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Council commits to targeting motorists blocking ‘protected’ cycle lane and pavement near school – but illegal parking continues

“It’s an accident waiting to happen,” said one councillor, who argued that “more needs to be done” to make the cycle lane safe

Dublin City Council has announced that a special enforcement operation is underway to tackle the problem of illegal cycle lane and pavement parking on one of Ireland’s longest and busiest avenues.

However, despite the council’s claims that the clampdown on motorists blocking the recently installed part-protected bike lane on north Dublin’s Griffith Avenue will begin immediately, local cyclists have this week posted images online appearing to show that the problem remains as bad as ever.

The Independent reports that parking enforcement personnel have been tasked by Dublin City Council with conducting special patrols and told to fine motorists parking on the cycle lane and pavements on the avenue, which has proved a hotspot for illegal parking.

The high levels of illegal parking, by motorists visiting friends’ house or on the school run, have continued even as the council moved since 2020 to install a 3.5km-long cycle lane on the road.

The bike lane, the work on which is still ongoing and is expected to be finished later this year, has attracted criticism from local cyclists for its narrowness and lack of full segregation, despite it being partly designed for use by school children.

While some sections of the lane are protected from motor traffic by concrete kerbs (with more of this kind of protection, along with planters, currently being put in place on the southern side of Griffith Avenue), others simply feature bollards or no protection at all.

As a result, swathes of drivers have continued to park illegally on the cycle lanes, even in areas where segregation exists, an issue which has become especially hazardous on weekday mornings and afternoons during the school run.

On Monday, Green Party councillor Donna Cooney highlighted the problem to Dublin City Council, pinpointing the area around St Vincent de Paul and Scoil Mhuire schools as a particular hotspot.

Cooney told the council’s North Central Area Committee meeting that the parking represents a “real danger” to children, cyclists, and pedestrians, and that “more needs to be done” to make the new cycle lane safe.

“I’m concerned about the way it is designed that people will still be able to park across it,” she said.

“You have people driving up and down the pavement. Because there is a bollard put in to try and stop cars driving, people are driving up from another driveway entrance and backing off down the road with little children behind them.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen and I am really frightened for the dangers that are there. People seem to believe you can park there because of the hard surface… they are not parking bays, it’s the pavement.”

Responding to Councillor Cooney’s complaints, the council confirmed that the company charged by the local authority with issuing fines and clamping illegally-parked motorists will “immediately commence” targeted enforcement in the area.

“The parking enforcement officer has instructed Dublin Street Parking Services to patrol this location, particularly at school drop off and collection times and to issue fixed charge notices for illegal parking,” the council said.

However, despite the council’s claims that enforcement would begin “immediately”, locals have continued to highlight the ongoing problem.

“I suppose I should give Dublin City Council a couple of days to begin the action they committed to beginning with immediate effect,” wrote Twitter user Bikeopath this morning, while another local posted an image of cars parked across the entire, extremely wide, pavement.

At Monday’s council meeting, Fine Gael councillor Naoise Ó Muirí also noted that more road markings were added outside the schools last week and that a concrete “separator” is due to be installed.

“The sooner the better,” Councillor Ó Muirí said. “Because there was nothing, motorists in particular have got very used to leaving their cars there. There is no way there will be the same amount of space there as there has been.”

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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Benthic | 1 year ago

Motorists remain utterly convinced that the world owes them storage space for their four-wheeled posessions.

eburtthebike | 1 year ago

"Immediately" obviously has a different meaning in Ireland.

Reminds me of the joke:

Two linguists at a conference, one Irish, the other Spanish, and the Spaniard ask the Irishman whether there is a translation for "mañana" in Gaelic.  The Irishman looks thoughtful, take a good slurp of his Guinness and replies:

"Well, there are a few words that loosely translate, but nothing that implies the same sense of urgency."

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