Major cycle route plan disregards streets for “all ages and abilities” promise in Dublin development plan

— Segregated two-way path abandoned for route partly mixed with buses.
— Project mixes bicycles with heavy traffic, and uses shared paths.

A major cycle route planned between Connolly Station and Clontarf is set to disregard several mentions of providing for “persons of all ages and abilities” in the Dublin City Development Plan.

Planning notices for Clontarf to City Centre Cycle Route were posted online and along the route yesterday. However, the original plan for a fully segregated and continuous two-way cycle path is now abandoned in favour of stop-start light segregation, sections shared with buses at bus stops and just cycle lanes beside lanes of busy traffic.

While more and more cities around the world are opting for protected junctions for cycling, this project includes ending segregated cycle tracks before junctions, leaving people cycling exposed.

The mixing of cycling with buses and motorists on a busy route does not fit with the movement around the world for streets and cycle route which fit for “all ages and abilities” and this is not a good fit with the city development plan which has a number of mentions of the “all ages and abilities” and similar phrases.

One section of the development plan covering the public realm — which includes public streets and roads — states: “With regard to the city centre, in particular, ease of access to persons of all ages and abilities is a significant indicator as to how inclusive Dublin is as a city.”

London has in recent years started to build two-way segregated cycle paths on main roads in central areas which has allowed young children to cycle on roads — campaigners now regularly post images to Twitter and elsewhere showing the improvements in the routes which have also increased cycling at commuting times.

Another section of the development plan said that the city will “Provide and protect a range of public, safe and affordable amenities, activities and facilities that are relevant and accessible to people of all ages and abilities and that contribute to the health and well-being of all.”

The previously planned two-way route was originally planned back when the city had a cycling officer, but the plan seems to have changed after he left his position and it was not filled again. The North Strand route has been in pre-planning since at least 2012, when we reported on it.

The following is justification against a two-way cycle path within the supporting documents for the route, however, London has not had problems with at least most of these potential issues:

For, example, the vast bulk of commuters have chosen to use the two-way cycle paths in London.

Campaigners in London say that good design at junctions — including clarity by using raised and continuous cycle paths at side streets — is key to making two-way routes work.

In Dublin there is a strong base demand for two-way cycling along the route because the 10km S2S North route along Dublin Bay will connect with the northern end of the Clontarf to city centre route, while close to the south end will be the two-way Liffey Cycle Route.

A fully segregated two-way path between the current planned end of the Clontarf route — outside Connolly Station — and the quays would also make a safe cycle route around the large junctions near Custom House.

The Dublin City Council press office has yet to respond to two requests for supporting documents of the route. We can also not currently find the documents on the council’s cycling website at cycledublin.ie. UPDATE: the drawings are now on the council’s main website, here.

The following is the planning notice as posted on the council’s cycling website:

ógra! Proposed works: Clontarf to City Centre Cycle Route
Posted 11 Jan 2017

Proposed Clontarf to City Centre Cycle Route. Clontarf Road/
Alfie Byrne Road, Dublin 3 to Amiens Street/Talbot Street, Dublin 1.

Pursuant to the requirements of the above, notice is hereby given of the proposed construction by Dublin City Council of the above scheme, The proposed works shall comprise of the construction of circa 2.5km of high quality cycle facilities, improved footpaths and landscaping from Clontarf Road / Alfie Byrne Road, via Clontarf Road, Marino Mart, Fairview,

Annesley Bridge Road, North Strand Road and Amiens Street.

The scheme will also include provision of a portion of the Tolka Valley Greenway linking Alfie Byrne Road with Annesley Bridge Road. The route shall traverse underneath Clontarf Road Railway Bridge, North Strand Road Railway Bridge and Amiens Street Railway Bridge
(Protected Structures) and over Annesley Bridge at the Tolka River and Newcomen Bridge at the Royal Canal (Protected Structures).
New Toucan (pedestrian and cycle) crossings shall be provided at the following locations: Marino Mart (at Malahide Road); Marino Mart (at Marino College); Fairview (near footbridge); Annesley Bridge Road / Cadogan Road; North Strand Road / Charleville Mall (Royal Canal Greenway Route).

Existing pedestrian crossings shall be upgraded to Toucan crossings at the following locations: Clontarf Road / Alfie Byrne Road; Clontarf Road / Howth Road; Clontarf Road / Malahide Road; Annesley Bridge Road / Fairview Strand; North Strand Road / East Wall Road; North Strand Road / Annesley Place; North Strand Road / Waterloo Avenue; Amiens Street / Portland Row (5 Lamps); Amiens Street / Buckingham Street Lower; Amiens Street / Talbot Street.

In addition, the proposed works shall include extensive landscaping, removal and replanting of trees, a “greenway” along the front of Fairview Park; improved public lighting and CCTV; cycle parking in Fairview Park; relocation of some bus shelters; removal and relocation of car parking spaces; relocation of road side retaining wall on the east side of North Strand Road, north of Ossory Road; alteration to boundary wall of Iarnród Éireann Head Office, Connolly Station, Amiens Street (Protected Structure) and other ancillary services along the route.

The following reports also accompany this application:
• Appropriate Assessment Screening Report
• Built and Heritage Report
• Arborist (Tree Assessment) Report

Plans and particulars of the proposed development may be inspected (or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy) for a period of 6 weeks from Thursday, 12th January 2017 to Thursday, 23rd February 2017 at the offices of Dublin City Council, Public Counter, Planning and Property Development Department, Block 4, Ground Floor, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, Monday to Friday, 09.00hrs to 16.30hrs.

The proposal can also be viewed at the following locations:
1) Central Area Office, 51-53 Lower Sean MacDermott Street, Dublin
1. Opening Hours: 10.00hrs – 15.30hrs., Monday to Friday.
2) North Central Area Office, Bunratty Road, Coolock, Dublin 17.
Opening Hours: 10.00hrs – 15.30hrs., Monday to Friday.
3) Charleville Mall Library, Charleville Mall, North Strand, Dublin 1.
Opening Hours: 10.00 hrs – 13.00hrs. and 14.00hrs. – 17.00hrs.,
Monday to Saturday.
4) Marino Library, 14 – 20 Marino Mart, Fairview, Dublin 3. Opening
Hours: Monday and Wednesday from 12.45hrs to 16.00hrs and
from 16.45hrs – 20.00hrs. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday
from 10.00hrs – 13.00hrs and from 14.00hrs – 17.00hrs.

Plans and particulars can also be viewed online at www.dublincity.ie and www.cycledublin.ie

A submission of observation in relation to the proposed development, dealing with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area in which the development would be situated may be made in writing to the Executive Manager, Planning and Property Development Department, Dublin City Council, Block 4, Floor 3, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8 before 16.30hrs on Thursday 9th March 2017.

2 Comments

  1. This statement from the corpo is based on a lie. The proposed route is not a high quality route. Imagine if the NRA built a high quality dual carriageway with shared carriageways for people walking and at grade junctions and people driving had to press a button to get a green light at intersections!

  2. Unfortunately this happens all too often with cycling infrastructure, idealised plans are announced with great fanfare and then quietly watered down before implementation. Happened here in Co. Clare too, not just Dublin.

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