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Friday, 2 March 2012

Connecting Places Mini Series: Bicycling Belfast: Part 5: #BicyclingBelfast

Over the course of the past week there has been a somewhat surprising amount of online discussion regarding the Bicycling Belfast mini series with tweets from both Belfast and Dublin Lord Mayors as well as various bloggers and campaigners, including the man behind 'Cycle Chic', Mikeal Colville.  The final post of the series will be dedicated to the views expressed by the readers of the blog, via #bicyclingbelfast on twitter as well as Facebook and blog comments.

Many thanks to all those who have been engaging in the debate and please continue using #bicyclingbelfast.

Aaron






Twitter

@openplaques
'Belfast cycling budget cut by 98%  in city where John Boyd Dunlop invented the pneumatic tyre. Plaque '
'Also plaque to tyre inventor John Boyd Dunlop in Dublin where  has taken opposite tack  '
@markybar 
'Cycling in Belfast is like a near death experience each time... I had to give it up' '
@KenDeBiker
'record this morning for number of cars driving in bus lane on Lisburn rd. '
' all cycle lanes are painted with dashed lines so can not be enforced. Cars park in or drive in with no consequences'
@chapeau76
'I hate the exit from Queens Sq to High St where to avoid getting mown by a bus, cyclists have to jump light & mount kerb '
'Amelia St cyclelane runs along double yellow lines. It's still not enforced '
@growingbelfast  
'I used to cycle but it was dangerous at times!'
@NI_Transport
'Emailed Travelwise and my MLA in response to the low cycling target of 1% growth by 2020, others should too! '
Blog Comments

Daniel Smith 
'It's a vicious 'cycle' though, as without more people cycling, the government won't put in the investment, but without investment, people won't feel safe enough to get on their bikes and leave the car at home. Cycling in European cities is fantastic in comparison and Belfast really needs to learn from the endless advantages and put the money into improving our infrastructure now.'
Cranbourn
'I am a regular cyclist and feel that little regard is given to cyclists. Cars do not notice us, cycling lanes are parked in and usually littered with glass. There needs to be more involvement and understanding across the board and more parking for bikes. More cycle lanes goes without saying- just look at the amount of use the comber greenway gets.'
Mikecro
'Anyway my main comment is that white lines at the roadside are the poor mans cycle lane. The path alongside the M2 or more tracks like the comber greenway is the type of investment that is really needed since motorists in the main refuse to share the road with anything other than more cars.'
Anonymous
'Cycling is widely seen as an activity for kids and those who can't afford a car. Cyclists are seen by drivers (if they're lucky!) as a nuisance. I don't know how bad congestion would have to get for a significant number of motorists to consider an alternative.'
Craig
'Coming down past Central Station turning left towards Ormeau... the cycle lane just ends half way around the corner into a tight car lane. Cars think you are in your own space and suddenly you are sharing... and just looking at the angles/line of sight considering driver-> windscreen pillar -> cyclist on the bend makes you wonder if it would be possible to make it more dangerous.'
'Realising that the cost vs effectiveness is far greater than other transport initiatives should make it a no-brainer for those deciding the spend.'
Roy White (NI Cycling Initiative)
'Whatever the modal share currently is, Belfast is certainly not a cycling city, i.e. one where virtually anyone, men or women, children or the elderly, can get about safely by bike.'
Facebook

Many thanks to The Olde Belfast Velo Jaunt for letting me hi-jack their page for the week. Next event is on Monday 19th March, check it out!

Share your views...

What is the next step for cycling in Belfast?

2 comments:

Craig said...

Get on bikes and give it a chance. The more people using them the stronger our case... and remember to smile, especially if it's raining...then everyone will want in on the fun :)

While we all rightly complain about the eejits, abuse and near-death experiences, I like to remember that of the hundreds or thousands of vehicles that I'm around each day, only a small percent cause concern. It's easy to note when someone cuts you up, but try counting all the cars that give you space and are patient passing...they are good drivers and they are out there.

Aaron said...

Craig,

Perfect.