Are there many wide roads in Dublin City Centre? Can cycle paths fit on them?

COMMENT & ANALYSIS: Are there many wide roads in Dublin City Centre? Can cycle paths fit on them? Maybe these are the wrong types of questions, but there’s a surprising amount of wide roads in central Dublin.

Pictured below is a very rough outline of the streets and roads within the Canal Corden.

The image is not just rough but there’s some simplification in this presentation. But equally, there’s simplification in the idea that there’s just “no space” for continuous cycle paths.

Roads can be reduced down to two or one lane, parking can be removed, streets can be made one-way, and even bus lanes can be removed and small bit taken off wider footpaths. That’s not to be blasé about it, difficult choices need to be made — just as cycling friendly cities had to make similar choices before Dublin.

There’s also the question of if Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority can get past the apparent aversion against two-way cycle path — this has been a key tool in providing space for cycling for all in London and is more common than claimed in many existing and upcoming cycling-friendly cities.

At the end of the day, it’s more of questions of the politicians of space than it is a simple engineering issue. If we want to make cycling safe and attractive there needs to be continuous routes across the city centre. The stop-start provision that we’re still seen is not enough.

As noted below, cycle networks are not just made of cycle paths — in that regard, the overall successful filtered permeability on Grangegorman Lower isn’t shown. This is left to the top centre of the area covered on the map. Similarly, just a bit further left is Stoneybatter where a mix of filtering and traffic claiming could both reduce the level of and speed of traffic so that it’s safer to cycle without cycle paths.

Read below for caveats in terms of the widths of the roads, and there’s also possable alternatives which cycle routes can take which are not as wide as three or more lanes.

Colouring 

  • Red lines are 6+ lanes wide.
  • Orange lines are 4+ lanes wide.
  • Yellow lines are 3+ lanes wide.
  • Green lines existing sections of continuous cycle paths.
  • Blue lines show non-continuous sections of cycle tracks.
  • Purple lines show where there’s contra-flow provision without with-flow provision.

Overview:

  • It’s a rough outline. There’s likely errors, inconsistencies etc.
  • The estimated number of lanes includes movement lanes, bus lanes, and parking lanes (cycle paths do not need to be as wide as motor traffic lanes).
  • It’s just the larger streets and roads within the canals.
  • Lines mainly just indicate the road space plus some buildouts around car parking, ie does not include footpath spaces or traffic islands etc.
  • Zig-zag lines between roads/streets show roads near to each other which can be seen as amounting to larger roads.
  • Smaller interventions and what is mostly made up of narrow cycle lanes are not shown in green or blue.
  • There’s significant blocks of areas around Grafton Street and Henry Street which are pedestrianised (Capel Street is also not shown as pedestrianisation is to be trialled on the street).

Notes on cycle routes

  • Cycle paths can also fit on smaller roads, ie making two-way roads one-way or using one lane of a two-lane one-way street.
  • Cycle networks are not just made up of cycle paths, ie filtered permeability, other low-traffic roads, bus gates and other methods can made up routes.
  • Just because a cycle path could fit does not mean that filtered permeability might not be a better idea.
Cian Ginty
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. whilst the idea is great i would prefer if 2 way 2.5 meter wide contra flow cycle lanes appeared on all the main one way streets and on the opposite side to the bus lane in reality where streets are 3 lane or more we should have a bus lane inside a car lane and then an outside 2 way cycle lane . I would however not tolerate the removal of any pedestrian footpath space as there are very few footpaths that are the minimum 2 meters without obstructions in Dublin and I would prefer to remove a car lane to provide a wider path and cycle track. Unfortunately whilst Councillors and tds all drive and back cars this wont happen

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