WHILE OUT ON a social media field trip, I walked along a route that deserves to have more of my mileage run on it. Even though I drive alongside the circuit every weekday, actually walking the route gives it a greater imperative.
Clonmel's Ring Road Cycle Lane attracts a large amount of walkers, cyclists and wheels. While on the route, I spotted mums with children, men walking dogs, students on bicycles, joggers and power walkers. As a fitness facility, it is a prime example of how a right of way can be transformed into a dual use facility. I wish tracks like the N24 ring road's could be extended into routes leading to many of the schools in the town. Unfortunately, the locals would probably object to the removal of on-street parking and the laneways would not be used by a high enough volume to justify their establishment.
I watch with fascinated interest as local area planners subordinate pedestrians and cyclists to cars and trucks when everyone knows pedestrianized zones attract footfall, business and sustainable levels of tax revenue. I hope the town of Clonmel can expand its narrow spaces into pleasant walking routes in the decades ahead and that quiet cycling becomes more of a part of the town's character.
[Bernie Goldbach has lived in County Tipperary for the past 10 years.]