BusConnects review: Route 1: of : Part G: Griffith Ave to Fairview

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 — Griffith Ave to Fairview

At the junction with Griffith Avenue the in-bound cycle route is directed across the junction and over to a short two-way cycle path which leads into some of the local streets in Marino , before linking up with the Clontarf Cycle Route planned for Fairview:

This kind of movement can be done in a cycling-friendly way and for good reason. As per this example below from Utrecht, which allows people cycling to have direct access to a two-way cycle path on one side of the street. But that example also includes allowing people cycling to cycle straight on too:

The plan for BusConnects is to have no through-route cycling infrastructure from Griffith Ave to Marino Mart / Fairview. This is an This is an IrishCycle.com image of the detour route:

  • YELLOW: Junction crossover at Griffith Ave.
  • RED: Two-way cycle path.
  • PURPLE: Residential streets in Marino

This is the cross-section of the Malahide Road where the cycle route will be detoured:

The design of the cross-over junction will be key. It will need to have reasonable traffic light priority with short waits, no shared space, and allow for all turning movement protected, including less obvious ones (as shown in red):

From the Malahide Road inbound cycle path to:

  • Copeland Ave
  • Griffith Ave
  • Malahide Road straight ahead

From the two-way cycle path outbound to:

  • Copeland Ave
  • Griffith Ave

From Griffith Ave to:

  • Copeland Ave
  • The two-way cycle path (no protection shown in current design)

And here’s the BusConnects drawings of the detour:

The entry point from the north into the detour might be just an outline, but it hardly screams priority for cycling:

 

It’s also unclear if there’s enough motor traffic reduction and calming measures on the back streets which are known for rat running. For it to work measures must reduce the speed and volume of traffic along the detour and also crossing the detour route at junctions.

One section of the detour route includes a proposal to limit through traffic but it’s unclear if this will be enough to limit rat running which residents say is chronic in the area.

Calling ‘filtered permeability’ a “road block for traffic” likely isn’t the best idea:

In Dublin, the “Drumcondra Bollards” were not a popular idea at first, but residents liked them after they realised that they acted as a “road block” for rat running and their area was a nicer place because of them. A redesign is now planned to make the filtered permeability location more attractive looking.

The following are all examples of filtered permeability from London, some more suitable than others for a main cycle route detour, but the designers or councils behind them are highly unlikely to phrase them as “road block for traffic”.

If rat running motorists are not removed from the narrow streets of the detour, it’s likely it won’t work very well as a cycling detour at peak hours:

Below is the latest publicly available version of the drawings for the Clontarf Cycle Route at the junction where the detour will end — this design will have to change

Both local authorities and the NTA seem to be obsessed with planning more and more crossings where cycling and walking will be mixed when both groups generally say they don’t want to be mixed. This has happened in the BusConnects design at points to cross the route and is evident at crossing over the route, away from the main junctions especially.

There needs to be a better junction design here, including seprate walking and cycling crossings at this point, especially now that the detour will meet the Clontarf Route at this point:

The detour is not ideal but can be made work well. However, it will need good design — including reducing rat running and details at junctions.

END OF ROUTE REVIEW

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.

1 Comment

  1. I live in the street that seems to be receiving all the diverted cycle traffic, Carleton Road. As the article points out, the road is full of illegally parked cars narrowing the road to barely wide enough for one car. I often see hostility between cyclists and cars because an entitled driver thinks the cyclist should get out of their way. Rat running is indeed a pest and I for one would not mind the road being blocked at one end with the crossing at St Aidan’s road being best as the rat running comes from there. Just placing “no turn except cyclists” has been proven every day as not working on the junction of Haverty Road and Marino Park Avenue.

    A lot of cyclist already use my street so persuading all of them through it would not be that hard, providing that they get rid of through car traffic and, one can hope, the illegally parked cars.

    What is concerning is that there seems to be no real plan to have cyclist join Fairview in the direction of the city centre from Marglann Marino. There is currently a “No right turn” during the day for all traffic there (except busses of which there are none). Taking cyclist to the junction with Malahide Road will not work as cyclist will want to go straight on from Carleton Road to Haverty Road. The Malahide Road junction is also near to impossible to cross as a cyclist due to the cars held up at the traffic light and the continuous stream of cars coming from Fairview the other direction.

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