COMMENT & ANALYSIS: Planned changes to the car park at the Clontarf Baths in Dublin should be a opportunity to improve Dublin City Council’s longest segregated cycle route — the S2S North — but the current plan is to make it worse.
Since the Clontarf Baths reopened, mainly as a restaurant, customers parking on the cycle route has been an on-going issue. With complaints also that the numbers of cars parked exceeds what was allowed in the planning permission for the restaurant.
And one of the solutions so-far? Yield markings for the cycle route… you couldn’t make it up — this is the cycle route Dublin City Council showcased to attendances of Velo-City last year:
so much for the parking and misuse of clontarf baths ever being resolved
a cyclist yield sign 😡
— Alan D (@AlanDub13) May 22, 2019
This is the new plan for the car park and cycle route crossing the entry and exit points:
Given the solutions to the issues to date, it should not be a shock that this is the next step planned by the owners of the Clontarf Baths — a weird and unneeded twist in the cycle route:
The exit point isn’t bad overall but seem too wide to the point it will encourage overflow parking on the cycle route: and yield or stop markings should be placed facing motorists exiting the car park:
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The following are examples from Utrecht in the Netherlands — all motoring access points across two-way cycle paths, some different design styles and different types of places.
Here’s an entry point to a sports centre car park — which is larger than the one in Clontarf:
And the entry point to a park and ride car park:
…and it is far larger than the car park in Clontarf:
And a filling station, which is likely busier than the Clontarf Baths:
And three examples of entry points to residential areas which are far lager than the Clontarf Baths:
A key part of most of the above designs is space for cars to pull in and stop before crossing the cycle paths. Where there is not that space, cycle path can use the “bend-in” curve design, as shown here:
The raised nature of the point where cars enter the Clontarf Baths is good — but twist is not:
The twist looks like the design of where a cycle route crosses a road — the twist in the path is not a design which is anyway appropriate for a main cycle route and the crossing is cars crossing into a small car park:
The 3 metre width of the path is also an issue — the route is often too busy for a 3 metre path and that will need to be addressed sooner or later. They might as well address the issue locally, outside the Baths, now while works are planned rather than fixing the issue at a later date.
Ideally, regardless of the width of the path, there should be a buffer between the cycle path and the low wall (as well as the polls etc along it).
And regardless of if the car park works get approval, Dublin City Council should be getting the cycle route fixed here and giving clear priority to the cycle route, not allowing a situation where a small car park has priority over the city’s longest segregated cycle route.
ADDED: An alternative design — which would require a small reduction in car parking spaces compared to the design — could be done as follows:
A key part of this design adjustment is space for motorists to wait without blocking the cycle path — the exit junction here is likely too wide and should be narrowed:
If you want to comment on the plans, you have until April 23:
#ClontarfBaths time for observations extended to 23rd April 2020 Ref 2355/20 Proposed major changes to public #cycleway @S2Sdublin increase in parking cars to 33 spaces. Pls. RT & make observations @CitizenW0lf @dublincycling @IBIKEDublin @loveclontarf_ie https://t.co/AasQ80C6KQ pic.twitter.com/myzjHI86wL
— Cllr. Donna Cooney (@donna_cooney1) April 6, 2020