Quick-build cycle route in Dundrum welcomed but needs tweaks, says councillor

— Councillor says following flawed design in National Cycle Manual not good enough.
— Some design “centred around confident, able-bodied male cyclists”.

Quick-build cycle route changes on the Overend Way in Dundrum have been welcomed by a councillor who says Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council needs to make some tweaks to the planned design.

The changes suggested by the councillor includes keeping the cycle track to the left of the road, as it is now, and not running it through the middle of two traffic lanes. The design is called a “murder strip” by cycling campaigners internationally.

Cllr Oisín O’Connor (Green) said: “I welcome the protection of these existing painted cycle lanes using temporary, quick-build materials. The location is ideal in connecting existing cycle tracks that lead from Ballinteer and other areas to Dundrum. I will use it myself when cycling to Airfield with my 5 year old daughter.”

IrishCycle.com readers will remember this website as previously quoting Cllr O’Connor as a cycling campaigners, he has since been co-opted onto Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council after a councillor left their position.

Cllr O’Connor said: “I do have a few concerns about the detailed design which I’ve raised with the engineers working on the scheme. I appreciate the quick-build nature of the project but I do believe some improvements can be made that will make it even safer and more comfortable for people less-confident in their cycling. It’s great to have measures that make people like me feel marginally safer but I want more infrastructure that make people of all ages and abilities to feel they can use it for daily trips. Both my daughter and my mother cycle these roads and I want them, and their peers, to feel safe doing so for the next few decades.”

He said: “I firmly believe that many of the designs being used from the National Cycle Manual are flawed and centred around confident, able-bodied male cyclists. We have an obligation to do what’s right, even if it’s contradictory to our national guidelines. Irish guidelines on cycling infrastructure wouldn’t exactly be world-renowned so I’ll give my feedback based on how it’s done right in the Netherlands, and even the UK.”

“Unfortunately, the strong concerns which I raised about the new junction design will not be addressed. The council will go against international best practice by putting a cycle lane in the middle of two fast moving traffic lanes. The cycle lane is currently kept to the left of traffic beside the kerb,” said Cllr O’Connor.

He added: “The NTA, who are funding this project, are doing the exact opposite across the entire network of plans for Bus Connects. Along the N11 for example, they are proposing to remove the ‘streaming’ lanes and keep cyclists to the left of motor traffic.”

The designs drawings provided to councillors:

 

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.

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