Comment & Analysis: Interesting cycling nugget from the findings of the public inquiry for the Docklands Luas (extension C1) conducted for the Department of Transport:
“The project will involve the construction of a bridge linking Mayor Street Upper with Mayor Street Lower (Mayor Street Bridge) across Spencer Dock; this will provide a route for pedestrians and cyclists as well as LUAS vehicles; and it will also provide vehicle access to the National Conference Centre from Guild Street.
The bridge across Spencer Dock was not made cycling friendly and heading eastbound, once across the bridge there’s no legal way to proceed, no route. The road is blocked as shown in this image and this artificial blocking in one direction (there’s loads of space!) is followed by no route past the Luas stop in both directions (in the far background, along the tracks):
The inquiry findings go on to say that:
“It will also be necessary to close the road linking Mayor Street Lower with Amiens Street except for LUAS vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.”
Was that link kept for cyclists? No, it was not. No entry, tram only signs face anybody trying to make that link. But it gets worse. Heading past that missing link and to Habourmaster Place — which is still an access road to Connolly Station and a ton of apartments — you are faced with (non-legal) signs trying to claim cyclists have to dismount.
A cycling banned sign painted on the road and a “cyclists dismount” sign on a pole, note that this section is open to all traffic and there is no legal means to ban cyclists here:
This image below was taken just past the above image; note the no entry, expect trams signs to the left in the background (which the public inquiry for the tram line said should remain open to cyclists); and again note that this road is open to all traffic and there is no legal means to ban cyclists here — the right turn here is to Habourmaster Place, Connolly Station and a ton of apartments:
With a little extra cost and time all of this could have been designed cycling friendly: But why wasn’t it? Within the report, the RPA shows how little it knows about cycling. Responding to public input, the RPA said:
“Insufficient road space is available to submission to Inquiry. – Cycling issues. accommodate a dedicated cycleway. RPA believe that there is now a greater awareness of the risk to cyclists since the introduction of LUAS in 2004. An alternative cycle route, of very high quality, has been provided by DDDA in the Campshires.”
The campshires route they mention are the lanes at footpath level along the quays in the Docklands, if the RPA honestly thought these were “of very high quality”, it just shows how disconnected they were from the reality of cycling.
Are the RPA ready to make the same mistakes again with the Luas BXD (the line planned from St Stephen’s Green to Broadstone via the city centre and Grangegorman)? From their plans, it looks like it.