Free Tonight?

at

On your bike.

Dr Paul Corcoran writes:

A major protest cycle will take place today. The starting point is Merrion Square West [Dublin 2] opposite the National Gallery of Ireland beside the Dublin Bike station.

We will be meeting from 5.15pm. We aim to arrive at the Dáil just before 6pm. We have partnered with our colleagues iBikeDublin who will be protesting on the day with Dublin Cycling Campaign.

The goal of this protest is to remind all election candidates that cyclists are voters and that we will vote in our droves for candidates serious about bringing about a positive change in transport policy with the bicycle at the fore!

We will be asking all local election candidates from Dublin city council, Fingal county council, South Dublin council and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown council to sign the Cycling For All campaign petition.

One of the principles of Cycling For All is to allocate 20% of the transport budget to be spent on Cycling and walking investment. We will be asking this of MEPs also.

Dublin Cycling Campaign

18 thoughts on “Free Tonight?

  1. postmanpat

    So all local election candidates sign so we cyclists can trust any of the candidates, making the whole exercise pointless. Why not just list the names of pro-cyclist candidates based on their previous campaign statements or better yet, actions? I suppose DCC has to look like they are doing anything no matter how pointless they have to justify there charity status (RCN: 20102029) and donations. As with all Irish charities, Id love to see how the moneys spent.

    1. Rob_G

      “Why not just list the names of pro-cyclist candidates?”

      Why Pat, I’m glad you asked.

      Here follows a non-exhaustive list for local election candidates in Dublin

      Pro-cycling:

      Patrick Costello (Green), Claire Byrne (Green), Paddy Monahan (SD), Eoghan Howe (FG)

      less than pro-cycling:

      Mary Freehill(Lab), Dermot Lacey(Lab), Chris Andrews (SF), Claire O’Connor (FF), Ruairi McGinley, Sonya Stapleton (Ind), Cllr Anne Feeney (FG), Paddy McCartan (FG), Lord Mayor Nial Ring (Ind)

      Main rationale for this list is for who voted in favour/against Paddy Smyth’s quietway proposal – https://www.dublininquirer.com/2019/04/10/councillors-vote-against-moving-ahead-with-consultation-on-south-dublin-quietway

      irishcycle.com/2019/04/08/triumph-for-rat-runners-as-cllrs-vote-against-south-dublin-quietway-consultation-for-second-time/

      For those who have yet to be elected, I am basing it on how central a role cycling plays in their campaign.

      Disclaimer: this is just a subjective opinion, but just look at who voted for, and who voted against, the most recent quietway proposal, and draw your own conclusions

      1. postmanpat

        Thanks Rob. That sucks about the quietway. Now wait until tomorrow where we will see pictures of FF an SF representatives signing the petition and grinning for the cameras.

    1. The Old Boy

      Well, he’s a molecular biologist with a PhD from the RCSI, so, while not a doctor of medicine, it’s not as though he’s a doctor in purity of Marxist thought or something like that.

      1. Mickey Twopints

        Remarkable that someone of Dr. Paul Corcoran’s standing would participate in perpetuating the myth that “e-scooters” are in some way a grey area, or that it is within the gift of the Dail to make them legal, when the legislation for EPAC is set by the European Parliament for the entire EU.

        1. The Old Boy

          I don’t think you’re right there, Mickey. I will have a quick scan of EPAC over lunch but I’m quite sure that it refers specifically to cycles, which electric scooters are not, and therefore it would be in the gift of the Dáil to make them legal.

          As a disclaimer, I have no idea what he has been saying on the subject.

          1. Mickey Twopints

            I didn’t explain myself very well there, did I? It’s a bit of a touchy one for me as I’ve had a (fringe) involvement with the electric bicycle scene for quite a few years and it has taken a gargantuan collective effort over several years to get a pan-European standard for EPAC so that people can use them in all EAA member states without formality (other than the age limit).

            There are a couple of businesses in Dublin selling these scooters, telling customers that it’s a legal grey area, whinging likewise on daytime radio with our beloved national broadcaster, and bad mouthing the Guards for impounding the machines when they are found on the road. 168/2013 grants exemption to EPAC cycles, clearly described here: https://ec.europa.eu/energy/intelligent/projects/sites/iee-projects/files/projects/documents/presto_fact_sheet_legislation_en.pdf

            The scooter boys claim to fall under the same exemption, but it should be clear from that document that their machines do not comply with EPAC standards, and that they are “mechanically propelled vehicles”. If they want to change that, they will have to do so by lobbying their MEPs

          2. The Old Boy

            Apologies Mickey, I misunderstood you. Quite right.

            As an alternative to an EU law change, the Dáil is free to introduce whatever exceptions and limitations it wishes for electric scooters, as has been done in several other EU countries including France.

          3. Mickey Twopints

            Is it?

            I’ll defer to your expertise of course, but I have to admit that comes as a bit of news to me and turns my understanding of the EU rules on its head.

            Thank you. Every day is a school day.

          4. The Old Boy

            The EPAC rules don’t touch electric scooters at all. That being so, there is no EU rule that covers them. What you’re saying, I think, is that the EU parliament would have to bring scooters within EPAC to make them legal for road use. That isn’t correct. EPAC doesn’t say “and these are the only electric light vehicles we sanction, as a matter of law.”

            As something that isn’t covered by EU law, it’s at the total discretion of domestic parliaments to legislate for their use.

          5. Mickey Twopints

            I have no wish to tear the botty out of this (but happy to continue with the discussion), and I freely accept that my understanding is flawed. However, that’s not the claim that I’m making.

            I’m saying that my understanding is/was that e-scooters by virtue of the fact that they are not exempt by inclusion under EPAC (since they clearly do not meet the definition of bicycle), are in fact mechanically propelled vehicles and are subject to the default requirements re driver licences, insurance, and registration in the absence of any legislation or exemption. It is/was also my understanding that absent a specific derogation, the member state was bound by the EU rules and it that it is not within their gift to provide an exemption.

            I searched just now for anything which would give me some clarity on the background to the French situation, but all I find are recent news items saying that the French are moving to ban e-scooters from pavements and that the Spanish have already done so in some cities.

            I think this is a shame. Advances in battery technology, power semiconductors, and increased availability of BLDC motors means that small electrically powered transport vehicles are rapidly becoming practical transport solutions rather than just playthings. I see a danger in those who seek to bend/break the present rules to their own commercial ends causing setbacks to the overall progress of the mainstream acceptance of the technology. I’m probably being over cautious and a bit precious about the whole thing – I just happen to think it will prove to be important as we move towards a zero carbon world.

          6. The Old Boy

            I’m always happy to discuss these things. You are right. They are illegal in public under various Irish Acts as you mentioned. My point is that it’s not an EU issue.

  2. Jdawgs

    “Our goal is to remind Government that cyclists are voters”
    Stop the press! Jeez that’s news

    1. Rob_G

      You say that, but previously many elected officials just paid lip-service to providing for cycling infrastructure, things like this. A good turnout at this event will remind all of the candidates that cyclists are taxpayers too, and indeed, voters.

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