(This article appeared in the February 2016 copy of the Maynooth Newsletter)
In the November issue of the Newsletter, there were three items which referred either directly or indirectly to cycling.
The first was the Tidy Towns Adjudication Report for Maynooth. The judges reported that ‘It is great to be in a town with so many clear, good quality cycle lanes and to see so many people using them.’ Maynooth Cycling takes issue with the statement in relation to ‘good quality cycle lanes’ and with ‘so many people using them’.
At that time of the judging, the surface of the cycle track on the Straffan Road was extremely poor and even Kildare County Council accepts that upgrading was overdue. In the 2011 Census, the level of level of bike use was 2.2% for commuting purposes.
We appreciate the fact that the judges include active transport as one of their judging criteria. We are mindful also that the country is starting from a very low base in relation to cycle infrastructure and while we accept that judges bring a wide range of skills to the job of adjudication, we consider that they should be given some guidance on high quality infrastructure and levels of cycling. Maynooth Cycling contends that Town Reports should detail
- the level of service of existing cycling facilities and any upgrading proposals
- the level of cycling in the community – at minimum it should include 2011 census figures or other indicator of level of cycling in the community, and
- progress, if any, towards the government target of 10% of trips by bike by 2020.
The second issue was a concern expressed at the previous Community Council meeting over Moyglare Road traffic at the Kilcock Road junction being disadvantaged. If traffic from Moyglare Road is to be prioritised, it would imply that other traffic or pedestrians would have a lower priority which begs the question of who should loses out? Maynooth Cycling contends that Moyglare Road is not disadvantaged by traffic signals – it is disadvantaged by too much traffic, especially by people who could use alternative modes of transport for short trips.
The third issue referred was concern over the lack of cycle lane road markings at the RC Church. Maynooth Cycling contends that the lining should have been renewed several years ago – if for no other reason than its close proximity to St. Mary’s Boys School. The pupils complained to the Council about the markings in 2010 but their complaints have been ignored.
Finally, in the December issue of the Newsletter, the Community Council notes reported that ‘common sense prevailed’ in relation to the decision on the North South Corridor. As a group which is in favour of an active community, is against traffic congestion and does not welcome fines for failure to meet climate change targets, common sense did not prevail.
Maynooth Cycling is a non-party political cycling advocacy group. Its aims are to promote cycling as a healthy leisure pursuit and as a safe, enjoyable and efficient mode of transport for everyone in the Maynooth area.