November 3, 2014
Mayo County Council (with the help of the now abolished Ballina Town Council) has just added/upgraded about 150 meter to its premium cycling network. We got around to using it yesterday, but we hope not to have missed the grand opening.
The cycle path starts at a driveway of a business. Easy access for anybody cycling on the footpath before it.
Within the first few meters of the upgraded cycle route, people cycling on this path will have to reach back to their childhood skills of keeping within the lines. Because for older teenagers and adults cycling to the left the white line here will be viewed as cycling on the footpath and subject to a €50 fine from next year onwards.
To keep things extra interesting the black bollard does not even have a reflective strip, and the Eircom street cabinet means two people can’t walk side-by-side on the “footpath” side (but don’t worry — there’s no plans to fine pedestrians for walking in cycle lanes).
The bollards are here so that cars won’t park at this private entrance. There’s also invisible bollards in place along the path to stop cars from mounting the kerb past this point — or maybe there’s not, we can’t see invisible bollards.
All good things must come to an end…
The above image is from the National Cycle Manual which offers some advice on horizontal transitions — where the cycle lane or path is shifted towards the right out onto the road. It shows a good example of a traffic island being provided to protect those cycling in the cycle lane.
“Provide a physical barrier such as a traffic island to protect cyclists from traffic behind,” says the manual, which is online at cyclemanual.ie. It adds: “For legibility, the island should have a vertical element (signage, bollard, light, tree etc.) to make it obvious to approaching traffic.”
Who needs traffic islands and signage when protective striped white lines, followed by a protective strip of red paint will do the same job?
The Cycle Manual also says: “There are situations where cyclists will need a combination of vertical and horizontal transition. A typical example would include moving from an off-road cycle track to a cycle lane in advance of a junction, and vice versa. It has proved difficult for builders to construct combination transitions, and it has been equally difficult for cyclists to cycle on these.”
Sounds familiar?! Where have we seen that before?
“This manual recommends that both movements are dealt with sequentially, but not at the same time”… sure why not?
And after the epic 150 meters, it’s back to another few meters of a very special cycle lane which only small cars can fit between it and the centre line.
Location: Ballina, Co Mayo
Local body/authority: Ballina Town Council (now defunct) / Mayo County Council
Street View: Currently shows view before cycle lanes
Send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. And make sure to view the original and UK-focused facility of the month page on Warrington Cycle Campaign’s website.