road user, even one being quite cautious, might decide that it was safe to proceed based on this.

    2. Dhaughton99

      The exact same thing happened on Saturday morning on O’Connell bridge between a truck and taxi.

    3. spudnick

      This is correct. We would have an effective zero cyclist fatality rate if cyclists did not undertake at junctions. You can argue the rights and wrongs of it all day, but just taking the lane may save your life. If you’re coming up to a junction, sit in behind the vehicle in front of you and pretend you are a car. It’s simple and it works.

      Source: am daily city centre cyclist

      1. ZeligIsJaded

        Except of course a cyclist isn’t ‘undertaking’ if they are in line with a vehicle and in a dedicated cycle lane.

        1. spudnick

          Yep correct. Another reason to avoid/mistrust cycle lanes in their current incarnation.

          Counter-example of a great cycle lane: Braemor Rd in Churchtown, from the arch folly by the Dodder up to the Bottle Tower. Its only con is again the rogue left turner.

          1. ZeligIsJaded

            So many opportunities for them to get this right over last couple of years.

            Maybe these tragedies will start to change the mindset.

        2. Cian

          Interesting point.

          But if you forget bike-lanes for a moment – if you have 2 car lanes, a car would never turn left from the right-hand-lane; he should move into the left-hand-lane initially[1], and then turn left;

          What is the law for bike lanes?
          Should a car that wants to turn left, first move left into the bike lane[1], before they actually turn left?

          [1] after checking his mirrors, indicating, checking blind spot, and then moving (if safe to go).

  3. Worlds Biggest Ranter

    All heavy traffic should be separated from pedestrians and/or non motorised vehicles in all future planning. Motorised vehicles ended up sharing space with people as a consequence of them evolving from horse draw carts and wagons. That such a practice continues on to this day is bizarre if you you just take step back and look at it. It could never have been conceived at the outset of the motorised vehicle that simple squidgy human beings would be sharing space with a vehicle weighing 40 tons and capable of travelling 90 kph. All future plans for urban areas need to remove undivided side by side movements of us and vehicles irrespective of how they’re powered.

    1. ZeligIsJaded

      Bit ambiguous Ollie.

      I assume you are implying that the truck should not be allowed to drive through the city if it’s driver can’t see other road users.

  4. small ads

    Did the truck driver hit an oncoming cyclist or T-bone a cyclist by turning across him?

    Daily city cyclist (yeah, right) spudnick: look at the 22 people killed off their bikes since the beginning of 2017. Not one was killed as a result of cycling up the inside of traffic. All except two were killed by being hit by drivers in cars, trucks or buses. If you’re going to speak ex cathedra, do your research.

    1. Cian

      I don’t have the details to hand – but (If I remember correctly) most cyclists were killed on a Sunday outside of the cities.

      But *this* incident was in a city, and it involves a turn. As did the one outside RTE about 3 months ago.

    2. spudnick

      “yeah right” – great way to start off your point, student. I can guarantee you I’ve cycled plenty more in this city than you.

      So tell me Poindexter, how is being hit by a car/truck incompatible with being on the left of a vehicle that suddenly deviates from a straight line?

  5. small ads

    It involves a turn. So it is possible that a man rode his bicycle along the bike lane while the truck went straight along the right-hand lane parallel with him, and then swung sharp left across him. It is also possible that the truck driver drove up and turned across the oncoming man on his bicycle.

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