Drivers, cyclists aren’t the problem, they’re part of the solution

Taxi drivers seems to be the worst about vocalising their dislike of cyclists. I can’t seem to take a cab ride without the driver complaining about cyclists being in the way and slowing them down.

But what they don’t realise is that they’ve got it all wrong. Having to wait before you can safely overtake a cyclist may cost you a few extra seconds on your journey – but the real people who are slowing down your commute aren’t cyclists, they are other drivers.

In the city drivers spend significantly more time stuck in queues behind other cars than they do being held up by cyclists.

If you want proof, just think about what happens to the roads when the schools are on holiday. Car commute times often fall dramatically during the holidays, and that’s just from a 10-15% drop in traffic volumes.

So what about the cyclists, who account for just over 10% of all traffic in Dublin city centre. Suppose they all suddenly decided one day to stop cycling.  Would the roads be better? No, it would be gridlock!

People mostly cycle distances that are too great to walk. So if they’re going to stop cycling and switch to a different mode of transport, then they’re either going to end up driving or taking public transport – and you would have thought, if the public transport was any good, they’d already be using it.

In fact, you’ve probably already witnessed the problem when we get bad weather.  People who would otherwise cycle or walk to work suddenly decide to drive when it starts raining or snowing, and as such the traffic around the city grinds to a halt.

So… drivers (particularly taxi drivers), when you think about it you should be THANKING cyclists for helping to keep traffic on the move.

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

2 thoughts on “Drivers, cyclists aren’t the problem, they’re part of the solution

  • 22 April, 2015 at 2:10 am

    Taking this view of cyclists one step further, there is often animosity towards bicycling infrastructure. However Bicycling infrastructure such as clearly marked lanes or separated paths cost less than roads, maintenance costs are lower, because it is safe and convenient to cycle, there are more riders and fewer motor vehicles plus the infrastructure makes it safer for cyclists and motorists.

    It makes sense however the first solution by politicians and motorists is more streets, wider streets and removing everything else, and this becomes counter-productive however is a compelling argument for voters.

  • 16 May, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Couldnt agree more, most trips within the canals take 25% less time on a bike that on most other forms of transport during daytime yet motorists believe that cyclists are slowing them down.

    The infrastructure issue extends beyond traffic lanes. On Thursday last I locked my bike to a sign post outdside the Doubletree Hotel (Burlington) (the only available locking point) One of two men who had been standing beside me chatting while I locked my bike shouted at me after I had walked away to the hotel door….while I couldnt hear what he said I did hear ‘obstructing the rank’. When I returned to my bike an hour later my front tyre and tube were slashed……I presume because I had locked the bike to the sign that marked the rank. Im not sure whether I was in the wrong for parking where I did and Im pretty sure the taxi mans action was not appropriate but it all stemmed from the lack of any parking for bicycles in the area.


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