Tag Archives: Cycling Officer

Keep the Cycling Officer!

20 Dec

Dublin is heading for a fall:

Dublin City Council is axing the Cycling Officer (read our interview wit Ciaran Fallon, written more than a year ago – in happier times).

This is a call to action.

Please join the Dublin Cycling Campaign, and help us keep our cycling officer.

Dublin needs your help. Now.

Join the protest,

sign the petition,

and write to your local Councillors (instructions follow…).

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR WRITING TO COUNCILLORS

 

Dear TD/Councillor,

We abhor the failure of Dublin City Council (DCC) to find funding to continue the contract of the Cycling Officer.  We understand that the Cycling Officer’s position has been funded up to now by the Department of the Environment, Communications and Local Government, but this contract ceases on January 5th.

A Cycling Officer is needed not only to represent the interests of the increasing number of Dubliners who already cycle, but to rapidly increase modal share, by-

  • Co-ordinating & guiding DCC policy towards increasing cycling, e.g. by reviewing draft policy documents like the Development Plan and contributing to the Transport Strategic Policy Committee, etc.;
  • As an engineer, counteracting the mindset of roads engineers who have been trained in outmoded, car-based transport principles;
  • Publicly promoting cycling, as done very successfully with the recent family-oriented Sky Ride, when 10,000 Dubliners took to their bikes in the city and gave an enthusiastic response.

We in the Campaign have developed an excellent working relationship with the current Officer, but all citizens can see the tangible results.  Due to bigger cycling numbers, Dublin’s streets are now quieter, less congested and, most importantly, safer for ALL road users.

The background to this issue is the mystifying way transport has developed in Ireland:

  • How is it that our roads have been made unsafe for kids to cycle to school, when over 300,000 of our children are overweight or obese?
  • How is it that, with car ownership now costing over €10,000 per year, and a crazy 40% of short trips being made by car, we’re not energetically pushing this low-cost transport mode?
  • Why is our Department of the Environment apparently reducing funding, when research published last week showed that high cycling numbers could make a huge dent in Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions?
  • Are we really content to simply continue to sit in traffic jams?  A Dublin Underground is not going to materialise any time soon.  Cycling is a quick, easy, very cheap answer to congestion.

It’s clear (and it’s in the Government’s own Cycle Policy Framework) that there should be not only a Dublin Cycling Officer, but a Cycling Tsar or team at Government level, and one in every Local Authority in the State.  Departments of Health and Children, Transport, Tourism and Sport, and Environment all bear responsibility here.  Yes, budgets are tight, but with a 20 to 1 return on investment in cycling (the huge health benefits to the population allow immense savings), it’s crazy to penny-pinch one key professional’s salary.

Indeed, we would be very interested to see DCC’s cost/benefit analysis of the decision to end this contract, given that its Transportation division expenditure was €73 million for 2010, and the Dublin Bikes scheme alone brings in €400,000.  Funding is not the problem here, it’s ill-informed and regressive thinking.

 

Yours sincerely,

MEMBER

DUBLIN CYCLING CAMPAIGN

 

 

Notes/sources-

http://www.cso.ie
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/1217/1224309215494.html
http://www.2030vision.ie/
http://www.smartertravel.ie/National-Cycle-Policy-Framework
http://www.aaireland.ie/AA/Motoring-advice/Cost-of-motoring.aspx
http://www.ecf.com/press_release/5056/
http://www.irishheart.ie/iopen24/pub/building_young_hearts_final_pdf_201…

 

 

Dublin City Councillors are listed here-

http://www.dublincity.ie/YourCouncil/Councillors/YourLocalCouncillors/pa…

Maria Parodi maria.parodi@dublincity.ie
Pat McCartan cllrpatmccartan@gmail.com
Dermot Lacey dermot.lacey@dublincity.ie; dermot.lacey@labour.ie
Mary Freehill freehill@eircom.net
Mannix Flynn mannix.flynn@dublincity.ie
Kieran Binchy Kieran.Binchy@dublincity.ie
Gerry Ashe gerry.ashe@dublincity.ie
Edie Wynne wynnee@eircom.net
Oisin Quinn oisin@oisinquinn.ie

Dublin TDs listed below.  Often a TD’s e-mail address is like- Name.McName@oireachtas.ie

Dublin Central (4)

Pascal Donohoe (FG) Paschal.Donohoe@Oireachtas.ie
Joe Costello (Labour) joe.costello@oireachtas.ie
Mary Lou McDonald (SF) marylou@sinnfein.ie
Maureen O’Sullivan (Ind) maureen.osullivan@oireachtas.ie

 

Dublin West (4)

Joan Burton (Labour)
Leo Varadkar (FG)
Joe Higgins (Socialist/ULA)
Patrick Nulty (Labour/Ind)

 

Dublin North (4)

James Reilly (FG)
Brendan Ryan (Labour)
Clare Daly (Socialist/ULA)
Alan Farrell (FG)

 

Dublin North Central (3)

Richard Bruton (FG)
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin (Labour)
Finian McGrath (Ind)

 

Dublin North East (3)

Terence Flanagan (FG)
Tommy Broughan (Labour)
Sean Kenny (Labour)

 

Dublin North West (3)

Roisin Shortall (Labour)
John Lyons (Labour)
Dessie Ellis (SF)

 

Dublin Mid-West (4)
Joanna Tuffy (Labour)
Frances Fitzgerald (FG)
Robert Dowds (Labour)
Derek Keating (FG)

 

Dublin South (5)

Shane Ross (Ind)
Alex White (Labour)
Peter Matthews (FG)
Alan Shatter (FG)
Olivia Mitchell (FG)

 

Dublin South Central (5)

Eric Byrne (Labour)
Aengus O Snodaigh (SF)
Catherine Byrne (FG)
Joan Collins (PBP/ULA)
Michael Conaghan (Labour)

 

Dublin South East (4)

Ruari Quinn (Labour)
Lucinda Creighton (FG)  lucinda.creighton@taoiseach.ie
Eoghan Murphy (FG)eoghan.murphy@oir.ie
Kevin Humphreys (Labour)

 

Dublin South West (4)

Pat Rabbitte (Labour)
Brian Hayes (FG)
Sean Crowe (SF)
Eamonn Maloney (Labour)

 

Dun Laoghaire (4)

Eamon Gilmore (Labour)
Seán Barrett (FG)
Mary Mitchell O’Connor (FG)
Richard Boyd Barrett (PBP/ULA)

A Classy Commute with Mr. Ciarán Fallon

31 Aug

Ciarán Fallon, Dublin City Council’s Cycling Officer, has a wintertime and a summertime commute.

Portobello's Red Houses

Portobello's Red Houses

In wintertime, the Cycling Officer commutes from Portobello with a detour through Ranelagh, to bring his daughter Molly to school. Six year old Molly sits in the child seat between the Cycling Officer’s arms. Up this close, father and daughter casually chat while cycling through morning traffic. And even though they ride a city bike the father describes as an old banger, his daughter loves the ride; and refers to that same vehicle as the Molly and Daddy bike.

Camden Street

Camden Street

In summertime, when Molly has her school break, the Cycling Officer commutes on a sleek black folding bike. It’s a practical bike: at home he stores it under the stairs of his terrace house, at work he stores it under his desk. The summertime commute also starts in Portobello, where the Cycling Officer has lived over the past ten years, in various houses. He loves to start his journey weaving through this red neighbourhood, via Lennox Street, onto Camden Street.

Camden Street – where you can buy anything from an anchor to a needle – is his favourite street in Dublin. There’s always something to look at in the charity shops, deli’s and boutiques. But where Camden Street meets Cuffe Street, the Cycling Officer becomes extra alert to traffic. From his work experience, he knows this junction should be approached slowly. Unloading lorries, busses, cyclists, and pedestrians all converge at this point. It is where you see Dublin is still a recovering car city.

South Great Georges Street

The Cycling Officer continues his journey through South Great Georges Street. Past the Long Hall, Hogan’s, Shebeen Chic. This street is the City Council’s model for Dublin’s future; 15% of traffic participants are cyclists and in 2020, all of Dublin should be like this.

the Cycling Officer

Finally, having conquered the steep ascent on Dame Street, the folding bike’s small wheels creaking with the effort, the Cycling Officer is rewarded with a view of Christchurch. And with a comfortable downhill glide down Fishamble Street – right into his office.

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