DUBLIN Lord Mayor Hazel Chu has told of how she was beeped at by an impatient bus driver while she was lying on the road after falling from her bike in the city on Saturday.
Ms Chu, who escaped the ordeal with minor grazes and bruises, said she had just set off from the Mansion House on Dawson Street when her bike got caught in Luas track causing her to fall to the ground.
The Mayor was then rushed out of the way by a bus driver who she says beeped at her until she got up and moved off the road.
Ms Chu was filming a video for National Bike Week, which begins on Saturday, when the incident happened.
“It was literally outside the Mansion House; I had just left. I was putting on the GoPro to do a video about Bike Week. It was right at the bus stop as well so loads of people were there looking,” she told the Herald.
“The thing was I wanted to get up really quickly and all I could think of was 'ugh, him beeping isn't making me want to get up even quicker,' and at one point I thought I should have just laid there and not moved until I was ready to move,” she joked.
Ms Chu, who is chairperson of the Green Party, intends to push for improved walking and cycling infrastructure and would like to see more segregated cycle lanes rolled out across the city, but said funding is a major roadblock to these projects being carried out.
“Previous to Covid there was a lack of funding and a lack of resources. We only got a cycling officer in Dublin City Council this year. The Greens actually pushed for more cycle funding this year, and we were able to section a specific proportion as for it.
“I think now with Eamon Ryan as the Minister of Transport and we're hoping that we could get more funding across the board when it comes to proper infrastructure - not just for cycling, but for walking too.
“People walk a lot more these days and we have to socially distance as well. The footpaths just aren't fit for purpose. We want better pedestrian areas; we want better cycling. We want better public transport. I know it sounds like we want a lot, and people will always go well you're there at the moment, do something about it.
“This is why I'm calling to do something about it.”
She said she will be supporting the proposal to make Stand Road a one-way route to allow space for a cycle lane, as well as all other cycle proposals for the city.
Ms Chu said the stumble has not shaken her confidence as she will most likely get back on the saddle next week.
“I will probably be on a bike next week and we're coming up to Bike Week at the moment so I will be cycling around.
“I think this is the thing, you have cyclists who fall daily and get into scuffles weekly or monthly. And, they know well this is the mode of transport they want to use. But what they're asking for is just supporting that we need to make it safer for them,” she added.
“I want to make sure I go cycling again, I want to make sure my daughter when she goes gets to go to school whenever that is that she'll be able to cycle safely to school. It should be an option for people and not just an amenity. It should be a valid form of transport, and that we allow people to have it in such a way that it's safe for them.”