NIGreenways offers a study tour looking at the worst of Belfast’s cycling infrastructure. The Guardian included the “Spider’s Web” from Belfast’s Harbour Estate in their list of the world’s worst cycle lanes.
Reporting on the Giro, Dutch cycle racing pundit Gio Lippens said of Belfast:
He used “fietsen” – every day bicycle use, not “wielrennen” – road racing. Is he right?
NIGreenways lists the worst. I want to highlight what is good about cycling infrastructure in Belfast. Let’s celebrate:
1. Stranmillis Embankment;
2. Upper Arthur Street / Alfred Street;
3. Park Road;
4. Victoria Street;
5. Barrack Street (a notorious rat run closed off, kept permeable for cyclists);
6. Castle Street (not the ASL, but the contraflow lane);
7. Belvoir Drive (a pinch point, with bicycle bypasses either side);
8. Saintfield Road (cyclists on shared use path are given own lane and priority over traffic on side road – apologies for the shaky picture);
9. Translink trains
“So what”, I hear you say, “a bike on a train…” It’s the strap holding the bike upright. These are the little things that make cycling in and around Belfast better.
All of the above can be improved. There are plenty of things wrong with what I have shown. But it’s a start, all of this wasn’t here when I arrived in the early ’90s. Let’s encourage our politicians and the Department of Regional Development to keep going and put in more good cycling infrastructure.
(The Lagan Towpath, Comber Greenway, Sam Thompson Bridge and so on are excluded because they are all shared use.)