Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Dublin City might actually work! - Or maybe not

After yesterdays pleasant surprise to see a team of workers cleaning up the bike lane along East Wall Road, I was full of anticipation as I rode towards it this morning. I was looking forward to rolling along a pristine, smooth and shiny surface, laughing out loud at the ease and safety of my exclusive, truck-free route.

OK, so I was a little bit over-optimistic. If my Dad had been there to oversee the sweepers I think they'd have heard "You missed a bit" quite often. Don't get me wrong, anything is an improvement over what it was like but is half a job worth the effort?

While the big piles of grit are gone, and the large pieces of the broken up red surface that littered the first section have been removed, there is still a large amount of gravel and grit in the lane. Maybe, with drivers eyes, the team doing the job thought they'd made a huge difference, but unfortunately the tolerance of a bike tyre is not quite that of a car tyre. Even a small amount of gravel and dirt can be enough to bring a bike ride to a halt. Cycle lanes require a higher standard of "clean" than roads. That standard wasn't met.

The problem is now that there might be a similarly long interval before the lane is swept again so we can't even hope for an incremental improvement over time.

Worse still, the removal of the dirty top layer has highlighted just how poor the state of the red bike lane surface really is. Riding it this morning I could feel and hear whole sections rattling loose, obviously not bound to the concrete underneath. Over another cold winter most of that will be worked loose and the lane will be back to where it was two days ago.

So Dublin City Council, I do appreciate the fast response and the effort you put in, but I was brought up to believe a job is always worth doing right. You've let yourselves down on that score.

1 comment:

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    Thanks for honestly relating your experiences and opinions and good luck to you.