Trinity has unveiled the first disabled cycle parking facilities in Ireland. The unveiling took place today as part of Dublin City Council’s hosting of the global cycling conference Velo-City in Dublin.
The facilities consist of three spaces which will be “accessible, step-free and wide enough to accommodate all types of non-standard cycles”. The spaces in New Square are signposted as spaces reserved for non-standard cycles.
Declan Treanor, director of Trinity’s Disability Service hopes that the move will create greater inclusivity by ensuring that “people who come to our college know that we want them to come here”.
Around 10% of students in Trinity have a disability and some students and staff use modified bikes. Treanor reiterates the importance of inclusivity on campus, telling Trinity News: “We have to think about everybody when we’re doing things, not just one type of person.”
Laura Beston, Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) president-elect, told Trinity News that “we’re encouraging students to be more independent and empowered”, calling the unveiling of the new cycle parking spaces a “positive day” for Trinity.
Increased accessibility encourages people to attend here, Beston said, adding: “People with disabilities have a lot to offer, it’s just that society is stopping them from being able to show that and partake in things and to be able to study here as well.” Beston was TCDSU Officer for Students with Disabilities for two years, from 2017 to the present.
According to the Disability Service, cycling is a popular method of transport for disabled people but most facilities “fail to cater for the needs of disabled cyclists” because cycle parking stands are placed too close together to fit a three-wheel cycle.
Treanor hopes that the new spaces in Trinity will “get people thinking” so that disabled people are not discouraged from cycling.
The move comes as a result of collaboration between the Healthy Trinity initiative, the Disability Service and Estates and Facilities.
It follows initiatives including renaming the disability service centre and the creation of a disability week to encourage a more inclusive campus.