Pedestrians and cyclists

 

Sir, – Recent correspondence has raised the matter of whether cyclists can access streets that are pedestrianised, with reference to current plans for Cork (Letters, April 20th and 26th), and hence of whether a pedestrian must travel entirely on foot.

A further challenge to this categorisation came to my attention as I approached Cork city this morning. A young man in school uniform crossed my path, on a skateboard. In an impressive display of multitasking, he was also listening to headphones and checking something on his mobile phone.

So, what quiet street was he travelling to require so little attention, one might ask? He was going through the Kinsale Road roundabout near rush-hour.

I’m not sure how much danger he might pose to pedestrians once he reaches the city, but the risk to himself must be enormous. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN O’BRIEN,

Kinsale,

Co Cork.

A chara, – I agree completely with Joe Burns (Letters, April 26th) that provision should be made for cycling when public space is allocated. Why wouldn’t we encourage this efficient, quick, cheap and non-polluting form of transport that can be used by people of a range of ages and abilities if the correct conditions are in place?

But as someone who uses a modern, non-electric, bicycle for everyday transport, and maybe reaches a speed of 20km/h when going downhill with the wind behind me, I would like to reassure Mr Burns that my priority when undertaking any journey is to arrive at my destination in one piece without harming anyone else. It is the same for everybody I know who uses a bike to get around. Colliding with anyone or anything on the way is the last thing anyone wants.

So, yes, segregated space for cycling, please. But also remember that cyclists are just people trying to get to a destination safely. If they all decided to make their journeys by motor vehicle instead, that would pose far more danger to less mobile road users, not to mention the pollution, traffic congestion, and demand for parking spaces that would result. – Is mise,

SIOBHÁN McNAMARA,

Dublin 12.

Sir, – Further to Joe Burns’s letter, it is entirely incorrect to call a bicycle “a mechanically propelled mode of conveyance”.

By fact and by law, a mechanically propelled vehicle is a motor vehicle such as a car or motorcycle which are self-propelled by an engine. A minority of bicycles are electric pedal-assist bicycles which can only be propelled by leg power. If the legs stop pedalling, the bicycle stops. The electric motor on these types of bicycles are limited to a top speed of 25 km/h under regulations. It should be noted that motor vehicles such as cars or massive articulated trucks do not have any top speed limitations either legally or technically applied to their design.

Otherwise I agree with his viewpoint – we need more segregated space for pedestrians and cyclists on our roads.

TERRY O’FLOINN,

Bolquère,

France.

Sir, – Joe Burns is in urgent need of three facts about cycling in our cities .

One, bicycles are not mechanically propelled vehicles.

Two, average cycling speeds of Irish adults are 15 to 20 km/h.

Three, professional athletes in major sport competitions have sprint finishes for 10 to 15 seconds at about speeds of 60km/h, the speed at which Mr Burns claims normal cyclists can travel.

Please note that 68.9km per hour was the average 10-second sprint speed achieved by Sam Bennett when he won stage four of the UAE Tour in February.

Sam Bennett in his green jersey and cleats chasing a win and me in my orange skirt and sandals pedalling to the supermarket share only one thing in common: a similarly shaped object under our respective arses.

Sam Bennett’s cycling routes are car-free. Mine are not. – Yours, etc,

MARTINA

CALLANAN,

Terryland,

Galway.