Bollards to protect cycle lane as new layout planned for controversial Blackrock junction

Bollards will now be put in place to protect the eastbound cycle lane as a new right turning lane is to be trialed at the junction of Newtownpark Avenue and Stradbrook Road in Dublin.

The junction is at the eastern end of the Blackrock bypass walking and cycling upgrade project, officially known as the Frascati Road/Temple Hill Improvement Scheme.

As part of the scheme on this section of roadway, cycle lanes replaced the previous long turning lanes, so an 24 hour turning ban was recommended for the junction by the National Transport Authority. Only a partial PM peak turning ban was chosen by the council after public consultation. The lack of a turning ban and the traffic signal setup has caused tailbacks for motorists and buses.

In January, we reported how a planned design to aid traffic flow would have included buses and trucks swerving into the cycle lane at the junction — a design criticised by cycling campaigners and councillors. Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council now says it will trial an alternative version of the design where the turning lane is shortened and the cycle lane is protected by bollards.

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revised design

IMAGE: The latest design for the Newtownpark Avenue and Stradbrook Road junction

New road markings, bollards and a revised traffic signal stagings are to be implemented on a trial bases from around Easter for three to six months. If the latest plan is not effective or safe, the council says it will then look at a right turn ban stopping traffic moments from Temple Hill to Newtownpark Avenue.

The latest planned design (shown above) will have its setbacks — if four cars are trying to turn right, a bus will not be able to pass them causing traffic to stop.

On the alternative of road widening, council officials say that it is not a viable alternative. The houses along the road are at “a much higher level then the road” and the setting back of the road would mean access would be “difficult if not impossible to achieve”.

12 Comments

  1. Good to see that consideration for protecting the cycle lane is in play. But with the turning lane there, it’ll probably still result on tailbacks. It’s going to be a case of wait and see I guess.

  2. bollards? they’ll be gone within a week. a 2 foot concrete wall/kerb would be beter

  3. For me its a decent ‘Solomon’s Wisdom’ call. Worth a try!

  4. This sounds like a reasonable solution to me. I expect bollards will help as a traffic calming measure. While I take the point about the potential for a truck to mow down the bollards, I expect time will tell how long they will last. The only place I’ve seen this type of bollard is on Camden Street, most of them seem to be in tact.

  5. A strip of coloured asphalt does not a cycle lane make. To provide meaningful protection these need to be fully segregated from cars and buses. As a long-term cycling commuter I have endured this section both with and without the ‘cycle lane’ provision and I have to say that from a safety point of view they achieve practically nothing. Strangely a fully segregated cycleway is available through Blackrock Park but hardly anyone uses it. Of course it isn’t signposted which might explain the serious underutilisation. This of course results in duplicate provision. But who cares? – after all it’s the taxpayer who foots the bill….

  6. @Dalkeyprogress
    What is it that you’re trying to say? Blackrock park isn’t on this route. Are you saying that because there’s a track in Blackrock Park that we shouldn’t have tracks anywhere else? There’s a track down the side of the Grand Canal so is that it then? No more tracks anywhere else? How can a track in Blackrock Park and a track at this location be a duplicate provision? There are dozens of roads in the area, so are they all redundant?

  7. These flexi bollards are used at the Mount Merrion Frescati Road junction. They all had to be replaced since they were first installed as they were successively were mown down by careless car and truck drivers. The four flexi bollards recently put in are still there.

    I think the council are faced with a dilema. There must be pressure from the car lobby but designers are faced with the problem of providing a solution that provides a gesture of consideration for vulnerable road users. The flexi bollard solution seems to address both issues, however it is likely that several of these bollards will be run over until motorists get used to them. (This was the case at the other end of the works). I just hope that there aren’t any cyclists or pedestrians run over as well and three bollards seem woefully few in number. A concrete wall would be a better solution and it would be interesting to see how long it remained paint free.

    This junction leads to several schools and a fair amount of the pedestrian and cycle traffic are school children. I don’t like the proposal. I think it will place cyclists at risk where there is little need to do so. Banning the right hand turn will lessen the effects of the choke point. Unfortunately it would take courage to opt for this solution.

  8. In response to dalkeyprogress about the “hobby” cycle path through Blackrock park. It is a wonderful little meandering path way that wends it’s way along the sea front and must be lovely on one of those lazy summer days with the kiddies when one doesn’t need to get anywhere fast. Unfortunately most commuting cyclists don’t have that time to waste when trying to get from home to work or vise versa. It’s not generally used by cyclists because it’s in the wrong place, it’s difficult to access and exit in comparison to the one on the main road, it’s windswept and requires a hill climb or having to walk your bike if trying to get out at the Blackrock end. If you try to use it in the Dublin direction, you have to get to it either detour to Blackrock Dart station (to walk your bike) or by crossing the dual carriageway (with no right turn = walk your bike) to get to the start of it. It’s designed as a hobby cycle lane, nothing else.

  9. John,
    your completely wrong about the cycle path through Blackrock Park I live in Killiney and Work in Town, and cycle to work every day. The park is a much faster route than staying on the main road. its in better condition and as no junction what so ever so you save so much time that is lost stopping at the many red lights along the main road.
    you don’t have to get off your bike to go along the DART path, you take up less room when sitting on your bike. then you have a nice cycle on the contra flow bike lane around to the coast road to get you to the coast road.

    as for accessing it, its fairly simple, follow the arrow at the junction with Booterstown DART Station

  10. Completely wrong? I tend to think Clint Eastwood was right about opinions and you are entitled to yours. I live in Glenageary and work in town, I’ve been cycling to work there for 20+ years, so yeah, I do a bit of commuting cycling myself.

    The surface in the park is marginally better than the road way in it’s meandering fashion, but I had the experience of being assaulted on that pathway by two young thugs on the way to work one morning so I won’t go with how much safer it is. 1 set of traffic lights isn’t such a big deal really and when it’s blowing a gale, the houses break up the wind better than, well nothing!

    I take it that the signs at both ends of the Dart Path instructing “Cyclists Dismount” have been removed then? Though I doubt it, meaning that to be legal, you have to wak your bike! In my experience you have to do a hill climb at the Blackrock end of the park if you don’t want to bring your bike for a walk on that very narrow path at the back of Blackrock Dart station.

    Accessing the hobby track is easy coming from town, it’s not so easy coming the other way. Unless you don’t mind meandering your way to the Dart station or risking life and limb crosssing at the bottom of Mount Merrion ave.

    It’s a great facility for the kiddies and other hobby cyclists, but not really all that useful if you are in a hurry and want to access/exit it legally.

  11. 1 set of lights? you avoid 8 set by going through the park, and using the contra flow at the end of Idrone terrace. I’m also not sure of the legality of the sign post, either way its better to stay on your bike as you have a narrower profile. it meanders slightly but its a smooth surface without pot holes, trucks, cars etc.
    as for the climb, you call it a hobby track and then give out about the climb? surly a seasoned cyclist like yourself who is not a hobby cyclist is not complaining about a little hill. I used the park twice last week and my average speed was 35kmh through it.

  12. Brian it works for you, but not for me. I would rather spend time trying to better the lot of cyclists than get into anything with a fellow traveller. I wish you well going through the park.

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