Galway Cycling Campaign is calling for all traffic light systems to be rectified so that they give the green light to cyclists at junctions.
Sensors at many junctions in Irish cities are turning green for motorists, but not for cyclists.
Galway Cycling Campaign cautiously welcome the introduction of on-the-spot fines for cyclists.
Offences which penalise cyclists for cycling at night without a light or failing to stop for a School Warden fine are especially welcome.
However, our roads are not yet ready for implementing the running a red light offence.
Currently it is unjust and unworkable to expect cyclists
to stop for all red lights.
“For example, I am cycling and I stop at the stop line at a junction. The lights do not detect me, so they stay red, and a queue forms behind me. If I go beyond the stop line, which is technically an offence, and beckon the driver behind me to move forward to activate the sensor, only then will the lights change,” explained Shane Foran, Galway Cycling Campaign’s Technical Specialist.
He also pointed out that if there were no cars behind him, the sensor may not detect him. “If I was cycling into town at night when it was a bit quieter, and there were no cars behind me at this junction, I would be left waiting there in vain. The lights would stay red indefinitely. I would argue that in effect, several generations of Irish roads engineers have been training Irish cyclists to ignore red traffic lights,” said Mr Foran.
This situation is a failure on behalf of roads authorities to comply with the law which states that “a road authority shall consider the needs of all road users. (Article 13.5 of the 1993 Roads Act)
Galway Cycling Campaign are calling on the Minister for Transport Paschal Donohue to issue a direction ordering that all traffic signals change for cyclists.
“This flaw in the system is easily remedied. Timers at traffic lights could be used instead or else more appropriate sensor systems,” said Mr Foran.
To read the letter that Galway Cycling Campaign sent to Minister for Transport Paschal Donohue please click here:
17th June 2015
We are writing to respond to opinions recently expressed by City Tribune journalist Declan Tierney. On May 22 (page 2) he suggested that cycling campaigners should hold a “seminar” to inform the general public “as to how they should behave when on their bikes.”
On June 5 (page 2) he wrote: “We are encouraging the Galway Cycling Campaign to embark on something of a tutorial. It would be great if they would encourage the cycling public in general to stop behaving like idiots when they are on their bicycles.” He also declared, “Some cyclists have absolutely no respect for the pedestrianised areas of Galway.”
We are writing to echo the views of Simon Comer from Cosáin whose excellent letter was published on this page last week. He made the point that cycling campaign groups have been tirelessly lobbying for many years for safer conditions for cyclists.
Galway Cycling Campaign, a group made up entirely of volunteers, is one of these groups and has been lobbying on behalf of cyclists for 17 years. We have also contributed hugely over the years to educating Galway’s cyclists.
Our ‘Share the Road’ and ‘Cycling Skills’ leaflets have proved continuously popular and have been adopted for use in other cities. Some of our members are accredited cycle instructors, and deliver training sessions to adults.
We have also produced a series of road signs with messages such as ‘Always use lights at night and ‘Please respect pedestrian crossings.’
We do not have a statutory role in enforcing traffic laws or in implementing government cycling policy. We are all too aware, especially this week – National Bike Week – that cyclists are vulnerable road users, and will come out the worst in collisions with vehicles.
Mr Tierney declares that the GCC should “embark on a learning curve.” We however believe that it is Mr Tierney himself who is in need of the learning curve. He is quick to condemn cyclists, and fails to understand why cyclists are using pedestrianised streets at all.
Cycling is now enshrined in national government policy, as outlined in Smarter Travel and the National Cycle Policy Framework. Galway City Council has a role in promoting cycling and providing adequate facilities.
Cycling infrastructure in the city is simply not good enough. The existence of a one-way system in the city centre results in cyclists being forced into pedestrian areas. Allowing cyclists to move both ways on a one-way street is a simple solution to this problem. Our educational materials advise cyclists to dismount in pedestrian areas.
Mr Tierney, the next time you see a cyclist on a pedestrian street, ask yourself why they are there at all. And then, instead of suggesting that a resource-poor voluntary organisation provide seminars for the public, think carefully about what specific local and national bodies have statutory obligations to educate the cycling public.
Mairéad Ní Chaoimh,
Galway Cycling Campaign
We love a bit of fun and racing and on the occasion of Galway Bike Festival, we will have a little treasure hunt on Monday 15th June from 7pm-10pm. All you have to do is to spot our light-up bike in the city!
How to compete:
1. Keep an eye on our Social Media to locate the bike (we will post a picture of the bike location and you will have to recognise it to get there)
2. Tell us where the bike was on Twitter or Facebook and use the tags #WhereIsTheBike?#BW2015#GBF2015
3. Be the first at the destination to pick up the cinema clap board on the bike
4. Collect your prizes at our event A Night Of Cycling Shortson Wed 17th June 7pm by returning to us the cinema clap
Galway Cycling Campaign will present “A Night of Cycling Shorts” in Huston School of Film, Earl’s Island, NUIG on Wednesday 17 June at 7:00 pm as part of National Bike Week.
This well loved annual event will showcase the best of Irish and International Bicycle Cinema as up to 2 hours of short films, celebrating bike culture, will be screened.
The selection, which has been specifically chosen for National Bike Week, will feature a diverse, exhilarating and award winning mixture of short films from around the globe. There will also be spot prizes, competitions and a few surprises on the night.
The event is free and doors open at 6:45 pm. Be there, with (bicycle) bells on!
Where: Huston School of Film, Earl’s Island, NUIG, Galway When: Wednesday 17 June. Doors open at 6:45 pm. Films kick off at 7:00 pm Ticket Price: FREE ENTRY. Limited seating. First come, first served. There are sofas up the front so the early bird really does catch the worm.
Galway Cycling Campaign is calling on all established or budding film directors to submit a short film for its upcoming Bicycle Film Night.
The Bicycle Film Night is a much loved and well established Bike Week event and for the first time ever it is making a call for submissions.
The submission should be a short film (we are looking for films under 20 minutes but we might consider a longer one if we really like it!), and for obvious reasons should include some kind of reference to the wonderful world of bicycles.
If selected, the films will be screened during the Galway Bike Festival 2015 (13th-21st June) and will be submitted to an audience vote.
The deadline is 5 June 2015 so don’t hang around, get filming!
Is your film ready to rock?
Submit your film in two steps:
1. Fill in the submission form:
Galway Cycling Campaign is a voluntary group which represents cyclists in Galway. We promote cycling as a common and accessible form of transport with the goal of creating a more liveable Galway for everyone.