A walking and cycling plan for Midletonon and Ballinacurra which heavily relies on shared paths — mixing people walking and cycling — will increase the likelihood of collisions, the Cork Cycling Campaign has warned.
The cycling campaign said it welcomed the idea of upgrading the cycling provision in the area but that there’s too much of a reliance on shared paths.
The campaign also raised a number of other issues including the need for raised crossings and better connections. It said that much of the details of the plans falls fowl of the National Cycle Manual and the Manual For Urban Roads and Streets.
The Pedestrian and Cycle Route from Ballinacurra to Midletonon is planned by Cork Council Council includes about 3.4km of shared paths which are little more than footpaths where cycling will be allowed on and about 2.5km of shared urban greenway paths, but only around 1.7km of segregated cycle paths.
The below map is an overview of sections of routes planned by Cork County Council. The public consultation ended tonight (Wednesday).
- Purple: Shared footpath
- Yellow: Shared greenway
- Green: Cycle path
- Light green: Two-way cycle path
“National Cycle Manual, (section 1.9.3) gives great detail on why segregation is the best option. We can furnish the Council and designers with many further reasons that shared infrastructure provides a poor result,” said the Cork Cycling Campaign, in its submission. “In short neither pedestrians nor cyclists want shared infrastructure.”
In its submission, it said: “If the Council progresses with a shared scheme as currently proposed, against the recommendations of the National Cycle Manual (and against our recommendations as key cycling stakeholders): We believe there will certainly be collisions between cyclists and pedestrians; that injuries will result from collisions; that the proposed design will be partially at fault, due to the lack of segregation and that the proposed design presents unnecessary risk, where that risk can be easily avoided.”
Stills from a promotional video for the project show artist impressions of shared paths — some of which look as if people cycling are just cycling on footpaths.
On a section of the project which starts at Midleton train station (where the Midleton to Youghal greenway starts) and goes to the centre of Midleton, the campaign said: “Having visited and measured for ourselves, we are confident that there is ample space available throughout the vast majority of the scheme area such that this chosen ‘last resort’ [shared paths] design type is not required and has been chosen for design convenience only.”
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At a time when record funding is available for walking and cycling projects, we are concerned by the plans proposed in Midleton which will see pedestrians and cyclists sharing paths in the town center.
— Cork Cycling Campaign (@CorkCyclingCrew) December 22, 2020
The campaign added: “Should the proposed shared-use paths go ahead, we would like to state for the record that the unnecessary choice of this design type with its many well-known and well-documented issues may result in collisions between pedestrians and cyclists. We believe that the design choice will be partially at fault in any such collisions. This may have legal implications for Cork County Council in civil cases.”