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02-02-2012, 08:34   #91
smacl
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Originally Posted by mcgratheoin View Post
Additionally, as a marketable resource, I'm not sure that roads with hard shoulders are usually the most scenic and in the areas where tourists would like to travel.
+1, I think when you're planning a piece of infrastructure like this you need a primary design goal. Either tourism or transport first, and if it offers some degree of the other as a secondary benefit, well and good. I think the greenway illustrates there is both scope and a good market for the former, and this should be repeated elsewhere. As for the quality of surface, I think it is fine for leisure cycling, as rural Ireland already has an abundance of beautiful, quiet rural roads for the keen roadie but far less for the family. I'd be more concerned about erosion and maintenance costs of the softer surface. A bigger concern would be capacity. If you look at the RTE video (about 30 seconds in) and imagine three or four towed buggies going in different directions, with pinch points at narrow gates, it could suffer from congestion very easily.

Comparing the greenway with European equivalents is a useful exercise, as the economic projections for revenue earned include a significant chunk from foreign tourism. We will compete with those other European routes for the same tourists. I've no doubt many will come and try the greenway, but they will draw comparisons with similar options elsewhere, which will dictate whether or not they return.

The greenway is still an excellent illustration of what can be achieved on a tight budget, when people make the effort. Hopefully we'll see many similar amenities in the future.
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02-02-2012, 11:13   #92
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the use of hard shoulders puts us way ahead of the British for example whose A roads tend to be way more hostile for cyclists.

In the 1970s it was reported that using hard shoulders had lead to a 50% reduction in cycling accidents on the treated routes.
I have no issue with this - I definitely agree that roads with hard shoulders are more cycle friendly than those without - Taking the N25 from Rosslare to Cork as an example, you can cycle the length of that without ever really having cars whizzing past you at arms length and that is due to the hard shoulder.

But what I don't want to see happen is for the government to paint bike symbols on all the hard shoulders and then try to make out that they've created a world class cycle network. This is the kind of thing that happened so much in Dublin - lip service and a few lines of paint on a road and those in charge can wash their hands of it having discharged their obligation. Leave the hard shoulders as they are, and invest the money in better, proper facilities - towpaths, disused railways etc.

To be honest, I think that an increase in promotion of Ireland as a cycling destination, coupled with increasing awareness by hotels and B&Bs of cyclists as a target market, would do as much if not more to put Ireland into the minds of tourers.
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02-02-2012, 12:02   #93
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But what I don't want to see happen is for the government to paint bike symbols on all the hard shoulders and then try to make out that they've created a world class cycle network. This is the kind of thing that happened so much in Dublin - lip service and a few lines of paint on a road and those in charge can wash their hands of it having discharged their obligation. Leave the hard shoulders as they are, and invest the money in better, proper facilities - towpaths, disused railways etc.
Sorry then we were talking across each other. I agree entirely, unfortunately this is exactly what the current Minister wants to do. At the moment he is funding just such a hard shoulder => "cycle lane" conversion on 54km of interurban road between Nenagh and Limerick. This is being done without any apparent consideration of how it is to be maintained or of the other considerations already raised.

It is considered a bizarre use of public money when you think what else you could do with it. Indeed Cyclist.ie offered repeatedly to draw up an alternative list of projects.
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02-02-2012, 19:41   #94
Rob A. Bank
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No one but yourself made any reference to perfect cycleways on the continent. Are you saying, here is an example of a poor quality French cycleway this is what we should aspire to.
And no one but yourself called the Achill cycleway 'crap' 'third rate' and 'mediocre', while suggesting that continental cycleways are 'world class' !

Perhaps you should check up on state of sections of the Danube cycleway (the most popular holiday cycle route in Europe), before denigrating the Irish effort.

You seem hung up on the word 'world class' !

Reality check:- We can forget about any 'world class' infrastructure here, until such time as the Rothschild family and Goldman Sachs have painfully extracted their pound of flesh from us.

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02-02-2012, 20:06   #95
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Reality check:- We can forget about any 'world class' infrastructure here, until such time as the Rothschild family and Goldman Sachs have painfully extracted their pound of flesh from us.

I wouldn't argue with that
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02-02-2012, 21:43   #96
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The bar is about to be raised on what constitutes a "world class cycle-way". The swedes are planning a 20 km, 4 lane cycling superhighway linking Lund & Malmö. It will cost 50 million Swedish crowns (US$ 7.1 million) and will include bicycle service stations.

http://www.treehugger.com/bikes/new-...ay-not-us.html

Will we ever provide anything like this rural dutch cycleway for our kids to cycle to school on

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=OrQ-d2PBUto

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9KFx...eature=related

We are a very, very long way behind in Ireland, and the rest of Ireland is now a long way behind Mayo. But if we want to go world class this is the kind of thing we are going to have to aim for.

With all due respect your foreign youtube clips show me crappy narrow cycleways with a thin line painted on tarmac, polluted with main road noise.

Not a patch on the Greenway imho.

Plus the gates and obstacles on the greenway gave myself and the misses a chance to interact with a lot more people than would otherwise be the case.

I think the surface on the greenway is more in keeping with its Rural surroundings and I prefer the Rural Blinding to the tarmac sections in Westport town .

You can see where landowners have gone out of their way to accommadate this route and in some instances cyclist are going through open fields with no sign of the old railway and sheep happily munching way either side of the track . I'll glady shut the gate behind me to experience this.
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02-02-2012, 21:49   #97
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Would most cycle from Westport to Achill, then stay in Keel that night for example, and cycle back to Westport the next day?

Sounds like a nice idea for a summer weekend with herself.
Absolutely a great idea, however the winds nearly always prevail from the west so for a beginner starting at the Achill end might be better. however you can bring the bikes on the train to Westport, or park the car free in the town.

Nice to have your own bikes rather than rentals.
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02-02-2012, 23:39   #98
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You seem hung up on the word 'world class' !

Reality check:- We can forget about any 'world class' infrastructure here, until such time as the Rothschild family and Goldman Sachs have painfully extracted their pound of flesh from us.

Speaking generally here and not just about the Mayo Greenway...

There's extra cost in putting in extra barriers, kissing gates, gates, and other things which can detract from a route and that stop a route from being "world class". So, making a route better for cyclists can be cheaper sometimes.
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03-02-2012, 02:07   #99
clonmahon
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Plus the gates and obstacles on the greenway gave myself and the misses a chance to interact with a lot more people than would otherwise be the case.

I think the surface on the greenway is more in keeping with its Rural surroundings and I prefer the Rural Blinding to the tarmac sections in Westport town .
I guess we differ on this, I prefer my cycleways hard paved and obstacle free.
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03-02-2012, 07:33   #100
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It seems Kerry is getting in on the act too !

A group was set up to clear and improve the old disused Tralee to Fenit railway line. http://traleetofenitcycleway.wordpress.com/

They are in a better position than existed in Mayo, in that CIE/Iarnrod Eireann still owns the line and has transferred responsibility to Kerry Co. Council. So at least the 'kissing gates' obstacle problem should be solved on that 12 km length of line.

They seem to infer that it might be possible to extend the greenway back as far as Adare and possibly even Limerick. That would be a marvelous use of the old disused line, and perhaps the old lines to Dingle, Castlegregory and even Valentia could be considered too.
http://www.downrail.co.uk/history/photos/Map_Rail_Ireland_Viceregal_Commission_1906.jpg
(Click image to enlarge when it rezzes)

BTW Rory O'Donnell, director of Ireland's National Economic and Social Council,(they advise the government on policy) talked to Bloomberg TV on Feb 2nd. He specifically mentioned national cycleways as public works to help alleviate the woeful unemployment problem. He said that there would be a Government announcement on the issue in the next few weeks.
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/85512086/

I certainly hope so !

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03-02-2012, 12:07   #101
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They are in a better position than existed in Mayo, in that CIE/Iarnrod Eireann still owns the line and has transferred responsibility to Kerry Co. Council.
Does anybody know which of the old lines are still state owned and which have been sold off?
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03-02-2012, 12:10   #102
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Does anybody know which of the old lines are still state owned and which have been sold off?
I'd say the Train and Rail sub-forum in Commuting and Transport would be a good place to ask.
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03-02-2012, 12:13   #103
clonmahon
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BTW Rory O'Donnell, director of Ireland's National Economic and Social Council,(they advise the government on policy) talked to Bloomberg TV on Feb 2nd. He specifically mentioned national cycleways as public works to help alleviate the woeful unemployment problem. He said that there would be a Government announcement on the issue in the next few weeks.
http://www.bloomberg.com/video/85512086/

I certainly hope so !

This is very good news indeed.

When asked what kind of public works projects, Rory O'Donnell only mentioned cyclepaths. So it seems that the powers that be may have identified cyclepaths as a no brainer. While I may have issues with the kissing gates etc, it is a lot better to convert these old railways lines into GW Greenway style cycle and walking paths and get some value out of them than to leave them lying idle.

It will also create some more cycleways I can give out about.

Last edited by clonmahon; 03-02-2012 at 13:34.
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04-02-2012, 18:51   #104
Rob A. Bank
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While I may have issues with the kissing gates etc, it is a lot better to convert these old railways lines into GW Greenway style cycle and walking paths and get some value out of them than to leave them lying idle.

It will also create some more cycleways I can give out about.
It seems others have been working on disused railway lines too. I was not aware that a lot of progress has been made on the old Limerick to Tralee railway line. A voluntary group has been clearing it for 20 years making a walking/cycling route. http://www.southerntrail.net/index.htm




Unfortunately it does not seem too cycle friendly at present :-

"Route obstructed for cyclists – gates across the trail at many points block or hinder progress of cyclists. It is important to make it clear that anyone cycling the trail should be prepared to open gates and in some cases lift their bicycle across a gate."

However, on the bright side, the engineering involved in replacing some gates is nothing compared to what the Victorian navies and the voluntary group have done to date.

The route also contains a spur line with a tunnel, apparently designed to frighten German cycle tourists !



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10-02-2012, 01:23   #105
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The greenway wasn't designed for racing
Momentum is a good thing, even for leisure cyclists. It's much easier to enjoy the scenery when you don't have to constantly stop, dismount, negotiate a gate and then get going again. Being able to plod along at a nice, constant pace is much more relaxing.

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The other thing i would like to point out is that over 4 million of the people that used it
You don't really need to point that out, the OP did it right there in the first post.

Why do people get so defensive? The OP said we did something that was popular, now how can we do it in other places and learn from our experiences? Jesus.
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