The wheels of change are in motion.
This week Cork City Council unveiled a major plan to make Cork more people-friendly, and if you enjoy cycling and hope to do more of it, there’s €2m about to be spent on making things safer in that regard.
Cork’s cyclists, many of whom have shared horror stories of accidents and near-misses and photo evidence of cycle lane obstructions on social media for years, have tentatively welcomed the plan.
The €2m programme, supported by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and revealed as part of the Reimagining Cork City programme at City Hall, involves the following four changes:
- €1.5 million has been ring-fenced for the repair of six kilometres of existing cycle lanes.
- New bollards are to be installed across four kilometres of key cycling routes. The exact locations of the bollards are currently under review.
- 4.1 kilometres of new cycle lanes will be created at Centre Park and Monahan Roads, Terence MacSwiney Quay, Horgan’s Quay and Victoria Road and South Mall
- 43 new bike racks will be constructed with the capacity to accommodate approximately 500 bikes.
Conn Donovan, Chair of Cork Cycling Crew, an independent volunteer group working to make Cork a bike-friendly and bike safe city, said the plans are a positive start, but more needs to be done, tweeting: “Hate to be critical on what should be a positive day. The plans announced are a GOOD first step and address valid concerns about the bike network. 4-5 more new continuous, quality routes needed before we get into ‘reimagined’ territory for active travel in Cork.”
Majo Rivas of Cork Cycling Campaign is more confident about the plans, which include the pedestrianisation of 14 city streets: “With everything happening, our worlds got smaller but it was nice to rediscover the places closest to us.” she said.
“I hope that being able to walk and cycle in Cork safely, and getting a chance to play, eat and meet each other in our city’s streets becomes the new normal, after all; streets are for people.”
Green Party Councillor Lorna Bogue hopes the investment in cycling routes will open the door for City Council to support further proposals:
“I hope a cycle route between the healthcare centres and the city will be seriously considered next,” she said.
“Thousands signed a petition to that effect, and a route between the hospitals would support students, workers and residents who want to cycle from Wilton into the city safely. The report seemed a bit light on developments north of the river, but ultimately it was a positive report, and really shows that hopefully there’s been a change of mindset and approach in City Hall.”