Galway Cycling Campaign is backing local businesses as Galway city knuckles down to kick-start the economy again.
The movement to ‘Change Our Streets’ is moving up a gear to make Galway city more family friendly, as Covid-19 movement restrictions begin to ease. Chairperson Kevin Jennings welcomed the publication of the City Council’s mobility plan, and sent a letter to the City Mobility Team on Monday to wish them every success.
He said he is delighted that the two principles of our ‘Change Our Streets’ initiative for More Space and Less Speed are at the heart of our city’s plans to get Galway moving and thriving again.
People on bikes spend 40% more in shops
Transport for London research, 2018
He pointed out that Galway Chamber and Westend Traders are two of the business supporters that recognise the value of people cycling.
“Customers using their bike to go shopping is good for business. People on bikes spend 40% more in shops than people driving, according to 2018 research from Transport for London (TfL).”
Open up streets for people on bikes and people walking through ‘Share With Care’ (‘Roinn le Cúram’ ) zones
Martina Callanan, spokesperson for Galway Cycling Campaign, said, “Research shows that people on bikes tend to shop local and are loyal to local traders. The social media hashtag #ShopByBike shows people doing their weekly shop and cycling home again. We have seen baskets and panniers packed with nappies, spuds, and all the usual items.”
Cycle parking outside shops helps keep shopfronts visible. Having a bike stand outside means space for potentially ten customers right outside the door. Per square metre, cycle parking delivers five times higher retail spend than the same area of car parking, according to European research.
Galway Cycling Campaign says that the city centre could open up streets for people on bikes and people walking through ‘Share With Care’ (‘Roinn le Cúram’ ) zones. Dublin City Council installed its first ‘Share With Care’ zone last autumn and cities like Norwich in the UK have used ‘Share With Care’ to revitalise their city centres.
“‘Share With Care’ gives priority to people walking and cycling. We can design our city to make it easier and safer for people of all ages and all abilities to come into town to shop, to eat, to visit a church, and do everyday business,” Ms Callanan said.
He said: “We are delighted that the two principles of the ‘Change Our Streets’ initiative for More Space and Less Speed are at the heart of our city’s plans to get Galway moving and thriving again as restrictions begin to lift.
We outlined our desire for More Space and Less Seed in our Open Letter to Galway City Council Chief Executive on Wednesday 7 May 2020, which was co-signed by over 200 organisations and individuals, including many representatives of local businesses, community groups, sports clubs and health professionals.”
He continued: “We are heartened to hear that the Framework will be a live and dynamic document, and that it prioritises active travel modes of cycling and walking. Walking and cycling are fast and affordable ways to travel short distances, and exercise is vital for our mental and physical health during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Martina Callanan, spokesperson for Galway Cycling Campaign, said: “We welcome the statement that Community Wardens will place ‘particular emphasis…on enforcement of illegal and unauthorised parking that impairs mobility, such as parking on footpaths, yellow lines, loading bays, taxi and bus designated areas and disabled parking bays.’ There can be no tolerance of inconsiderate behaviour which places cocooners, parents with buggies and small children at risk of stepping out into the road instead of continuing on footpaths.
She added: “We welcome the provision of extra bike parking and expect all will be safe, secure and sheltered. People on bikes are good for local business. Having a bike parking outside your shop or business means space for potentially ten customers right outside your door, and bike parking helps keep your shopfront visible.”
The letter to the City Mobility Team pointed out that mobility obstacles and touch points should be eliminated where possible, for example kissing gates, beg buttons at pedestrian crossings, and narrow stiles.
Actions to reduce speed should also consider measures to temporarily alter road design and provide traffic calming.
Kevin Jennings concluded: “We look forward to engaging with the City Mobility Team in the weeks and months ahead to create a safer Galway for all ages and all abilities during coronavirus. As they start their work this week we say, Pedal on!”
Galway Cycling Campaign will host our first public information meeting via Zoom tomorrow evening, Tuesday 12 May at 8pm, to crowdsource ideas for our ‘Change Our Streets’ open conversation with Galway City Council.
Tuesday 12 May, 8pm to 9pm Join Zoom Meeting Meeting ID: 850 4519 8216 Password: 548586
‘Doors’ open at 7.45pm. ‘Drinks’ afterwards until 10pm.
We will give an update about the #ChangeOurStreets campaign and we also want your specific suggestions to improve Galway city to facilitate social distancing in residential, recreational, retail areas.
Please test your technology in advance. We are not in a position to give tech support.
We will gather specific suggestions of areas to improve and submit these to Galway City Council. This will deepen our conversation on how we can together ‘Change Our Streets’ to protect the physical well-being and mental health of all residents of all ages and all abilities, especially the very young and those who are vulnerable.
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.