A proposal to include a sub-standard shared pedestrian and cycling path as part of the Liffey Cycle Route will make for a “good compromise” and “excellent cycle route”, according to a statement issued this afternoon by DublinTown, a group which represents city centre businesses.
DublinTown welcomed Option 8 for the route as a solution for the pinch points in the width of the quays around Smithfield, between Blackhall Place and the Four Courts. Solving this problem allows for the full 4.5km two-way Liffey Cycle Route between the Phoenix Park and the Point Village.Dublin City Council has said Option 7 is still the best solution, and most cycling campaigners also favour Option 7.
The solution welcomed by DublinTown includes the two-way cycle route crossing footpaths 7 times in less than 600 metre, shared footpath junctions at the James Joyce and Rory O’More bridge, a traffic-light type bus gate at Queen St which will sometimes slow buses, “Costly” boardwalk-like structures for cycling only, and an 85 metre shared pedestrian and cycling path just 2.85 metres wide.
The proposed 2.85 metres wide shared path and junctions are narrower than minimum width for a “basic two-way” cycle path, with seprate space for pedestrians, as outlined in the National Cycle Manual. On primary routes — which the Liffey Cycle Route is supposed to be — Dutch cycling experts recommend at least 4 metres of a width.
The usable width of the path is narrower than 2.85 metres because people cannot safely cycle too close to the quay wall. The narrow shared path will have no buffer space between it and the car lane running beside it.
Bicycle traffic already outnumber private car at peak times on a number of sections of the quays — including Ellis Quay and Eden Quay. But the proposed section of the cycle route with the shared path will have a bus lane and two traffic lanes, one for cars turning into Blackhall Place and one for cars proceeding straight into Ellis Quay.
The DublinTown statement said: “DublinTown welcomes proposals from Dublin City Council on the latest option for the Liffey Cycle Route. Option 8, which will create space along the Liffey boardwalk for the cycle lane, is a good compromise and is in line with our original submissions on the proposal made in April 2015.”
It added: “This is a sensible solution for all parties, providing an excellent cycle route for cyclists while avoiding the need to re-route motorists almost 2km through residential streets.”
In related news, IrishCycle.com this morning launched it’s campaign website liffeycycle.com — which calls for Option 8 to be rejected and Option 7 to be built. The campaign urges members of the public to contact councillors in advance of the Dublin City transport committee meeting tomorrow at 3pm.
The DublinTown statement also covers the council’s U-turn allowing cars onto Eden Quay — a move which transport experts say will affect Luas Cross City and the many bus routes using the quays.
Despite business groups first pressuring the council to allow cars to remain on Bachelor’s Walk and now also allowing cars to remain on Eden Quay, DublinTown said it “still has concerns regarding the proposed changes to Eden Quay and the process being used to make these changes.” The group said: “We are not convinced that the right process is being used and we will be seeking significant clarification in relation to this.”
The DublinTown board includes representatives from Dublin City Council, Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Ilac Centre, McDonalds, Brown Thomas, Penneys, Bewleys, The Westbury Hotel, Carroll’s Irish Gifts, David McMahon & Company, FFA Chartered Accountants, Fade Street Social and Rustic Stone restaurants, and The Flowing Tide pub.