Cycle route to Clontarf gets polished up with better cycle paths

Updated drawings for the planned Clontarf Cycle Route with greater segregation of the cycle paths have been shown to Dublin City councillors.

The Clontarf Cycle Route is to run from Amiens Street on to North Strand Road and Fairview and then connect into the S2S Dublin Bay cycle route at Clontarf. Construction of the route is currently open to tenders.

The planned 2.7km section will link with the existing 8km stretch of the S2S North and will form Dublin’s first segregated cycle route running continuously from the city centre to the suburbs.

The approved Clontarf route ends outside Connolly train station, but there are yet-to-be published plans also to extend the route to the quays.

Cllr Naoise Ó Muirí (FG), who posted a presentation online, said:

The images from the presentation are low-resolution but show that many of the cycle path issues have been fixed.

A number of junctions on the route have been referred to in the media as “Dutch-style”, but a number of countries have failed to properly translate the Dutch protected junction design. From the still images it is so-far unclear how exactly the protected planned cycle path junctions will work with the traffic light sequencing.

Where the Clontarf route intersects with the S2S the drawings show a bicycle-only roundabout (see last two images below) — at least some Dutch cycling experts view these to be engineering overkill and cause more issues than they solve.

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.

5 Comments

  1. Yes, the images were very low-res when I went to look at the presentation posted by Cllr O’Muiri, so I didn’t bother to look at them further. But I note the bicycle roundabout you highlighted that’s proposed for the western end of the S2S north.

    I cycle that point every day. That roundabout WILL cause issues if people try to use it as a roundabout. Just leave it out. At the moment I have had zero issues with people on bikes merging or diverging at that point. People tend to just slow down and work it out. Inserting a control point in the form of a small roundabout at that location will cause issues, imo.

    There will of course be an upswing in the numbers on bikes when the whole route is finished but the roundabout still won’t help. Indeed I think with higher numbers, then the more issues will be created by a small roundabout.

    If issues do arise at some further date due to high numbers on bikes, then a different control mechanism should be used, not a small roundabout like that. I can see how a much larger roundabout would help, but that small roundabout at that specific location will fail at its intended purpose. (btw, when I say a larger roundabout – I don’t mean at this location, as there isn’t room for it. I just meant in general, a larger roundabout for bikes as a control point at a very busy junction could work).

  2. Plans look good. Looks like a toucan crossing at the junction with the royal canal greenway which is disappointing based on how they work on the grand canal.

    I hope it goes ahead and that bus connects doesn’t water down the protected cycling element.

  3. It is great to see these improvements to the design since the last draft. The nasty junction at Annesley Bridge has been fixed up with a slip lane turn from the old design removed in this design. The quality of this route looks super high. It shows you that we are capable of producing high-quality cycle route designs in this country. We just need to stick in the time and the money.

    I can’t wait for this scheme to start construction later this year (the tender process has already started). It’s going to be fantastic.

    My only criticism if the cycling roundabout near the S2S. In my opinion that is a mistake. Bikes are not mini cars. Bikes are agile, low mass and slow moving. They don’t need the same kind of conflict management as cars. This junction could have been better handled by painting some yield markings on the cycle tracks.

    There’s a great Bicycle Dutch video on a bicycle roundabout in Boxtel, which shows most cyclists ignore it. Cycling in whatever way is the shortest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=170&v=MVJ9cCtIkGg

    As an example that cyclists can, even in very high numbers negotiate and handle busy bicycle crossings here’s footage of some super busy cycle crossings in Utretch in the Netherlands. People are able to handle it, including kids. Bikes can handle a little unorganised chaos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=170&v=MVJ9cCtIkGg

  4. The cycle roundabout is plain daft: treating cyclists as “small cars” is just as bad a design approach as treating them as faster moving pedestrians. Cyclists need cycle-specific infrastructure and if one doesn’t understand what that means, look at any street in Holland (the recognised international benchmark for best design practice) on Google Maps. Suggest removing all those unnecessary islands and markings, which are hazards in themselves, and let cyclist traffic sort itself out: please, you don’t need to coral and control cycle-to-cycle traffic like with cars.

    A flawed design approach evident from these drawings is unnecessarily bringing cyclists inside the signal controlled part of the roadway at junctions: in Holland, cyclists are outside of this zone and so can perform right-turns (left-turns in Ireland) without stopping. The arrangement proposed will only encourage left-turning cyclists to go through a red light. A key component of providing good cycle infrastructure is to confer an advantage to the cyclist and to put in infrastructure that will be respected and used as intended. As stated in the National Cycle Manual Page 7 (Five Needs of a Cyclist) Directness which talks about minimising delays, conferring an advantage and maintaining momentum.

  5. That S2S roundabout is redundant – people already cut across the grass on the slippy, bumpy desire line without issue. The rest of the paths look a lot better, especially priority at minor intersections.

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