Current Status: Exploring
Project Stage(s): Concept
Live Trial Location(s): Pending > Active > Removed
There is generally a lack of public awareness of people with disabilities or mobility issues using cycles as mobility aids.
In addition (or as a result), bike parking is often a barrier for people with a disability or mobility issue as many of existing parking stands are unsuitable for them to use.
Just as there are designed and appointed parking bays for disabled drivers, what should be the equivalent for cyclists with disabilities, and how might we use such an opportunity to positively educate others?
You could picture a journey as follows.
This project is solely focussed on stages B/C and C - as highlighted above.
Disabled cyclists also have additional needs in relation to their use of the road network - ie stages A/B and B above. For example:
- These users need to plan everything in advance, including where they are going to park [EXPLAIN A BIT MORE]
- Difficulties starting and stopping at traffic lights
- Camber of the road is a problem as a tricycle can’t adjust to the different heights as easily as a two-wheeled bicycle can.)
We will not be focussing on these as part of this project.
"People tend to express the view that anyone fit enough to pedal a cycle cannot possibly be disabled. Disabled people are often considered as only those who are wheelchair users. People are generally ignorant of the concept of a mobility aid - and the more so if it is a bike…"
Wheels for Wellbeing, annual survey
There is generally a lack of public awareness of people with disabilities or mobility issues using cycles as mobility aids. 1 in 7 people in Dublin have a disability, but it's unknown how many of them cycle. In comparison, in the Netherlands 16% of ALL trips made by disabled people, are made on a cycle. In the UK this is....???
65% of respondents use their cycle as a mobility aid, with 64% finding cycling easier than walking. 49% of those have been asked to dismount while using their cycle as a mobility aid. Wheels for Wellbeing, annual survey
UK and Dutch research would indicate XYZ)
"I can't access the cycle parking bays, but I can use the sign post poles next to the parking bay."
Mary, a resident of Dublin City
This is partially due to the small number of people with disabilities who show their impairments when cycling. This lack of visibility prevents road users (including standard bicycle users) realising they share the road with people who have mobility issues or disabilities, even though 3/4 of disabled cyclists use their cycle as a mobility aid (and identify it as a mobility aid), with the same proportion finding cycling easier than walking. A Wheels For Wellbeing, Annual Survey Report 2019 [ADD LINK]
In the UK, a third of all disabled cyclists have been unable to park their non-standard cycle due to infrastructure.
There's a need to think about the language that we use. "Bicycle" or "bike" is most commonly used in society, in the media and in government - which assumes a two-wheeled bicycle, whereas the term "cycle" includes for all forms.
A non-standard cycle is any cycle other than a bi (two) wheeled cycle. There are many non-standard cycles, tricycles, handcycles, recumbent, tandem cycles, side-by-side cycle.
Here’s a list of some non-standard cycles;
- A tricycle is a three wheeled cycle. It offers more balance and stability for the cyclists as it has a lower centre of gravity and wider wheelbase.
- Tricycles are often used by cyclists that have problems with their wrists, hands, arms, shoulders or neck.
- A recumbent is a cycle that places the rider in a laid-back reclining position. Most recumbent riders choose this type of design for ergonomic reasons, the cyclists weight is distributed over a larger surface area, supported by back. Handcycles are for cyclists who can’t use their legs to pedal, variety of models, most with three wheels, with and without pedal assistance.
- Wheelchair handcycle allow you to turn your wheelchair into a cycle. There is a variety of models, with and without electric assistance.
- Duo bikes or buddy bikes are aimed at cyclists who are not able to partake in traffic on their own and therefore there is two saddles for two passengers to ride on. Variety of models, with and without electric pedal assistance. Some come with a regular bike saddle, others with a seat that offers back support and makes mounting the bike more easy.
- A trishaw is a combination of a tricycle and a rickshaw. It allows up to two passengers to sit in a seat at the front while a pilot cycles at the back. This allows people with very reduced mobility to cycle.
As you can see from the image below (which shows the types of cycles that respondants to a Wheels for Wellbeing annual survey use) their shapes vary widely.
- The target group for this project would be people with disabilities or mobility issues who cycle standard and non-standard cycles in Dublin. (Also older citizens - as people get older the percentage of people living with a disability increases.)
- It's also important to remember that there are many non-disabled users of non-standard cycles, including family, cargo and freight cyclists.
- Finding - how will users know where they are?
- Scalability (general areas of dublin)
- Type of locations needed/ never needed (eg shopping, main arteries versus residential streets)
- Frequency - City center solution?
- what do if full when get to it?
- - Pavement or off? Non-standard cycles can be larger, heavier, and designed differently to standard bicycle.
- - Approach area
- - Which side of rack people park on?
- "Inaccessible infrastructure like locked gates and barriers which are too narrow for me to get through. I can't pick up my trike and lift it, so if I can't cycle it, I can't move it."
- In addition, room around the space for the user to dismount, lock up and get back on is also not catered for - which is particularly important for cyclists with dexterity issues or people with disabilities.
- Surface treatment
- slip rating
- colour / signage
- Type of rack
- Grouping (eg friends travelling together)
- Others locking onto the other side
- Anything in relation to animals?
- Increasing security
- Most non-standard cycles are either self-standing or have an attached movable stand which can be utilised when parking. These bikes can be larger, heavier and designed differently to standard bikes.
- Also for other user such as cargo bikes?
- Info/people understanding disabled people cycle
- Roll out of a physical space will help increase awareness purely due to its presence. It will be visibly larger than any other space, with space around the stand being marked, making people slowly understand that some users may need more space for themselves or their cycle. Changing mind sets takes time and repetition.
Locking the cycle and returning to find another bike parking right up next to it creates problems for people with dexterity and mobility issues.
- Space kept clear (other bikes, rubbish, sandwich board, etc)
- Bike Permits
Would you like to help us with this project, by using the parking solution with your cycle? If so, please sign up and we'll let you know as soon as a trial has been installed!
She spoke with multiple disabled* cyclists to learn more about their experiences, and also explored the idea as below. (*It's important to note that several didn't identify themselves as "disabled".)
An interesting idea is to also colour the cycle stands themselves.
[Trial not yet complete.]
[Trial not yet complete.]
[Trial not yet complete.]
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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