— No bus stop / cycling segregation despite millions spent on same road retrofitting them.
— No buffer planned between busy road and cycle paths.
Construction works on the Stillorgan Road to add a new entrance to the RTE campus could mean people cycling will mix with buses more than at present — Dublin City Council said last week it is reviewing the designs of the seven-lane junction.
The scope of the works is around 200 metres from the fatale collision yesterday of a 19-year-old on a bicycle after he was in a collision with a truck driver.
The RTE campus on the road —which is formerly part of the N11, now named the R138 — is gaining a new entrance to allow for planned housing development on the national broadcaster’s grounds.
The current main entrance to RTE on Nutley Lane is to close for general use, and will only be used as a service entrance.
The existing T-junction where the Stillorgan Road meets Airfield Park, just north of the RTE footbridge, will become a four-way signalised junction.
The lack of segregation at bus stops on this new design for a Dublin City Council section of the route is in stark contrast to years of on-going work by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) to remove the conflict between buses and people cycling.
The changes to the Stillorgan Road, as part of the new RTE entrance, will mean a new northbound right hand turning filter lane into RTE, but there’s no obvious way for people cycling to access the campus in the same direction except to cross four lanes of traffic or to dismount and use the staggered crossings shared with pedestrians.
The crossings are all staggered and are not provided at all arms of the new junction — both elements go against the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets.
While many cyclists complain that the Dublin City Council section of the dual carriageway is one of the poorest in terms of surface quality and general design, a traffic assessment by consultants Arup for RTE, said: “Existing pedestrian and cycle network in the vicinity of the proposed development is of high standard with sufficient public lighting along the footpaths on all approaches to the campus thus creating a safe, secure and inviting environment for both pedestrians and cyclists.”
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It added: “Cycle facilities in the vicinity of the site allow for easy and safe access to the site from all approaches to the proposed development.”
On drawings in the online planning file for the new junction, the new cycle tracks are marked as 2m but shown as visibly narrowing away from the measurement.
The council’s planning conditions imposed included that: “The vehicular access/exit points to the development from the R138 shall be treated to indicate priority for pedestrians. The public footpath shall be continued at a raised level across the site entrance and exit, but shall be ramped and dropped as necessary (e.g. 32mm kerb over carriageway) to facilitate car-entry/exit. Measures shall be implemented, including contrasting materials, signing, road marking, etc. to ensure that vehicles entering/leaving the development are aware that pedestrians/cyclists have priority across the site accesses and those vehicles must yield right-of-way.”
The conditions also states: “All final details of the proposed alterations to the existing 3 arm R138 / Airfield junction to a 4 arm signal controlled junction to provide new vehicular and pedestrian access off the R138 Stillorgan Road to the site shall be clarified and agreed with Environment & Transportation Department in liaison with the NTA and TII prior to commence ment of development.”
We asked Dublin City Council why the council had did not stipulate that the applicant to follow the Manual for Urban Roads and Streets and why the council is allowing the mixing of buses and bicycles when DLRCC has spent significant sums of money at segregating bicycles and buses.
A spokesman for Dublin City Council said: “Both the original and subsequent submissions in respect of planning application 3094/16 are currently being assessed by the City Council. When this has been completed the Planning Authority will be in a position to issue a compliance certificate.”
A spokesman for RTE said it was an issue for the council.
The NTA did not reply to a request for comment before publication.
Planning file drawings
An overview of the main junction drawing:
The northbound bus stop across the road from the new junction — there’s kerb and lane changes here but bus stop bypass:
A new standalone pedestrian crossing and southbound and northbound bus stops, again with no bus stop bypasses, just north of the new junction:
The existing set down area beside the schools across from RTE are to be retained without change — little detail shown in this drawings: