Galway Cycling Campaign Monthly Meeting [August]

Galway Cycling Campaign Monthly Meeting [Please forward to all cyclists]

Ladies and Gents,

The Galway Cyling Campaign will host its monthly meeting next Monday 14th at 8.00 pm.
[We try to hold our Monthly meeting on the second Monday of each month].

The venue is the Galway One World Centre, in the Halls, Quay St [Beside Fat Freddy’s restaurant].

The Galway One world centre is on the top floor of the Halls, Quay St [Beside Fat Freddy’s restaurant].
Bicycle Parking is available at the bottom of Quay St, outside Massimo’s, and also at the bottom of Mainguard street, outside the Dew Drop Inn pub.

Please Make an effort to attend.


Letter to the Galway Advertiser: 03 August 2006

Galway is a death trap for cyclists

Dear Editor,

After years of getting around Galway by foot, bicycle, car and bus, I feel the need to publicise my growing concern. This concern is, in so many words, a fear for my life. Most days I cycle on the city roads, and on almost every occasion I am witness to driving that puts me in immediate bodily danger. I see the same impatience that is evident all over the country and is responsible (along with drink-driving, phone-driving, bravado, tiredness, etc,) for the depressing statistics of carnage we hear and forget, week in week out.

Given the city’s frustrating lack of properly-designed cycling paths, and the emphasis placed on automobiles in the general public’s daily lives, it is inevitable that cars and bicycles will get in each others way from time to time. However, I don’t accept that this entitles motorists to take casual risks with my well-being. Rather than wait five or ten seconds to pass safely, many drivers take a chance on a blind corner or a busy or narrow road, and put the foot down.

Some drivers wait for an opportunity to overtake safely. Too often, however, I feel the need to ensure such a wait by cycling well out from the kerb. This is where less-assertive cyclists must feel the fear, as to offer even minimal passing room to many motorists encourages them to whip by at high speed. I know several people who do not cycle in Galway because they are nervous or terrified of sharing the road with motorists.

Studies into road rage reveal that it arises partly from a sense of inviolability. Cars are designed to be safer to those inside them at the expense of those outside. Drivers cannot easily make eye contact with other road users, and hence tend to view them not as other humans with friends, families and fragile organs, but as inconveniences to their primitive sense of territory on the road, and to the perpetual rush they are in. This haste is very evident at junctions: not only do most cars not slow down and stop as the lights turn amber, they speed up as the lights turn red.

I’m not trying to start a war of words. Cyclists can be lunatics too, while many drivers are cautious and decent on the road. Though I currently cycle and walk around town, I drove for several years. It was convenient but it made me impatient, lazy and dependent. I understand the temptation to take risks. I know how easy it is to forget the constant dangers, to convince ourselves we’re in a constant hurry, and to consider the possibility of an accident as a remote horror that does not apply personally. Such complacency is a grave mistake.

I just want to ask for a little more courtesy from all road users, so that I don’t feel a creeping sense that the next spin into town, to the shop or the sea might be the one that leaves me crippled, brain-damaged, or dead.




(Name and address with editor)

Letter to the Galway Independent: August 02 2006

Cyclists should put their energy into lobbying for cycle routes

Dear Editor,


I am writing this letter as a response to the letter in your column on the 26 July titled �Fear for life as cyclist�.

I am a motorist who lives in Roscommon and commutes to Galway City every weekday. I am by no means anti-cyclist, but it does annoy me the way that cyclists constantly complain about motorists and their apparent disregard for the safety of cyclists.

If this is how they feel then they should hang up their bicycle clips for the last time and walk, jog or God forbid drive from A to B. Complaining and moaning about motorist�s habits and behaviour will make absolutely no difference to the vast majority of motorists, sad but true.

In my opinion cyclists should put all their energy into something they can possibly change, by lobbying councils and town planners to provide safe cycle routes and cyclist friendly junctions so they too can enjoy the relative safety that pedestrians get from footpaths and pavements.


David Conboy,

Main Street,



Here goes nothing..

To be honest, I don’t really have an awful lot of time for blogs.

Most of them consist of people whining about topics they no little about, and are incredibly boring.

This one will be no different.

Its just a place for me to bitch and complain, safe in the knowledge that few people will read and even less will care.

I’ll probably get bored of it as well, but in the meantime I’ll post about anything I find on the net of interest to Cyclists, especially in Galway.

Draft Agenda, AGM 10th July 2006

Draft Agenda

Galway Cycling Campaign AGM.

minutes of last AGM

1) Review of recent activities.

2) PRO’s Report

3) Treasurers Report

4) Reports on specific Campaign issues

5) Resignation of Officers

6) Election of Officers

7) Discussion of proposed actions for next year.

Facts About Cycling in Galway

Vulnerable Road Users in Galway*

Age Class
% Equiv. of 1996 population
Total population of the city
Children Age 0-14
Children in Secondary School

Third Level Students

  • GMIT 3,839
  • NUI, Galway 8,450
Persons over 65

*Data from 1996 Census and Atlas of
Galway, secondary school figures are for 1998, third level for 1999/2000

Travel by vulnerable modes in Galway

The 1996 census lists following proportions
for trips to school, college and work by the vulnerable modes in
Galway city (foot, cycle and motor cycle)

    • Travel by vulnerable modes: Trips to School

      • Children Aged 5-12:                         37.4

      • Students Aged 13-18:                      47.7

    • Travel by vulnerable modes: Trips to College

      • Students Aged 19 and over:      
             81.5 %

    • Travel by vulnerable modes: Trips to Work

      • Persons at work aged 15 and over: 30.0 %

Parking in Galway

  • There are at least 10 “no bicycles” signs in Eyre Square, there
    is one municipal bike rack.   It has eleven spaces
    and is of a “wheel gripper” design that can damage bicycles
    and leaves them vulnerable to theft or vandalism.  In a
    1998 submission the GCC requested it’s removal, in 2001 it’s
    still there.

  • Recently the Corporation installed a different, but still unapproved, rack design in
    the Maingurd St, Spanish Arch areas, these allow the frame to
    be locked but do not properly support upright bicycles which fall
    over. The design has also been identified as a trip hazard to

  • There are 1,000 “on street” and 3,000 “off street” car parking
    spaces in Galway city.

Galway’s Roads Network 

  • Galway Corporation has imposed road and junction types with
    a design speed of 60 mph or higher at locations where the stated
    speed limit is 30 mph and where there is mixed traffic of all

  • There are currently 13 multilane roundabouts in the City, the
    accident rate for cyclists on these roundabouts is 14 to 16
    times that of motorists. The accident rate for motorcyclists
    is only slightly lower than that of cyclists.  A national
    study on Irish roundabouts from 1987 raises serious reservations
    about using them where high numbers of two wheelers are expected.
     A Foras Forbatha report in 1979 raised the issue of the
    safety of cyclists in Galway and the roundabouts that were then
    proposed for the city.  Galway corporation was fully aware
    of these issues when they built a further five roundabouts on
    the new Western Distributor road.  More roundabouts are
    planned for the Seamus Quirke rd.

  • Even within predominantly residential areas Galway Corporation
    has a policy of actually specifying the use of road junction designs
    that unnecessarily endanger and inconvenience pedestrians and

  • It is corporation policy to impose “cycleways” of a design
    that results in a baseline 50% increase in the rate of car/bicycle
    collisions. (Rising to a tenfold (x10) increase in some circumstances).

  • There are only 14 signal controlled junctions Galway City, not
    all of these signalised junctions include pedestrian phases. There
    are only 10 signalised pedestrian crossings

  • At some specific locations in the city any cyclist who attempts
    to use the “cycleways” in the manner directed by the accompanying
    signs can expect to incur a tenfold (x10) increase in the risk
    of car/bicycle collision.

  • There are no fixed speed cameras anywhere in Galway City or
    County.  In fact to our knowledge there are no fixed speed
    cameras anywhere in the west of Ireland.

  • Galway Corporation has an established practice of refusing
    to implement road safety measures such as traffic calming even
    when specifically requested by local residents.

  • There are 130 miles of roads in Galway City, up until 2000 there
    was only one road (Murrough Avenue) that had any (2) municipally
    provided speed ramps.

  • At least one major cycling tour operator refuses to bring groups
    to Galway City by bicycle on grounds of road danger.

Cyclists call for Bikes on Buses

The Galway Cycling Campaign has called for bikes to be carried on bus services as one of a range of suggestions made on the city’s Bus study. The study is being carried out by Booz Allen Hamilton consultants to identify a future path for the Galway’s public transport services and the deadline for submissions closed on Tuesday.

The cyclists highlight the common practice elsewhere of facilitating the carriage of cycles on buses. They claim this has the potential to benefit both cyclists and the public transport service by opening up access to locations that are both too far to cycle but not within walking distance of bus routes. The cyclists provide an overview of a range of cities and bus services across the globe where bicycle carriage is permitted on buses both internally and via externally mounted racks. The examples include:

* Kassel: Germany
* Geneva, Basel, Zurich: Switzerland
* Copenhagen: Denmark
* San Francisco and Santa Cruz: California
* Seattle: Washington
* Portland, Eugene: Oregon
* Vancouver: Canada

The provision of appropriately designed bus/cycle lanes is welcomed by the cyclists who view bus/cycle lanes as being the best type of “cycle lanes”, the use of shared bus/cycle lanes is widespread elsewhere. In Galway, they anticipate that on many routes, bus/cycle lanes will be possible in one direction only. However, they say that it is essential that this doesn’t occur by using excessively narrow lane widths on the other side of the road. As this will adversely effect safety and access for cyclists travelling in the opposite direction.

Finally, the cyclists point out that in Galway, roundabouts represent a major infrastructural deficit facing bus operators, pedestrians as potential bus passengers and cyclists. They point out that uncontrolled roundabouts are deemed to be incompatible with modern bus priority systems, which use detectors and traffic signals to give priority to buses. They are calling for the bus study to be used as an opportunity for identifying remedial works for Galway’s roundabouts and restoring access to the city for all travel modes.