Welcome to the blog of the course and textbook Facing up to global warming: What is going on and what you can do about it. This course is run by Professor Nick Gray of the Trinity Centre for the Environment at Trinity College Dublin.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dublin - Desensitized to Car Traffic?

Dublin has recently seen a massive increase in the number of people choosing to cycle as their main means of transportation. The short trips that most city dwellers make on a daily basis are easily manageable by bicycle. In many cases, especially during rush hour, cycling is a faster and more convenient mode of transportation. Bicycles are easily maintained with a little knowledge, and almost entirely recyclable. These and many other reasons are why Dubliners are cycling in ever-greater numbers. Unfortunately, city officials are far behind much of Europe in adapting the changing transportation choices of Dubliners.

While cities in Holland are well known for their bicycle friendly design, urban centres traditionally dominated by cars like Paris are changing dramatically. Paris now has bicycle lanes on all major roads, including lanes against traffic on many one-way streets. They also recently implemented a program where bicycles are only asked to yield at red lights to traffic instead of stopping – a commonsense approach that acknowledges the reality that cycling is closer to walking then driving. Dublin has two main tourist areas that are particularly attractive to visitors for one main reason – there are no cars.  We have become desensitized to car traffic and forget that we have designed our city around allowing the use of heavy machinery for personal transport. We need to raise our expectations for what city life should entail, and cycle more.

Jonah McGreevy

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