Irish Cycle Facility of the Week

Dublin City Council has provided IrishCycle.com with the most up-to-date drawing of the Kilmainham Civic Space scheme which is partly under construction. The provision for cycling is lacking. But rather changing this in 10 or 20 years time, if there is a true will do improve things for cycling, the design should be changed now to make cycling safer and more attractive to people of all ages and abilities.

The drawing in full can be viewed in this PDF (Kilmainham Layout, 2mb), and here is the main detail in three sections and an outline of the issues:

Flat layout 20150520.dgn

Above is the junction between the Inchicore Road and the South Circular Road. The existing two-way cycle lane is to be removed — rather than upgrading it and protecting it, and moving it if needed.

Make no mistake about it: This project, if it goes ahead with the current design, will lead to almost zero space for cycling. It will mix cycling with walking; mix cycling with cars, buses and coaches; and mix contra-flow cycling and car parking bays and ad-hoc loading and drop offs.

People cycling westbound will be put on the carriageway with no cycle lane and left to mix with buses and the heavy traffic in the area. Cycling eastbound on a widened cycle lane will continue to be exposed — legally it could be worse as the old solid lined cycle lane will now be a broken lined hatching. Parking/loading on the cycle lane here has been a long-term issue, the new contra-flow cycle lane is likely to suffer more as car parking spaces are to be removed as part of the project.

Along paved area of the Kilmainham Civic Space, there will be no westbound cycle lanes on the Inchicore Road. The cycle lanes on the South Circular Road will all be advisory, a type of cycle lane which cars allowed to drive in and use for loading. And there will be only about a total of 4 meters of protected space for cycling — the cycle path turn from the new shared footpath outside the Hilton Hotel to the South Circular Road northbound, the end of which is likely to be often blocked.

Flat layout 20150520.dgn

Above, we see the eastbound contra-flow cycle lane with parking spaces retained on its inside, no solid protection from with flow-traffic on this busy through route.

Westbound bicycles will be mixed in the general traffic lane, which means motorists stuck behind will be tempted to use the contra-flow cycle lane to overtake people cycling in front of them (when the contra-flow lane isn’t blocked by cars, vans and coaches parked or loading).

Flat layout 20150520.dgn

This is the west end of the scheme — we understand that consultants are progressing a solution to update the two-way cycle lane (pictured in red above) from here westwards. But why was this not done as part of or alongside the Kilmainham Civic Space? Then the whole road could have had a chance of having a quality, protected cycle route which would be attractive for all — which the Dublin City development plan promises but is not being delivered according to these plans .

Even working around the trees and without removing them, there are a number of high-quality solutions possible, including:

  1. A protected two-way cycle path on the Kilmainham Gaol side, between the footpath and an island for bus / coach stops
  2. A protected two-way cycle path on the Hilton Hotel side, south of the trees — parking could be removed or partly removed with the cycle path going behind the parking at limited locations
  3. A protected two-way cycle path on the Hilton Hotel side, south of the trees — this would take away space from the current footpath space at that location but with no contra-flow cycle lane and buffer, that space in turn could be transferred to the footpath on one side of the other of the roadway.

Drawings: Dublin City Council 
Location: Inchicore Road, Dublin
Local body/authority: Dublin City Council
Street View: Pre-construction works (which has closed now closed the contra-flow cycle lane)

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.

4 Comments

  1. Wojciech Jerzy Wieczorek May 25, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Any way to stop this? Mixing cycling and walking is a terrible idea. Just this morning, when cycling from Sir John Rogerson’s Quay (west side) onto the Samuel Beckett Bridge, I heard multiple people swearing at cyclist who cycled along the cycling route, at the point where cycling and walking mixes. Pure madness.

  2. The design looks pretty good apart from the short section of shared use with pedestrians. I’m surprised there isn’t more segregation as there seems to be plenty of space. The footpath appears to be wide enough to accommodate a cycle track adjacent to the trees. I’m wondering who has right of way between bikes heading East and cars entering the Hilton car park.

    I welcome the road markings (big bike logo and 30kph). This shows a needed improvement in emphasis in favour of cyclists. I expect bikes would take the lane on this stretch of road and cars would get used to that. Also, removing the island at the entrance to Inchicore Road should improve safety for cyclists.

  3. Nah, it’s pretty sloppy to be honest Hugh. A hodgepodge of shared space, half-segregated cycle paths and lanes pasted with sharrows to be shared with motorised vehicles. In some places bikes are expected to behave like vehicles and obey those signals, while in others they’re treated the same as pedestrians and expected to use toucan crossings and the like.

    Big bike logos have their place, but here they’re just being used as a replacement for proper infrastructure. They don’t do a whole lot to make the road safer, or more appealing to cyclists. Sure, some will take the lane, but only because they’re little other option, and as Cian points out, motorists are likely to become frustrated and try and overtake them by crossing into the cyclists contraflow lane.

    And a scheme like this shouldn’t be something that you ‘get used to’ – it should be immediately legible and consistent in the way that almost all road junctions are. Instead we have this plan which is all over the place. For example how does a cyclist coming down the Inchicore Road get across to Kilmainham lane if they want to head towards the city centre that way? You pretty much have to make up the rules of the road yourself by breaking out of a Toucan crossing and trying to integrate yourself with streams of traffic from elsewhere.

    The city council can do much better than this. There’s plenty of space to allow adequate cycling facilities to be built.

  4. Just more of the usual tosh so!I don’t know why the County Councils waste everyone’s time and tax payers money is pretending to have even a passing interest in cycle safety. Cycle Safety is just one of those things, do it right or don’t bother.

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