The 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.
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.