COMMENT & ANALYSIS: The Grand Canal cycle route within Dublin City needs vision — segregating narrow sub-standard cycle lanes isn’t enough.
Grand Canal Route in Dublin City will take another decade or more to build if it carries on as a overly complicated project.
Getting a continuous Grand Canal cycle path from Portobello to the Suir Road (where there’s clearer space along the northern bank of the canal) suffers from the same issue as getting a continuous Liffey Cycle Route —Dublin City Council officials, councillors overall collectively and National Transport Authority seem to lack any real vision on reallocating road space on the scale needed if we’re serious about cycling playing a part in decarbonisation transport, enabling better health or providing transport capacity..
The Department of Transport meanwhile seem to be willing to fund anything of any quality and let the NTA do the same thing. I’m likely boring readers already saying again that even the UK is doing it differently, but — as reported by Forbes in the last few days — the UK Department of Transport has once again warned councils over that they must be ambitious and follow the LTN 1/20 guidance standards.
Paint is not enough, but it’s also not enough to add kerb protected cycle tracks which are substandard in width along most of their length, especially if they are going to leave the main conflict at junction (a conflict now central to Dublin City and NTA design).
Back in May of 2020 IrishCycle.com suggested a quick-build plan which would be both ambitious and fit in with high standards for such a route. It’d be far from easy to do, but a wise person once told me that’s not a reason for not doing something.
What Dublin City Council is planning along the canal, which is already a busy route for cycling, just doesn’t cut it. If this is the way Dublin and Ireland is going to continue on there’s little hope of decarbonisation of transport or making or cities liveable and safer places anytime soon:
Stills from presentation to councillors within this video (after the Bike Bus section):