South Dublin County Council places obstacles on planned cycle route

— Bus shelter moved into flow of cycle route
— Slip turns and staggered crossings retained against 
guidance

South Dublin Council Council has gone from its historic practice of placing traffic lights and signs posts in the way of segregated cycle paths to now placing high-design elements in the way of cycling.

Planned works on the N81 includes a new “Landscape Improvement Scheme” and the N81 (Fortunestown to N82) cycle track scheme (shown in orange in the map below).

IMAGE: A bus stop is moved into the flow of the planned cycle route.

IMAGE: In an update to a planned cycle route a bus stop was moved into the flow of the cycle route.

The Fortunestown to N82 scheme underwent public consultation in 2014 but is to be altered under the landscaping scheme. While the the original project did not follow best international practice for segregating walking and cycling, the changes add obstructions to the cycle route.

As part of the landscaping scheme, between Cookstown Way and the Belgard Road a new segregated cycle track (eastbound) and footpath are to be provided (shown in blue on the map below). With this, however, South Dublin County Council are to continue to use shared use footpaths at the junctions.

Even though the cycle route follows a national road and main commuter route, cycling is given low priority with the use of shared use footpaths, a bus stop shelter in the way between cycle tracks, new greenery planting in lines of sight and lines of flow, and staggered crossings and left hand slip turns at junctions.

Slip turns and staggered crossings retained against guidance in the National Cycle Manual and the Manual for Urban Roads and Streets which state such should be removed for the safity and priority of walking and cycling.

map

IMAGE: The N81 (Fortunestown to N82) cycle track scheme shown in orange, while a new section of cycle track is shown in blue. The wider landscaping scheme ranges from the N82 to inside the M50, but new cycling elements do not feature along the full route.

The following is an outline of some of the features of the route:

The cycle track scheme had a bus shared surface at a bus stop: Here’s the drawing of the cycle route project which was consulted on in 2014:

bus-stop-before

The new design as part of the “Landscape Improvement Scheme” includes relocating the bus stop shelter into the direct flow of the cycle route: Here’s a part of the landscaping drawing from this year:

bus-moved

In another case, a section of the cycle track scheme which had an almost straight shared path (blue) and segregated crossing:

shared

But this is to be changed, with to crazy paving replacing the segregation and with a bend not suited a cycle route along a national road:

shared-2

At the junction of the Fortunestown Road the new scheme includes much larger shared areas with greenery obstructing lines of sight and directions of flow:

high

At the Cookstown Way end of the newly planned cycle path and footpath between Cookstown Way and the Belgard Road, the council continues to use a shared use footpath at the junction:

cycle

The crossing of the slip road from Belgard Square South includes cycle tracks which don’t match up:

bgs

At the Belgard Road end, the new cycle track ends with shared use and three crossings to cross one major side road, because the council retains the left hand slip turn and staggered crossings despite guidance advising not to do so:

retains-slip-road

4 Comments

  1. Cyclist.ie need to bring prizes for worst design. It would embarrass the local authority and to a lesser degree the consultants who, to protect their reputation, might offer a wider range of solutions to the local authority.

  2. It would be a mistake to assume that local authority officials or their consultants might have a capacity for embarrassment or be embarrassed by having poor design pointed out. Indeed if a design obstructs cyclists and pedestrians but preserves motorist priority then they might see this as a good thing and a “job well done”.

  3. Or to explain it another way. Irish cycle facilities are, for the most part, commissioned and constructed by people who have dedicated their professional lives to trying to make motoring as convenient and attractive as possible. Asking them to come up with designs that “work” for cyclists is in effect asking them to turn their backs on a life’s work spent trying to secure the dominance of motor cars over other forms of transport. In.my view, it is not be reasoned or logical to expect such a group to come up with properly functional cycling (or walking) facilities.

  4. Of course that last sentence should read:
    “In my view, it is not reasoned or logical to expect such a group to come up with properly functional cycling (or walking) facilities.”
    The perils of using a “smart”phone to leave comments.

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