herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Paralysed Herald Girl Aline backs our campaign

Aline Barros who was paralysed by an accident which happened while she was cycling to work in Dublin has backed our Make Cycling Safer campaign.

Aline (29) from Brazil was on her way to work for Herald Am one morning in July 2008 when her life changed for ever.

"I'm in so much pain. The biggest problem is the pain," said Aline, who now lives with her mother in Donnybrook, Dublin.

She said he was in favour of anything to improve the safety of cycling in the city.

Among the steps now being taken to improve cycling safety is the opening of a new multi-million euro cycling route next month.

The traffic lights on the latest €5.8m route linking the Royal and the Grand Canals will be turned on in March.

The 3.6km route starts at the Royal Canal in the North Docklands and brings cyclists via the Samuel Beckett Bridge, Grand Canal Square and the Grand Canal to Portobello.

The new Marlborough Street Bridge over the Liffey will also contain cycleways, as well as carrying buses and the Luas. The bridge, currently under construction, will create a new north-south link from Abbey Street to Pearse Street.

Eventually, planners aim to have a continuous, unbroken route going from Sutton on the northside to Sandycove in south Dublin, to so-called S2S path.

The views of cyclists now form an integral part of any road infrastructure plans.

Dublin's existing infrastructure has been surveyed twice by international experts and both independently concluded that quality needs to be improved.

"What we have now is not comparable to what exists in the Netherlands or Denmark," the city council's cycling officer Ciaran Fallon said. Detailed plans for the next phase of the infrastructure have yet to be formulated. However, it will be based on the successful models of Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

Key considerations will be -- as far as possible -- segregating cyclists from other road users, reducing car speeds and increasing bike numbers.



Barrier

The latest projects come as the Road Safety Authority (RSA) prepares to launch a nationwide publicity campaign aimed at protecting "vulnerable road users".

RSA spokesman Brian Farrell said a new campaign in late April would focus on pedestrians and cyclists, with an emphasis on their interaction with motorists.

Dublin City Council has already piloted an initiative to better protect cyclists on O'Connell Street -- a security barrier.

The series of miniature bollards prevented motorists crossing into the cycle lane.

The measure, which was introduced on a trial basis and welcomed by riders, could be implemented in other zones.

Accident figures suggest Dublin is one of the safest capital cities in the world in which to ride a bike, with the number of related deaths plummeting by 65pc in just two years.

A total of 32 cyclists died on Dublin city and county's roads in 2009, some 21 more than the number killed last year.

comurphy@herald.ie

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