While I could give many comments on individual cycling routes, my submission is based on the overall lack of commitments in the strategy. While I understand there is positive moves in this area within the council, and with the Cycle Kilkenny initiative, without clearer commitments, cycling infrastructure may lag behind other areas. There is a clear contrast with car plans where indivual projects are listed. While cycling plans may still be in evolution, setting clearer objectives on steps towards proper safe infrasturture will keep cycling as a prioirty.
The content of the M&M strategy is largely positive with general comitments around promoting the use of public transport, such as walking and cycling. The 10-minute city, the overarching objectives and the commitment that the KLTP will include an enhanced cycle network plan
1. The Cycle network map and comments
Figure MS7 sets out the various cycling routes completed to date within the City this map is key in identifying what cycling infrastructure is in place, and what needs to be done. Unfortunately it does not do this. It has a green line for "completed cycling lanes" and really many of this are unsafe, and unfit for inexperienced cyclists. The lines continue through junctions, roundabouts, footpaths, etc.
I suggest the current state of cycling infractucture be reviewed and mapped as to safety and completeness. That the map be re-annotated with type of cycling route: unproected single line, unprotected with buffer, on-footapath, protected etc. I recall a similar map was shown at the public consultation evening. Certainly the current map is at the least misleading as to cycling routes in KK.
It would be best if the routes were compared with a standard, such as A national campaign for infrastructure to support cycling for all ages and abilities http://cyclingforall.ie .
2. Commitments on cycling infrastructure
There is a notable absence of commitements to develop infrastructure, in particular in established areas. Objective C5H states To further improve and enhance the network of cycling and pedestrian routes in accordance with the recommendations of the Kilkenny Local Area Transport Plan as resources permit.: This objective is weak, and lacks any measurable outcome. Rather than an aspirational statement, set clear cycling infrastructure goals. For example:
- to develop safe cycling routes from the 4 major population centres in KK to the city centre and
- to develop safe cycling routes between major polulation areas and schools
There are additional objectives in section 5.6.6
3. In volume 1 12.5 the recommendation to make junctions friendly for cyclists is highlighed. This doesn't appear to have made it to a objective. I suggets this be made a specific objective
4. 12.5.1 objective 12I To develop a network of cycling and pedestrian routes within Kilkenny city to provide connectivity and provide an alternative to car-based transport
Why is this missing from volume 2? I suggest it be included in Vol 2
Review the mapping of cycling routes, commit to safe complete cycling routes from major population areas to schools and city centre, commit to upgrading junctions for cycling.
To promote cycling among all including school-goers and vulnerable users. The goal of more people cycling and fewer cars in the city, with all the associated benefits, will be more achievable with proper infrastructure.