Detailed plans for the infrastructure part of BusConnects shows that the National Transport Authority has disregard national transport policy on walking and cycling.
This afternoon the National Transport Authority (NTA) published draft details of its first four core bus route projects to go to public consultation — between Dublin city centre and Clongriffin, Swords, Blancherstown and Lucan.
Unlike recent consultation which focused on where buses would go across the city, this new consultation deals with bus lanes and cycle tracks on the “core” routes into and out of the city centre. The other 12 routes are due to go to public consultation in batches next year.
National sustainable transport policy puts walking and cycling ahead of public transport but the plan is focused on buses.
Within in detailed drawings, flaws which go against policy, guidance or best international practice include mixing walking and cycling at junctions, mixing walking and cycling on sections of paths, bus stops within cycle lanes, dangerous slip turns retained, parking inside cycle tracks, no segregation even at large junctions, staggered crossings in urban areas, and roundabouts with no crossings for people walking and cycling.
The NTA has funded millions of euro retrofitting “bus stop bypasses” or “island bus stops” into the N11. But, despite this, there seems to be no attempt to provide bus stop bypasses as part of the works on much of the planned route upgrades. This includes beside state-owned lands such as green spaces at the side of roads, large green spaces in estates, and a green areas outside a Garda station.
Existing — even if sub-standard — cycle lanes will be removed in some places to make way for continuous bus lanes, such as in Santry and Gardner Street.
On the Malahide Road drawings show a detour for cyclists with a note which states “cyclists required to use diversion route on Brian Road and Carleton Road”. In Santry a segregated two-way cycle path is to be provided on the Santry bypass, but there is no note that this will be mandatory.
There is also little horizontal segregation between cycle paths and bus or general traffic lanes on higher-speed roads, even where there is ample green space. Horizontal segregation is seen as key to increase comfort and safety especially on larger roads where there is increased traffic speeds and volume.
In a small number of cases — such as in Drumcondra — cycle paths still have yield signs crossing minor cycle roads.
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COMMENT & ANALYSIS: Sample of issues:
Mixing of cycling and bus stops and parking inside the cycle route:
Staggers the pedestrian crossing and removes the cycling crossing across this road:
Rather than designing service streets with cycling priority, putting people cycling closer to getting left hooks and putting bus stopping the cycle track needlessly:
No protection for cycling and no provision for cycling into side roads at very larger junctions with ample space which are currently roundabouts:
People cycling in different directions forced to choose between braving mixing with cars in the junction of using often staggered crossings mixed with pedestrians: Taxi tank inside cycle track and bus stop which is used by Intercity coaches for set down with no bus stop bypass beside HSE lands:
People who cycle are left exposed at very large junctions:
people cycling are left exposed to larger slip turns and junctions: