IrishCycle.com is reader-funded journalism, but our subscription numbers have stalled at around 250 subscribers. 20 more subscribers by the end of August is the current target. Can you help? If you can, please subscribe today for €5 or more. If you have already done so -- thank you!

College Green Plaza needs a cycle path says European experts

College Green should include segregated cycle paths, experts on cycling and walking provision from the European Cyclists’ Federation and Walk21 have said.

This is reader-funded journalism, but it needs more support -- our target is 20 more subscribers by the end of August... can you help? Subscribe today.

The groups made a combined submission to the public consultation and have since outlined their position online

While the Dublin Cycling Campaign and Cyclist.ie are local groups linked with the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), the international body made their own submission. The submission directly from the ECF highlights how important it is for Dublin to get the plaza right.

They said that “self-regulation” within larger areas of shared use squares in some cities “works because cyclists can use alternative routes for the same destination.

In the case of College Green, local and international cycling groups seem to agree that there are no close by alternatives to College Green. The Trinity College campus to the east and Temple Bar to the west, combined with the nearby bridge layouts and road layout on the northside, act as barrier to providing main cycle routes.

The group said a plaza where cycling and walking was mixed across its full area “would lead to a lot of frustration if ongoing cyclists in a hurry would have to share such crowded spaces with pedestrians. Even more importantly, it could be a major issue for visual impaired and blind people, who could be facing cyclists any moment. The combination of ongoing cyclists and lingering pedestrians is not very good as well, because their movements are unpredictable for cyclists.”

“Both Walk21 and ECF conclude that in these circumstances a proper readable, clear and recognizable dedicated cycle path is the better solution. Specifically for the well-being of the pedestrians, especially those who are visually impaired and those feeling unsure. Naturally some pedestrians will walk on the cycle path in such situations. Therefore, a clear readability of the cycle path can help to make a ringing cyclist understandable. A proper width will allow the cyclist weaving around them,” their statement said.

The group warned against allowing aesthetics to overrule functional of having clearly marked cycle paths.

They said: “And what about the designers? Some will say that a segregated cycle path through the square would look ugly, claiming that a square with a one-colored floor of authentic stones is the only acceptable design. But wouldn’t it be logic to label them as ‘bad’ designers, if they would sacrifice the usability and even the safety of the users for their own taste? It is like an architect who designs a beautiful building – in which you can’t find the entrance though. Thus, designers of buildings, public spaces and streets should always have the user-friendly criteria in mind while planning!”

The group said that where the main flow of walking and cycling meets “needs special attention for the designers though”. They said that traffic lights or a zebra crossing likely won’t work. They added: “Without motorized or vehicle traffic, respecting the red light or the zebra crossing would come unnatural, and both these solutions wouldn’t fit on a broad square. The only solution is to make a design that supports the self-regulation ability of pedestrians and cyclists. That means that if the aim of the design is clear, cyclists would slow down on this very spot and –most importantly- there would be enough width to make the weaving possible. This could be researched in a microscopic traffic model.”

For its part, Dublin City Council released drawings no cycle path east-west on the planned plaza and photomontages of people on bicycles mixing with people walking, officials later said there would be a cycle path across the plaza and that the detailed design of plaza area would be decided at a later stage.

Hello Reader... IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.

There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!

Monthly subscriptions will give IrishCycle.com's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year IrishCycle.com had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.

I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.

The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!

But currently, it's only around 1.6% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via ko-fi.com/irishcycle/tiers

Cian Ginty
Editor, IrishCycle.com

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.