Galway cityscape can now be changed for cyclists and walkers

Bike racks will be like wildflowers - popping up everywhere

The Government's July Stimulus programme has created opportunities to quickly change the city's streets and create more facilities for people who walk, wheel and cycle, according to the Galway Cycling Campaign.

With funding available from the National Transport Authority, local contractors can be hired to implement shovel-ready projects, and so immediately boost employment while making safer streets.

Chairperson Kevin Jennings believes the "big pot of July Stimulus mobility funding" will fully cover the provision of new cycle tracks, bike parking, reducing road widths at crossing points and raised zebra crossings.

"The public engagement process during the first City Mobility Team's tenure showed overwhelming support for the need for more public space to walk to the local shops, cycle to GAA training, and go about daily business throughout the city."

"We hope to see bike parking racks pop up everywhere, like wildflowers. Anywhere there is a bike tied to a pole, that shows the need for secure and sheltered bicycle parking. We encourage local shops, supermarkets, cafés and restaurants to ask the council to install bike racks at their businesses. Bicycles should never obstruct footpaths."

Relevant legislation gives council executives power to be quick in reallocating road and street space.

"Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council's vision and ambition to reallocate public space in order to support residents and local businesses is inspiring," says Mr Jennings.

"We understand from our councillors that the Salthill Cycleway is still a possibility within reach. We have written to the council to suggest it makes contact with DLRCC and arrange a tour for some council and business representatives to examine the two-way cycleway from Blackrock to Sandycove via Dublin's Salthill to see first-hand what is possible. DLRCC and local businesses have worked closely together and residents and visitors are reaping the benefits."

Neasa Bheilbigh of the Galway School Cycle Bus in Knocknacarra, says with the imminent reopening of schools and public health advice continuing to recommend walking and cycling where possible, many parents will want an alternative to families cocooning in their cars at school gates.

"July Stimulus funds specifically provide money for reducing road widths at crossing points and raised zebra crossings, which will help children cross roads more safely on their school routes in the city centre and suburbs," she says.

"We suggest schools and parents contact their local councillors to make requests to the council for safer routes to school."


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