Kildare County Council propose to construct a greenway along the Grand Canal towpath which bisects my town of Sallins. This will link with the already constructed Greenway along the Canal in County Dublin. Eventually there will be a greenway along the full length of the Grand Canal between Dublin and the River Shannon. When complete it will have a continuous length of 132 kilometers (82 miles). This greenway is close to my heart as besides living beside the Grand Canal, I cycled the full length of the Grand Canal in the summer of 2018, on a mountain bike. At present it is a difficult to cycle along much of the tow path with currently only a small minority being a smooth surface. It is however a beautiful experience and the proposed greenway will make it accessible to many more people. There is a lovely account of walking the full length of the Grand Canal by an American tourist click here.
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Plans for the proposed greenway are available to view click here, along with a link for submissions and observations. I have made my own observations on the proposal to the Council and I urge you to do the same. The closing date for observations is Wednesday the 16th January 2019. See below for my observations/ comments submitted:
The radio pundit George Hook takes a lot of abuse, from the cycling community, for his strongly expressed view that their behaviour is in main dreadful. While he may go too far sometimes, he has a point when he says that many cyclists show a complete disregard for the rules of the road. The one behaviour that I encounter daily is cyclists using footpaths at speed and more often than not with one hand held to their ear with a phone.
Personally, I think its fine for a careful cyclist to use a footpath to avoid using a narrow or dangerous road. But more and more I see cyclists aggressively cycling on footpaths at speed, weaving in and out and around people, and giving them little regard.
With our damp and warm climate, algae growth on external surfaces can be a problem. I generally just use a power washer every few years to clean the sheltered concrete areas where it can be a problem. However I discovered that the power washer was unable to remove the algae for my brick garden walls, probably as the brick was more porous than the concrete.
However lightly scrubbing the walls using a dilute solution of water and bleach provides an excellent result with little effort, see below.
Well I usually rake it into my garden as it seems a waste to throw in the black or brown bin. But this was only after a bit of trial and error. At first I didn’t mix it in and it then formed a grey lump which looked a bit like soft concrete. It turns out that this is caused by the calcium in the ash which usually makes up 25% of wood ash.
But I was reading a book last night which gave me a bit of a fright, it said that in general trees absorb heavy metals from polluted soils and these will remain in the ash after burning. Understandably this led me to doing a bit of extra research, and from this the main points of note are:
Many people restrict the air flow into their stove to slow the burn rate and save fuel. Unfortunately this runs the risk of forming creosote in the flue and thus chimney fires. Another result of burning at low temperatures is that it releases significantly more dust particles up the chimney and thus increases pollution. Looking at these two issues in more detail: Read more “Keep your wood stove burning hot”
Geographically Dublin is well suited for people cycling to work, here are five main reasons:
Dublin is relatively flat and while there are hills, they generally have quite gentle slopes. In addition, as the City Centre is the lowest point, commuting to work by bike is generally downhill in the morning/ or flat and uphill in the evening. This suits most people as it means the strenuous uphill section is left until after work on the way home. http://en-ie.topographic-map.com/places/Dublin-2520/
Ireland is a relatively windy country but Dublin is sheltered compared to the most of the country. The prevailing wind generally in Ireland is from the South West. But in Dublin the prevailing wind is more westerly as the southern portion is reduced by the sheltering effect of the Wicklow Mountains to the south of the City. Helpfully as the City Centre is on the eastern coast, for most people cycling into the city centre for work the wind will be with them in the morning and against them in the evening. Similar to topography above this is better than the reverse as the strenuous part of the cycle is on the way home. See wind rose below for various parts of Ireland including Dublin Airport (to the north of the city). Read more “Cycling to work in Dublin City”
Since I last wrote about Parteen Weir, see here, it has been in the news for two reasons:
The first is because it is the proposed location for a large water extraction project. It is planned to extract, treat and pipe water from here to Dublin, 160 km away. I was recently at a lecture given to the Irish Branch of the Institute of Structural Engineers by Irish Water where the scheme was outlined. Some of the main points of the presentation were as follows: Read more “Parteen Revisited – Water extraction from Parteen for Dublin”