CyclingForAll.ie is about moving up a few gears in providing for cycling for all ages and abilities in Ireland
Who’s behind it?
It was launched by IrishCycle.com, but the campaign is aimed to be a decentralised one — in other words, this website offers the details of why and how, but ordinary people (like you) have to act to help bring it forward.
This website includes and would not be possible without the input of a large number of people across Ireland, including cycling campaigners and people who cycle to work, shopping and cycle with their children to school. A special thanks to those who looked over the details of this site and gave feedback, and to supporters of IrishCycle.com.
Why copy the Dutch?
The on-going issues with Irish cycling infrastructure and cycling unfriendly streets and roads includes a lack of (1) Space, (2) Priority, (3) Continuity and quality, (4) Permeability, (5) Contra-flow for cycling and (6) Integration and connectivity — the Dutch approach to planning and design can help Ireland fix existing issues and avoid them in the future.
If IrishCycle.com is a news website, why is it campaigning?
Campaigning journalism has a strong tradition in written journalism in Ireland and the UK. Although it might not be as widespread in Ireland, there’s some relevant recent examples such as the Ireland edition of The Times taking up the call of the Staying Alive at 1.5 campaign, this follows their sister newspaper The Times in London campaigning for “Cities Fit For Cycling”.
What about the way they do it in Denmark or Germany?
We can learn lessons from any country where there are good ideas, but the system of cycle networks in Denmark, Germany and similar countries are overall less developed than the Netherlands.
In Danish cities, for example, the main network includes wide, two-way streets which are typically wider than Irish streets. Dutch street networks are more varied and their designs for junctions are safer and their rural network is more comprehensive.
But the Netherlands is flat / more densely populated / it doesn’t rain there?
Dublin has a slightly higher population density than Amsterdam and while cycling benefits from higher density, it does not require it — areas with lower density have higher cycling use.
Regarding hills: the Dutch have many cycling crossings of large railways, motorists and canals and design helps overcome this barriers. While most of our cities and towns are relatively flat and higher gear bicycles and electric bicycles can help people overcome individual issues.
Irish people complain about the weather a lot but the data shows rainfall is comparable in cities in both countries. There’s also more often more extreme weather in a host of cycling-friendly cities. Windy weather in the Netherlands makes even west-of-Ireland wind look like a breeze.