On Monday, June 12, bike racks were installed in front of beloved Dublin LGBTQ+ bar Street 66, placed where the outdoor seating area used to be. A video posted online caused uproar among the community, with messages in support of the venue pouring in on social media.
The area outside the pub where the new bike racks have been installed previously served as a loading bay as well as an outdoor seating area. As explained by Street 66‘s owner Siobhan Comny, the bar had reapplied for its annual outdoor street furniture license back in October, but it was refused last Friday.
Commenting on the new installation, Comny said: “I’m devastated, coming up to Pride the streets are going to be very busy so I don’t think it’s really safe to have a bike rack directly outside your front door of a busy premises.
“When the streets get really really packed for Pride you won’t be able to see the racks,” she explained.
“Usually during Pride we get a letter from the Garda station and we are told to take anything that is a hazard off the streets for it to be completely clear. Now these bike racks are stuck outside an LGBTQ bar.
“It’s a trip hazard and it doesn’t make sense. I’m very upset about the whole thing,” the owner said.
I am after witnessing a person tripping while trying to pass .
Is this legal putting this on cobble stones drilling into ground ?
We have no way of taking in deliveries without obstructing people walking by . Please help us @DubCityCouncil we are beyond upset . pic.twitter.com/441cpL3HrX
— Street 66 Dublin (@st66dublin) June 13, 2023
After the staff at Street 66 posted a video online showing the newly installed bike racks, the community reacted with anger and comments of support poured in. A petition was started to push Dublin City Council to remove the installation, and at the time of writing, it has already received more than 3,500 signatures.
“Less than a fortnight before Pride with no effective communication, and perfectly good bike racks right across the road and various places nearby (I cycle to @st66dublin all the time). This wasn’t done for cyclists clearly,” wrote one Twitter user.
Queen of Ireland Panti Bliss also tweeted in support of the LGBTQ+ pub, saying: “None of this adds up. @DubCityCouncil isn’t being upfront here. Solidarity with @st66dublin.”
— Dr Panti Bliss-Cabrera (@PantiBliss) June 12, 2023
Speaking to The Journal, Councillor Hazel Chu of the Green Party said that the bike racks were not permanent and stated that she was going to look into the decision to install them there. “I’m going to see why they were refused the license and see what we can do,” she said.
“How the management work these things is a mystery sometimes, but we are going to be challenging and ask the why and asking for the reasons why they have refused this application,” Chu said.
“Am I surprised by people’s reactions, being so annoyed? No, I’m not surprised by that at all,” she concluded.
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