Dublin City Council’s insistence that there is no need for segregated cycle paths on Dame Street goes against advise from the National Transport Authority.
The recommendation by the national body is made in a submission made last year to An Bord Pleanála on the College Green Plaza.
The National Transport Authority submission (.TIF) is highly supportive of the plaza project, outlining the policy bases for the project. But it wants two conditions added to the project if approved:
- “that two-way bus movement is facilitated on Parliament Street, subject to a limit in the number of bus vehicles on the street and a full adherence to European air quality limits on nitrogen dioxide, and”
- “that the lane layout on Dame Street is further refined during the later design development stages to provide segregated cycling facilities along this street as this link forms part of the overall Clonskeagh to City Centre cycle route of the Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan.”
The fact that the authority wants Parliament Street to be made into a two-way bus-only street was reported before, but that they want segregated cycle paths on Dame Street seems to be unreported until now.
The submission, signed by Hugh Creegan, head of transport investment at the National Transport Authority (NTA), said: “The section of Dame Street between its junction with South Great Georges Street and College Green forms part of the project application. While the layout includes cycling facilities, these are identified as generally in the form of unsegregated cycle lanes on the carriageway.”
It added: “It is the view of the NTA that facility to provide segregated cycle tracks along this section of Dame Street, physically separated from other vehicular traffic, should be examined at the detail design stage of the project and implemented to the extent practicable.”
Here’s drawings of the planned design of unsegregated cycle lanes on Dame Street:
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An Bord Pleanála asked the council for further information. The council said: “The speed limit on Dame Street is 30 km/h as part of the City Centre zone, which provides a suitable and safe environment for cyclists on the street.
It added: “In accordance with the National Cycle Manual (National Transport Authority, 2011) (Section 1.7.4 Guidance Graph, shown on Figure 8.9) on a street with a 30 km/h speed limit it is appropriate for shared use of the street without cycling facilities in the context of traffic flows of up to 10,000 AADT [annual average daily traffic] vehicles per day. Traffic flows on Dame Street are already far below this level, and will reduce further once the College Green Plaza is in place and most bus services and taxis are re-routed. Thus cycle lanes are not necessary in accordance with the relevant design standard.”
However, the National Transport Authority is the author of the Cycle Manual, and the Dublin City Development Plan states that “ease of access to persons of all ages and abilities is a significant indicator as to how inclusive Dublin is as a city.”
Best international practice is also to segregate buses and bicycles. For example, in Utrecht — a Dutch city which relies on buses more than is typical in the Netherlands — a main bus street with about 3,000 buses per day uses keeps buses and bicycles apart. This is under half of the 10,000 AADT quoted by the council.