Love 30 to Change Our Streets

World Bicycle Day saw cross-party support for 30 km/h speed limits for Dublin’s city centre and suburbs. We expect Galway to follow suit. Join us for a special guest speaker event this Wednesday, 17 June 2020, from 8 pm to 9 pm about how lower speed limits will make a happier and healthier Galway with investigative journalist Maria Delaney from Newsworthy, Mairéad Forsythe of Love 30 – Ireland’s campaign for lower speed limits, and Prof Kevin Leyden of NUI Galway. Event open to all.

Noteworthy and Love 30 – Ireland’s campaign for lower speed limits join with Galway Cycling Campaign for a special event on the benefits of lower speed limits.

Two weeks ago on World Bicycle Day there was cross-party support for 30 km/h speed limits for Dublin’s city centre and suburbs. Today, Monday 15 June, we expect Galway City Council to announce a similar intention.

This one change to our streets will have an immediate impact on improving road safety. It will also make cycling and walking easier and more pleasant for people of all ages and abilities. 

Lower speed limits will enable road redesign and so with narrower road carriageways there will be more space for cycle paths and wider footpaths. Lower speeds reduce the risk of road traffic collisions, reduce the risk of fatalities, and reduce the risk of life-limiting and life-changing injuries.

Hard and Fast Facts about the impact of speed on fatalities – Source: The Road Safety Authority of Ireland (RSA)

More Space and Less Speed are the two principles of our Change Our Streets campaign.

We are delighted to invite you to a special guest speaker event this Wednesday event at 8 pm on Zoom.

Speakers

The Problem – cycling injuries and fatalities

Maria Delaney, investigative journalist with Noteworthy, a project of TheJournal.ie – Bicycle Blackspots Ireland, part 2: Galway’s Headford Road (April 2019)

The Solution – 30 km/h speed limits in our cities and towns

Mairéad Forsythe, Love 30, Ireland’s campaign for lower speed limits

The Benefits – happier, healthier and safer streets within people-centered communities

Kevin Leyden, Professor of Political Science, Co-Director of the Creative, Liveable and Sustainable Communities Cluster of the Whitaker Institute

Event details

This Wednesday, 17 June 2020
8 pm to 9 pm
‘Doors’ at 7.45 pm
‘Drinks’ afterwards until 9.30 pm

Zoom details

Join Zoom meeting at this link
Meeting ID: 826 4005 1920
Password: 320894
All welcome

Change Our Streets

Less Speed is the second principle of #ChangeOurStreets campaign. We need our Council and Government to lower speed limits and redesign roads to enable adherence to lower speeds. 

Less Speed supports the More Space principle of re-allocating road space to people walking and cycling. 

Join Galway Cycling Campaign

Our public events are free events and open to all. If you’d like to get involved, please join us and our everyday cycling community. Our membership contribution is €10 or €5. If you would like to donate more, you’d be most welcome!

Galway Cycling Campaign is a group of independent volunteers working to create a bike-friendly city and county for people of all ages and abilities.

€1m a day for cycling and walking in draft Programme for Government

Galway Cycling Campaign warmly welcomes the report in the Irish Times that the deal for the Programme for Government will include €360m for cycling and walking. This will be allocated each year before the proposed future investment split of 2:1 in favour of public transport over roads. This is a smart deal for transport, public health, and supporting the local economy.

The volunteer group for everyday cycling has campaigned for years for 10% of the land transport budget to be allocated to cycling. 

In 2019, it was estimated that less than 2% from the land transport budget was spent on everyday cycling, according to the 2020 budget submission by Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network.

Chairperson of Galway Cycling Campaign Kevin Jennings emphasised the significance of the increase of funding from 2% to 10% for cycling.

A commitment of 10% for cycling in the land transport budget could help change transport in Ireland. The new government radio ads asking us to cycle and walk where possible are a first that I can recall. My kids are asked to cycle to camógaí training.

Investment in cycling is investment in public health. Better infrastructure will encourage more people to cycle during coronavirus, and enable the years of social distancing we must do until a Covid-19 vaccine is available.

Children and families cycling in Galway city

The chairperson also added that cycling is good for local business.

Cycling is good for business. Customers by bike are local and loyal. Research in London and Europe shows that bike parking outside your business brings five times the retail spend as the same space allocated to a car.

Customers by bike are good for business – Source: Transport for London (TfL) 2013

The first CycleCoffeeCake event organised by Galway Cycling Campaign ended at Ground & Co in Salthill. The local business was delighted to sponsor this event to support new people cycling as they’ve seen a massive jump in customers arriving by bike.

Participants at the first CycleCoffeeCake event by Galway Cycling Campaign enjoying coffee and cake sponsored by Ground & Co Salthill

Martina Callanan, spokesperson for the Galway Cycling Campaign, pointed out that EU research clearly shows that the economic and social benefits of cycling and walking.

According to EU research, each 1 km drive costs the public purse €0.11 in terms of travel time, collisions, and pollution, while at the same time each 1 km cycle or walk brings health, environmental and quality of life benefits of €0.18 & €0.37 / km respectively.

She added that the the group are keen to confirm the annual percentage budget for cycling and walking.

It looks like the Programme for Government will commit 20% of the land transport budget to cycling and walking, as 20% of 2020 land transport budget is €360m.

We expect 10% to be clearly allocated to cycling as this 10% allocation is endorsed by the UN, Citizens’ Assembly, the Dáil, Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action and the government’s Climate Plan.

The UN Environment Programme advocates spending 10% of land transport budgets on everyday cycling infrastructure and facilities.

Kevin Jennings added that the expectation is that cycling funding will be spent on quality infrastructure for all ages and abilities in Galway city and county so that we can grow cycling to levels common in places like Ghent, Seville and Leeds.

We also need to support more women to cycle. The boom in bike sales is due to more women buying bicycles. Before coronavirus, only 27% of cycling commuters are female, according to 2016 Census data.

Women typically have complex cycle routes involving trips to school, childcare, GP, local shops, public services like libraries, as well as to work. Safe and segregated cycle paths in networks that start from your residential area are necessary to support more women – and families – on bikes.”

Research shows that women tend to benefit more from higher cycling levels – from the European Cyclists’ Federation

Galway Cycling Campaign looks forward to examining the full published Programme for Government. More detailed comments will follow.

CycleCoffeeCake celebrates a pedal-away success

The first CycleCoffeeCake held today was a pedal-away success. The event, which filled registration within 24 hours of its announcement, shows the latent desire for people of all ages and abilities to gain confidence for cycling on roads, learning safe cycling skills, and enjoy being part of an everyday cycling community. Participants included a man using a recumbent  trike, a proudly self-identifying ‘oldie’, and Snoopy the dog in a bike basket. The sound of bell chimes and happy chats as people cycled side-by-side was pure joy.

CycleCoffeeCake participants enjoying coffee and cake at Ground & Co Salthill – Photo by Paula Healy

Thank you to all who joined us for the first ever #CycleCoffeeCake this morning. It was thrilling to have people of all ages and abilities with a mix of regulars and newbies on bikes join us for a gentle and including Saturday morning spin for coffee and cake.

New bikes and golden oldies

Eimear Ní Fhlatharta, who bought her bike only a fortnight ago, said the experience helped her feel empowered and more confident about taking space while cycling on-road.

Martina Callanan, spokesman for the Galway Cycling Campaign and creator of CycleCoffeeCake, said that this tweet was the reason for doing what we do.

Eimear’s experience is why we set up this social cycling event. We want to enable confidence in people who are new to cycling, or hopping back on the saddle after years or maybe decades. We want to share skills and tips while connecting people with a caring and fun everyday cycling community.

Martina Callanan, spokesperson for Galway Cycling Campaign and creator of CycleCoffeeCake

Before the group departed the start point, a participant asked, “When is the next event?” Gesturing at her red bike with a wicker bike basket, she said, “I’m as old as this bike. I want to cycle!” 

The group asked for CycleCoffeeCake to be a fortnightly event during the summer. We are delighted to respond to this request, and so the next event will take place on Saturday 27 June at 10.30am.

Registration details along with the start point and route details will be announced the week beginning Sunday 20 June.

Route details

The route today went from Nimmo’s Pier to Blackrock before ending in Salthill village with coffee and cake at Ground & Co.

Instead of the off-road cycle path on the shoreline of the Swamp, the group cycled entirely on-road. This is because a kissing gate from Nimmo’s Pier to the Swamp is a Covid-19 contact concern as well as being a mobility obstacle for people with bikes, and in particular, our participant who uses a recumbrent trike.

A recumbent tricycle is a bicycle in which the rider sits in a laid back position while riding it, with their feet in front of them, and has three wheels – File photo

Event partners

Special thanks to Martyna Cwiertnia from An Mheitheal Rothar for giving a terrific bike maintenance talk, which focused on the safety M Check.

The M Check by Velo City, an annual international cycling conference by European Cyclists’ Federation

Check out Martyna’s bike mechanic YouTube channel, Rainbow Bikes, which has helpful easy-to-do bike maintenance tips as well as videos on vintage bicycle restorations.

High Nelly restoration process 2019 by Martyna Cwiertnia on her YouTube channel, Rainbow Cycles

It was easy to choose Ground & Co Salthill as our first event partner. The Aquarium Building is a great location in Salthill with lots of space and seats outside to enjoy our complimentary coffee and cake.

Since coronavirus and lifting of lockdown, more people are arriving by bicycle and the bike stands outside Ground & Co Salthilll have never been so busy. We’re delighted to support CycleCoffeeCake and sponsor this first-ever event.

Kevin Nugent, owner of Ground & Co Salthill

As well as the event group, many more people on bikes were curious about the event and tagged along behind and joined us for coffee and chats.

Importantly for us, this local café has an abundance of secure bike racks, which we filled.

An abundance of bikes securely parked outside Ground & Co Salthill – Photo by Paula Healy

Next event

CycleCoffeeCake will be a regular fortnightly event by the Galway Cycling Campaign during the summer. 

We want to help people feel more confident cycling about town and to and from residential and recreational areas. Each event will take a different route and will offer a theme, a guest guide, or a guest speaker.

Kevin Jennings, chairperson of Galway Cycling Campaign

Cake bike trails will be explored across the city, especially those that end in green and blue areas where we can enjoy coffee, cake and chats in safe and pleasant surroundings, like Terryland Forest Park, the Seven Galway Castles’ Heritage Cycle Trail / Slí na gCaisleán, Cappagh Park, and Ballyloughnane Beach.

As we reopen society after the coronavirus lockdown, we want to support local businesses, especially those that have safe and secure bicycle parking outside.

Martina Callanan, creator of CycleCoffeeCake

We welcome suggestions of routes and local businesses in the comments below, via email [email protected] or through DM on Twitter.

Save the date!

The next event will take place on Saturday 27 June at 10.30am. A registration link will be live in the week before the event.

If you would like to become part of Galway’s everyday cycling community, join the Galway Cycling Campaign for a €10 or a €5 contribution.

Until then, pedal on!

The view from Nimmo’s Pier across the the Long Walk – Photo by Eimear Ní Fhlatharta

#ChangeOurStreets – submit your ideas directly to the City Mobility Team

Galway Cycling Campaign and the ‘Change Our Streets’ movement welcomes the online request and mapping tool for ideas to improve mobility in the city during coronavirus. It was made available today, Friday 22 May 2020, by Galway City Council and the City Mobility Team.

Screenshot of Galway City Council Mobility Team request form for social distancing measures with an easy to use map to identify locations

Galway City Council have developed a user friendly online request form to support social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kevin Jennings, chairperson of Galway Cycling Campaign said, “We welcome this easy-to-use online form. We are glad that the Council have made the suggestions transparent and map-based, as we suggested in previous correspondence.”

All requests will be populated on a map of the city, so everyone can see requests submitted for areas of interest.

Categories for change: wider paths, lower speeds, space for cycling, cycle parking, maintenance, more space for queuing

Martina Callanan, spokesperson for Galway Cycling Campaign said, “We encourage everyone to use the online request form to support social distancing. If you are concerned about space at a bus stop, touching beg buttons at crossing, need a wider footpath in your residential area, or need space for cycling, you can make a specific request for a particular location. We suggest people bookmark this online form in their web browser to access it quickly and easily.”

She continued, “We welcome the categories for change which include requests for wider paths, lower speeds, space for cycling, cycle parking, maintenance, and more space for queuing. These changes to our streets will make our city safer and more pleasant for walking and cycling for people of all ages and all abilities.”

All requests will be made publicly available on a map on www.galwaycity.ie

Galway City Council says, “Please note this information will be made publicly available on a map on www.galwaycity.ie Please do not include any personal details, names or profanities in your submission.”

Galway City Council says that all requests will be carefully reviewed by the City Mobility Team (CMT) to identify which initiatives can be progressed safely. Galway City Council will update the status of requests, as they are reviewed by the CMT.

Yesterday, Thursday 21 May 2020, Galway Cycling Campaign submitted a 20 page document of 60+ specific suggestions to improve mobility during coronavirus.

#ChangeOurStreets – here’s our specific suggestions

Following wide engagement with residents, communities and businesses across the city, Galway Cycling Campaign has made a 20 page submission of specific suggestions to #ChangeOurStreets to improve mobility in Galway City during coronavirus.

Kevin Jennings, chairperson of Galway Cycling Campaign, said: “We received over 100 suggestions from people who live, work, study and trade in our city. We have reviewed, collated, filtered and reduced these to 60+ suggestions that could be quickly and cheaply implemented as per our city’s Roadmap and Framework mobility plans for Covid-19.”

Download here the Specific Suggestions to the City Mobility Team, submitted on Thursday 21 May 2020.

1 submission. 20 pages. 60+ suggestions.

The submission includes the idea that city centre streets be opened up to people walking and cycling through ‘Share With Care’ zones.

There are also ideas to tweak and complement the Galway Transport Strategy (2016) Primary Cycle and Greenway Network.

New creative ideas are need to improve mobility and maintain safe social distancing

Regarding road design and layout, there are suggestions to improve stacking lanes, roundabouts, traffic signal management, and traffic calming.

Galway Cycling Campaign and our #ChangeOurStreets supporters look forward to liaising closely with the City Mobility Team.