— Rathmines route has larger number of cyclists entering city centre but NTA plans to divert bicycles, not cars.
National Transport Authority officials look set to abandon key sections of the Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan in favour of bus priority with car lanes maintained.
A key example is an outline plan for the removal of cycle routes off the Rathmines Road, an entry point into the city where peak bicycle traffic outnumbers cars.
The draft details published on the NTA’s website confirmed what many cycling advocates have suspected for some time — the authority has shifted its focused from cycling to bus priority with car access maintained. Apparently going against national, city and the authority’s own policy.
Ciaran Ferrie, a local bicycle advocates who is involved with I Bike Dublin, said on Twitter: “#BusConnects plan will involve removing cycle lanes from #Rathmines Road Lower and diverting them on a route which appears to go through Cathal Brugha Barracks and stops abruptly at one of the most dangerous intersections for people cycling – Kevin St/Bride St – Happy #Bikeweek!”
He questioned if the NTA had forgotten about national policy which states priority should be given to walking, cycling, public transport and then cars in that order.
He added: “Similar diversions are proposed for Harold’s Cross & Phibsboro – these are urban villages which are already suffering from the dominance of through traffic. I’d like to see what measures are being proposed to calm traffic at these points.”
With MetroLink planned for Ballymun and Luas to Finglas it is unclear at this point why the NTA are set on CPOing front gardens in Glasnevin to allow for more connected bus lanes on this routes and where they join in Phibsboro.
The suggested cycle route (dotted lines) in Harold’s Cross will take a zigzag routing off the main road:
I have to agree that diverting in Rathmines, which is a major destination point in itself is a bad idea.
However, the proposed route parallel to the Kimmage Road is actually not a bad idea, though they will have real issues removing on street parking along some sections (residents will not be happy). Parts of the Kimmage road are very narrow and squeezing paths, buses and cyclists together would make for much less desirable and child-friendly routes. The proposed route would be a kind of a ‘quietway’ and, if done to a high standard, would be an excellent option in my opinion.
Looking at a map, I’m not quite sure how they plan to bypass rathmines road for the cycle route. Presumably it will start at Charleville Road, and then accessing Leinster Square via a gated development. Then the proposal suggests that cyclists should magically get past the houses on the northern side of Leinster Road to get to ardee road. Next, the route will cut through Mary’s and teleport past the dense housing on Grove park to reach Grove road. How can they possibly make a proposal like this without even proposing a route?
Regardless, commuters are categorically not going to use a set of winding quietways instead of a bus lane on Rathmines Road (even one with lots of traffic and no cycling infrastructure). So buses will be just as slow getting down Rathmines road because they will still be sharing the road space with hundreds of cyclists while the quietway goes unused.
The real joke of a proposal is the kimmage one. At least the Rathmines Road proposal only causes conflict for a single road, but the kimmage proposal diverts cyclists for the entire route. Clearly these alternative routes are not going to be used. The entire point of Busconnects is to completely free buses from congestion, but if cyclists are being forced to continue using bus lanes, then buses will continue being forced to wait behind cyclists for most of their journeys. Even if the good people at Busconnects care nothing for cyclists, they should still support quality cycling infrastructure simply because it will keep those pesky cyclists out of the way of buses.
I have to agree with Arran and disagree with Soodonum. That blue dotted line is a mess. I’m not familiar with all those roads but here’s some points that are going to suck.
In Harold’s Cross trying to cross the very busy Harold’s Cross Road to get into (??) the park. Presumably there will be a traffic light there but I won’t be suprised when this turns out to be one of those that gives 30 seconds out of every 4 minutes to the cycle route. That park is very popular with parents and small children (the dotted line appears to go right through the playground) so I see a lot of conflict here. Also look forward to a lot of complaints from residents before and (if it ever happens) after.
Having diverged from the direct route upon meeting the canal cyclists will again have to cross a very busy road, this time making a right turn. Again, is there going to a light here and if so how much time will be devoted to cyclists? This road is extremely busy for big parts of the day.
It kind of looks like they are going to build a new bridge to cross the canal at Portobello. This is interesting but if they are going to that much effort I think they should have the route cross the canal at Harold’s Cross and improve the existing cycle route past Portobello. Perhaps that’s what the blue dotted line is supposed to show, it’s not that specific. If they do that I do hope they plan to actually improve that part of the route. It is already not great for the volume of cyclists using that route. The entry point where you turn right across traffic heading south over Harold’s Cross bridge is dreadful too.
A count at Portobello Bridge from today (12 June 2018) over 30 mins (08:16 – 08:46). Bikes = 491 (68%), cars&vans&taxis&trucks =224 (31%). I didn’t include motorbikes or buses or people walking so that affects the percentages obviously.
Did the ~NTA have the changing of the bus network from ‘radial’ to ‘spoke’ in mind while designing the Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan?
I wonder could the eventual purpose of this proposal be to let the officials and public figure out for themselves that restricting private traffic and making some of the routes one-way for cars are inevitable? A bit like the College Green proposal, which originally had buses but whose designers must have known that it wouldn’t work with buses and trams in reality. If the eventual outcome of this is high-quality segregated bike paths alongside dedicated bus lanes, with some one-way routes for cars and the removal of lots of on-street parking, it would be a good outcome. On the other hand, there’s no way that outcome will come about unless there is a huge push from all those who support, and benefit from, public transport and active travel. The shadow cordon count being organised this week is a brilliant idea and could really inform this debate. But politicians and business owners need to hear from all of us, not just those who have a short-term interest in the status quo. I’m not convinced that the NTA takes cycling seriously yet.
What’s also missing is an inspiring vision for Dublin. 50,000 private cars cross the cordon every day. That’s a really small number! It is the tail that wags the dog of Dublin’s transport policy and it should be challenged. And although the number is falling, it could be reduced more aggressively. If 20,000 of those are public servants going to their dedicated parking spot, let’s push for Dublin and other Irish cities to have a policy of progressively reducing private parking over time, with sustainable travel planning programmes for all large public and private employers.