River Lee Flood Relief project team claim lack of space for cycling but cars unaffected

— Cycle paths turned into shared footpath in plans, but general traffic lanes and car parking unaffected. 

The Cork Cycling Campaign have hit back at the reasoning given for the planned removal of cycle lanes and cycle paths on the Lee Flood Relief Scheme.

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The Cork City Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme is being rolled out by the Office of Public Works in conjunction with Cork City and County Councils.

In the last two weeks the official social media account of the Lee Flood Relief Scheme has doubled down on defending the current plans which includes removing cycle lanes and segregated cycle paths and replacing them with shared use footpaths.

Shared use paths are disliked by both cycling groups and advocacy groups for people with disabilities, but continue to be favoured by authorities, especially on projects where architects have a strong say.

The Lee Flood Relief Scheme account said today: “Shared spaces are currently proposed in locations where there is insufficient space to have segregated two-way cycle lanes. LLFRS & Cork City Council intend to meet with relevant stakeholders including the NTA to discuss the proposed arrangements prior to finalisation.”

But in this on-going war of words on Twitter, cycling campaigners in Cork were having none of it. The Cork Cycling Campaign said: “62 feet and you can’t find room for a proper cycle path? * There is an existing cycle path there already*”.

The row has been on-going for more than a week:

The project’s account came under quite a bit of criticism from both campaigners and members of the public for calling the following artist’s impressions for Sullivan’s Quay an improvement:

Some of the plans include removed protected cycle paths while retaining general traffic lanes and car parking spaces:

The account has sense doubled down on defending the current plans:

But the authorities seem to have failed to do their homework:


  1. Whenever there is public space that it’s deemed to not be large enough to safely accommodate cars, people walking and people cycling, then the FIRST thing to do should be to remove the cars.

  2. At a meeting recently with the Parks Senior Executive of DLR Co. Co. I asked that the stencils for ‘bike’ and ‘pedestrian’ and the dividing line be re-painted onto the various park paths in the DLR Borough as they have faded. I was told that they plan to get rid of these, as the paths are for shared use, ‘to be used with care’. I explained that as a cyclist, I do not want to come up behind some unsuspecting walkers, and have to ring my bell. When i do that, two will jump one way and the third will jump the other way and I have to either dodge or stop suddenly and apologise. Where there are clearly marked spaces, everyone understands and it flows like a ballet. Please keep clearly marked segregated spaces, as they work!

  3. clara694 – that is exactly what happens. I cycle though Loretto Park and using my bell does cause a random/unpredicable scatter effect of pedestrians, so I generally dont ring the bell. I dont like either the fact that many pedestrians jump with fright as I ride by. Another thing is dogs: one time I sounded my bell and the dog, given the early warning, decided to try and bite my foot. Shared paths only work where the pavement is wide enough, e.g. 5m, for cyclists to put space between them and pedestrians, like on the Grange Road Greenway, otherwise fully separate paths, i.e. foopath + cycle track, is the solution.

  4. “especially on projects where architects have a strong say”. What exactly is this statement based on? Do you have empirical evidence that projects where architects ‘have a strong say’ propose shared use paths more often than projects where architects don’t, or is this just a notion of yours? I’ve generally found that architects are good allys to cycling and pedestrian priority movements. Ciaran Ferrie and Neasa Hourigan come to mind.

    This is a disappointingly unfounded and flippant comment from an advocacy group protecting cyclists, which are a group constantly barraged with uninformed and flippant comments. Please back up your assertion or change the article.

    • Hi CyclingArchitect,

      Irishcycle.com is not an advocacy group.

      As far as I know those named individuals are not involved much in public realm projects. And given the list below, I don’t think I should have to say “not all architects” or something along the same lines.

      The above article was a general referring to (public) authorities. The shared paths, shared space and other issues relating to not giving cycling space has happened on a large number of public schemes where architects lead the project or seemed to be central to their planning:

      — the shared paths on the Kilmainham Civic Space
      — Plaza section of planned College Green Plaza where the cycle Route shared the same design as the rest of the plaza, just separated by trees and small markers.
      — Parnell Square plan where the planners had to order the council to put in a cycle path.
      — Cycling banned on Suffolk Street, followed by Lower Liffey Street.
      — Rialto village design with shared fourths
      — Dolphen’s Barn proposals, although not proposed to have shared paths it removes cycle lanes and offers no protected space for cycling despite the massive amount of space.
      — large number of civic space projects across the country which made town centres with one-way systems even less attractive to cycling by making more streets one way streets and/or narrowing lane widths without dealing with car traffic volumes.
      — project west of Grafton Street in Dublin which makes the area look nice but doesn’t deal with car traffic levels. It has taken the traffic section even suggest contra-flow for cycling.

      Busy at the moment but will return to this to look at my phrasing and if I went to far in being general.

  5. New paths/cycleway from end of old nangor road towards Lucan are probably the widest and smoothest in the country and lead one to believe they would be world class but now they are open they are shared use which defies logic. There is ample room for full separation as the two paths nearly equal the roadspace in width. There are other anomalies as well for instance where it passes the driveway to private houses there is a divide and cycles return to road level where the signage requires them to give way to cars entering or leaving driveways. There is also a short length of road which due to road changes is now a cul de sac which has a stop sign for those leaving it yet cycle traffic approaching from the drivers right is required to give way to a car stopped at a stopsign. This applies to those riding on the red paint at ground level whereas if they move out 3 feet they have the right of way. Totally bizarre .


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