No cycle parking for Pope Mass

Let’s hope that our Lord Jesus doesn’t pick the upcoming Papal Mass in Phoenix Park to make his second coming, as there’ll be no ‘Christ on a bike’ that day.

The official transport guidelines for the Pope’s celebration of Mass in the Phoenix Park on 26th August state that:

It is not possible to cycle directly to the Phoenix Park as bike parking facilities will not be available. Dublin Bikes will be unavailable up to a certain radius of the Park.

And so, while they’re not allowing anyone to cycle inside the park itself, I did get confirmation from the Garda Info twitter account that cyclists will be allowed inside the controlled zone (a traffic-free cordon of 1.5-2 km radius around the Phoenix Park), so you should be able to get pretty close.

You would have thought they’ve really missed a trick here, and should have provided dedicated secure bike parking – if not in the park itself, then nearby – as a sustainable and healthy way for the faithful to attend. It would have surely been a better option that getting people to walk long distances!

Safe cycling for all ages and abilities

The number one reason stopping people cycling is the perception that it’s dangerous.

Some of this fear is caused by bad road design. Some of this is caused by bad behaviour from other road users. All of the fear can be solved by better infrastructure!

What does bad cycling infrastructure look like?

Painting a line at the side of the road is not good cycling infrastructure as it does not provide any protection to people riding bicycles. 

A typical Dublin city street. Does this look like safe cycling infrastructure to you?

Motorists routinely park and drive their vehicles in these cycle lanes, which is illegal, but there is zero enforcement of the law from An Garda Síochána.

It makes our roads a potentially dangerous place for cyclists, and puts off a lot of people from riding bicycles.

What does good cycling infrastructure look like?

We need to provide a safe and welcoming environment for all cyclists, of all ages and abilities. We need fully-segregated cycle paths that we would be comfortable for all adults and children to use, whether they are experienced or novice riders.

We need to provide cycling routes where bikes are in conflict with pedestrians, and that don’t just disappear and push cyclists into traffic at junctions.

The Grand Canal cycle path is an example of good infrastructure

Unfortunately the amount of good cycling infrastructure is very low at the moment. We have decent segregated cycle paths along the Grand Canal and along Clontarf Road, but these routes are rare examples, and they aren’t joined up.

We need good safe infrastructure throughout the city – so that everyone can feel safe and confident in getting around the city by bike.

Crumbling Bike Lanes

When the surface crumbles away like this it makes the bike lane uncomfortable (and sometimes dangerous) to ride on. Bikes don’t have the massive tyres and suspension of vehicles to absorb the uneven surface.