— More contra-flow planned.
A contra-flow cycle route between Pearse railway station on Westland Row and City Quay is due to be opened next week.
The route has been under construction for some time. The first section was opened in June and construction on the second section was delayed.
A spokesman for Dublin City Council said: “The Lombard Street Contra Flow is due to open next week, while the majority of the works are finished, the Traffic signals and Statutory signs need to be completed.”
The first section of the project included protective corner islands at the with-flow and contra-flow sides of Lombard Street junction with Townsend Street — but these seem to be largely not used by cyclists and wrongly used by pedestrians.
Attempts to partly copy Dutch protective islands have had mixed results in other countries too because the local designers also did not followed the Dutch design practices, such as including buffer and pedestrian space, and taking the walking and cycling interactions out of the traffic light phases.
In the Netherlands it is now also best practice to hold left (their right) turning motor traffic while people on bicycles have a green light to go ahead.
A webpage about cycle routes on the council’s website promises more contra-flow routes, it said: “Contra-flow cycle lanes allow cyclists to go in either direction of the flow of traffic sharing the same road space with vehicles going in one direction only.”
“There are a number of existing contra-flow cycle lanes in the city, the most prominent being the ones on Andrews Lane and Ryders Row/Capel Street. Both these contraflows have been protected by orcas and flexible wands in recent times,” it said.
It added: “Dublin City Council is currently installing a contra-flow cycle lane on Lombard Street East which will link Pearse Street with the new South Campshires cycle way. In addition future contra-flows are planned for Moss Street, Drury Street and William Street South.”
“In addition future contra-flows are planned for Moss Street, Drury Street and William Street South”
Certainly a welcome development. Interested in Drury and South William Street here, is parking going to be removed or how can this be achieved? Currently not the space to take away from the carriageway for a contra flow lane so either pedestrianisation with a segregated cycle way or removal of parking from these streets a possibility?
Re the usage of the junction at Lombard St and Townsend, it is isn’t very clear what cyclist should do. Going south (i.e. towards Westland Row): if you take the ramp, then you should cross the junction with the pedestrian light. However, this means you end up interacting with the pedestrians, and indeed, cutting across their crossing.
If you don’t take this approach, then you are better off just getting into the car lane going straight. Otherwise your option is to take the bike ramp, and take your chances with the cars turning left….
The junction at Lombard St and Townsend is indeed tricky and invites conflict between cyclists, pedestrians and cars.
In Ostend, Belgium where I was involved in the planning of many cycle routes, the junctions were first drawn up with the cyclists and pedestrians having priority. Then motorised traffic was added where the bicycle lane was raised and paved in red near junctions so it was clear for cars going right (our left) that they were crossing a bicycle lane. It was a kind of speed bump, if you will. If a safe turn was not possible due to for instance the width of a road, the right turn (our left) was removed for motorised traffic.
Here they should take a similar approach instead of trying to paint the roads and not really changing anything in the car flow.
This is welcome.However, what’s supposed to happen when a cyclist gets to City Quay? If they want to go straight ahead, ie to the IFSC, the natural thing to do is to go across the Seán O’Casey Bridge. However, this is not allowed for bikes. So, you either get off and walk, or take a huge detour around by the far side of the Matt Talbot bridge. The markings on the Seán O’Casey Bridge should be altered to cater for both pedestrian and cycle traffic – there is room for both.
The Sean O’Casey bridge should never have been built as a pedestrian only bridge. Fault lies with NTA for funding a bridge with no provision for cycling.