Monday, July 27, 2009

Bikes are back in Dublin

There has certainly been a bike boom in Dublin since my last visit in July 2006. Bikes are piled into racks and locked to street signs and railings everywhere. Brave cyclists claim their space among taxis and double-decker buses on the busiest streets in the downtown tourist areas. Bike lanes have been signposted throughout the city, usually within the bus lanes. Many of the bike lanes are reserved only during the morning and evening rush hours, and some bike lanes appear to be no more than 2 feet wide, but they are being used despite their shortcomings. Whether it's the higher cost of gas, the drop in the economy, or a growing environmental awareness, Dublin residents of all ages seem to be bringing out their bikes, and the city seems to be scrambling to meet their needs.

Catching a photo of any of these cyclists from the crowded sidewalks or our moving rental car sure kept me scrambling, but I eventually caught a few live ones. Click here or on the photo below to see my small set of photos from Dublin.



(For an insider's view of cycling in and around Dublin, check out Jack's blog, Le Vie en Velo.)

10 comments:

  1. Lovely shots! It was also 2006, beginning of 2007, when I was in Ireland last and it really seems to be different. Hope more people will hop on their bikes, there surely is a lot of potential. The 2 feet bike lanes don't sound very good though, hope the city will improve them.

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  2. Thanks for the complement Lynn. It can be very bad at Rush Hour especially where that Girl is Cycling around College Green,Westmoreland Street ,Dame Street. The Buses in Particular are Highly Dangerous as they get in your Way Milling around all those Bus Stops. They have a Habit of pulling in suddenly to those Bus Strops. They have now since Monday made this Area a Bus Zone at Rush Hour Banning Cars and Trucks and only allowing Bikes through as well as those Buses.

    Yes there are a lot more People Cycling but they need to improve the Infrastructure put in better Cycling Lanes and also a lot more Parking Stands for Cyclists.Jack.

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  3. @anna - Thanks. Those skinny bike lanes were on a newly paved road on the outskirts of the city. I guess they weren't in the original plans, just added at the last moment with not much space available. Too scary for me, though!

    @le homme - Jack, I appreciate all the background information you share. I don't usually have much time to spend in downtown Dublin since our trips are meant to spend time with my husband's family, so I don't know as much about the city as the average tourist would after 11 trips! This visit was for a family reunion which kept us very busy, so I only went downtown twice to buy gifts for my family at home (and try to get some bike photos). Hopefully our next visit will leave me time to explore different areas of the city and maybe meet up with you for a cup of tea at Bewley's or a bike ride on those nice safe paths in Phoenix Park!

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  4. To be fair the City Council has promised to make things a lot safer than they were for Cyclists by improving the Cycling Lanes. They vary in Width from 2mtr 5feet down to 1/2mtr 2feet and some start then suddenly End two feet further on especially in the Suburbs. It is quite Pleasant Cycling during the OFF Peak times and on Sundays though ,especially Sunday when the City and County goes Dead after the Commuters have gone Home to the Setellite Towns in Places like Kildare, Louth, Wicklow.There is the Distinct possibility of Dublin getting the Bike Vélib they have been promising us soon. The Council showed an Artists Impression in their Newspaper of the Bikes outside the Customs House.You will be able to Buy a Smart Card to put in a Slot to use them,the first 1/2 Hour is Free. They promise it will be the Cheapest in Europe with an Initial amount of 450 Bikes.

    I shall look forward to the Tea/ Coffee and Croissants in Bewleys and a Spin around The Phoenix Park or perhaps along Clontarf Seafront in the Future on one of your Visits to Dublin.

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  5. Did my wife just ask you out on a date!!!!

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  6. I am saying nothing,Cherche La Femme.

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  7. "Cherche La Femme" literally translates to "find the woman", it refers to the underlying (and yes, sexist) assumption that behind every problem, there is a woman who caused it. I will agree to the date as long as I can chaperon…….I will also buy the coffee/tea and croissants...........

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  8. @le homme and Anon - Tea for 3 is fine by me! I'll start monitoring the airfares now (it's never too early to plan the next trip, right?).

    Sexist remarks are so much nicer in French, btw.

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  10. Dublin Council's bike scheme is up and running and a roaring success. Huge take up. I think it has made cycling in general safer in the city as the publicity surrounding the campaign really raised awareness of cycling on the whole. If you come back again you will be even more surprised.. Still same old poor cycling lanes though.

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