Dublin Sustainability Report

Dublin City Council today launched their 3rd annual Sustainability Report, which details the city’s strategic goals in areas such as evergy, waste, water, polution, and transport.

In the transportation section of the report, they set out a strategic shift away from private car use in the city, from the current 34% of trips, to 20% by 2020. That means that 80% of all trips will be by public transport, walking and cycling.

They council also stated that within the same timescale they want the number of bike journeys to raise from about 5% to 20-25%.  That’s very ambitious, given that the government’s target for the period is only 10%.

The plan to increase the Dublin Bikes scheme from 500 to 1,500 bikes over the next few years, and expand against to 5,000 within 5 years.  There’s also a plan to develop a high quality cycle network in the city.

It all sounds very grand, but I’m not convinced such a huge shift can be achieved within just 7 years. To get 1 in 5 people on bikes, the council is going to invest a lot in tackling the perceived safety issues surrounding cycling. That means building segregated and separate cycle lanes (not just painting lines on the side of roads), and changing the priority of bikes on roads so that cyclists don’t have to give way to cars at every intersection.

Pretty much every cycling advocate these days points to the examples of Copenhagen and Amsterdam as best practise for achieving a high take-up in cycling. But to achieve something akin to those cities would require a significant level of investment and a large shift in political will. And I’m not entirely sure Dublin city is set to take on that challenge, but I suppose only time will tell.

Richard Bloomfield

Richard is the founder of Dublin Bike Blog. He commutes to work every day by bike, come rain or shine, on his Dutch city bike. You can read more from Richard on his blog richardbloomfield.ie.

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