Irish Cycle Facility of the Week

January 27, 2014:

Red Cow M50 crossing special edition:

...I'm sorry to disrupt you while you're reading this article, but without messages like this,'s reader-funded journalism won't survive. With nearly 1/2 million views and 300k readers so-far this year, it's not just people who are dedicated to cycling that this website reaches. However, the number of subscribers is around 0.6% of readers. While having a large gap between readers/subscribers is standard for non-paywall reader-supported journalism, IrishCycle's journalism needs more support. Don't delay, support monthly or yearly today. Now, back to the article...

The map above shows routes from the Northwest edge of the Red Cow M50 interchange to the city side: Motoring in red and cycling in orange. For our international readers: The M50 is the ring road between Dublin City and its outer suburbs. The nearest M50 motorway crossings are more than a 1km in both directions, so the designers of this scheme made sure that anybody cycling to work or the shops got a good workout.

While drivers have freeflow, people cycling across are provided with an extra long route where they have to cross the N7 twice on steep overbridges with 90 degree turns. Overall there’s 7 turns which are at or close to 90 degrees on the route, compared to zero on the motoring route.

Red Cow 4

Above shows a 100 meters ramp down to ground level — bringing shared use paths into the realm of extreme sports.

Red Cow 2

The designers wanted to make sure anybody cycling got a workout; (please excuse the blur) the above shows the hairpin turn before the ramp up to the overpass.

Red Cow 1

On the other end of the city-side bridge, when you’re heading towards the city, the fun does not end after you’re off this excellent cycling facility… Just as you get off the ramp, you’re left to yield twice to traffic entering and exiting a private road.

Red Cow 3

Underpasses would have required far less climbs for people cycling and walking, but overpasses are seen as safer. The local artwork, pictured above on the plastic wind barriers reassures users that the closed-in bridge structure is much safer than an underpass ever could be.

Image: Irish Cycle
Location: Red Cow, Dublin
Local authority: South Dublin County Council; National Roads Authority and the Railway Procurement Agency
Street View: City side overpass; west side N7 overpass

Send suggestions to And make sure to view the original and UK-focused facility of the month page on Warrington Cycle Campaign’s website.

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    • It’s telling that your comment isn’t the first time I’ve heard somebody say they could not figure out where an M50 cycling crossing route is.

      The last time was with the Liffey Valley crossing — from the city side there at least use to be no directions to the cycle route. The first first time I crossed it I ended up on the free-flow junctions which can be fun on a bicycle.


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