Irish Cycle Facility of the Week

Cork City has done some fantastic work reallocating space to cycling and walking, but — as is happening in Dublin and elsewhere around Ireland — the process includes mixing walking and cycling on sections of footpaths.

Here’s a map and some images of some of the issue with recent cycle paths constructed on the Lower Glanmire Road — the council are planning on one of two things: (1) people cycling to bunnyhop over large sections of footpaths, or people to cycle on more and more sections of footpaths:

18c

The above drawing, which was released by Cork City Council under a Freedom of Information request, shows an outline of some of the cycle paths now constructed around the west end of the Lower Glanmire Road. Some details such as the car parking and the public bicycle station were changed before construction — not everything thing on the drawings is correct! Click map for larger image.

The yellow markers (which we added) show the locations of the below images in order.

11150342_824450384309188_3397967537460498777_n

1. Pictured above is the west end of the Lower Glanmire Road: Directly ahead is Alfred Street, while the continuation of the Lower Glanmire Road is to the left of the buildings in the centre of the photo.

The only way to get to or from the two-way cycle path here is to cross over the footpath, the lane left of the two-way cycle path is a section of bus-only street using a no-entry except bus sign.

11150318_824450444309182_8505390045312367563_n

2. Pictured above is the other end of the same two-way cycle path: There’s a small path which allows people cycling towards the camera here to cross over on front of buses into an advance stop line on the bus only street. Traveling away from the camera, the only way to get onto the cycle path is to use the footpath or cycle the wrong way down the bus only lane.

13995_824450597642500_6104938828498893779_n

3. Above shows the laneway mid-way along the two-way cycle path,  where there is a single-direction cycle route shortcut.

This is a nice idea but where cycle routes cross footpaths, even if you want to give footpath users priority, it should be clear for all where people on bicycles are supposed to be cycled to and from.

10451852_824450677642492_6648592266924572105_n

4. This is the other end of the landway where it intersects with Brian Boru Street. The same applies here as the last image: It should be clear to all that the cycle route goes over the footpath and this makes it more clear to more people that the rest of the footpath is not a place for cycling on.

Given that there looks to be no tactile surface around any other part of the cycle path, the use of tactile tiles at the end of the cycle path is likely to be ineffective for people with sight issues. Maybe more so questionable is the mixing of bicycles and footpath users on sections of footpaths without any tactile warning to users with sight issues.

11146298_824450767642483_3297275088729154732_n

5. This is where the route continues east down the Lower Glanmire Road. It looks nice but getting to/from here (5) from/to other sections of cycle path (2) isn’t straight forward…

18 junction

Are people cycling supposed use the footpaths? The roadway? Dismount? A long bunny hop? A mix of all these?

Images: Cork Cycling Campaign
Maps: Cork City Council, released under FOI
Location: Lower Glanmire Road
Local body/authority: Cork City Council
Street View: Shows previous view

Send suggestions to hello@irishcycle.com. And make sure to view the original and UK-focused facility of the month page on Warrington Cycle Campaign’s website.

6 Comments

  1. ……A certain amount of ‘nitpicking’ here, on what appears to me overall to be a good scheme! many of these issues can be ironed out through final discussion. But note tiles are ‘tactile’ not ‘tactical’ and i would be surprised if Kerry County Council or NRA had any input to this scheme, as suggested at end of text!?

  2. A cyclist should be on the road at all times and motorists should be made aware to give way at all times once the cyclist is not breaking the road traffic act.
    A Cyclist on or near footpaths, anyone with any common sense can see the dangers & serious safety issues here to pedestrians & their cared for.
    I would wish they would wake up and stop trying to deal with the cyclist and start dealing with the dangerous driving attitudes.
    I being a bus driver, motorist and cyclist see it from all sides and my opinion is “COP ON, SLOW DOWN”.
    By painting the road with cyclist road markings, they are making it more confusing & frustrating to cyclists and motorists, as the motorist thinks the cyclist should be in the cycle lane, were as the road traffic act will state that the only time a cyclist need use a cycle lane by law is on a contraflow system?

  3. @colmryder
    Nitpicking certainly, but these issues are quite infuriating. Instead of having a proper dedicated system of infrastructure for cyclists, we have here a mixed up jumble of lanes that don’t quite fit together. It would’t have taken much effort to do a proper job, by providing a height difference between the cycle path and the footpath, and by segregating the two modes around the junctions. At the moment pedestrians just wander all over the lanes while cyclists wander all over the footpath at the junctions, and the City Council seem to think that this is fine and dandy.

    Overall though, it’s a very welcome scheme, but it’s a missed opportunity to provide a first class piece of cycling infrastructure. If cycling levels rise as a result of this scheme, then there will be plenty of conflict between pedestrians and cyclists, and the City Council might have to spend money to alter these junctions in future.

  4. Well said, Petie. The effort that Cork City Council are making is laudable, but the treatment of cyclists / the path layouts at junctions as they are currently being built is a recipe for disaster (e.g. Parnell Pl / Merchands Quay or South Main St / Washington). I love the new lanes, but at their ends, the conflict is built in, and it seems that cyclists are being put in the place of pedestrians. Even more dangerous as hence cyclist are again likely not to be regarded as road users by (turning) car traffic.Hope the learning curve will pick up soon.

  5. @eddiejdillon
    When you state that 5 year old children should be cycling in the same space as HGV’s and buses… Are you being serious or stupid?

  6. I don’t think that it’s nitpicking to criticise these shared-space junction designs. Junctions are where accidents are most likely, so it’s crucial that segregation is done right at these points. Also, what’s the story with the 3(!) poles in the cycle track in image 4?

    A few crucial details can really mar what should be a great scheme.

    Now if you want to nitpick, I noticed when I saw this in person that the cycle symbols are painted sideways on these lanes in places (not pictured above). I would’ve blamed the contractor except that I see the plans have them the wrong way around too!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: