Cycling group wants Dublin streets cleaned near building sites
Campaigners say more slips and falls by cyclists due to dirt and oil from construction vehicles
About 250 members of the Dublin Cycling Campaign conducted a rolling protest along Dublin’s Liffey Quays last month to highlight ongoing delays in developing proposed Liffey Cycle Route. File photograph: Alan Betson
A Dublin cycling group has asked Dublin City Council to clean up several traffic junctions after reports of increased slips and falls by cyclists on greasy road surfaces near construction sites.
Dublin Cycling Campaign, the voluntary group that lobbies for improved conditions for cyclists, made the request after more than 100 people fell from bikes in January.
The campaign mapped reports of cyclists falling or their bikes slipping due to oil or grease on the roads and found that the incidents were caused around constructions sites in the city.
The locations of the incidents include the national children’s hospital in Kilmainham, the new Technology University of Dublin (former DIT) campus in Grangegorman and Broadstone, at a junction next to a construction site in Stoneybatter and various sites in the Docklands.
There are 10 junctions around the city where the campaign says there have been multiple slips and falls reported, including seven on Macken Street in the Docklands, six on Thomas Street and Thomas Court and three at Rialto roundabout.
The campaign’s analysis of the timing of the incidents shows that there was an increase in incidents on three dates – January 23rd, 29th and 30th – days when Met Éireann’s weather station in the Phoenix Park reported that there was no rainfall and temperatures did not dip below freezing.
Injuries ranged from cuts and bruises to more serious cases including fractures.
One cyclist fell at the junction in Stoneybatter and suffered a dislocated elbow requiring surgery. While the cyclist waited for an ambulance, two others fell at the same corner.
Kevin Baker, chairman of Dublin Cycling Campaign, said the group believed that oil and grease from lorries and construction vehicles entering and leaving building sites were to blame.
“Many of these reports are coming from people who have been cycling in the city for 10 years and they have never seen the roads like this or this number of slips and falls,” he said.
“The lack of rain could have led to a build-up of these hazardous materials, creating greasy slicks in many areas.”
Mr Baker acknowledged that the reported increase was based solely on anecdotal evidence.
“It is still a very serious issue,” he said.
Management plans could be changed to compel building firms to clean roads leading to construction sites and to carry out “wheel washes” on trucks entering and leaving, he said.
A spokeswoman for Dublin City Council said that it was not in a position on Sunday to comment on the number of slips and falls reported by cyclists.