How safe is it to cycle our streets?

Sat, Jun 23, 2012, 01:00

Sir, – Michael Power complains that cyclists do not use cycle paths provided (June 20th). I wonder if he has ever tried to cycle on them? He will find that many are poorly maintained (littered with leaves that can hide hazards, or broken glass and gravel), or used as parking places or loading bays for cars, as well as bins and skips.

Some are signposted with non-regulation signs, usually those alongside pedestrian footways. Mixing fast-moving cycle traffic with pedestrians is dangerous for both cyclist and walker. Indeed, alongside Mr Power’s letter, Peter Molloy makes this point. Yet many cycle tracks encourage cyclists to mount the pavement.

And then we have the bad design features – lamp-posts and bus-stops in the middle of the track, yielding priority at every side-road and driveway, tracks that stop in the middle of the footpath, or at right angles to the road. And my personal bugbear, cycle lanes that encourage cyclists to move up the inside of left-turning traffic, when the number one cause of traffic deaths in Ireland is being crushed by left-turning HGVs.

I will use the cycle paths when the above issues are addressed. In the meantime, I have asked Minister for Transport to repeal the mandatory use legislation that criminalises me for prioritising my safety. He has yet to respond. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN McARDLE,

St Alphonsius’ Road Upper,

Drumcondra, Dublin 9.

Sir, – Padraig Dempsey (June 22nd) takes me to task for having “a negative attitude towards cyclists” because of my comment regarding cyclists on pavements.

Please allow me to make my position clear. I have no objection to cyclists using the footpath, provided they observe the rules of the footpath. In other words, dismount! – Yours, etc,

PETER MOLLOY,

Haddington Park,

Glenageary,

Co Dublin.