Calls to install bollards and other physical barriers along some of Cork’s busiest streets are to be considered by the City Council, amid complaints that the local authority is not doing enough to prevent vehicles parking on cycle lanes.
Cycling campaigners critical of Cork City Council’s efforts to protect cycle lanes are to hold a demonstration outside City Hall next week.
The Cork Cycling Campaign is calling on the public to join them at their rally outside the local authority’s next meeting, a move they say is motivated frustration at the “lack of action on the behalf of the City Council to install hard engineering solutions to protect certain cycle lanes from illegal parking”.
Last month the City Council revealed that its wardens issued 120 fines in 2018 to vehicles parked in cycle lanes.
Conn Donovan of the Cork Cycling Campaign said the group has “asked the Council to take steps to protect these cycle lanes and very little has been done to date”.
"Illegal parking in cycle lanes also discourages people from taking up cycling as they can see cars blocking cycle lanes when they are driving or walking around and assume that Cork is not a bike-friendly city.
“Councils in other parts of the country, like Dublin and Tralee, have listened to the cycling community and installed bollards, orcas and other low-cost solutions. It's time Cork City Council take action before someone is injured or worse when cycling due to someone parking illegally,” he said.
He cited Washington Street, South Main Street, outside the UCC Gates on Western Road, and Alfred Street as black spots where motorists frequently park in cycle lanes.
“The vast majority of people driving in the city park legally and safely. A small minority have been enabled to carry on this dangerous practice however,” he said.
“While there is a role for An Garda Síochána and the traffic wardens here, bollards and kerbs can often do this job just as easily,” he said.
Monday’s rally will coincide with the debating of motions from Solidarity councillor Fiona Ryan, who has requested the council install bollards or other ‘hard infrastructure’ to separate cycle lanes from the road.
Mr Donovan said the campaign is ‘delighted’ with the motions, but said the Council’s reply to a similar request from Cllr Joe Kavanagh “completely failed to address how the Council plan to ensure cars and vans do not park in the existing cycle lane network”.
Cork City Council was contacted for a response to the Cycling Campaign's criticisms, but none was received.