— Widest section has five lanes retained but no cycle paths.
— Consultant architects said they were told not to change the roadway.
— “Traffic dominated” but dealing with traffic levels outside project “remit”.
Dublin City Council are proposing new public realm scheme at Dolphin’s Barn without providing for cycling for all ages as promised in the City Development Plan.
The project follows the trend set by public realm upgrades in recent years in Kilmainham and Rialto which have been problematic for cycling, with complaints from residents and people who commute to or via those areas.
The project in Dolphin’s Barn is to cover the main streets of Dolphin’s Barn — South Circular Road going east-west and Dolphin’s Barn north-south (leading to Crumlin Road to the south and Cork Street to the north). It is due to go to public consultation in the near future.
The plan includes raised pedestrian crossings and the removal of a slip turn, but no cycling infrastructure suitable for all ages. Short and narrow sections of cycle lanes would be repainted into the new scheme.
Cllr Ray McHugh (Sinn Fein) welcomed the scheme in general. But he said: “In the plan there doesn’t seem to be any cycle lanes, whether that’s your remit or not, I don’t know.”
Cllr Michael Mullooly (FF) and Cllr Pat Dunne (Independent) also raised the issue of how the area was traffic dominated and questioned if the scheme would address this.
The councillors said that motorists abused the bus lane and that traffic speeds were often high.
Despite Dolphin’s Barn being one of the wider sections of any routes into the city centre council, a council official defended the lack of cycle lanes because of “fairly limited road space”.
Council official David Healy told councillors that: “In terms of the cycle lanes, the problem that we have is that we have fairly limited road space and we have not transformed it too much because we’re slightly hamstrung, we can’t make it any wider.
Desktop estimates of the street widths, estimated by IrishCycle.com (see below), shows that cycle paths can fit along side wide footpaths, bus lanes and single traffic lanes in both directions.
Healy added: “We have met with the traffic department previously and they will be engaging with us again. We recently carried out a road safety audit and we’ll be getting the results of that this week.”
This website understands that road safety audit issues with the Kilmainham Civic Space are on-going with the project which was supposed to be finished two years ago.
Mike Haslam of Haslam & Co Architects, who were contracted to draw up plans for the area, said: “Just to add on the cycle lanes, we have kept what’s there, we have not changed that. Again because of the restrictions on the carriageway sizes — which we were not permitted to alter.”
Previous in the presentation, Haslam said that the area is traffic dominated and he added that the volume of traffic was not in “within the remit” of the project.
Estimates by IrishCycle.com:
Examples of what can fit in the two smaller widths — these are purely examples to show that — roughly — that cycle paths can fit along side wide footpaths, bus lanes and single traffic lanes in both direction.
Besides a very small area where the width goes down to 20 metres, the notable narrowest section is 22 metres wide:
However the workable width along most of the scheme is at 24 metres or wider — much of the widths are 26-30 metres or more, allowing easily for seating, tables and chairs, greenery, bus stop bypasses etc.