Dolphin’s Barn plan goes on public display with no mention of cycling

IMAGE: A section of drawing of the Dolphin's Barn Public Realm plan shared with councillors.

A public realm plan for Dolphin’s Barn village has gone on display, with no mention of cycle lanes or cycle paths on one of the largest junctions and sections of road inside the canals in Dublin.

According to the online planning file, the plans were lodged on May 16 but the document section for the online file is still empty. The plans are also not displayed on the council’s consultation portal at dublincity.ie.

In February, IrishCycle.com reported how Dublin City Council are proposing the new public realm scheme without providing for cycling for all ages as promised in the City Development Plan. According to the written description of the plan, this has not changed.

IMAGE: The current layout at the junction of Dolphin’s Barn and the South Circular Road.

The project includes a section of the main Dolphin’s Barn road going north-south, and the South Circular Road going east-west. The former is planned to be a primary cycle route in the GDA Cycle Network and the latter is a secondary route, but no apparent attempt is made to implement cycling upgrades as part of the planned public realm project.

A presentation given to councillors at the start of the year shows how the designers of give priority to providing space for car parking and general turning lanes on the on the South Circular Road.

Another priority for the scheme seems to be widening an already wide public space at north-east corner of the junction where Dolphin’s Barn meets the South Circular Road — this seems to be done by removing the central medium at this location while leaving a cycle lane to narrow at one side of the road with no cycle lane on the other.

South of the junction, a central medium is retained and there will be five lanes — including two bus lanes — but no dedicated space for cycling.

In February, we reported how Mike Haslam of Haslam & Co Architects, who were contracted to draw up plans for the area, said: “Just to add on the cycle lanes, we have kept what’s there, we have not changed that. Again because of the restrictions on the carriageway sizes — which we were not permitted to alter.”

The public notice for the plan — which is using the Part 8 planning process, states: “The plan includes a coherent vision for the environmental and physical development of Dolphin’s Barn Village and comprises measures to landscape Dolphin’s Barn Village with suitable tree planting, a linear park and public realm additions including a single-storey cafe with mezzanine to the northern end of St. James Terrace fronting the Church Park, footpaths, kerbs, medians, street furniture, street lighting and parking.”

“Plans and particulars of the proposed development may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy for a period of 4 weeks from Wednesday, 16th May 2018, during public opening hours at the offices of Dublin City Council, Public Counter, Planning & Property Development Department, Block 4, Ground Floor, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, Monday – Friday 09.00 hrs to 16.30 hrs and at South Central Area Office, First Floor, Eblana House, Marrowbone Lane, Dublin 8, Monday – Friday 09.00 hrs to 16.00 hrs.”

“A submission or observation in relation to the proposed development, dealing with the proper planning and sustainable development of the area in which the development would be situated may be made, in writing, to the Executive Manager, Planning & Property Development Department, Dublin City Council, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, before 16.30 hrs on Friday 29th June 2018.”

READ MORE: Council claims cycle lanes can’t fit into widest route into Dublin City

IMAGE: The main junction looking south, with the current lane layout.

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

4 Comments

  1. Using the highly inaccurate method of measuring the distance using google maps it seems that this road is over 21m wide including the footpath. It seems insane to say that there’s no space for cyclists in that. I do sympathise with the designers who seem to have been put in a strait jacket with the requirements.

    This area, and this junction in particular does have some very hostile features for cyclists. If you want to turn right you have to enter the middle of a very wide open space, because traffic flows are so heavy you are stuck there for ages, facing a queue of oncoming right turning traffic with no real ability to see whether the lane(s) you need to cross are clear or not because stopped vehicles are blocking your view.

    Going West on the SCR there is a slip lane just before the junction and there is a constant fear that someone will change their mind about queuing and cut out of their line and down the slip lane.

    Moving further south to the canal junction there is no provision for pedestrians who are walking along the canal side to cross. They must use a pedestrian crossing to cross to the building side, to up the road a little, then use a two stop crossing to cross Crumlin Road, then another wait for the pedestrian light if they want to cross back to the canal side again. Harolds Cross bridge now (finally) has a pedestrian crossing which is a four way stop for cars. They should do the same thing here, and on every bridge across the canal. It’s indicative of the messed up planning that a route that should be so pleasant for pedestrians just pretends they don’t exist at so many junctions.

    Also on that corner is the garage which has an entrace on Crumlin Road and on the canal. This means that it is commonly used to get around the no right turn when heading south across the bridge. Not only does the activity result in a bunch of unpredictable driving and often a queue which is what the no right turn was supposed to avoid it means that cyclists crossing the exit from the garage on the canal have to deal with an increased volume of cars pulling out of a private entrance. Not only that but it is my definite perception that people who take this route are not that interested in waiting politely while cyclists pass. They swoop through the garage forecourt and shoot out on to the road.

  2. The planning application docs aren’t available, because the application is invalid, and in the process of being withdrawn

  3. Confirm that, just received confirmation from DCC

  4. Disgraceful, this road is lethal and the worst part of my daily commute, its bloody terrifiying. Either the DCC and the governemnt are serious about traffic congestion and cycling or they arent. Either way they need to get off the fence

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