A detailed plan for a long-awaited contra-flow bus and cycle lane beside the Bleeding Horse public house on Camden Street is being drawn up.
Dublin City Council officials told a recent local area meeting that they would be brings the plans to city councillors within the next month. After years of promises to install the southbound contra-flow lane, the city is now pushing ahead with the project because extra buses are to be diverted onto the route due to the Luas Cross City works.
That’s the bad news for people cycling on the street — because of the works to construct the Luas tram extension to from Stephen’s Green to Cabra, around 40 extra buses per hour at rush hour are to be diverted on the route from Camden Street to Dame Street.
However, the contra-flow lane should allow people cycling to avoid a current detour around a block of building on a cycling-unfriendly system of one-way system of streets.
Closer to the core city centre on the same route, the council is also planning to block off access onto Aungier Street / Redmond’s Hill from Bishop Street, a street at the side of DIT Aungier Street (pictured, right). The changes will stop commuter traffic exiting Bishop Street and blocking the cycle lane and traffic lane on Aungier Street.
Traffic engineers residentstold councillors that most of the traffic using Bishop Street was using it as a “rat run” from Kevin Street Upper — mainly to get around a banned turn on Kevin Street Lower to Camden Street.
The plan outside DIT is also linked with the Luas works and aims to keep buses moving on the route. Local access is to be maintained.
At the area meeting, Cllr Mannix Flynn (independent) strongly outlined his fears that the rat running would continue and that it would just be pushed further up the road.
Cllr Paddy McCartan (Fine Gael) said he welcomes the closures of all rat runs. Cllr Chris Andrews (Sinn Fein) and other councillors questioned the impact on the residents of Bishop Street — city officials replied that access would be maintained to residents but a loop around the block would be required by residents exiting the street.
Cllr Kieran Binchy (Fine Gael) questioned the plan to use bollards to block of junction, however the engineers said that this would only be a temporary arrangement until the final layout and finishing are agreed on.
Cllr Claire Byrne (Green Party) said that, as a cyclist, she welcomed the changes, but she was worried about the extra 40 buses an hour on a street already busy with buses.