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Pedestrians Association

  • 18-01-2017 5:59pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 32 KungFuhrer


    I'm wondering if there's any organization/lobby group fighting for the interests and security of pedestrians, either in Dublin or at national level.
    I couldn't really find any, but it seems much needed, especially with traffic levels rising and every other commuter group trying to get the most out of public roads.
    I've only been living in Dublin for 4 years, but it's very apparent the lack of pedestrian crossings and footpath room, alongside with the very poor education of pedestrians themselves (it's insane how people cross the road in this city!).
    So I guess I'm proposing that people should come together to discuss and implement these things:
    - more education about ROR and pedestrians right of way
    - more pedestrian crossings, better traffic light timing
    - improved accessibility (wide footpaths to accommodate wheelchair users, tactile floor markings, decluttering streets, ramps)
    - more enforcement/awareness to stop cars invading pedestrian space, i.e., parking or even driving over footpaths

    The last days have been marked by tragedies, and I thoroughly believe at least some of them could have been avoided.
    Walking is the most basic and universal way we have to travel, however it's also when we're more vulnerable as road users and when our rights to seem to be more blurred in the eyes of everyone - from pedestrians who don't use caution, to cyclists who ignore crossings and motorists who beep and harass people passing in front of parking entrances). I don't mean to antagonize any other group of road users, in fact it would even make sense if we could work alongside cycling organizations and find a happy, safe medium.

    We can complain to TDs, to the DCC, whoever, one letter at a time, but there's strenght in numbers and that's when people really pay attention. Priorities need to be set right: owning a bike or a car can't trump the universal right people have of using their own two legs(or other means that make them self-sufficient).

    There are many examples of such organizations, these are a few:
    https://www.livingstreets.org.uk/
    http://www.walk21.com/
    http://www.pedestrians-int.org/en/
    http://www.pedestrians-europe.org/contenidos/international_charter.pdf


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,643 ✭✭✭✭ coylemj


    The Govt. doesn't listen to motorists who contribute hundreds of millions of tax revenue every year in car tax, VRT, excise and VAT on fuel, why would they listen to a pedestrian lobby?

    If the Healy-Raes had their way, there would be a separate (higher) limit for drink driving in rural areas to allow people to have a few pints and drive home which would provide a serious hazard to pedestrians on poorly lit roads.

    The only people who have the ear of the Govt. are the people who lobby on behalf of the motor 'industry', virtually everything they ask for, they get.

    You import a perfectly good secondhand car from Japan, one of the most advanced countries in the world. What's the first thing you have to do? Throw away the perfectly good tyres it came with because they don't have the 'E' mark. Change the registration system to have two changes each year - why the hell not? Benefit to the consumer - none.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 KungFuhrer


    Because people die or get maimed.

    Because we're ostracizing people who are older, who have special needs, who live in rural areas.

    I'm not so naive to think that money isn't the great motivator, but surely there must be a drop of human decency left, no?
    We're not "consumers". The government shouldn't regard citizens as such, it's a problematic view. We're people first and foremost. Resignation surely won't change anything.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,620 ✭✭✭✭ Grandeeod


    coylemj wrote: »
    The Govt. doesn't listen to motorists who contribute hundreds of millions of tax revenue every year in car tax, VRT, excise and VAT on fuel, why would they listen to a pedestrian lobby?

    Because motorists don't have a lobby. If they had, then the Government might listen. Its unfair to blast an idea by mentioning a non existant comparison.

    Genuinely though, the country needs a public lobby based on all aspects of travel/public transport, but from experience and these very forums, it will never happen due to egos within each individual sector. Just imagine a motoring lobby sitting down with the cycling lobby? I'd love to be a fly on the wall at that meeting.:D You might get some workability between a bus lobby and a rail lobby. Then throw a pedestrian lobby into the mix. Civil War mark 2.:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 643 Corca Baiscinn


    OP the only pedestrian lobby group I am aware of is Cosáin in Galway. I can only find them on Twitter so you could probably contact via a twitter message. They work in tandem with the Galway Cycling Campaign. Grandeeod, I think the AA could be described as a lobby for motorists, dont you? coylemi, the motorists who contribute these hundreds of millions must surely sometimes be pedestrians too since the number of drive-in shops, workplaces, restaurants, offices and cinemas is limited!


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,620 ✭✭✭✭ Grandeeod


    Grandeeod, I think the AA could be described as a lobby for motorists, dont you?

    Absolutely not. You pay them money to rescue you from a breakdown. They sell insurance policies ranging from car, home, travel to life, which negates them from seriously commenting on the outrageous cost of insurance. They roll out Conor Faughnan as if he's motorists friend to comment on motoring issues. He's about as useful as a fart in a breeze. I especially love it when he is rolled out to comment on public transport issues. He's nothing but a wannabe celebrity for an organisation that milks money from its own legacy existance.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 643 Corca Baiscinn


    I'm sure you're right but he defends high speed limits in urban areas, keeping cars on the quays etc and when himself and Pat Kenny get on their joint high horses.......AA seems to have ear of Government and RSA and is well got with RTE


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,620 ✭✭✭✭ Grandeeod


    AA seems to have ear of Government and RSA and is well got with RTE

    But thats the problem. They are all alike and in it for what they can get out of it, be it money, popularity or profile. The AA no more represent the average motorist than Trump represents Mexicans.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,643 ✭✭✭ R.D. aka MR.D


    I would love to see a pedestrian's association. Even if all it was achieved was to raise awareness amongst people to improve safety.

    One thing the association could focus on would be trying to encourage the gards to be more pro-active in dealing with people who are a danger to pedestrians. My OH is an avid cyclist and is from the US. He quite aggressively shouts at people cycling on the pavements here and every single time comments to me about how if you did that in his State, you'd get a ticket so quickly! Additionally there needs to be something done about pedestrians walking out in front of bikes.

    Even just the awareness that we should all be working together to respect each other would be worthwhile. Working with other interest groups eg cyclist groups wouldn't be that useful because it's not usually avid cyclists who are the ones cycling on the pavement, it's the casual cyclist. So a wider safety campaign could be worked on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 KungFuhrer


    Even just the awareness that we should all be working together to respect each other would be worthwhile. Working with other interest groups eg cyclist groups wouldn't be that useful because it's not usually avid cyclists who are the ones cycling on the pavement, it's the casual cyclist. So a wider safety campaign could be worked on.

    That's the dream :)
    Thanks for letting me know I'm not out of my mind or simply alone in thinking this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,134 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    OP the only pedestrian lobby group I am aware of is Cosáin in Galway. I can only find them on Twitter so you could probably contact via a twitter message. They work in tandem with the Galway Cycling Campaign.

    Working in tandem with a cycling organisation is a problem: cyclists are a group of road users who present particular challenges to pedestrians.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 27,834 ✭✭✭✭ ThisRegard


    coylemj wrote: »
    The Govt. doesn't listen to motorists who contribute hundreds of millions of tax revenue every year in car tax, VRT, excise and VAT on fuel, why would they listen to a pedestrian lobby?

    They're not mutually exclusive, all motorists, cyclists, runners are pedestrians.
    I'm sure you're right but he defends high speed limits in urban areas, keeping cars on the quays etc and when himself and Pat Kenny get on their joint high horses.......AA seems to have ear of Government and RSA and is well got with RTE

    Pat Kenny is on Newstalk.
    Working in tandem with a cycling organisation is a problem: cyclists are a group of road users who present particular challenges to pedestrians.

    Some do, they're not a homogeneous group. And some people walking can cause problems to road users.


  • Registered Users Posts: 502 ✭✭✭ Hexen


    This is a great idea.

    Of course, policy formation in Ireland, in regard to transport, urban planning, and much else, is very poor (based on short-term goals with little research basis). It really can't be assumed that state or local authorities have the requisite expertise to evaluate and implement beneficial policy changes. Coupled with this, civic society in Ireland is pretty weak. For a variety of reasons, the ability of civic groups to influence policy, unless very well-networked, is not great.

    However, a pressure or campaign group centred on the pedestrian, with walking figured as a form of 'active transport' and a strong emphasis on the urban infrastructural changes necessary to create 'liveable cities' would complement some strands of current policy (rhetorical and otherwise). Despite real conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians, alliance with commuter cycle groups would make sense as, notwithstanding questions of civility, most such conflicts are the product of infrastructural deficits rather 'moral failings'. The overarching goal in such an alliance would not be primarily about the promotion of cycling in and of itself but the recognition that good pedestrian and cycling infrastructure delivers a pleasanter and more enjoyable urban environment, centred on people rather than traffic, with a range of health, social and economic benefits.

    I'd centre such a campaign around a generalised and pretty holistic vision of what the urban environment and experience could and should be.


  • Registered Users Posts: 502 ✭✭✭ Hexen


    Working in tandem with a cycling organisation is a problem: cyclists are a group of road users who present particular challenges to pedestrians.

    Notwithstanding a lot of pretty poor behaviour, most such problems are infrastructural rather than due to the assumed moral qualities of any particular group. There's no doubt that, in terms of desired infrastructural changes, cyclists, pedestrians and users of wheelchairs and mobility scooters share a lot of common interests. They also have a shared interest in the delivery of good public transport.

    Making urban environments interesting, safe and pleasant to walk is key, I think. That also entails ready access to reliable and efficient public transport systems.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,381 ✭✭✭ AngryLips


    Where do I sign up?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,683 ✭✭✭ coolbeans


    Working in tandem with a cycling organisation is a problem: cyclists are a group of road users who present particular challenges to pedestrians.

    Nonsense and bunkum, cyclists do not speak as one group.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 KungFuhrer


    mf6fzeaxe87o_t.jpg

    These figures and more at “The State of European Cities 2016”: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/policy/themes/cities-report/state_eu_cities2016_highres_en.pdf
    Chapter 5 is about Urban Mobility


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 KungFuhrer


    15bxdhdjpxej_t.jpg
    Access to public transport in capital cities and large cities, 2014


  • Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭✭ Cakewheels


    https://twitter.com/JustWalkNow - describe themselves as a Dublin-based campaign to make urban walking easier, safer and fun

    http://www.dublininquirer.com/2016/11/16/kilmainham-one-woman-takes-traffic/ - this person says she wants to start a pedestrian advocacy group in Dublin, if you're Dublin based and it's not you OP may be worth trying to get in touch somehow

    https://www.facebook.com/Love-30-Campaign-1661011850800331/ - not specifically a pedestrian only lobby group, but a campaign to support the introduction of lower speed limits on suitable roads in built up areas, which can make it safer and more pleasant to be a pedestrian!

    https://twitter.com/cosaingalway - Cosain Galway, as mentioned further up the thread. Interesting stuff on there even for people outside Galway (although admittedly there is a lot of cycling stuff at the moment).

    There isn't any national pedestrian lobby that I'm aware of but I agree it is badly needed.
    However, the idea that a pedestrian or general road safety campaign collaborating or working together with a cycling campaign is a problem is stupid - many of the same issues are faced by both - speeding traffic, car orientated road design, motorist inattention, infrastructure that forces pedestrians and cyclists to share space when they should be segregated, etc. Cycling campaigners will often share the same interests as pedestrians and generally speak up for them when they can, but a separate pedestrian lobby would be much more focused and if done right could potentially attract a lot more volunteers or public support, since nearly everyone is a pedestrian at least some of the time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 502 ✭✭✭ Hexen


    KungFuhrer wrote: »
    15bxdhdjpxej_t.jpg
    Access to public transport in capital cities and large cities, 2014

    Dublin is lowest ranked out of 39 major European cities.


  • Registered Users Posts: 502 ✭✭✭ Hexen


    The mode of transport used by the shoppers surveyed is shown in Figure 2.4 [attached below]. Overall, 60% of shoppers surveyed had travelled to the city by public transport, with walking accounting for 17% and 19% of shoppers travelling by car. When the spending patterns over the prior four weeks of all of the shoppers surveyed were calculated, the contribution of car based shopping accounted for €1 in every €5 of retail spend, while public transport users accounted for almost three times this amount.

    walking.jpg

    Source: Dublin City Centre Transport Study Consultation Document (June 2015)


    Details on pedestrian network in Dublin city centre, pages 54-57.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 502 ✭✭✭ Hexen


    Incidentally, Dublin City Council are still seeking online public consultation on proposed civic plaza in College Green. You can add your views at Imagine College Green - Online Public Consultation


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,134 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    Hexen wrote: »
    Notwithstanding a lot of pretty poor behaviour, most such problems are infrastructural rather than due to the assumed moral qualities of any particular group.

    As a pedestrian the actual problems I've faced this week were with cyclists riding in a pedestrianised zone and not stoppinh at a red light. Can't see how either of those are infrastructural.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32 KungFuhrer


    loughgill wrote: »

    http://www.dublininquirer.com/2016/11/16/kilmainham-one-woman-takes-traffic/ - this person says she wants to start a pedestrian advocacy group in Dublin, if you're Dublin based and it's not you OP may be worth trying to get in touch somehow

    Good points, thank you.
    I forgot about that DI article, any idea if that advocacy group went anywhere? (looking it up right now anyway)

    To be quite frank, right now I'm unsure of how to proceed, that's one of the reasons for this thread, I want to hear what other people have to say about this subject and ultimately start forming a road map to make this go ahead.


  • Registered Users Posts: 502 ✭✭✭ Hexen


    As a pedestrian the actual problems I've faced this week were with cyclists riding in a pedestrianised zone and not stoppinh at a red light. Can't see how either of those are infrastructural.

    Sure and, no doubt, that's very annoying behaviour. I'm sure we'd all agree that cyclists should stop at red lights (absent an overriding safety concern), that they shouldn't intimidate pedestrians at crossings (pedestrians should be and should feel safe when walking about) and should respect fully pedestrianised areas. Personally, I think the existence of a proper, segregated cycling infrastructure that minimises conflicts with pedestrians and others would support that; it wouldn't of course turn everyone into perfect citizens and some people would still do stupid things.

    More importantly, a discussion of the poor behaviour of some cyclists will derail the purpose of this thread. There are plenty of other opportunities on threads on this site to cavil about cyclists. The point is that both pedestrians and cyclists have similar infrastructural interests. That is, less car-centric urban designs, road calming features, wider footpaths, properly engineered junctions, properly engineered pedestrian crossings, segregated cycle paths which minimise conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians, etc.

    In terms of current policy goals, here and elsewhere, they are also grouped together as forms of 'active transport' which allows for their joint promotion on the grounds of health economics. Likewise they both feature strongly in most models of 'liveable' cities. The interests of commuter cyclists and pedestrians are not, of course, identical but they share enough common features to make alliance likely profitable.

    Added to which most people are at least multi-modal to some extent in their transport choices, so oppositions between pedestrians, those on mobility scooters, wheelchair users, motorists, cyclists, public transport users, etc., are, to some extent, moot. The goal would be to make the urban environment accessible, pleasant and interesting for everyone. Doing that will probably entail making certain transport choices, specifically the car, less preferable, and others more preferable, in most circumstances.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,289 ✭✭✭✭ zell12


    Did you set up a group, OP?
    It seems to be a growing issue where lobbies for all other transport modes are dominant.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,471 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    one problem is that walking is free. private cars are probably a €2bn a year industry. lobby groups would have a massive disparity in funding...


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,508 ✭✭✭✭ loyatemu


    Whilst I agree that pedestrian provision in Dublin is poor, pedestrians aren't a "group" as such. They're just people who happen to be walking; I think it would be difficult to generate much interest in a lobby group. Public transport lobby groups have not been that successful and it usually ends up being very small numbers of people who get involved.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,471 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder


    agreed, people don't seem to self-identify as 'pedestrians'.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,289 ✭✭✭✭ zell12


    It can't be left to the shambles for DublinCityCouncil to preside over.
    As you can see, Dublin is totally dominated by private motor cars, all the space that car parks occupy, amount of time sitting in car traffic, etc.
    There are better options, yet very few are pointing it out, and are dismissed as cranks if they do.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,620 ✭✭✭ Tenzor07


    loyatemu wrote: »
    Whilst I agree that pedestrian provision in Dublin is poor, pedestrians aren't a "group" as such. They're just people who happen to be walking; I think it would be difficult to generate much interest in a lobby group. Public transport lobby groups have not been that successful and it usually ends up being very small numbers of people who get involved.
    agreed, people don't seem to self-identify as 'pedestrians'.


    I for one would support a group of people who would raise issues of pedestrians to the authorities, esp. in Dublin city, i'm sure much much worse outside the county.. Walking through city streets isn't too bad, however when you get out to the suburbs you have to contend with lack of safe crossings, broken footpaths, or ones full of litter, leaves etc...Also parked vehicles on roads, short crossing time at traffic signals, no pedestrian island for longer crossings, enforcement of motorists stopping at Zebra crossings and traffic camera's at traffic light crossings which photograph cars breaking red lights and issue fines and points through the post..


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