Perhaps against my better judgement I’m going to let myself have a <rant> 🙂
Let me pose the question:
Would you cycle on a 50km/h road with your kid on the back?
If you say not, I wouldn’t blame you either. The European Commission advises that 50km/h is an unacceptable speed to avoid fatalities when humans and humans in their vehicles are interacting. (You could argue that those humans on bikes are fine to be hit at 50km/h if they’ve got a foam hat on, but I won’t accept that argument.)
To carry on with this argument we’ll have to agree on one assumption: that in a city a human has a right to go somewhere in a public place, be it on bike or sitting in a vehicle. If you don’t agree with this point, I’ve more work to do with you than I can cover in this single post 😉
If you’re taking your kid to the creche on your bike, and you’ve the choice between a 50km/h road and the footpath, I think that for safety’s sake you should take to the footpath.
That’s a point of contention. Rule of the Road say (I presume) that you may not cycle on the footpath. Not to bring it down to an argument of “an eye for an eye”, but if you’ve a habit of parking your car partly on the footpath, or not giving right of way at junctions to people who are walking, you’re already in breach of those rules.
Why not cycle on footpaths? I thought before reading this that it was illegal, but it seems like it’s more that you must cycle on footpaths with due consideration (the negative phrasing of that as used on that page is “may not cycle without due consideration”).
It seems that the general thinking in our society is to maintain the safety of those using public spaces.
By this logic we can reach the conclusion that you absolutely must cycle on the footpaths when the road is higher than 30km/h speed limit, and do so with due consideration to all those around you as you always should do wherever you are.
citizensinformation.ie contradicts this point, saying that you may not cycle on the footpath. So if you’ve more insights into these laws than me, get in touch.