— Will be first continuous centre-to-suburbs segregated route in any Irish city.
COMMENT & ANALYSIS: Below are the latest images showing the planned Clontarf Cycle Route from Amiens Street to the S2S Dublin Bay cycle route at Clontarf — it’s set to be Ireland best cycle route on a main road, but there’s some details that need fixing.
The latest drawings were posted online by Cllr Naoise Ó Muirí:
Latest set of drawings for the #FairviewCycleway as presented to the Clontarf to City Centre Cycle Scheme Consultative Committee on 22/03/2019 @dublincycling @IrishCycle @mariamulvany – resolution best if downloaded; https://t.co/ThXFbW7LJ2
— Cllr. Naoise Ó Muirí (@naoiseomuiri) April 19, 2019
As we have previously reported, 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.
The route is of high-quality, but some of the main issues include:
- Critical questions over junction design at different junctions and of different types.
- The need to segregate some non-segregated crossings.
- The need to segregate transitions between this route and the Royal Canal Route.
- Are these stepped cycle tracks or cycle paths level with the road but kerb segregated or a mix?
- There’s also question marks over the width of the cycle path — it’s unclear from these drawings if there’s any issues or not. The aim should be 2.2m min and 2.5 where possible, as per the GDA Cycle Network and international guidance.
This is the southern end of the route at Connolly Station and the junction of Talbot Street — the cycle lane at the entrance to Talbot Street needs to be segregated to allow for the safe entry of cyclist into the street at the same time buses are turning:
Below is the junction with Buckingham Street Lower and Foley Street.
The crossing here looks to be a shared toucan crossing — this should be replaced with separate crossings for people walking and cycling.
Foley Street probably is wide enough for contra-flow cycling without lanes, all it needs is entry/exit treatments at both ends. A contra-flow cycle lane can be easily be provided on Buckingham Street Lower and this would aid to calming the motor traffic on the street, the current width is way too wide for a 30km/h street. The current project should allow for cycling access to both streets in both directions.
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At the very least, cycling access needs to be provided from the current flow of Foley Street into the cycle route, for people going both north and south.
Much of the detail of the project is spot on — besides the junctions which need addressing still, if BusConnects had this project’s high quality and continuous cycling provision, there would be a lot less to complain about BusConnects and cycling.
Care needs to be taken with bus stop design — a short but notable distance, where crossing is restricted, needs to be provided between the shelter and the crossing points to help with the line of sight.
Below is the Five Lamps junction which links the route with the North Circular Road.
As we’ve previously reported, 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.
Dublin City Council have also yet to answer questions from this website about how the junction will work. Half-copying the Dutch design could cause conflict between people cycling and driving and people walking too. The design as planned looks worrying like a design in New Zealand, which the excellent BicycleDutch website describes as getting it wrong.
Getting this design wrong could set back protected junctions in Ireland by years or even decades.
Below, to the left, is the junction with the planned Royal Canal Greenway — there should be segregation on the crossing and between the two cycle routes. This would be better for pedestrians and people cycling, not just the latter.
At different points along the route while looking at drawings I’m asking: Are these stepped cycle tracks or cycle paths level with the road but kerb segregated or a mix? Which should they be? For example, between the crossings below, would it be better to keep the cycle route on the level of the road and segregate with a kerb between the bus lane and cycle path?
If possible, the designers should look at segregating the bus lane from the general traffic lane so that motorists turning into side roads are making a wider turn and have a better line of sight with the cycle track.
Uncontrolled junction design which gives cycle paths priority work best with some distance of buffer between the roadway and the cycle paths, like these:
— GB Cycling Embassy (@GBCycleEmbassy) October 17, 2017
Clearly such a buffer is not possible along a lot of this route, but at higher-frequency junctions like the below one, such a buffer is vital and safety critical. And there is ample space here:
The junction with East Wall Road shown below has the same issues as those mentioned in the Five Lamps junction covered above.
…although, most of the corners on this junction look a bit more like the Dutch design than the Five Lamps junction design does.
Note: The corner of the bottom left hand cycling turn from East Wall Road towards the city centre is nearly 90 degrees which is too tight for turning, especially longer bicycles.
Here again there should be a segregated crossing for walking and cycling:
At this and other junctions further below, the designers are using an inventive way to run the cycle route flows with the large amount of motor traffic entering and exiting Fairview Strand.
However, this design is much more likely to work for everybody if there are separate pedestrian crossings of the roadway and cycle paths. This can be done with zebra crossing over the cycle path (with or without beacons as in London) or with standard pedestrian crossings like on London’s Embankment cycle route.
Like mentioned above, this design is again more likely to work with separate crossings of the cycle paths and the roadway:
This will be messy if there are not a redesign — it does not look like there’s enough turning space or waiting space for people cycling.
This also doesn’t look like it’s workable without adjustments including reducing the Howth Road to one lane in each direction at the junction to make space for people cycling to waiting.
At the bottom left the there should be a buffer space between the cycle path and the bus lane, especially given the curve in the flow of buses through the junction.
This bicycle roundabout should be removed and replaced with a simple T-junction as used across the Netherlands where busy two-way cycle paths meet.
Overall, it’s a fantastic project but the junctions and a few other details need to be sorted.