Readers' Blog: Cyclists want it both ways: on the road and on path

I walk frequently in the centre of Cork City, so I can understand calls by cyclists for the protection of cycle lanes in areas like Washington St and South Main St.

The lanes are regularly blocked by illegally-parked cars.

Less comprehensible to me is that many cyclists have no problem endangering pedestrians by violating stop-lights, cycling out of town on inbound cycle-lanes and vice-versa, travelling on one-way streets against the flow of traffic, and cycling at speed on the city’s narrow footpaths.

About three years ago, directly outside the Irish Examiner’s city office, I was struck by a cyclist who was traveling contrary to traffic flow on Oliver Plunkett St.

As he was also using a mobile phone, he lost control of the bike and crashed.

The episode made me acutely aware of the vulnerability of pedestrians, of the lack of signage regarding the rights and responsibilities of cyclists and pedestrians in the city, and especially the lack of information regarding the directions in which cyclists may or may not travel during the so-called hours of pedestrianisation. 

The absence of a kerb on one side of Oliver Plunkett St makes it easy for cyclists to weave onto the footpath.

I wish the Cork Cycling Campaign well in its endeavours to keep the cycle lanes clear of illegal parking, but I hope the campaign will also bear in mind the vulnerability of pedestrians.

Rory O’Donovan

Kileens

Co Cork

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