COMMENT & ANALYSIS: As a response to Dublin City Council’s highly compromised backstreet detour of the Liffey Cycle Route with their new Option 5 (read here for details), we are suggesting Option 6 as follows:
Option 6 is a combination of “Section A Option 1 – Limited Boardwalk” and “Section A Option 3 – Bus Croppy Acre” (both mapped here, although in needing of some tweeking). Option 6 would be a merger of Option 1 and Option 3 at Queens Street / Mellows Bridge. Section A runs between Parkgate Street to Smithfield — the overall route would continue as a two-way cycle path to the Point Village / the East Link Bridge.
With Option 6, a boardwalk would be provided between Queens Street and Church Street to accommodate pedestrians on the river side of this section, but unlike in Option 1, the boardwalk would not interfere with Mellows Bridge (which has been deemed unaccetable due the history nature of the bridge and to preserve built heritage).
Option 6 offers better bus priority than the now abandoned Option 3 (abandoned because there’s an apartment complex blocking the planned bus detour route via Smithfield). Option 3 had used the busy and complex quays / Church Street junction to bring buses from a detour on Benburb Street back onto the quays. While Option 6 uses the turn from Benburb Street to Queen Street, which is easier as Queen Street is one-way (southbound) and Luas priority here will also act as bus priority here (buses will turn into and Luas cross over Queen Street at the same time).
Queen Street and its junction with the quays is far less complex — there’s only west-east traffic (no turns) and north-south traffic (only left turns with turning lane). This simpler junction arrangement allows for easier bus movements and makes it less likely congestion will block buses.
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If needed, the left turn from Queens Street to the quays can be restricted to buses, and the new Luas / bus junction at Benburb Street can be kept clear using red light cameras (as used at Blackhall Place).
Pros and cons of Option 6 are as follows:
- Keeps the Liffey Cycle Route on the quays
- Good bus priority (as above)
- Riverside park, combined sections of Croppies Acre and Croppies Park
- All modes avoid apartment pinch point in Smithfield
- No need for cycling to share with buses or trams
- Narrow cycle path between Queen Street and Church Street (although Option 1 had overall longer sections of narrow cycle paths)
- Possible short section of very narrow footpath between the boardwalk and Mellows Bridge
- Locals against the bus detour will still be objecting
- Cost of boardwalk
The following are our alternative designs of key junction of this merged design is at the quays and Queen Street / Mellows Bridge. The following are unofficial modifications and should be viewed more as sketches than drawings:
This allows for the position of the cycle path to come right up to east side of the junction (shown here to the right of the junction). But there may be issues with the tightness of the corner for buses turning from Queen Street right onto the quays — if this example cannot accommodate buses turning, some variation of examples B or C outlined below will work.
This design removes the current turning lanes on Queen Street, allowing for a wider turn for buses:
This design sets back the cycle path on the east side of the junction, leaving space for buses to turn the corrner from Queen Street to the quays:
We can think of other alternatives which may in some ways be better than Option 6, but overall Option 6 is the best we have so we’re mainly suggesting this.
Option 6 isn’t perfect, it includes compromises (even for cycling) and won’t keep everybody happy (no route will). But we’re not just plucking this idea from nowhere, Option 6 is the best of both worlds based on merging two different route options which consultants and the city previously worked on.