We commend the recent report by Seán Ó Broin on Survey of Car Parking and Bicycle Facilities in Maynooth and agree with many of his conclusions. However, we strongly oppose his suggestion that
There is no point in the Local Authority incurring expenditure on the provision of additional lane facilities within Maynooth in the absence of adequate facilities at starting ……. and finishing points
While the provision of cycle parking is an essential element in enabling cycling, the cost of an individual parking stand is minor compared to the cost of providing high quality cycle infrastructure. It remains the single most important element in enabling everyday cycling.
Car and bicycle parking is available at the following locations:
Table 1: The Availability of Car & Bicycle Parking in Maynooth
While most of the locations have a lack of adequate / suitable parking facilities, parking is sufficient at a number of the remaining places. Specifically, it is our opinion that
- At Manor Mills, the parking hoops are poor quality “wheel bender” frames which are poorly located as they are remote from the shopping centre entrances.
- At Aldi, the cycle stands are substandard. Each should be able to cater for two bikes but have been placed too close together at 500mm apart rather than 1000mm.
- The KCC Pay & Display Car Park is not a natural location for bike parking as there is no “destination” nearby. Cyclists would generally choose to park adjacent to their destination or even better at the entrance to their destination. Bike parking at a remote location would only be used if it offered increased cycle security – which the Pay and Display Car Park does not do.
- Carton Retail Park has bike parking but it is remote from the shops and is open to all weather conditions. The bike lockers are adjacent to one of the entrances to the Tesco supermarket. However, cyclists have to pay for the lockers whereas parking for car users is free.
- There are also a number of individual Sheffield stands which are located in small groups along Main Street, on Straffan Road and at the Harbour Field. They are sufficient in number.
Parking is normally dealt with as a conditions of planning and the County Development Plan lays down a minimum standards of provision for the parking of both cars and bikes. However, while parking for cars is rigorously enforced, parking for bikes is often overlooked and no enforcement action is taken to ensure that planning conditions are met in full.