Cyclists will be directed to zebra crossings where they must dismount and walk across if a draft redesign for the Walkinstown Roundabout in Dublin is proceeded with.
As the roundabout has six roads off it, it could mean walking across up to three crossings.
Even if the law was changed to allow cyclists to cycle on such zebra crossings it is understood that cyclists would have to yield at each — meaning yielding three times or more to make the same movement.
As we reported last week, the Department of Transport confirmed that cyclists must dismount before using zebra crossings — even where such crossings are part of designated cycle routes.
The current roundabout design in Walkinstown (pictured above, click image to go to Google Maps) is one of the worst for walking and cycling within the M50. It has three general lane entry points, three lanes on the roundabout and lacks safe crossing points — all in the centre of an urban village. The redesign would include reducing the roundabout to two lanes at entry and around the roundabout.
In 2014 the Walkinstown Roundabout Feasibility Study was funded with €20,000 to look at “Completion of the feasibility study to examine options to improve the layout of the junction especially for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport.”
Last year more funding was then allocated for the “Trial re-configuration of the Walkinstown Roundabout, to make it safer, easier to use, more reliable and more attractive for all road users and for the locality” (figure to be confirmed), but local media have reported that councillors have complained of being ‘frozen out’ of roundabout talks on the design.
The roundabout borders the areas of Dublin City Council and South Dublin County Council.
A spokeswoman for Dublin City Council said: “The design of Walkinstown roundabout is being undertaken by South Dublin County Council (SDCC). As part of the design process Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority (NTA) will review the final design proposal. It is therefore premature for us to give specific comments on the design at this stage. Any comments we may have will be advised to SDCC as a key stakeholder.”
The Land Use, Planning and Transportation Department of South Dublin County Council said: “The designs of crossings are as per the Cycle Manual published by the National Transport Authority and are approved by the National Transport Authority. Any issues regarding the generic design of Crossings should be referred to the NTA.”
We made it clear to the council’s press office that the Walkinstown roundabout will be central to our story. The council have already directed cyclists onto zebra crossings on at least two roundabouts in Lucan — the Griffeen Road and the Castle Road roundabouts, which are outlined as examples of the design on nationaltransport.ie.
Separately, the NTA confirmed that they agree with the Department of Transport view that cyclists must dismount before using zebra crossings. But all of the questions we put to South Dublin County Council related to the council’s actions, questions which could not be answered by the NTA.
We had asked South Dublin County Council why they used the design, and if they had consulted the Department of Transport or obtained independent legal advice.
We also asked if the council included cyclists dismount signs, and, if not, “is guiding cyclists into zebra crossing without such signs misleading and promoting illegal use of zebra crossings?” The council did not reply directly to any of these questions.