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Approval of low-quality Dodder Greenway is not great news for cycling in Dublin

COMMENT AND ANALYSIS: Councillors in South Dublin County Council have voted to approve the Dodder Greenway in their area, but the bad news is that the design is nowhere near as good as it should be.

Council officials rejected a call from one councillor for better segregation. There two issues with segregation — that between pedestrians and cycling and between cycling and motoring.

The Manual for Urban Roads and Streets, and the National Cycle Manual are being walked on — going against the guidance, left hand  slip turns and staggered crossings remain in designs where crossings are being revamped.

But the guidance in Irish manuals also remains poor or lacking in terms of shared surfaces and designing segregation like the Dutch do.

Here’s a sample of the plans for the Dodder by South Dublin County Council:


Most of the greenway is between 3-4 metres wide of a shared path — this might sound good compared to rural greenways but the goal for a two-way cycle path in busy areas should 4 metres. 

Needlessly mixing walking and cycling on this route is going to cause more conflict — this route is mostly in a highly urban area and linked to areas with relatively high use of cycling for transport and leisure.


There’s no reason for not having segregation of walking and cycling along most of the route:


And the council is fine with leaving people who cycle unprotected at large junctions which the route intersects with — cycling safety is put far below traffic capacity here:


Slip turns and staggered crossings, and crossings only on one side of junctions: 


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Poor widths and few or no buffers between the greenway paths where such link in with footpaths:

A roundabout with zebra crossings where cyclists must dismount:

Cycle track, cycle lane, shared path and then a toucan crossing on the narrow side of a junction — that makes sense.

Rather than take space from cars or bog standard grass, it seems to be a case of let’s mix walking and cycling:
These twists and bends on this shared path are clearly not designed for cycling or to minimise conflict:


What is this?…

There’s lots of sillyness, like where the route goes from a side road into a main road, the crossing is on the wrong side for people cycling out of the side road:

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Cian Ginty
Editor, IrishCycle.com

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