Pedestrians, cyclists and traffic lights

 

Sir, – Frank McNally (An Irishman’s Diary, October 23rd) referred to the unique traffic lights at the junction of Clare Street and Merrion Square in Dublin which could be changed instantly to allow TDs hasten to Leinster House to vote. I recall my late father-in-law mention that was the precise location of the first set of traffic lights in Dublin city. As a 20-year-old in August 1937 he was among the reported hordes of onlookers who gathered in wonder to gaze at the lights in action. Perhaps it is time for a blue plaque on the site under the sardonic gaze of Oscar Wilde in the nearby park. – Yours, etc,

PATRICK JUDGE,

Dún Laoghaire,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – As as an avid and regular reader of Frank McNally’s Irishman’s Diary, I always enjoy and I am always entertained by the tangential angles that he incorporates into his articles on the topics of the day. Nonetheless, I was disappointed that he took a flippant attitude to the launch of our Pedestrian Rights Organisation, even though his digressions to the fate of the pedestrian light outside Dáil Éireann and the habits of cyclists in Tokyo were indeed amusing.

However, a full reading of his article amounted to an unabashed and stout defence of cyclists and as such could be added to the many hundreds of other articles promoting cycling, defending cyclists and advocating for their interests which have been published in recent years. Not a scintilla of concern did he express for pedestrians who have to dodge and dive to avoid being struck by cyclists riding their cycles at high speed on the footpaths all around the city of Dublin.

Much credit must be given to Conor Pope (“New pedestrian group calls for cyclists to wear identity badges while in motion”, News, October 22nd) who gave an accurate account of the decisions reached at our inaugural meeting last week when, among our many other demands for the protection of pedestrians which were mostly not relevant to cyclists, we called for cyclists to be required to wear identity badges while cycling. As things stand, a pedestrian struck by a cyclist riding on the footpath has no redress when the cyclist disappears into the distance without trace or any possibility of being identified. – Yours, etc,

MICHAEL O’FLANAGAN,

The Pedestrian Rights

Organisation,

Dublin 8.

Sir, – It was disappointing to read of the call for fixed-charge notices for cyclists for certain offences, without any reference to the fact they have already been in existence since 2015!

Only last February an organisation called the Irish Pedestrian Network (IPN) was founded, which would appear to have similar aims, but rather than criticising cyclists, seeks to work with them to create a better environment for all vulnerable road-users. – Yours, etc,

COLM RYDER,

Chairman,

Cyclist.ie,

Dublin 8.