Blue boxes painted over Luas tracks aim to safely direct cyclists

Authorities in charge of the Luas tram line extension in Dublin have started to paint markings on streets with the aim of safely directing bicycle users across tracks.

The moves follows recent news of increasing amount of injures linked to bicycle wheels getting caught in or slipping on some of the new tram tracks laid in the city centre. IrishCycle.com also reported how crossing points of trams for general traffic, including bicycles, were cycling unfriendly.

The new tracks are part of the Luas Cross City project, an extension to the Luas green line from St Stephens Green to Broombridge via some of busiest streets in the city centre and Broadstone and the new DIT campus at Grangegorman.

The extension, which will use longer trams, is due to open at the end of 2017. Before the extension construction started, tram tracks had not run on large sections of main streets mixed with buses, bicycles and general traffic.

Images of a trial of the new crossing point markings were posted on Facebook by the Dublin Cycling Campaign yesterday evening:

The trial pictured above deals with a general crossing point on Parnell Street which we had highlighted as cycling unfriendly.

IMAGE: The previous crossing point for all traffic shown with a red arrow, while the approximate location of the new trial cycling crossing point is shown with a blue arrow. (Image from Luas Cross City released under FOI, with arrows added by this website).

As one of our readers spotted last week, the new markings were hand painted:

 

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6 Comments

  1. A well intentioned move, but bikes need to cross the rails going straight and at near 90degrees. This means the bike track needs to turn well before crossing the rails. If as in the photo the bike track swerves just before the rails, bikes will cross the rails while turning (a sideways force on front wheel means slipping is more likely) and still at an oblique angle.

  2. Provisional, reactive and of poor design. They will get away with it because catering for cyclists never was part of the plan or the contract, thus not their responsibility.

  3. Do we know how many NRA staff and contractors have actually used the route to cycle over in the rain, at night?
    Do we know what section of the traffic signs manual this blue hatching is from?

  4. @tdlegge That is an impressive image. My point is more about the turn than the angle: particularly on a wet day you don’t want any lateral force on the front wheel while crossing the rails, so the bike track should allow you to turn and straighten before the rail.

    However, my only bad experience with rails was on a wet day here: http://bit.ly/2jGEL7v
    That angle must be 10-15 degrees at best.

  5. @brendan: good point, yes being pinched into a tight and active turn across the tracks could be risky. Nothing a bit of good road design can’t fix. My bigger concern is that this will turn into another dangerisation of what should be a normal interaction between bicycle and tram

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