herald

Monday 5 December 2016

'I've had so many near misses in the city I've lost count'

Paschal Comerford originally from Tipperary who now commutes into the city by bike from Rathfarnham.
Paschal Comerford originally from Tipperary who now commutes into the city by bike from Rathfarnham.

Cycling in Dublin could be considered a pursuit for the brave.

There are certainly some areas, particularly in the city centre, that require a good nerve to cycle through.

I have been cycling in the city for 15 years and I currently commute to work daily on my bike.

Living in Rathfarnham I travel into the heart of the city centre to work on Harcourt Street.

I've been lucky enough to avoid any serious accidents, but I've had so many near misses that I've lost count.

Vulnerable

That's when you realise how vulnerable you are.

You're cycling along, minding your own business, and then suddenly a car pulls across you - without paying any attention to your safety.

So many times drivers have said "oh I didn't see you", but I wear a high visibility vest in the middle of the day. If drivers don't see me it's because they are not paying attention.

There are many motorists who have a car-centric attitude - though no group of road users who are complete angels.

Of course there are cyclists who give us a bad name too.

Some areas in the city have been excellently developed for cyclists.

The route along the canal for example is perfect for families because of the segregated lanes.

I certainly wouldn't let my own children use lanes that are beside traffic.

That's one thing that planners need to keep in mind. If we want to encourage the next generation of cyclists then we need to make it safe for them and not just build infrastructure for people who have years of experience.

Another key improvement that could be made is for the authorities to enforce cycle lanes more rigorously.

There is no point in forcing us into a cycle lane, if we are then blocked from using it by parked cars.

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