Dublin City Council needs to up its game on Griffith Avenue cycle route

COMMENT & ANALYSIS: Children from Drumcondra, Glasnevin and Ballymun shouldn’t be less safe cycling than those in Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire because of an ideological opposition to two-way cycle paths from some officials.

The Griffith Avenue cycle route, which the council says is designed for school children, is not fit for purpose as it is currently being rolled out.

Issues with the council’s design include cycle tracks which are far too narrow, a design where bus drivers pulling into stops have to drive across the path of users of the cycle route, and some parking bays inside the cycle tracks. The general traffic lanes used by motorists are also often left too wide and this allows for speeding.

The latest design updates at consultation.dublincity.ie (which is actively being updated as the project progresses), shows that the best school children can hope for at the Griffith Avenue junctions with the Ballymun Road and the Drumcondra Road is a headstart few seconds of green traffic lights before motorists turning left start turning over where people cycling are going straight on.

Making the Griffith Avenue route into a two-way cycle path would could address the main issues. The segregation would have to have breaks in it to allow for access to driveways, but that’s no different to the now successful Carysfort Avenue cycle route built by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

There’s driveways on both routes, but the driveway access issue is sometimes over thought of — people exit/enter their driveways far less than most bus routes stop at buses. And people going into driver ways are more likely to be familiar with the cycle route than someone pulling into a parking bay. A two-way path on Griffith Avenue would also be wider and generally have space for a buffer, making it a better fit for a two-way cycle path as users would have more space to navigate by each other.

To be honest: I was sceptical on Carysfort Avenue route as I thought it would push the limits of a two-way cycle path mainly because of the driveways, but when DLR Cycling were fighting for the two-way option I wrote it up as a straight news article outlining their view.

There’s also some driveway access across Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown’s even more successful Coastal Mobility Route. But I thought that was different because the roadway was cut down to two-way.

The Carysfort Avenue cycle route has since become a success story and Griffith Avenue could follow the same path to success — Griffith Avenue is primed to be a more successful two-way cycle path because there’s more space to have a wider cycle path and have a buffer space between the path and cars turning into driveways etc.

Here’s examples of what’s planned or already implemented with quick-build measures by Dublin City Council and how it could look with a two-way cycle path…

The area near to Mobhi Road:

Alternative:

Near the Rise with parking:

Alternative with parking on same side:

Alternative with parking on oppsite side:

Same area with bus stop:

Junction of Durmcondra Road:

Alternative:

Between Durmcondra Road and Grace Park Road:

Alternative:

Junction of Grace Park Road:

Alternative:

East section near the Malahide Road:

Alternative:

Same area with bus stop:

Same area at minor junction / entrances:

 

 

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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