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Why don't some cyclists use cycle lanes?

  • 30-07-2021 10:10pm
    Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭

    Hi all,

    I am an avid cyclist myself, I try to cycle out on the roads as much as possible, but I get terrified as I have had so many near misses. A thing that does bring my joy are dedicated cycle lanes - they bring me off the road and make me feel super safe, especially along Wickham by Dundrum, Sandyford, down along Marley, by Tallaght, Dun Laoghaire etc etc etc.

    What I don't understand is other cyclists who cycle IN traffic, despite there being a great cycle lane next to them.

    I don't want to be provoking or start any heated discussions, I'm just not sure. I have literally cycled alongside people, ahead of people who are cycling in the road. Is there a reason I don't comprehend for people not cycling on lanes? Is it faster to be on the road?



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 19,253 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    Because people keep objecting to them being properly built so we end up with crap infrastructure and safer on the road

  • Posts: 2,799 ✭✭✭[Deleted User]

    Because have cake and eat it

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 19,253 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    I'm all seriousness, most of them are not fit for purpose. Forcing you to give up priority constantly, dead ends, raised curbs, pedestrians and joggers, cars parked on them, dished for driveways every few metres making it like a shite funfair ride, covered in debris, lampposts and busstops bang in the middle of them.

    Starting to see a change, but today's decision means more unused bad infrastructure

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I hate the cycling lane which was built on my road, I like to cycle with traffic and now i have to try and cross a busy road to access this stupid lane full of kids on scooters.

    Then I have to cross back again to my house and if I try and cycle on the road with the traffic drivers are blaring their horns and gesticulating to the stupid cycle lane that is empty most of the day.I feel like shouting at them that i never asked for road space to be reduced by a third so dont take it out on me.

    This lane was supposed to be temporary but no sign of it going anywhere, temporary my ass.

  • Registered Users Posts: 827 ✭✭✭HalfAndHalf

    If they build a continuous cycle lane round all of favourite 50-100km spins, wide enough to overtake scenic riders I’ll use them all the time. Unfortunately they haven’t and they won’t.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,863 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    not all cycle lanes are created the same. and a significant amount are **** in my experience. so if i happen on an off road cycle lane i'm not familiar with, experience tells me it's likely to be **** so i'll take the road on that basis. so maybe i've been one of those cyclists you've seen who's cyling alongside a cycle path which actually is fit for purpose, but doesn't know till they've seen it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 304 ✭✭Smiley012

    Thanks for the responses, I totally understand the frustration when they are built so badly. Actually, now that I think of it, a huge hate of mine was along the N11, as it was just awful, really terrible road surface. I wanted to cycle into town from Stillorgan, but it was just so terrible. The new part around the bus stop near the Stillorgan overflow carpark is another terrible way of handling bikes/cars/buses/people.

    I forget at times when I mainly use the ones around me that I KNOW are good, if that makes sense. Around Marley/Sandyford and leading to Tallaght, a lot of that is quite good. Still some hairy moments with kids and dog walkers.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,863 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i used to (before the pox) commute from beside DCU to leopardstown. i was happy to use the cycle lane on the rock road, for example, but not happy to use the one on the leopardstown road, as that latter one was simply a cycle lane retrofitted to a footpath with the magic of paint.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,489 ✭✭✭✭Tell me how

    As others have said, two many cycle lanes are installed to meet targets for having done so but with scant regard for how they will be used.

    In many locations, they just disappear at junctions or roundabouts meaning I'd be inclined to move out of them before that happens to 'own' the road and not run the risk of being hit from a car whose driver things I will automatically apparate across the junction.

    Also, in some other cases where they do exist, they can be occupied by stationary vehicles and so again I will move out of the cycle lane in to the 'normal' lane to ensure I am seen and can pass the vehicle without it being claimed I just drove out of the cycle lane in to oncoming traffic.

    It's great to see them going in, but there is a distance to go before they are fully functional.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,932 ✭✭✭✭Wishbone Ash

    They are generally designed by motorists and people who think cyclists are not 'traffic'.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,624 ✭✭✭Wildly Boaring

    I generally cycle in the sticks.

    Sometimes I don't and like a fool I try to use them.

    Was on one past Intel lately and a bus for the construction site just drove straight out the gate of the site into me.

    Was on one in Johnstown, Navan. Glass and dog shite everywhere. And then it just ended!! Had to cycle out onto a pedestrian crossing.

    Was on one coming out of dunsaughlin towards Dublin. Lovely sailing along past the last estate on the left and then it swung around the corner into the estate with no way for me to get off it.

    New one at colpe cross from Dublin side toward cople. Cycle lane where it's handy to cycle on the straight past the nursing home. Mind you it just disappears for the bus stop. . Then none at the pinch point, you know the dangerous roundabout.

    Ditto new spine road in bettystown. Lane just ends BEFORE the roundabouts. And you've to get out into traffic via the pedestrian crossing ramp. And it disappears for any bus stop, junction, rounabout (even one with no exit across the lane, it still disappears)

    As a civil engineer it infuriates the hell out of me that any type of engineer would put their name to such shite. I'd be too embarrassed. Should be held to account for their ineptitude.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,227 ✭✭✭Breezer

    I popped into Decathlon this evening and decided to take the cycle track from the Ballymun Road and back.

    On the way in, I had to go back onto the road anyway, because the cycle track was blocked off where there’s some work going on. I could have done some swerving around fences into the narrow temporary cycle track they’ve put in, but I didn’t trust it would be free of debris and I’d have had nowhere to go once in it.

    On the way back out, I was forced to cycle through a very large and very wet bush which was completely blocking the cycle track, then ended up in a load of debris, then had to dismount and wheel the bike off a kerb, across a road and back up onto a kerb on the other side. And then I had to go back onto the road again anyway to turn right on the Ballymun Road southbound. I could have crossed at the toucan crossing and continued on the southbound cycle track, but that brings you left into Northwood a few metres later, and I wanted to go into town.

    This is a cycle track built on what was a greenfield site, going to a large sports shop, that caters for cyclists. I won’t be taking it again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 297 ✭✭Low Energy Eng

    The cycle lanes I used to use was full of broken glass and so I presume was never cleaned.

    The road just didn't seem to have this issue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 80,474 ✭✭✭✭Atlantic Dawn

    You get complaints if you want to actually get up to a mildly challenging speed of 30km/h by people thinking the cycle lanes are like a child's playground rather than a commuting artery so you just can't win.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,454 ✭✭✭✭Cookie_Monster

    cycle lanes are for townies

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,729 ✭✭✭C3PO

    Like many of the previous posters, I would happily use cycle lanes if they were fit for purpose but unfortunately most aren’t!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,139 ✭✭✭Buddy Bubs

    Debris from the road gathers in them, stones, glass, sticks etc...they are brutal.

  • Registered Users Posts: 38 jazz_jazz

    Twice in the last few months I've been walking on the footpath, which has a cycle lane next to it, and have met a cyclist coming against me on the footpath. Both times I've had to move into the cycle lane to walk on as they continue cycling on the footpath. These are cycle lanes that have newly had bollards placed along them separating the lane and the road for safety.

  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 16,287 Mod ✭✭✭✭quickbeam

    As a motorist the cycle lane infrastructure looks pretty good. You don't really realise just how crap it really is until you start to use it yourself. I'd echo plenty of things mentioned already - lanes just coming to a dead end with no safe merge back in to traffic; lanes taking you in completely the wrong direction with no way to get off smoothly instead needing to negotiate a kerb; lanes that treat you as a pedestrian instead of traffic - having to use the pedestrian traffic lights to cross busy junctions is a real bug bear of mine.

    Then you have a lovely long stretch like the Royal Canal pathway which would be ideal for commuting in to Dublin city, but it's blocked by gates that require you to dismount to negotiate around. Same with entering places like Tolka Park on a bike.

    Maybe I was very naive, but I have to say it was a shock to the system just how bad the infrastructure is, while superficially looking quite good so our politicians and civil servants can pat themselves on the back for a job well done for a cleaner and healthier transport system.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,764 ✭✭✭cletus

    Twice in the last week I had to leave the cycle lane and go into the road because there were cars parked in the cycle lane.

    But it's not an us vs them thing. Yesterday alone I had to brake suddenly (in my car) on two different roundabouts, as people in other cars joined the roundabout incorrectly.

    The fact that some people do the wrong thing in some circumstances has no real bearing on the discussion at hand

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 47,863 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    this one has come up here before - on the main road in and out of the city centre for anyone living north of the airport, cyclists are expected to yield to people leaving or entering a pub. which is a total violation of the basic concept that people continuing on their heading on a main road have right of way.,-6.2296674,3a,75y,310.33h,77.41t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sx8jY2pyABWyBvbf846DeQg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

    and only a few hundred metres further north - this path is the footpath *and* cycle path for people coming to and from swords - in both directions:,-6.229975,3a,75y,303.22h,89.02t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sclnnJY9qmyQPcIVEJAM8XA!2e0!!7i16384!8i8192

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,085 ✭✭✭Dr_Colossus

    This little British clip sums cycle lanes up pretty well, same and worse examples here on these isles.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,398 ✭✭✭Montage of Feck

    Because they are almost universally crap. Unless they are a complete A to B route they are pointless and potentially lethal as the video above highlights.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,926 ✭✭✭rolling boh

    general condition of them is main reason i avoid lots of debris on them make them unsuitable unless you are on something with near bullet proof tyres but if you are on those you are most likely tipping along a bit too slow for faster cyclists so that will cause problems i would think .

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,741 Mod ✭✭✭✭Podge_irl

    In built up areas I generally hate using off-road cycle lanes. They are not well maintained, they force you to yield to ridiculously small side roads constantly, some of them make it almost impossible to safely overtake over cyclists and they can make it quite difficult to make right hand turns.

    That being said, I would use them always if there is a lot of traffic/non-moving traffic or if they are well built and well maintained.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,017 ✭✭✭✭Richard Hillman

    Parts of the N11 are like Paris-Roubaix.

    There are people who take the piss though. I seen somebody last week cycling on the slip road between Sandyford and Dundrum M50 turn offs. It has one of the best cycle lanes you can find, completely secluded from the road.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,999 ✭✭✭TaurenDruid


    Didn't happen.

    Yes, but what about that time someone in a car broke a red light?

    It happened to you twice? You're fierce unlucky altogether.

    were some of the reactions I got when I queried why the **** adult cyclists think it's fine to cycle on the footpath, so I wouldn't expect too much sympathy here...

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I don't think you'd find many in support of riding the footpath here. Only time I can think of it being acceptable is when accompanying a young child.

    Certainly annoys the bejaysus out of me when I see it or have someone behind me trying to get by. (Tip don't squeak your breaks at me, that dose NOT go down well)

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,028 ✭✭✭standardg60

    For me, the stretch of the N81 between the two entrances to Killinarden is a perfect example of the nonsense that cycle lanes are.

    Going through the first junction the cycle lane blends beside the adjoining footpath (fine) , but afterwards the two become one before spitting you back out onto the road at the Jobstown Inn.

    They are currently (severely) narrowing the road heading towards the Inn junction. No doubt there will be a shiny new cycle path now beside the footpath before throwing me back out onto the road at the lights. Utterly utterly pointless!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,994 ✭✭✭nomdeboardie

    I’ve listed my share of grievances over the years, here and elsewhere, including the points made by other posters above. This time I’m interested to see the 'overtaking' issue for off-road/protected lanes mentioned by two. Not that I’m fast enough to have to overtake much 😳, but when I do I often feel I have to get down /out of the lane onto the road to pass safely, especially as it freaks me out sometimes when other cyclists pass me closely. I think this issue is going to become more problematic as more of the 'protective dividers' are being slapped down onto roads to hive off very narrow (single-direction) cycle lanes (e.g. Newtownpark Ave, Rock Road, Kill Lane in Dublin). And even the (wider) bidirectional facilities such as the seafront development in Dun Laoghaire can be problematic when cyclists stray over the centre line 'for no particular reason' near oncoming riders, or travel 2-abreast /en-famille without a thought about how hard it is for riders to overtake them from behind etc.

    Post edited by nomdeboardie on