Behaviour of cyclists in Dublin City Centre

By The Helpful Engineer / On / In Infrastructure

Google streetThe radio pundit George Hook takes a lot of abuse, from the cycling community, for his strongly expressed view that their behaviour is in main dreadful.  While he may go too far sometimes, he has a point when he says that many cyclists show a complete disregard for the rules of the road. The one behaviour that I encounter daily is cyclists using footpaths at speed and more often than not with one hand held to their ear with a phone.

Personally, I think its fine for a careful cyclist to use a footpath to avoid using a narrow or dangerous road. But more and more I see cyclists aggressively cycling on footpaths at speed, weaving in and out and around people, and giving them little regard.

I took a picture of the footpath along the LUAS (tram) line outside Collins Museum one morning. It’s a good indication of the kind behaviour that is now typical. See picture below.

Cyclists at luas stop
Cycling through a LUAS platform at Collins Museum

It shows two cyclists on the footpath and one on the tram line. The two cyclists on the footpath are coming up to a LUAS (tram) station which they proceed to cycle straight through, this is not an unusual occurrence. In fact, the google street view picture of the same LUAS stop shows someone cycling on the platform! It’s easy to foresee a future accident here where a person at the station steps in front of a bike accidentally, and being puched under an approaching tram. Particularly as there is an advertising sign board at this stop blocking the view from the footpath.

Interestingly the wet tire marks on the pavement in the foreground show that many more cyclists have done the same thing that morning.

The solution. A city-wide solution is difficult, particularly as there seems to be no political will or public policing at present. But it would involve more cycle paths and enforcement of traffic laws. However, there is a relatively easy solution to the particular area in the photograph. The footpath is wide enough to accommodate a cycle lane and a footpath. To avoid cyclists cycling through the LUAS stop, the cycle path can be diverted around the LUAS stop for a short distance through the adjacent park. Bike barriers would need to be erected to prevent cyclists using the LUAS platform as a short cut.

Google Street view of stop (with cyclist)
Google Street view of same LUAS stop (again with a cyclist)

4 thoughts on “Behaviour of cyclists in Dublin City Centre

  1. “cyclists using footpaths at speed and more often than not with one hand held to their ear with a phone” ….. more often than not ??? Might that be a bit of exaggeration. I’m a cyclist and driver. I drive to work and cycle for leisure – I’m based in Ennis, County Clare so it’s a different scenario. I don’t get worked up by George Hook and his ilk. I’m just a bit disappointed that in a neutral article you might suggest that more often than not a cyclist has the phone to their ear. Again I know Dublin is different but I’ve never ever seen a cyclist with a phone to their ear. I see car drivers about twice a week on average doing this.

    1. PS. I do get very annoyed at bad cycling behaviour. It gets “all” cyclists a bad name because of the George Hook mentality.

    2. I live in London, and here, I’ve seen cyclists texting while cycling. Not looking at where they’re going. Quite dangerous on the road.

  2. In all fairness when you look at the photos, there are very few or no pedestrians around. Often than not, cyclists do expect the pedestrian to give way even though the pedestrian have the right of way on the footpath. I find the roads to be far too dangerous to be on and cycle on both to avoid the very bad junctions . Like those junctions and lane merges all along the Dublin quays. I think it’s just down to people’s bad etiquette and lack of consideration for others whether they’re walking, cycling, driving or even just standing around on a bus or train.

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