After 7 months, there’s still no date to fix faulty traffic lights which can’t detect bicycles

Dublin City Council said it does not know when it will be able to fix faulty traffic light sensors at a junction which is heavily used by bicycles. The issue was reported to the council at least seven months again, but the council claims that the delay is out of its hands due to “traffic management reasons” because of a nearby private construction site.

At the junction, between St Stephen’s Green East and South, Leeson Street and Earlsfort Terrace, the council has confirmed that the sensors are “not sensitive enough to detect bicycles”. The issue arrises at least traveling north from Earlsfort Terrace and also traveling south from Stephen’s Green East.

The sensors can detect cars, but because of Luas Cross City diversion works there are less cars on Stephen’s Green East traveling into Earlsfort Terrace and Earlsfort Terrace northbound is bus / bicycle / taxi only.

Natalie, a reader who reported the issue to the council, explained the issue: “I have used that junction a couple of times since, and have had the same problem. I’ve tried stopping the bike precisely on the patch of ground that would appear to have the sensor (there’s a kind of a scar in the tarmac behind the white line), but it doesn’t work. I’m not sure if it’s working for cars, as it’s a quiet street for cars and I haven’t seen any cars there in a while.”

A reported dated Feburary 5 2015 on the reporting website said: “Cycling down St Stephen’s Green East, I waited three full traffic light cycles for a green light to continue onto Earlsfort Terrace, and I might still be waiting there if I hadn’t given up and crossed with the pedestrians. What’s the point of providing a cycle lane if it feeds into a permanent red light? Perhaps the signal only shows green if a bus is waiting to proceed? If so that’s no way to treat cyclists!”

An official from Dublin City Council said: “There is a detector behind the Stop line at the junction, however it is not sensitive enough to detect bicycles. We are aware of this issue, and it is planned to upgrade the junction to include bicycle detection in order to ensure that cyclists do get a green signal.”

He added: “However, for traffic management reasons the civil engineering works required for this upgrade cannot be implemented until the current phase of the construction works for the development on the corner of Earlsfort Terrace and St Stephens Green have been completed. This construction project is for a private development, and is outside the control of Dublin City Council, so a timeframe for the junction improvements is unfortunately not currently available.”


  1. It is the same with the signal set detector (PIR type?) on the counter-flow cycle path at the Newtown Avenue-Seapoint Avenue, Blackrock, Co. Dublin junction which fails to detect the very vehicle it is designed for. Only in Ireland!
    I have sent four emails to the appropriate DLRCC official and although the service contractor has been to the signal set it is still not working – I waited for 3 cycles of the signals for general traffic at the junction one period last week with no response. I had to dismount and lift my bike up onto the footpath and walk it around the corner in order to continue along the coast.
    These examples abound all across the country and is a case of road authorities failing in their legal duty to consider the needs of all road users under the Road Act, 1993.
    Do they not understand that many modern bikes have a low content of ferrous metal being mostly made from composites and non-ferrous alloys?
    And we have a Department of Transport that has introduced FCNs for cyclists proceeding on ‘red’ phase at signals. Only in Ireland!

  2. Approaching this junction from Stephens Green East, there are three lanes – one for buses going left up Leeson Street, one for cyclists and one for buses going straight ahead. The two bus lanes have induction traffic sensors buried in the road but the bike lane does not. From my experience, if you stop with your bike wheel on top of one of the sensors in the outer bus lane, it will trigger the “straight ahead” light. Obviously you shouldn’t need to do this and what is clearly missing is a sensor in the bike lane. In other countries these are identified with a broken line and a bike symbol.
    The excuse from DCC that this cannot be fixed until the construction work is finished on the far corner may be valid for the sensors on Earlsfort Terrace but not for those on the Green.


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