Consideration was given to a segregated two-way cycle route between Clontarf and Dublin city centre but this was deemed to be too problematic, Dublin City Council has said.
Responding to questions from IrishCycle.com, the council said that there would be some segregation, where bicycles are kept away from cars and buses,but that there are locations where it will not be possible, including at bus stops and at large junctions.
According to draft drawings which we previously reported on and published, there also appears to be no segregation on large sections of the cycle route alongside parkland and where there is a large central traffic island. Parking and at some points three traffic lanes in the same direction are retained.
The route also carries heavy traffic and large amounts of buses. It is planned to be used as part of a future BRT, or bus rapid transport, route which is to use long bendy buses — draft drawings show cycle lanes between “BRT platforms” and bus lanes. The mayor of London phased out bendy buses due partly to safety concerns for cycling and walking.
It is unclear how the plans are compatible with with the city development plan which states: “The vision for cycling is to make Dublin a city where people of all ages and abilities have the confidence, incentive and facilities to cycle so that by 2017, 25-30% of all new commutes within the city will be by bike.”
After councillors voted down plans for a key link on the S2S Dublin bay route via the East Wall area, the on-street Clontarf route is the only planned link between key segregated cycle routes including the Liffey Cycle Route, the S2S, the Dublin to Galway Greenway on the Royal Canal, and other routes.
A spokeswoman for Dublin City Council said: “Consideration was given to the provision of a two way cycle track on one side of the road. The space constraints and the high number of side roads along the route highlighted an unacceptable level of conflict points that would result in increased safety issues and poor quality of service for cyclists. The proposed design provides for a cycle track that will be segregated, i.e raised from the carriageway wherever practicable. There will be locations were this will not be possible, in particular at bus stops where there is no space to provide bus stop bypasses or at major junctions. The cycle track is being designed in accordance with the National Cycle Manual requirements and will provide a high quality level of service for cyclists.”
When we asked if the council could demonstrate that cycle lanes are a suitable solution for roads and streets with very high volumes of bicycles and motorised traffic, often at high speeds, the council said: “It is proposed to provide cycle tracks that are separated from the bus lanes by a raised kerb, with one inbound cycle track and one outbound cycle track. The segregation proposed will be suitable for the traffic environment along the route.”
The council said that its environment and transport department is currently seeking the support of the Central Area and North Central Area Committees to commence the Part 8 process. A spokeswoman said: “Once this support is attained, it is anticipated that the Part 8 notice will be published in four to five weeks.”
Scanned copies of the draft drawings can be found at the end of our previous article here. Below is a selection of images from those drawings approved by Dublin City Council:
The first image shows a section with a large green area to the south (bottom of image, not shown in green) and centre traffic islands (shown in green), but cycle lanes are mixed with car parking and bus stops: