Don’t brush this off as just another public consultation

IMAGE: Graphic photoshopped but only by adding extra cars to show how little space is being given to the cycle path.

— Where there’s space, there’s no need for cycle paths to be kept to minimal widths.

COMMENT & ANALYSIS: The deadline for submitting your comments on the Beach Road section of the Strand Road Cycle trial is today (Friday) — don’t brush it off as just another public consultation.

It might be easy to think of it was just another public consultation, but remember opposition to the full route is strong and they will be using the opportunity. It’s also an opportunity to ask the council to design the route right.

Here’s an overview map of what’s planned:

  • Blue = Beach Road (subject to this consultation)
  • Red = link to GAA club (also subject to this consultation)
  • Purple = Strand Road
  • Yellow = Merrion Rd / Rock Rd link to Blackrock Park

Beach Road and Strand Road is planned to be made one-way to make space for a two-way cycle path:

As an aside, Dublin City Council is very close to linking this route into the Grand Canal Route and onto different parts of the city centre.

This could be done by making Church Ave one-way and adding a two-way cycle path, filtering through traffic from Bath Ave and Londonbridge Road (with the bridge being for bicycles and emergency services access only), and putting cycle path/s on Grand Canal Street. The Grand Canal Street route could even continue into the city centre.

This is easier said than done but for the Strand Road route to excel it needs a connection to the city centre and a wider network.

This will bring some people to say Strand Road is the wrong route but there’s only 0.5km in the diffrence between the two routes — 3.7km vs 3.24km as shown below.

And, if the cycle route is designed well, a 0.5km detour is nothing. The advantages of a decent segregated quick-build route outways the detour.

One of the main positive changes under this public consultation is the redesign of this massive junction:

Here’s the plan for the junction — there needs to be wider cycle paths and better cycling link to the streets at the bottom of the drawing:

To highlight the issue of cycle paths to be kept to minimal widths — all of the area we have marked here in highlighter will be dead space — there’s no reason why the cycle paths here are not at least 4 metres wide or more:

The Greater Dublin Area Cycle Network Plan outlines widths of cycle paths to allow for the “conditions for social cycling and
passing”. There’s little evidence that social cycling and passing has been considered on the Strand Road project.

The theme of narrow cycle paths is continued along Beach Road:

 

Note this cross-section below is at the narrowest section of Beach Road, shown above with A A and arrows.

Note the bicycle being cycled with the guy in the green jumper is is the exact same location, but blue car is right beside the bollard protecting the cycle lane with nearly a car space left between the car and the kerb.

Because the space for cars is left extra wide, cycling between the cycle path and the side roads will be made all more harder — the left hand side road is a school.

On the next section note again the cross-section (if shown accurately) is at the narrowest point in this section:

The last cross section isn’t taken from the narrowest point in the section, but there’s even wider points — yet the cycle path is still left narrow:

This width is not continuous but where there is extra width it would be better use for the cycle path and buffer and bicycle turning area.

If it’s what the council officials want, there’s even space here to fomilase the in formal parking and still give more space to cycling. There’s no reason for the space to be able to fit three cars and a bit extra:

Even where it is not possable everywhere, 4 metres should be the minimum aim for the cycle path. The extra space matters to make the cycle route usable, enjoyable and safe.

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. Keep up the good work. Your activism is always zero sum game and always, always, unreasonably anti motoring. This blog shows up the very worst in cycling – well done!!!

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