Tag Archive for 'Cycling'

Time to make cycling a genuinely safe option

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O'Gorman

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O'Gorman

 

 

Today I am setting out a range of proposals that I will implement if I’m elected to Fingal County Council on 5th June to make cycling a genuinely safe option.

 As someone who has recently taken up cycling again, I can see at first hand the problems that cyclists face every day. While Dublin 15 does have cycle lanes in certain places, these are not provided in any sort of planned manner. Many junctions in the area are highly unsafe for cyclists. There are big gaps in cycle lanes, particularly through Blanchardstown and Castleknock villages. I raised this latter issue in my recent submission on the Blanchardstown Village Development Strategy.

 

Despite the risks faced by cyclist every day, there has been an 8% increase in the number of people cycling to work between 2007 – 2008. Indeed, there has been a 34% increase in the number of cyclists since 1998. Those people who make the choice to cycle should be assured that they can do so in safety. While at national level, the Government is playing its part through the Bike Scheme tax break and investment in cycle lanes, I believe that Fingal County Council has a responsibility, but also a real opportunity to make cycling genuinely safe.

 

I have set out a range of proposals that I will work on if elected to Fingal County Council to ensure that we make cycling genuinely safe. These include ensuring that cyclist are represented on Fingal County Councils Transportation Strategic Policy Committee, appointing a Cycling Officer for Fingal County Council like in Dublin City Council and drawing up a Safe Cycling Strategy for Dublin 15.

 

On the roads, I will work to ensure that a review is undertaken of the safety of existing cycling lanes, especially where these intersect with roads or where they finish abruptly. I also will fight to see that the margins of roads are kept clean and smooth in places where cycle lanes are not provided.

 

While out canvassing I am regularly asked by cyclists why Fingal County Council are not doing more to support cyclists. If I am elected to the Council on 5th June, making cycling a genuinely safe option for commuters will be one of my key priorities.

 

 

 

Proposals that Roderic O’Gorman will enact if elected to Fingal County Council to make cycling safe

 

-          Give cyclists representation on Fingal County Council’s Transportation Strategic Policy Committee

-          Bring Fingal County Council and cyclists together to draw up a ‘Safe Cycling Strategy’ for Dublin 15. This will allow cyclists engage with the Council to identify black-spots for cyclists and the remedial works which need to be undertaken on these.

-          Employ a Cycling Officer for Fingal County Council, like in Dublin City Council – to oversee that the planning and engineering of roads considers the needs of cyclists.

-          Undertake a review of the safety of existing cycle lanes, particularly where they intersect with roads or where they abruptly finish.

-          Ensure the upkeep of the margins of roads in places where cycle lanes are not provided

-          Examine junctions to see where Advanced Stop Lines (ASL’s) would be beneficial for cyclists

-          Investigate the feasibility of developing a cycle path along the banks of the Royal Canal to provide a safe route for cyclists linking them to much of the north inner city.

-          Improve bike parking facilities at locations like train stations, major bus stops, Blanchardstown Library, and local shopping centres.

Speech on local authorities and making cycling safe

 

Below is a speech I made to the Green Party National Convention earlier this year on the topic of making cycling a genuinely safe option.

 

Press Release – O’Gorman addresses Green Party National Conference – calls on local authorities to make cycling a genuinely safe option

Roderic O'Gorman addressing the Green Party National Convention, March 09

Roderic O'Gorman addressing the Green Party National Convention, March 09

09/03/09

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has called on the four local authorities across Dublin to work together to make cycling a genuinely safe option. He made the call in his speech to the Green Party National Convention this weekend.

One of the most ambitious goals of the recent Sustainable Transport strategy was the aim to get 200,000 people out of their cars and cycling by 2020.

At a national level, the Government is playing its part through the Bike Scheme tax break and investment in cycle lanes.

But, speaking as someone who has recently taken up cycling, I don’t believe we are going to achieve this goal until cycling considered a genuinely safe option.

And I believe that it is a responsibility, but also a real opportunity, for local councils to make cycling genuinely safe.

Local authorities are in the best position to identify and remedy danger spots for cyclists.

Local authorities are best placed to plan and implement safe route to school schemes for the primary schools in their area.

Working together under the guidance of the Dublin Transport Authority, the local authorities can come together and devise cycle routes that will cross the entire city, and link surrounding counties.

We can make cycling a genuinely safe option, and the first step is to elect myself and my colleagues to city and county councils this June.

Ends

Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 4179777

High resolution pictures of Roderic are available at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rodericogorman/

Press Release – Tragic death highlights risks for cyclists – O’Gorman

15/01/09

Green Party Castleknock-Blanchardstown ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has highlighted the continued threats to cyclists following the tragic death of a cyclist in Harolds Cross.

“The tragic death of a cyclist after a collision with a cement mixer lorry in Harolds Cross, highlights the continued threats that cyclists face on our roads. At a time when increasing numbers of commuters are deciding to cycle to and from work and many schools are implementing a cycle-to-school policy, it is essential that the Government and local authorities act to ensure that cyclists are able to safely use our roads”.

“While the recent move to change the tax system to benefit those who cycle to and from work has been widely welcomed, a sustained move to commuters using bicycles will only happen when people feel safe cycling. This tragedy shows that much remains to be done to make the cities roads safe for cyclists”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

Ends

Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

High resolution pictures of Roderic are available at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rodericogorman/

Greens launch Bike Scheme website

The Green Party has launched a new website – www.bikescheme.ie – to help commuters take advantage of the ‘Cycle to Work’ tax scheme which was created by the Government as part of the Budget.

The scheme allows people to get up €1,000 tax back on money spent on a bicycle or cycling equipment which is to be used for commuting to and from work.

The Bike Scheme website provides employers and employees with details of how the scheme works and allows them request a special information pack from the Green Party. The website also includes a map of bike shops across the country, so people can start shopping around immediately for their new bicycle.

Cycling has major health benefits, increasingly it’s faster and cheaper than using the car and it does not produce carbon emissions so it’s better for the environment. The Green Party have worked in Government to develop this tax scheme to make it cheaper for commuters to take up cycling, along with securing extra funding of €5 million to improve cycle lanes across Dublin. I would urge anyone in Dublin 15 who is interested in switching to the bike to log onto the Green Party Bike Scheme website so they can take full advantage of the tax breaks.

Fingal CC needs to match Government measures to support cyclists

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has called on Fingal County Council to follow the Governments lead and implement more measures to encourage and support cycling. He was speaking after a number of announcements in the budget which were of benefit to cyclists.

In what was a very tough budget, one of the few positive points was the two new initiatives that the Government has brought forward to support cyclists. Firstly, a tax exemption on bicycles and bike safety equipment of up to €1,000 per person, for those who use it to cycle to work. This is to encourage employers help their employees meet the cost of switching to the bike.

Secondly, an investment of €5 million in upgrading cycling routes in Dublin City. This will be focused on improving safety for cyclists.

I’ve spoken to many people in Dublin 15 who have switched to cycling to work for a variety of reasons – it’s healthier, with the rise in fuel prices it’s cheaper and due to the traffic congestion in the area, its now often faster than the car! However, almost everyone I have spoken to have told me of some story regarding narrowly missed accidents.

In particular, many local cyclists have highlighted to me how dangerous it is to try and cycle toward Chapelizod and from there into town, with Tower Road near Castleknock College and the Knockmaroon Hill being particular blackspots. Some cyclists said they simply have to cycle on the footpath due to safety concerns.

The Government have made moves to make cycling more attractive and safer. Now it is up to Fingal County Council to play its part. There needs to be an examination of the volume and direction of cycle paths in the area. A look at the Dublin Transport Offices map of cycle lanes in Dublin 15 clearly shows that there is a big gap for cyclists between the Blanchardstown area and the new cycle lane along the N3 by the Phoenix Park racecourse development. Further, there are virtually no cycle lanes in and around Castleknock village.

Over the next two years, the Council needs to interact with cyclists in the area and learn what their specific needs are. Possibly, some consideration could be given to speaking to Waterways Ireland and arranging for a high quality cycle path to be developed alongside the Royal Canal.

Also, the Council should go further in developing the cycling/walking to school element of the Green Schools Programme, which has received extra funding from the Department of Transport over the year. Many parents would love to let their kids walk or cycle to school, but they are simply too scared to let them out on the roads in Dublin 15 because there are not enough cycle paths and pedestrian facilities are so poor.

In the run up to the local elections next June, I intend to focus strongly on the lack of cycling and pedestrian facilities across Castleknock, Carpenterstown and Blanchardstown. If I am elected to the Council next year, ensuring that those who wish to walk or cycle, be they young or old, will be able to do so will be a top priority for me.