Council given €20.7m in walking and cycling funding “happy” with steel pole in middle of shared path

— Layout has added steel poles to 75 plastic bollards on 180m section of shared path.
— Plastic bollards are same type used to protect cycle lanes by councils.    

South Dublin County Council — which has just been given walking and cycling funding of over €20,700,000 — said that it was “happy” with the safety impact of steel poles placed on a narrow shared surface walking and cycling path.

The new traffic sign poles added to the mix are full-sized traffic signs used usually to warn motorists. Traffic sign guidance also makes in clear that sign poles should not be placed in the middle of paths.

The layout of plastic bollards on Stocking Lane, Rathfarnham, Dublin 16 gained attention when photos started circulating on online last month.

In the last 24 hours, Twitter user Keith @ Dublin asked the council: “Is this not a dangerous place to put a steel pole – IN FRONT OF the line of plastic red bollards at Stocking Lane? Surely they are plastic to reduce injuries if there is an impact? Why then put a heavy steel pole in front?

The official account of South Dublin County Council replied: “No, SDCC and its Consultants are happy with the steel pole.”

The council separately replied that “The review period [for the layout] will take a number of months.”

As IrishCycle.com reported last month, South Dublin County Council continues to place gates and other barriers on cycle route. Despite this, the National Transport Authority allocated the council the fourth highest amount of national walking and cycling funding which was issue last week.

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.

2 Comments

  1. unfortunately a lot of these poles were also installed along finglas road as well there more of a nuisance and a waste of money than a practical measure also looking at the pedestrian side those red poles dont look very wheelchair or buggy friendly either

  2. Oh Lord. please forgive them for they know not what they do. Can the NTA (main funding agency for cycling infrasructure) start getting serious with SDCC? SDCC just don’t seem to care when it comes to cycle track design -.maybe they have a few Mannix Flynns in there and have it in for people on bikes: that’s clearly the message that I get from looking at these pictures. It is the sort of thing we all chuckled at 20 years ago when cycle tracks first started to appear here. There was no Google StreetView or YouTube back then to see Dutch design, so in 2021 this Stocking Lane mess is all the more inexcusable.

    The solution here is not that difficult and is ubiquitous all over Holland:
    1. Clear the hedgerow vegetation for visibility.
    2. Get rid of all that “stuff” in the cycle track pavement (i.e.all bollards and poles).
    2. Create a proper junction entry platform: increase the width, provide pavers on the ramps to initiate a change in role of the road. Ensure no change to the bituminous cycle track pavement across the junction so that it’s clear that drivers are crossing a continuous and uniterupted cycle path surface where cyclists have priority and drivers are “guests” on the platform. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yceHo8VvQbs

    Also looking at what they have done for the same Scholarstown Wood development on Scolarstown Road, there is more abundant poor cycle track design:
    1: A cycle track with no vertical separation to footpath which is a favourite of SDCC. Obviously they never got the mem from the NTA! The standard 50mm/60mm upstand to footpaths is CRITICAL for ensuring people stay on the correct path – especially the pedestrian: the step down is assocated with danger just like for a roadway and pedestrian naturally navigate to the higher level pavement. The reason why (and I’ve heard this excuse) they don’t put in the upstand is because they think it is a trip hazard and are concerned about claims which is complete BS because pedestrians should not be walking on the cycle track in the first place, in order to trip. We don’t label the standard roadway kerb against footpaths a trip hazard do we?
    2. The second issue here is use of corduroy pavers in the cycle track: a UK afflication that has spread here. The corduroy pavers can result in “tramlining”, partulcarly for narrow bike tyres which can be unsettling and unwelcome at a point where a cyclists attention needs to be on other road users and not on remaining upright. Do we really have that many blind people out and and about that would warrant such a negative effect on the cycle facility used regularly?. The Dutch design all cycle tracks as continuous uninterrupted pavements – therefore they have no need for corduroy pavers and there are no issues for the visually-impaired. Footpaths stop at the edge of cycle track pavements with the standard blister tactile paving on the footpath. It is simple and it works. So what they should have done on Scolarstown Road is retain the cycle track as a continous bituminous pavement straight across the junction and break the concrete footpath that currenlty goes across the cycle track, i.e. indicating prioriy to the cyclist as would be the case anyway if the cyclist was on the road and the pedestrian was crossing it. Why all of a sudden should cyclists be given reduced priority just because the cycle track is off road?…..

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