BusConnects review: Route 1: Malahide Road: Part B: Northern Cross / Clarehall

COMMENT & ANALYSIS: IrishCycle.com plans to try to look at all of the revised BusConnects Core Bus Corridors, which are the on-street infrastructure changes which includes cycle routes. These articles will aim to inform the public and made up a submission that the routes should follow CyclingForAll.ie standards.

This kind of infrastructure will last for decades. Now is the time to the detail right to kick start cycling for all across Dublin — enabling everybody from school children to retirees and everybody in between using the Dutch system of systematic safety.

There’s sixteen corridors so we’re in trying to cover all the routes by the closing date for the consultation on April 17, 2020. We might miss things or get things wrong, please comment below if you have suggestions. There’s more details at busconnects.ie/initiatives/core-bus-corridor-project.

The article is split into sections as follows:

The introduction is the same in each article. While it’s best read going from one article to another, most people will likely only read about the areas they live in or cycle through.

This is the overall map for this route:

This is the key / legend for the drawings:

 

Malahide Road — Northern Cross / Clarehall to Blunden Drive / Priorswood Road

The rest of this BusConnects route to Fairview is part of the C1 on the Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan.

The Clontarf Cycle Route, which is to start construction later this year, is to include bus priority measures from Fairview into the city centre.

Here’s a reminder of what the colours on the drawings mean:

NOTE: We are back to BusConnects drawings and looking at them from left to right.

Here’s the start of the route on the Malahide Road at Northern Cross:

The junction design out of the Malahide Road (the smaller junction to the left above) is unclear as to exactly how it links with the city council’s scheme.

The turn from the city direction towards the Belmayne / Clongriffin bus gate is a “Box Turn” or “stay left to turn right” turn. For compared to what you might expect between a primary cycle route this seem a low quality option.

Protected crossings / turns in one direction does not require the full junction to be a protected junction. As per this example from Amsterdam:

It’s of note that where trees are removed they are often directly replaced or sometimes replaced with more trees:

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On the other side of the road there is to be a strip of land CPOed / taken from the council — consideration should be given to including a larger kerb or buffer between the general traffic lane and the cycle track:

This is a cross section for this section:

This is the R139 junction beside the Clarehall Shopping Centre (top right corner) as shown in the BusConnects drawings — this should be developed into a fully protected Dutch-style junctions with protected cycle paths around it:

This video explains Dutch protected junction design:

Note: The roundabout designs also shown would generally not be suitable for the planned core bus routes in Dublin:

This is an example of a non-protected junction which was redesigned into a protected junction and shows a bit more of the detail of how protected junction work:

 

Even where a road does not have cycle paths or even cycle lanes, large junctions should still have protected cycle paths which protect cyclists traveling in all directions. As per these examples from Utrecht:

Below is the next section of the Malahide Road, including the junction which is the entrance to the Clarehall Shopping Centre / Tesco.

Extra turning lanes are more than understandable here given the demand into Tesco etc, but is it unclear why the NTA is proposing to retain two general traffic lane between the junction with the R139 and planned junction (current roundabout) at Blunden Drive/Priorswood Road.

 

The partly-protected junction at the entrance to the Clarehall Shopping Centre / Tesco does not allow for northbound turns back towards

There’s different solutions possable. For example, a cycle path could be provided north bound out of the Clarehall Shopping Centre / Tesco as per the red line here:

A possable alternative northbound route out of Clarehall Shopping Centre / Tesco is an new cycling entrance at the R139 junction:

 

Circled in red above is the entrance to the Topaz filling station beside Clarehall Shopping Centre.

And this is an example — from Utrecht — of how you can show priority for cycling over the entrance and then the exit of a filling station:

With the minor side road entrances marked in green, there’s different examples of how this can be done. One from ʼs-Hertogenbosch:

And here’s one from Amsterdam:

Continue >>>

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.

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