In-depth look at Dublin city centre to Clontarf cycle route (part 1)

Dublin City Council iscurrently consulting on Part 8 planning for the Clontarf to City Centre Cycle Route, but, as we reported last week, the current plan mixes bicycles with heavy traffic as well as mixing walking and cycling in shared areas. Below is an in-depth look at the route.

We are asking readers to sign the petition to look for a fully segregated route, which is safe and attractive to people of all ages and abilities.

Below we look a the first section of the route from the start of the route at Amiens Street (at the junction with Talbot Street and the entrance to Connolly Station) to the Five Lamps (where Amiens Street joins with North Strand and where both meet the North Circular Road route).

The map key is shown above — note cycle lanes in red and “cycle lanes – raised” (ie light segregation) in orange.

Above is the start of the route at Amiens Street outside Connolly Station.

At this point, the cycle route only is given space in one direction (southbound) and it’s not segregated (as shown in red for cycle lane):

The existing pedestrian crossing, shown above, is to be “upgraded” to a toucan crossing (a shared crossing where cyclists are legally allowed to cycle). IrishCycle.com is on record as generally opposing walking and cycling sharing space (at least on main routes and in busy built up areas), but over the top to mix cycling and walking at this junction where very high volumes of people are crossing from the train station to Talbot Street.

If this was designed to work there would be a way for people cycling to get to the footpath side of the crossing without having to push past all the people waiting to cross, but is this really designed to work?

Also on the Connolly Station site of the route is a taxi rank retained inside the southbound cycle route and no attempt to modernise the layout, remove the staggered crossing or ingratiate the cycle paths on Sheriff Street into the planned route.

Above is the existing start/end points of the existing kind-of. Dutch-like cycle paths on Sheriff Street — the bits spliced by bus waiting areas can be repaired.

Back on Amiens Street, dedicated space for cycling on the northbound section of the route only starts over 70 metres from the start of the route and then it ends as quickly as it starts. It becomes “shared space” on the footpath under the railway bridge.

The cross section lines (black lines with arrows) above are shown as cross sections below as follows:

If the other drawings are not clear enough the above cross sections show that segregation for cycling is only provided where it easy — cycling is mixed on footpath and mixed on the carriageway where it suits. 

This is the worse of all worlds. A two-way path on one side of the street as originally planned would allow for better segregation.

North of the railway bridge is the junction with Buckingham Street Lower and it is clear no attempt is made at allowing cycling from Foley Street onto Amiens Street or provide for contra-flow cycling on Buckingham Street Lower.

No big deal — just access to/from loads of workplaces and some of the most high-density areas of housing in the country.

Across the road from the Buckingham Street Lower junction is a bus stop interrupting the southbound cycle route, with the bus bay shown in green. 

This bus stop arrangement is typical  along the route even where there’s space or nearby space for a “floating bus stop” or bus stop bypass, which are common place in the Netherlands. 

Above is our quickly modified illustration showing how there is space for segregation and a bus stop island here. Note: this is just a quick mockup done in Photoshop.

Next up is the cycle tracks on is mixed with buses pulling in and out at stops, and the put inside parking spaces (blue) without any buffer space.

Close to the Five Lamps junction the parking is on both sides of the roadway. 

If there was a two-way path on one side of the street the parking would mostly affect the no -cycle route side. 

Above is the cross section showing the parking again without a buffer space or a notable kerb. 

To be continued….

4 Comments

  1. Who designed the proposed plans? As you note above, floating bus-stops could be incorporated instead of the crap that’s proposed. So who got the contract for this design?

  2. @Citizen Wolf — designers will design to the guidance they are given by the council and NTA.

    As will be shown in part 2 of this, there’s some indications that this isn’t just a cycle route project but a BRT project.

    With BRT routes, they want to get the normal buses out of the way to the BRT buses can overtake normal buses.

    My guess is that some of the existing parking spots in the above might become BRT stops in the future. In part 2 I’ll show where they are planning to have a normal bus stop a few metres down from a BRT stop (which will be kept in place but dormant until the BRT comes on stream) — no mention of a BRT stop on the part 8 drawings but the pre-part 8 drawings clearly says that the spot I’m talking about will be a BRT stop.

  3. Thanks for that. I had to look up BRT = Bus Rapid Transit. Here’s a link to a NTA website on the matter

    https://www.nationaltransport.ie/bus-rapid-transit/

  4. When I lived in Utrecht, buses were great to use, and frequent. They went everywhere and never did I encounter bustops like above. They were always separated from cycle-tracks. Why can’t we do that here. And just to point out most streets in Utrecht are a lot narrower than the route from Clontarf into Dublin city center.

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