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Kissing Gates




Kissing gates are used in some locations to deter certain users such as people on scrambler and quad bikes and prevent access by horses. This is done primarily with park users safety in mind. Heavy mechanised bikes and horses can cause severe injury to other park users and damage the fabric of the park itself with ease.

However they very often cause problems, or prevent access entirely, for others - including people with prams, able-bodied people with standard bicycles and cargobikes, disabled people with non-standard cycles, wheelchair users and mobility scooter users. 

For some users, they present some friction (some able-bodied users with standard bicycles are able to get past, albeit with a lot of effort and hassle), whereas for others they will fully sever them off entirely from using a park or cycle path.

They also often do not work to prevent the issue that they were installed to do. For example, if you watch this short video you will see kissing gates affecting multiple people cycling, but (at 1.30 minutes) still do not prevent the scrambler bikes from entering the space like they were intended to do.

To somewhat address the issue, Dublin City Council will often leave one of the park gates open whenever the grounds staff are onsite during the day. However, this does not help with evenings or weekends when they will not usually be working, and also it may limit access to a single gate. 

Is there a better way to solve this issue?


One potential solution would be to entirely remove all obstructions, as some local authorities have been doing.

Of course, removing the gates entirely relies on policing to solve the problem, and new powers for the Gardaí may certainly begin to support this approach. 

However solutions relying on policing are retrospective (the issue has generally already occurred), rely on a finite number of Gardaí resources, and some local communities may likely resist removal of existing kissing gates from their local park.

So it would be worth also exploring whether there are any proactive solutions which may exist (and which could be supplemented also by enforcement solutions). These would need to be careful to be inclusive for all users within society and to be tested by those who they most affect. Of course, the two aspects may very well be mutually exclusive. 

We'd love to hear your thoughts below, or about any potential solutions that you've perhaps seen somewhere!


[This trial is currently being developed, and we'll add more information as it develops.]

As a concept stage project, any trial will be fully reversed back to the current scenario following the trial period. 


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