BREAKING: First look at the proposed coastal two-way cycle path in Dublin’s Sandymount

IMAGE: Change such as proposals to change two-way roads to one-way (as proposed in Sandymount in Dublin) might seem radical, but the evidence shows these result in car traffic reduction.

BREAKING NEWS: Councillors in Dublin City Council have been sent a draft of the proposed trial coastal two-way cycle path in Dublin’s Sandymount.

It includes making most of Strand Road one-way to make space for the cycle route, which is modelled on the highly successful DLRCC coastal two-way cycle path between Blackrock and Sandycove.

It’s unclear at this point how much support there is from councillors and others, but due to some councillors showing reservations about the cycle path, a petition has been set up to show public support for the route

A report, issued to councillors late this afternoon, said: “Dublin City Council in conjunction with the NTA is proposing to improve cycle facilities along the Strand Road in order to offer an alternative transport option as people return to work and school.”

“It is proposed to undertake a six month trial of a 2 way separated cycle track from Merrion Gates to Sean Moore Rd. In order to install this safe continuous and protected cycle track the inbound traffic lane will be removed between Merrion Gates and Marine Drive and the road converted to a two way cycle track on the sea side with outbound general traffic in one direction on the building side. Access to all properties will be maintained and the vast majority of informal parking along Strand Road will remain as is. The scheme will involve minimal civil works and will be installed in such a way as to allow for localised alterations and to minimise any alterations to existing road surface or kerbs,” the report said.

It continued: “Protection will be provided by bollards and orcas in the first instance, which are easily adjusted. More permanent protection will be installed if the trial is successful. The emphasis will be on ensuring that the level of protection is adequate to safely delineate the cycle route from the vehicle running lanes.”

The report stated: “This six month trial allows for a full evaluation of the proposed option, its benefits and any adverse impacts. Changing the use of the sea side lane to a two way cycle track means almost no changes are proposed on the property side along Strand Road and the vast majority of informal parking can remain as before. It will considerably reduce traffic levels on Strand Road. The City Council will carefully monitor the impact of the scheme on the wider area.”

The report outlines that the temporary scheme can be in place by end October and will run initially for a six month trial period, during which time data and feedback will be gathered and assessed.

On the rationale the report said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all our lives and has had an enormous impact on our transport system. Public transport capacity is likely to be restricted for some time to come. Private car volumes are currently at 74% of pre-COVID numbers with little extra capacity for people to transfer from public transport to using private cars.”

“Active Mobility is being encouraged including walking or cycling for those capable who are within 5km of their destination and cycling for those capable who are within 10km of their destination, thereby leaving the capacity on public transport and on the road network for those who have no alternative. It is within this context that the scheme is proposed to provide a safe alternative for those cycling to work and school as well as providing an attractive recreational facility,” it said.

It added: “Previous schemes have examined the provision of improved cycle facilities in this location while also maintaining 2 way traffic. Doing this in an environmentally sensitive location is extremely challenging.”

Here’s the first images and we’ll have further updates later this evening:

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.

10 Comments

  1. Rebecca Kearney August 22, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Poorly planned and ill thought through. There is a significant new school planned for the road where they are now proposing to divert traffic. Also creating rat runs into the lovely village and community of Sandymount. If I were a business owner I would be up in arms. As a resident I have major objections and look forward to mobilising our wonderful local community to make sure this does not happen.
    Worth noting I am a cyclist – daily.

  2. No….don’t change something that’s not broke.
    All I hear is people giving out and complaining about the Blackrock roads…a nightmare

  3. Caroline O'Connor August 22, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    So this means that all inboud traffic that currently uses Strand Road to access town/north side will now be diverted down Serpentine Avenue/Tritonville Road – madness – can you just imagine dart tracks down and traffic backed up all the way onto Merrion Road – what were the numpties thinking!

  4. @Rebecca Hearney @Yoko Hession
    It is very much broke. A couple of points in response:

    1. The assumption that this will create rat-runs through the village is false. Traffic does not behave like water. People use logic, they change their arrangements, abandon unnecessary journeys. Believe it or not, some even cycle.
    2. Every additional cyclist on the road is one less driver.
    3. A single contiguous route into Dublin and from north to south will make the prospect of cycling much safer, more efficient and viable for a huge number of people.
    4. Climate change.
    5. NO2 and PM Pollution has been an unacknowledged serious problem throughout the city silently killing many older and more vulnerable residents and is a significant risk factor for Covid patients.

    At this moment, there is only one location in the city showing a horrifically high level for PM 2.5 (103µg/m³) and PM 10 (109µg/m³). Ten times the WHO recommended levels. Guess where it is? Sandymount.
    https://maps.sensor.community/#11/53.3308/-6.2262

  5. The lunatics have taken over the asylum what about delivers and repair men getting around and this will effect business’s. Yet they want rates up to pay for this. Look at what they are doing to Dundrum ! when the schools are back Dublin will be at a standsill . Lets hope Mr Burns and Mr Keegan stand at the junctions when Dublin grinds to a halt and take some flak. instad of hiding in there offices and well paid and pensions screwing up Dublin. Remember Todd Andrews thought getting rid of the Luas line was a good idea. Peter

  6. @Peter: What exactly do you think they are doing to Dundrum?

  7. For all those concerned about hypothetical traffic impacts related to this scheme, this is worth a read:
    https://www.dublininquirer.com/2017/05/17/david-so-where-will-all-the-city-centre-traffic-go

  8. A question for those in the know: how does the level of consultation (with public and councillors) differ from that in the DLR schemes which were implemented so quickly? Are the more hurdles?

    Also a detail on the last image: how are inbound cyclists meant to get to the right hand side of the road? Are there plans already drawn up for the rest of the Rock Road?

  9. Its a mad idea a waste of time and money why not build along the strand it would upset no one. have you thought about people going to the Airport also the East LINK .

  10. @Gemma — upsetting people isn’t a great reason not to do something, removing cars and buses from Grafton St upset people but it turned out to be a great idea.

    Building it on the beach side of the wall would take years, while the two-way cycle path as proposed can be trialed this year.

    People going to the airport should really be using the M50, not the eastlink.

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