2008 Annual General Meeting minutes

Venue: Galway Social Space, 24 Middle St.

Time and date: 7.00–9.00 p.m., 8 September 2008

Present: Shane, Martin, James, Simon, Eoin, Stan

Apologies: Stéphane, Oisín, Indiana, Kristin, Cormac, Bart…

Shane handed out minutes from last year’s AGM and read them to the group. Stan proposed them, Simon seconded them and they were duly adopted. Shane then passed around a list of activities undertaken by the group since last year’s AGM. These were discussed more-or-less sequentially.

Seamus Quirke Road redevelopment saga: after a contentious public hearing, An Bord Pleanála forced a redesign of the Seamus Quirke Road, which was also cyclist- and pedestrian-hostile and full of traffic management problems. Shane lodged a formal complaint (in a personal capacity) with the Association of Consulting Engineers, but they perfunctorily rejected it.

On the other side of town, the Galway Cycling Campaign revealed the Doughiska Road redevelopment to be overtly cyclist-hostile, not least in its use of substandard cycle lanes. Simon told the group how over sixty ‘problem points’ were identified and how cyclists using the road would have to yield right of way every few yards. After lots of lobbying the project stalled, but despite – or because of – a dubious and unsatisfactory road safety audit, the controversial plans were adopted by the Council.

The Peter Bradley Foundation campaigned for the use of cycling helmets, using arguments based on dubious claims about their safety benefits. The Galway Cycling Campaign ran a counter campaign, using up-to-date international research to expose the weaknesses of the pro-helmet case, and to show how futile and counter-productive it would be to enforce helmet use for anyone except children. Martin said that Dr Ian Walker’s study made sense; James had also read it and found it interesting. Stan described the group’s stance unofficially as ‘pro-choice’. If someone wants to wear a helmet, no problem, but they should be aware of the implications for their safety and for changes in motorist behaviour. Cycling communities around the world tend to agree that making helmets mandatory is out of the question. A quick show of hands revealed that no AGM attendees were regular helmet wearers. The initial pro-helmet story did not gather much momentum but is likely to arise again. Recent articles in the Irish Times were so level-headed and reasonable as to suggest that good sense is breaking out in spite of the extensive misinformation, confusion and paranoia surrounding helmets and cyclist safety.

In December a Christmas newsletter was produced and distributed. Simon collected and edited a variety of interesting material, and Stan wrote a short piece on the joys and less-publicized benefits of cycling.

Bus lanes on the outbound Dublin Road is a complex issue that depends on several variables, some of them interrelated, including lane width, driver behaviour (and occasional intimidation), lane use by taxis with our without fares, road gradient and overall road width. Given the available space, compromise is inevitable, but careful attention to the facts and to best practice can help create a road that works reasonably well for everyone, without endangering vulnerable road users. ‘Level 1’ cyclists need to be accommodated insofar as possible – Shane said that the last time he cycled in Dublin, he was hit by a taxi in the bus lane. Eoin added that in his experience of cycling in Dublin, he had more problems with taxi drivers than bus drivers. The GCC made a submission on the Dublin Road design and were gratified to see that the redesign seemed to take our concerns into account.

Also in January (2008) was a planning meeting, which was generally considered a useful exercise that helped us to arrive at a mission statement of sorts, and to pick our fights more judiciously, among other things.

The following month saw our successful bike lights initiative with the Garda Síochána. Although the traffic corps were originally to be our partners in the scheme, this was changed to the community guards, who accompanied us by bike on three teams to advise cyclists on being visible at night. The guards stopped people cycling without lights or reflective gear, and informed them of the law, while we handed out reflective vests, reflective straps and safety leaflets. The initiative didn’t get much exposure in the media, but James said he first heard about the group through this event. Simon said he hopes to repeat it.

The Small Crane redevelopment, which was proposed as a “child-friendly” scheme, would have extended a one-way system making it illegal for children to cycle a short distance to school, or up and down outside their homes on quiet residential streets. (They could cycle legally to school only by taking a long detour on busy roads.) One-way systems are inherently cycling-hostile, since they restrict access and encourage high traffic speeds and flow. The Galway Cycling Campaign discussed these issues with Small Crane community members, then both groups lodged objections and lobbied councillors. The proposals were subsequently scrapped (but for how long?).

Two members of the Galway Cycling Campaign were guests at the Belfast AGM of the Cyclists’ Touring Club, a huge organisation of cyclists who focus on recreational cycling but who have also campaigned. Shane was made the Republic of Ireland representative, and had good discussions and made good contacts on the night. Shane also met the author of the Warrington Cycle Campaign’s Crap Cycle Lanes book, and was contacted by the Galway Educate Together National School, who wanted advice on bicycle parking. Kristin helped the school with this venture.

Shane summarised the national cycling group situation. Politically there needs to be a national consensus on policy, so the GCC joined forces with cycling advocacy groups in Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Skerries and Waterford to write a consensus policy document. This was written and reworked over about six months, then submitted to transport minister Noel Dempsey in May 2008. It is considered to be a live document, subject to periodic revision. Cycling community feedback will be sought before the next published revision. In June there was an informal meeting with representatives of the national group – attending were Adam D’Arcy (Cork), James Nix (Limerick), Robert Fitzsimons (Dublin), Stan Carey, Oisin O’Nidh and Shane Foran (Galway). It was a relaxed and productive introduction and brainstorm. The attendees came out strongly in support of “Cyclist.ie” as the working name for the group. (See holding page.)

Also in May 2008, Simon gave a presentation at the Galway Chamber of Commerce’s first Traffic & Transportation forum, a meeting of interested stakeholders to examine the traffic situation in Galway. Chris Coughlan of the Galway Chamber has been helpful and accommodating, interested particularly in “quick wins” – changes that can be realised in the short-term. These matters were again discussed in a meeting with Mr Coughlan in June 2008.

Renmore Park was redeveloped with a new one-way system, to prevent ‘rat running’ by cars avoiding traffic jams on the main road. As with the Small Crane proposals, the new system makes it illegal for some schoolchildren to cycle short distances outside their homes. Oisín rang the roads department several times and visited the office in person, but received no response.

A series of letters was published in the local newspapers on the subject of promenade/pavement cycling.

Contact was made with the Parks Department, who are amenable to meeting for general discussion. They have no responsibility for road design but they could help with between-roads design – i.e. with permeability. They have a general principle of considering cyclists in their plans, e.g. by leaving gaps for shortcuts between and within housing estates. The usefulness of such provisions shouldn’t be underestimated, e.g. for school routes that avoid main roads. Some alleys harbour anti-social elements and behaviour but this is not an argument for their being closed off; in fact, cyclists can provide a kind of passive security in these areas.

More meetings: Shane and Oisín met Frank Fahey TD where they found out that the QBN (Quality Bus Network) Office are to advise Galway City Council on its bus plans. The QBN designs in Dublin are demonstrably hostile to cyclists. The minister (who chairs the Joint Committee on Transport) is considering a series of seminars, one of which could focus on cycling. A delegation from the Galway Cycling Campaign met with Harcourt Developments to discuss the Headford Road framework plan. The plans need work, but this was a very positive meeting. Cormac also met with Tobin engineers to discuss the plans.

A letter was published in the local newspapers on the proposed Galway City outer bypass. Martin spoke with Professor Lewis Lesley, an international expert on transport, who said that such a road should be of an ordinary type, rather than the planned motorway or dual carriageway. There followed a short discussion about the bypass, about whom it would benefit and whether such benefit would make up for the environmental damage. It was generally agreed that a bypass would encourage more driving – not least of private cars – at a time when alternative modes should be encouraged.

Treasurer’s report: the treasurer was out of the country but there was little to report anyway – no financial activity except web hosting, and Alan was also absent and so unable to report on that. The coffers have about €3,500 total, which is earmarked as a grant from the HSE for the signs project. The County Council recently approved this project and will put up the signs once we’ve delivered them along with a list of locations. Shane said that he got a quote for production of the signs, and passed around copies of their design.

Resignation of officers: Cormac (in absentia) resigned as treasurer, Oisín (in absentia) resigned as secretary, Shane resigned as chairperson, and Simon resigned as PRO. Election of new committee: Shane nominated Simon for PRO, Stan seconded this, there were no dissenters, and Simon was duly re-elected PRO. Simon nominated Stan for treasurer, James seconded, Stan was elected treasurer. Stan nominated Simon for secretary, Shane seconded, Simon was elected secretary. Simon nominated Oisín (in absentia) as membership secretary, Shane seconded, Oisín was elected membership secretary. Stan nominated Shane as chairperson, Martin seconded, Shane was re-elected chairperson.

Lots of events, many of them with a focus on cycling, are planned for European Mobility Week. These have been organized by the Galway Cycling Campaign, the City and County Councils, and various other parties. There are presentations, workshops, meetings, a book launch and much more. The book launch is John Franklin’s acclaimed Cyclecraft (second edition), 20 copies of which are to be made available in local libraries. Shane is to give talks on cycling skills, safety and promotion, at NUI, Galway and at the City Museum. It promises to be a busy and fruitful week.

There was a short discussion about the Doughiska Road redevelopment. Shane gave an overview for those unfamiliar with it, and there followed a debate over whether it was worth the group’s ongoing involvement. Shane is to meet with a barrister later in the month, since the redevelopment design contravenes the City Development Plan. There is already a lot of public frustration over the project’s delay, but since it is demonstrably unsafe there are arguments both for and against its obstruction. A meeting has been planned for October 6 with Minister Éamon Ó Cuív and Ciaran Hayes.

Other matters, in brief: an article in the City Tribune detailed proposals for opening up railway lines to cyclists. There has also been a proposal to develop the Clifden Road as a cycling route into the west. It was agreed to write a press release or a letter to the parties involved to express our general interest in and agreement with the proposals. The Galway Cycling Campaign applied via LA21 to fund cycling maps for Galway, based on the Cheltenham map design. Iarnród Éireann pulled the plug on bike carriage in new trains and, unlike modern rail companies around the world, seem determined to avoid any integration with cycling.

Meeting ends.

Meeting minutes, August 2008

Galway Cycling Campaign monthly meeting, 11 August 2008.

Venue: NUI, Galway.

Present: Shane, Cormac, Stan, Annabel, Tiernan, Martin, Simon, Oisín

Agenda:
1. Meeting with Frank Fahey TD
2. Correspondence from Éamon Ó Cuív TD
3. Green Schools Initiative
4. National group news
5. Mobility Week
6. Speeding
7. Doughiska Road
8. Renmore Park
9. Cycle parking
10. Chamber of Commerce initiative
11. AGM
12. AOB

1. Shane and Oisín met briefly with Frank Fahey, who offered to put the group in contact with the Quality Bus Network. The QBN will be advising Galway City Council on Galway’s bus network. Mr Fahey asked if cycling was dangerous, and Shane replied that speeding had to be reduced. They had a short discussion about bicycle parking. The meeting was too short to convey the complexity of the issues – more time and some graphics would be needed for this – but it was a useful meeting all the same.

2. Through correspondence with Éamon Ó Cuív it has emerged that Iarnród Éireann are offering 3 bikes per 3 carriages or 6 per 6 (i.e. 6 per train). The group considered this disappointing, at best, especially in the wake of Bord Fáilte’s recent publication on cycling tourism. Simon said that it was not in keeping with the need to promote sustainable transport – that facilities for bikes at stations had to be improved (and in many cases developed at all), etc. Shane remarked that Germany has set a target of bike capacity for 10% of all passengers. Since IE plan to increase the frequency of train journeys, many trains would have ample room for bikes along most of their distance, except nearing Dublin. Oisín suggested sending a letter to communicate some of this.

Another letter from Mr Ó Cuív acknowledged receipt of the national group policy paper, which has been sent to the Sustainable Travel & Transport public consultation. Oisín thanked the minister for representing us in this matter.

3. Annabel gave the group a clear and detailed overview of the Green Schools scheme in Ireland, where 3000 schools have registered and there are 1500 flags already flying. . Schools are self-selecting and some have been participating for several years now. Travel is one of the themes on the list – they usually arrive at cycling after the first three steps – hence her interest in the cycling group’s views. She described the structure and contents of the initiative, the variations between schools and projects, and some of the results so far, e.g. bicycle parking installed or increased, schools reporting significant decreases in car use and increases in walking and cycling students. (One school in Tallaght saw cycling numbers go from 1% to 7% – a 700% increase, as PRO Simon immediately spun it!) Events, competitions, surveys and various activities are undertaken. Cycling training is carried out with kids from 3rd class up, and the project personnel are looking into accreditation. They have also approached universities and colleges, to assess the potential for shared schemes. Several group members attending the meeting expressed their thanks and pleasure at what the Green Schools project has already achieved – it was roundly considered an extremely positive and encouraging initiative.

In a recent meeting with Frank Fahey, Shane conveyed the importance of permeability in road and urban design, to help younger children cycle to school without having to use any or many main roads. The links and shortcuts that create this permeability are being closed down due to concerns over safety, loitering and such. Annabel said that soft measures (like parking and training) rather than major infrastructure are the remit of the Green Schools project. Shane explained how the campaign group spends a lot of time and energy ‘fire fighting’ (reacting to e.g. a misleading bulletin about helmet-conferred safety, or to another unsafe redevelopment design) and would like to get more involved, where possible and appropriate, with initiatives like the schools project, e.g. by offering advice on alternative routes. One of our members, Kristin, has been helping a local school with bike parking. At this point a map of Galway was studied as we examined several routes in the context of the discussion.

4. Shane and Stan briefly updated the group on the nascent national group, the consensus document and the proposed names. No major updates, except that Cyclist.ie has been generally accepted as a name, probably with a short unofficial description.

5. There are no plans to close any roads for European Mobility Week (16–22 September). Nonetheless it’s shaping up to be an eventful and productive week. Shane said that Cathy Joyce would help put PR in place for any viable projects we bring to her attention. Elsewhere, Galway City Library plans to launch 20 copies of a revised edition of John Franklin’s acclaimed Cyclecraft. Oisín is seeking funding for the maps project: Galway maps to be revised, like Cheltenham’s, with cycling routes, school routes, short cuts, radial distances, colour schemes etc. Oisín, Shane and Simon presented the project basics, then there was discussion about costs, copyright and other issues. Annabel expressed strong interest in the idea – it would be of obvious benefit to schools. It would also greatly help workers, commuters, students, or anyone living within five or ten kilometres of a daily commute.

6. Martin thinks that speeding is the main obstacle to making cycling safer. Driver behaviour and traffic delays have a lot to do with it – people are so frequently stuck and frustrated that they often accelerate and speed whenever possible, to make up for what they perceive to be lost time. Martin reported that he avoids the so-called cycle lanes on Western Distributor Road because of the detritus. Even the speed limit signs are small and sometimes difficult to read. Enforcement needs to be made easier. Are cameras the solution, or part of it? Simon suggested a community speed watch or similar approach – something that requires practical action. Martin said that Sligo has electronic displays showing driver speed. Another option: track red-light breaking by all road users at a junction, or similar focused traffic surveys – these kinds of statistics are not officially available, and we need facts and figures to bring to politicians. Shane said he discussed a cycling survey with Chris Coughlan. It could be useful for targeting schools for the Green Schools initiative.

7. A meeting is planned for October 6th with Michael Crowe, Joe Tansey, Ciaran Hayes and Éamon Ó Cuív to discuss the Doughiska Road redevelopment saga.

8. Oisín said that the Renmore Park redevelopment could relate to the Green Schools initiative. A one-way system was introduced last May to prevent ‘rat running’ by traffic looking to avoid other traffic. But this made it illegal for some children to cycle short distances on their (safer) way to school, forcing them onto the main road if they want to journey legally. Again, this was discussed with reference to the map, for a clearer understanding of the problem.

9. It seems a deal has been struck on bike parking – something to keep an eye on, since the City Development Plan specifies locations for bike parking, and this provision can’t simply be replaced by a private scheme.

10. Shane and Simon gave a quick overview of the Chamber of Commerce Traffic and Transportation forum, at whose first meeting Simon gave a presentation on the benefits of cycling and how it can be promoted in Galway. Shane suggested holding the presentation again for the general public during Mobility Week, to bring the issues to a wider audience.

11. Next meeting is the AGM, to be held next month (September).

12. Cormac is to move out of the country, so his position as treasurer is open.
There are new bus lanes on the N17. Their width needs to be measured.

Meeting ends.

Meeting Minutes 14th April 2008

Venue: IT204 in the IT Building NUIG, Galway

Present: Shane, Stan, Oisin, Simon
Apologies: Kristin, Cormac

Agenda:
1. Small Crane Consultation
2. Headford Road framework plan
3. Query from NRA re Bike Paths on the N6
4. Cork Cyclist Death/Peter Bradley Foundation intervention
5. Doughiska Road
6. Galway Educate Together – Bike Parking Query
7. Chamber of Commerce Initiative
8. Irish Rail Bike Carriage Removal
9. National policy paper.
10. Name and structure of national group
11. National Group Co-coordinator funding application
12. Oisin on TV
13. Prom Truck Ban
14. AOB

1. Small Crane Consultation
Four separate submissions sent in regarding the Small Crane by GCC members. Simon noted that “Traffic Measuring System” put in place in the small crane to measure traffic volumes? Why? After the plans have been drawn up?
In the local media; Galway Bay FM, Galway Advertiser, Galway Voice had pieces regarding the local opposition to the plan.

2. Headford Road framework plan
Cormac had meeting with One of the Engineering Groups involved in the Framework to review their plans for cyclists. Met John Colleran of Tobin Engineers. No detailed information as Cormac not in attendance. Meeting lasted an hour and a half. Shane sent email around regarding this framework plan as he had attended the Council SPC Transportation meeting where this was launched also he attended the Menlo Meeting for the public (but full plans were not released at this meeting).

3. Query from NRA re Bike Paths on the N6
Lucy Curtis wants to meet us to discuss Bike Paths on the N6.
30th of April is date penciled in for this meeting. Wait and see – no concrete date is set.

4. Cork Cyclist Death
Shane created Press release to counter the unfortunate Peter Bradley Foundation press release. Either Simon or Shane will release/publish.

5. Doughiska Road
Shane getting some legal advice on this.

6. Galway Educate Together – Bike Parking Query
Kristin is meeting the Galway Educate Together(http://www.getns.ie) on the 21st of April. They require advice on Bike Parking.

7. Chamber of Commerce Initiative
Galway Cycling Campaign have been invited to attend the Galway Chamber of Commerce transportation forum. More information to follow in emails from Simon who is the contact on this initiative.

8. Irish Rail Bike Carriage Removal
Shane had 30secs on Keith’s Morning Radio Show on Galway Bay FM regarding the reduced capacity on the New Inter City Trains for Bikes.
Also piece in the Galway Voice regarding this. Sources used was GCC and Ireland West Tourism.

9. National policy paper.
This document has been created by the Campaign Groups across the country. Still not released yet. Will have separate GCC meeting on this to Iron Out and Edit. Simon, Shane and Stan are leading this project within the GCC and further email will be sent out with Time and Venue for this
10. Name and structure of national group
Idea’s for a National Group name. Once again this will be discussed at the separate meeting and within email for idea’s re structure, name and website.
11. National Group Co-coordinator funding application
Jame’s Nicks from the Limerick Cycling Campaign and Shane have applied for funding from the “Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Fund” http://www.irlfunds.org/ for 40k for 2 Years. This funding will help in setting up the National Group.
12. Oisin on TV
Oisin was on “Pobal” – email was sent out with link to the Website.
Piece was filmed on the Western Distributor Road with Micheal
Ó Domhnaill(presenter) for the Galway Cycling Campaign.
Had a 3/4 minute slot on Pobal Sunday 6th of April at
17h25 on RTE One television.
Basically brought up dangers of Roundabouts, Slower Traffic Limits in
the City, certain Cycle Lanes/Paths in the city being waste of Money
+ that money would be better spent on more Bike parking and that cycle lanes had a place like at traffic lights in the City Center.

13. Prom Truck Ban
Press release issued by Simon. Oisin, Stan, Shane and Simon drafted release.
Release will be published on GCC Website shortly

14 AOB
April the 26th Shane and Mike(from DCC) are going up to Belfast to meet with Cycle Northern Ireland.

Meeting Minutes 09 June 2008

Venue: Bun Caise, Galway

Present: Shane, Cormac, Stan, Bart, Simon

Agenda:
1. National policy paper.
2. Name and structure of national group
3. Headford Road framework plan
4. Chamber of Commerce
5. Doughiska Road
6. Small Crane
7. Bike parking
8. AGM
9. Freiburg
10. AOB

1. Shane and Stan brought the group up to date on the national cycling promotion policy paper, to which groups in Galway, Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Skerries put their names. In late May 2008 a copy was sent to Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey. Mr Dempsey, who in February launched a public consultation process on sustainable transport, has since acknowledged receipt of the submitted cycling document. Once a few minor updates have been applied (e.g. more photos, removal of a typo), the plan is to proceed with more widespread circulation.

2. There has been quite a lot of discussion, both within and between the various member groups, about naming the national cycling advocacy group. Shane, Cormac, Stan, Bart and Simon all offered ideas and opinions at the meeting. A decision has yet to be made at national level – the choices have been narrowed down, mostly to catchy one-word names and more descriptive three-word names. Among the latter, ‘cyclists’ is considered better than ‘cycling’; ‘alliance’ possibly better than ‘organisation’, ‘federation’ or ‘union’. It was agreed to restart email discussion on this.

Settling on a national group structure could be more challenging. There may be difficulties reconciling local groups’ identities, organisation, operations etc. with a national umbrella group. Time and money are also potential knots. The group’s identity and structure need to be such that it can attract funding, e.g. for someone working full-time, because daytime availability will be required. Simon mentioned international models, such as the Cycling Promotion Alliance in Australia, which might be worth studying. Shane cited a comparable situation in Ireland some years ago, when the Irish Road Haulage Association was set up by the Dept. of Transport so that the Government would have a representative from the hauliers to talk to. It was agreed that we would approach Minister Éamon Ó Cuív for advice on what criteria would be required.

3. Another public consultation on the Headford Road framework plan is to be held on Wednesday next (11-06-2008) from 18.00–20.00 in the Menlo Park Hotel. Shane has been in contact with Harcourt Developments regarding their proposals. Cormac met with Tobin Consulting Engineers (one of the six consultants involved in the redevelopment plans) to convey our side of things – they were working off previous plans.

4. Simon and Oisín gave a presentation at the first Galway Chamber Traffic and Transportation Forum, which was held on 20 May 2008 and was attended by a wide variety of representatives and stakeholders from different trade, transport and political bodies. There they met with Chris Coughlan of the Chamber of Commerce, who asked for ‘quick wins’. Simon and Oisín are getting their proposal ready and are then to meet with Ciarán Hayes.

5. Shane had a detailed discussion with Chris Coughlan on the Doughiska Road redevelopment issues. The matter was considered to be more involved and contentious than a ‘quick win’ type. Simon sent Mr Coughlan some photographic presentations to help illustrate our problems with the Doughiska Road redevelopment designs.

6. The Small Crane ‘enhancement’ plan was officially rejected by the Strategic Policy Committee. Local residents were strongly opposed to the plan and submitted an eight-point plan of their own, which planning officials will take back to the drawing board before the next SPC meeting in September. The eight-point plan included improved drainage, community gardens, collapsible bollards, ‘No Parking’ signs in certain areas, putting power cables underground, re-laid footpaths, wall and raised garden bed around the Small Crane weighing scales, and speed bumps on St. Joseph’s Avenue. There is an outstanding question about the traffic scheme in the approved plan for the forthcoming hotel – Cormac volunteered to visit the planning office to check this.

7. Liam Codd, founder of West Ireland Cycling, spoke with Galway City Council about bike parking. Although Galway has been waiting years to see that the money already earmarked for bike parking is duly spent, Mr Codd’s proposals seem to have been received favourably. We don’t know what kind of parking facilities are being discussed or planned, but it sounds generally positive and we hope that all parties involved are aware of local needs and international best practice.

8. It was provisionally agreed to hold our AGM in September. Incidentally, this coincides with planned enforcement of the recent legislation on provisional driving licences.

9. The Galway City Tribune of 6 June 2008 reported on a delegation to Freiburg, Germany: ‘Galway business leaders view the Freiburg model of sustainable green development’; ‘Galway delegation sees lessons from German transport model’. Freiburg has had a car-free city centre since 1993 and also has 500km of cycle paths, some of which have a bad reputation among cyclists. Simon said he would get in touch with Philip McNamara, CEO of Inspire Nation and one of the business leaders among the Freiburg delegation. Simon showed the group a Berlin city map with some cycle paths and trails marked “not suitable for cyclists” – something that could be said for many if not most of the segregated facilities in Galway.

10. AOB. Shane did a presentation on cycling for Hewlett-Packard. Cormac asked whether the levy for absent cycle parking was being applied. Bart offered to attend the Galway City Community Forum meeting on the following night (10 June).

Meeting ends.

Meeting minutes 10 March ’08

Venue: I.T. building, NUI, Galway

Present: Shane, Cormac, Stan

Apologies from everyone else

Agenda:
1. Galway Chamber’s Traffic & Transportation Forum.
2. Safety initiative with Gardai – report
3. Submission/presentation to RSA re proposed Cycle Safety Strategy
4. Progress on National Cyclists organisation – report
5. Bikepath sweeping proposal
6. Follow up on Doughiska Road issue – report
7. Small Crane proposals
8. Renmore park proposals
9. AOB

1. Simon looked into arranging a meeting with the relevant officials. We discussed the state of play regarding bike parking, and the possibility of getting more as due. Maybe a word of thanks for the stands in Eyre Square. Simon will have more details on this.

2. The safety initiative with the Gardai was deemed a success. We gave away all the reflective jackets and straps, and another bunch of road safety leaflets. Big thanks to the guards and sponsors – there are lots of cyclists on the streets now safer and more visible.

3. Presentation to the RSA was postponed until next month. Simon and Oisín are running with this.

4. Progress on the national group is slow but undeniable. Again, the degree of convergence in opinion was acknowledged and appreciated, and there needs to be a meeting soon to talk through all the different aspects of this plan.

5. Sweeping certain bike paths, as suggested by Kristin some weeks ago, was left aside until next time, due to the numbers present.

6. A document about Doughiska Road was prepared and sent to a solicitor, so now we wait to hear word back.

7. To better discuss the Small Crane proposals, a map from the City Council website was produced. Shane reported seeing a cycle gap at the retail park in Wellpark. This became key to our submission, the details of which we thrashed out after studying the map for a while. We’re to request five cycle gaps (aka environmental road closures) at junctions in the Small Crane plan. Also bike parking, since there is obvious demand and available space. Closing date is pending so Cormac is to get a photo of Wellpark then finalise the submission; Stan can edit if need be.

8. Renmore park has a one-way system planned – generally bad news for cyclists, pedestrians, children etc. This needs a few phone calls to the local residents’ association to sound them out about the proposals and assess the situation together. Cycle gaps could be requested – worth looking into.

9. A.O.B.: Cormac produced the City Tribune, which had a piece about urban planning, with mention of Copenhagen’s cycling culture and facilities. The meeting was then adjourned.

Monthly Meeting: February 2008

Monthly Meeting Date: Monday 11-02-2008 at 20h00
Venue: Room AC201, Concourse, NUI, Galway.

Apologies:

Members present: Kristin Riall, Simon Comer, Stan Carey, Shane Foran, Oisin Ó Nidh, Cormac Lovett, Indy Olbert

Draft Agenda Read out by Shane:
1) Safety initiative with Gardai
2) Submission/presentation to RSA re proposed Cycle Safety Strategy
3) Progress on National Cyclists organisation
4) Follow up on Doughiska Road issue
5) Headford Road Framework Plan
6) Dublin Rd Outbound Bus Lane – and issue of bus driver behaviour in bus lanes
7) Small Crane Proposals
8) Review of National Cycling policy – report
9) HGV issues
10) Integrated Transport Sub-group of City Development board
11) AOB

January 08 Meeting Minutes were read out by Oisín and deemed accepted. They are posted on the GCC Website.

1) Safety Initiative with Gardaí
Simon will call Tom Clarke (Garda Traffic Core) Simon outlined his plan for the idea. To be done in two stages with the Gardaí Cycle Unit
1.1) an evening will be selected (between 18h00 -> 20h00), during the working week. Hopefully the Garda (Cycling Unit) will police the popular Cycle runs in the city.
The GCC Members will join with them on these patrols. Cyclists who are stopped for not been “lit up” or who don’t have reflective jackets will be given free reflective jackets by us (sponsored by the RSA) and also we will be handing out the “Share the Road” information leaflets to these cyclists.
1.2) Positive Publicity – Positive Initiative for the GCC. Get pictures in the Local and also reinforces the idea that we are a positive organisation
1.3 Locations for Runs discussed. Near NUIG and GMIT? Decided that Henry Street and Ward’s Corner should be the main focus points but number of locations would be dependent on number of Gardaí and GCC members available on the night.

2) Submission/Presentation to RSA re proposed Cycle Safety Strategy
Meeting Organised for 6th March 2008, Tuesday at 10h00 in the House Hotel. Simon is heading the delegation, Kristin and Oisín have also volunteered.
Presentation and handout needs to be created for this. Decided that presentation needs to tie in with the Nation Cycling Document that is being created.
Simon is hoping to organize the presentation under the heading “The 5 E’s”

1. Education
2. Enforcement
3. Enginerring
4. Encouragment
5. Evaluation

3) Progress on National Cyclists Organization
Shane outlined the new Irish National Cyclists Organization.
Currently it is a Panel of 14 whose aim is to promote Cycling on a National Level. Members are drawn up from the Cycling Campaigns of other cities/towns in Ireland.
If a national consensus could be reached between the different campaigns – especially when submitting submissions on new or existing road designs, this would have more weight for all the campaigns concerned.
Other issues discussed in a National Document are Cyclists and Motorists Education, Use of Helmets, Road Design.
Examples for GCC – Seamus Quirke/Bishop O’Donnell Road during our meeting with Minister O’Cuiv where we outlined our concerns re the design he highlighted that if a document with a National consensus existed – then this would have far more weight in the eyes of the Minister for Transport and would not blow-up in his face.
Dublin, Skerries and Galway are merging the documents from the respective groups to create a National Document

4) Follow Up on Doughiska Road Issue
Council hopes to sign contract start of March 2008. Should we week a Judicial Review of the Safety Audit?
(No indications of discussions in the Safety Audit that they looked at all the options, especially speeds of cyclists going downhill from both ends of the Doughiska Road have not been taken into account)

5) Headford Road Framework Plan
This new design was raised at the City Council meeting on October 07 when the issues surrounding the Doughiska Road were raised at that meeting. Simon and Shane outlined the proposed Design. Debate followed – as it stands the proposed design looks far more favorable for cyclists than the current roundabout junction. The significant change to the Terryland Forest park was also outlined. It was raised would the GCC be seen as a supporter of the proposed development at the Galway City Community Forum?
Shane outlined that the GCC had not taken any position on the matter at the Galway City Council SPC Transport Forum.

Motion 1: Motion proposed that the GCC would not take a public position on this.
Unanimous Vote – Which the GCC would not take a public position on this until further notice.

6) Dublin Road Outbound bus lane
Submission made (Letter is posted on the Website). No response from the City Council and Tobin Engineers

6.1) – Issue of bus driver behaviour in Bus Lanes
Concerns were raised at the behaviour of some bus drivers on the Renmore Bus Lane. As the lane is only 3.5m in sections- conflicts have occurred especially with coach drivers on this section of Bus Lane. Indy spoke about the Section between GMIT and Duggan’s junction as the main issue of contention due to the amount of stationary traffic in the regular lane, which leaves less room for bus coach as they cannot encroach on the outside lane.
Shane outlined how this was to be included in the National Document.
It was raised that on regular roads have same issues with city buses, especially if the opposite lane is stacked with traffic which is now a common occurrence here in Galway.
Shane outlined that we need to quantify what is exactly happening on the Renmore Bus Lane. Simon outlined example of someone been intimidated by the bus driver as they were cycling in the bus lane. Problem is that we need more people reporting problems. Should this be raised as a Poll or Forum on our website to see if we can get a response.

7) Small Crane Proposals
Closing Date for Submission not know – but would be clarified to members via the Members Email Distribution E-Mail List
Main Proposal/Change
One Way System to be introduced throughout Dominick Street and the Small Crane. It was decided that we need to talk to the Henry Street residents association to make any progress on this.

8) Review of National Cycling Policy – report by Shane
Report being written by Colin Buchanan for Department of Transport
GCC asked by Colin Buchanan to get pictures of Roundabouts in Galway with cyclists using them.
Simon has 30 photographs – cyclists are all ages, class and creed.
Photographs taken Saturday Morning the 9th of February. 6 Photo’s were submitted to Colin Buchanan.

9) HGV Issues
Congestion Charges in the City, was raised in the local papers as a solution for Galway’s growing traffic woes?
(GCC would be particularly interested in this for HGV- especially during the core working hours (07h00 -> 19h00 or 08h00 -> 20h00)
Local politician Frank Fahey TD (Chairman of Transport Committee in the Dáil) dismissed as a solution for Galway until an effective Public Transport solution was available in Galway City. He mentioned that possible solution that maybe introduced in Dublin.
Also highlighted was how the RSA were very critical of the testing methods of Irish HGV’s. Was outlined that 1/4 defective trucks found on the UK roads where Irish vehicles either transiting through the UK to Europe or delivering goods to the UK RSA will be taking over the body responsible for road worthiness testing of HGV vehicles in Ireland.

10) Integrated Transport Sub-Group of City Development Board
Director of Services Ciaráin Hayes is reviving this. It has not met for a year or two. Cormac was our representative on this Transport Sub-Group of City Development Board

11) AOB
Cormac highlighted how 13 new Bike Stands have been installed in Eyre Square outside the Galway Advertiser Office’s. Simon outlined the setting up of a Transport Committee with the “Galway Chamber of Commerce”, headed up by Dr. Chris Coughlan – whose aim it is to come up with ideas and solutions to Galway’s traffic woes. Seen as a good method of feeding idea’s into the “Galway Transportation Unit” headed up by Joe Tansey Senior Engineer in the Galway City Council.
We are on the Galway Chamber of Commerce list thanks to Brendan Smith. Dr. Chris Coughlan wants to either meet or get feedback from us before his meeting with City Manager Joe McGrath on the 5th March 2008.