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Is this the best designed contra-flow cycle lane in Dublin?

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council have constructed a contra-flow cycle track which looks like the best designed one in Dublin.

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The contra-flow cycle track is on Newtown Avenue, Blackrock. It goes from  Seapoint Avenue to Idrone Terrace.

The lane marking have yet to be put down and the traffic lights have yet to be turned on, but the below pictures should give you an idea of the project.

The only clear and notable problem with it is it does not continue alone the one-way stretch on Main Street. However, it’s a clear improvement from the alternative route which is a essentially a dual carriageway and has no cycle lanes.

It may look at bit like a two-way lane, but it’s not. It’s just a wide one-way track. Cyclists going the same direction as other traffic must use the general traffic lane. Painted lane marking should make this clear, as outlined in the plans for the project.

Here’s some images:

The start on the Idrone Terrace side is clearly marked:

Contra-flow cycle track  Newtown Avenue, Blackrock

The lane was put inside car parking at a number of points and acts as an extra buffer, as is standard elsewhere. As long as the cars park where there should the buffer is wide enough (the last car, which had just moved off was up on the kerb, but that’s more poor parking than anything).

Contra-flow cycle track  Newtown Avenue, Blackrock

The footpath along the east side of the road was also revamped and crossing were improved. Bit of a wide turning radius here but that’s a minor point overall.

Contra-flow cycle track  Newtown Avenue, Blackrock

If the kerb and the red colour treatment were not enough, drivers and cyclist are also told of the contra-flow cyclists by signs repeated along the road. Clearly defined entrance and exit treatments and these signs would be helpful at other contra-flow lanes in the city.

Contra-flow cycle track  Newtown Avenue, Blackrock

Contra-flow cycle track  Newtown Avenue, Blackrock

At the motorists are kept to the left at key places even where there are not cars for buffers, as at this corner:

Contra-flow cycle track  Newtown Avenue, Blackrock

Here’s the Seapoint Avenue end, with it’s exit treatment where the cycling contra-flow and the one-way traffic line is clearly defined:

Contra-flow cycle track  Newtown Avenue, Blackrock

The mini-traffic lights on both polls have this configuration, we’re not sure how they work:

Contra-flow cycle track  Newtown Avenue, Blackrock

Here’s the one-way section of Main Street where there is quite a lot of room. Contra-flow could be allowed — even if not up the higher standard of the section being completed. There’s more than enough room to put in high standard contra-flow junction treatments:

Main Street, Blackrock (one-way section)

Main Street, Blackrock (one-way section)

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Cian Ginty


  1. Good photos. Of course the fact that the contra-flow cycle lane was installed at the expense of busses is not mentioned. Businesses in Blackrock suffer and residents are housebound. Otherwise it seems like a good use of taxpayer money.

  2. Good article. The only thing you failed to mention is that for cyclists to use the contra-flow lane they have to be coming from Idrone Terrace which has an appalling road surface full of loose stone and deep potholes.


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