Principal latest to die as Dublin loses place on cycle-friendly index

Cyclist deaths already match 2016 toll

The number of cyclists killed on Irish roads in 2017 so far has already matched the total amount of those who lost their lives on bikes last year.

School principal Pádraic Carney, aged in his 50s, became the 10th cyclist to be killed this year after he was in a collision with a car at Butterfield Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin, at around 8.10am on Monday.

Mr Carney was principal at St Louis Senior Primary School in Rathmines.

“This is a terrible tragedy for Pádraic’s immediate and extended family, his wide circle of friends, and the school community in Rathmines,” said Jake Byrne, chairperson of the school board of management.

“We are all deeply saddened by his sudden and untimely death.”

The latest cycling death came less than a week after Dublin lost its place on an index of the world’s 20 most cycle-friendly cities.

The compiler of the index said Dublin “has itself to blame” for falling off the list.

Last week Copenhagenize — an international consultancy company focused on the development of cycling infrastructure — published the 2017 edition of its biennial index. Dublin does not feature for the first time since the list began in 2011.

“In 2017 we see Dublin exit stage left,” it stated.

“After many years of progress, the city has stagnated and, to be honest, disappointed.”

Asked to elaborate on Dublin’s disappearance from the list, Copenhagenize chief executive Mikael Colville-Andersen told the Irish Examiner that the capital has been overtaken by other cities that have made a greater effort.

“Dublin made great inroads in previous years,” said Mr Colville-Andersen.

“[It had] Infrastructure, bike share, the NTA commissioned projects and feasibility studies to inspire and encourage the city to act. Now there is little action.

“The ranking scores cities on their own merits, but that means that cities get bumped down when other cities make a greater effort. Dublin has itself to blame for slipping off the list, but other cities with more drive also impact the ranking as they overtake cities that are less driven,” he said.

Responding to the latest Copenhagenize index, Mike McKillen of advocacy group Cyclist.ie said the development is “embarrassing” given Dublin is due to host a major international cycling conference in 2019.

“The whole point of hosting Velo-City is to show the cycling and road safety worlds that your city is advancing,” said Mr McKillen.

“But in Ireland the number of cycling fatalities this year is appalling. We can’t keep going on like this, pretending we think cycling is great for everyone when faced with 10 dead already this year.

“A good measure of how safe city roads are is the absence of high viz clothing and helmets. If you want to be in the Copenhagenize index you need scoring low on the numbers of cyclists wearing helmets and high viz, to show ordinary people wear ordinary clothes when cycling here.

“The essence of cycling in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Arnhem, and Nijmegen — which hosted Velo-City this week — is that people use bicycles as part of their daily business.

“But here we are told we need helmets and high viz by the RSA and Government. What a way of managing road safety, when you need victims to dress up instead of tackling drivers,” said Mr McKillen


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