Meeting Minutes 09 June 2008

Venue: Bun Caise, Galway

Present: Shane, Cormac, Stan, Bart, Simon

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.






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