Templeogue Village redesign gives priority to car parking, disregards safer space for cycling

A planned redesign of Templeogue Village by South Dublin County Council puts car parking first while designing space for cycling which puts people cycling in conflict with motorists entering and existing car parking spaces.

Cycling campaigners have said that the plan is for a city-bound non-segregated cycle lane which is of a sub-standard width and is not appropriately segregated for the volume of through traffic in the village.

Sections of the planned redesigned cycle route includes unsegregated cycle tracks with similar design used outside shops on Main Road in Tallaght which suffers from chronic illegal parking.

The cycle route on Main Road in Tallaght was only installed in recent years but temporary-looking bollards had to be retrofitted to try to keep the cycle track clear of cars and vans, and illegal parking has persisted on cycle lanes which was designed outside of car parking beside shops, where bollards cannot be placed — but despite the well-documented issues, the council is using the same design in Templeogue.

(article continues below images)

IMAGES BELOW: The most recently available design for the project and close-ups of the detail of the cycle lane outside the car parking spaces:

IMAGES BELOW: The changes now planned are extensively different to and beyond the red planning boundaries of the 2018 Part 8 plan shown here:

The plan for the Templeogue Village by South Dublin County Council relates to two Part 8 planning applications, which councils use to build projects such as street changes. One Part 8 relates to changes proposed on the street and the second relates to new off-street car parking.

The new parking provided by the council means that parking and parking access space (shown in red below) takes up more space in the village than commercial and community buildings. With parking amounting to an area of around 1.5km squared, while commercial and community buildings only takes up an area of less than 1km squared.

This does not include the roadway space (black) or the significant non-parking filling station forecourt area (purple).

IMAGE: A rough outline of the extend of existing and planned non-residential car parking (red), the roadway (black) and the filling station forecourt (purple) in the village.

The on-street element of the project was to be superseded by the core route project of BusConnects before BusConnects faced a backlash and the council’s Park 8 once again took centre stage.

Most recently IrishCycle.com asked the council the following questions:

  1. Is it normal for the council to plan part 8 projects within red boundaries shown on planning maps and, after the process is completed, then extend the work beyond the red boundary?
  2. Would doing the above not be setting a very poor precedent for private development?
  3. The kind of perpendicular parking inside a cycle lane is not just generally accepted but outlined in cycling design guidance as the more dangerous type of parking to have inside a cycle lane… could the council please outline how this increased danger can be justified for the sake of extra car parking spaces, especially when there’s off-street parking beside the location?
  4. How should residents of the SDCC area have confidence in the quality and effectiveness of the Cycle South Dublin plan when the council is so willing to bend design guidance and increase safety issues for people cycling just for a few parking spaces? 
  5. How can the council express confidence that there will not be illegal parking on the planned new cycle lanes when similar design outside shops on Main Street in Tallaght has resulted in chronic illegal parking issues?

On October 19, a spokesperson for South Dublin County Council said: “With regard to your recent queries, South Dublin County Council have no comment to make at this time.”

A previous statement, on September 10, from South Dublin County Council said: “The delivery of improved walking and cycling infrastructure across South Dublin is an important priority for the Council. As part of this the Council is currently developing a programme called Cycle South Dublin which seeks to identify our cycle infrastructure priorities for the coming years. We intend to run a public consultation on this programme in due course and to agree this programme with our Councillors as well as NTA support.”

The council statement continued: “With regards Templeogue Village scheme, the Council is fully funding a village improvement scheme that will provide a better public realm for all users. The scheme seeks to balance the needs of all users in the area. Templeogue Village has a constrained physical environment and as part of the design process Council officers have engaged with the local community to arrive at the best possible, balanced and deliverable solution.

“In delivering this scheme SDCC is not deviating from the Approved Part 8. The design as displayed at public consultation was amended during the Council approval process to include some changes made as a result of submissions during the public consultation and requirements from Cllrs as part of the Part 8 approval process,” it said.

The council added: “As part of this process changes have included the relocation of the eastbound cycle track from being on the footpath to being on road which now provides a more generous and easier to navigate cycle track. This change was sought on foot of submissions received from cycling groups during public consultation. The number of car parking spaces in the Village have been retained on foot of requests from local Cllrs as part of the part 8 process.”

Mairead Forsythe of the South Dublin branch of the Dublin Cycling Campaign told IrishCycle.com: “We are dissatisfied with the plans presented for the tendering process.”

Forsythe said that in Dublin Cycling Campaign’s 2018 submission, the group “did suggest that the cycle track be moved closer to the road” but she added that “our problems with the current proposals are outlined in a recent letter to the Director of Services, Mick Mulhern.”

In that letter, the group outlines that a “non-segregated sub-standard width cycle lane is not appropriate for the volume of through traffic at 50 km/h, treatment of cyclists at the entry/exit of the village is poor, and the dominance of car parking (on road, outside shops, and in expanded car park) with little space for pedestrians and cyclists.” 

The letter added: “The on-road cycle lane will exacerbate the existing problem of illegal parking in the cycle lanes. Parking on both sides of some sections of the cycle lane, with motorists reversing onto cycle lanes in some cases will put cyclists at risk. Motorists often drive along the cycle lane to park outside shops, and the lack of an adequate footpath in these areas also results in pedestrians using the cycle lane.”

The letter also highlights how there is no reference or design element to include access to the village from a new walking and cycling bridge as part of the Dodder Greenway. The new bridge is located at Riverside Cottages, just off the village.

Forsythe said: “And we are perturbed that there was no attempt at public consultation on the revised plans which differ in many respects from those presented for Part 8 public consultation in 2018.” 

Since this issue was first raised, Forsyth said that the council has offered a few minor concessions including a review of access to greenway, bicycle parking, and consideration of bus stop modifications, and consideration of 30 km/h speed limit. But the central issues of having un protected cycle lanes is unresolved.

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. The problem arises because of the council’s warped vision of “balance” and that the council determines what constitutes adherence to DMURS with no appeal to an independent referee.

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