How can two-way cycling be safe on narrow one-way streets?

COMMENT & ANALYSIS: The question of ‘How can two-way cycling be safe on narrow one-way streets?’ is one of those things which sounds like it shouldn’t work.

It’s definitely something which can be overthought about. So, without further ado, a video of how it works on a street in Dublin:

It is one of the few examples of contra-flow cycling without marked out lanes in Ireland. It is also the newest example, the others have been in place for decades. All examples are on low-traffic residential streets, but internationally the practice is also used on single-lane town and city centre streets.

Contra-flow without lanes is allowed to be put in place by law. But unfortunately there’s no guidance to help it to be used more widely and legal arrangements could be better formalised (including streamlined and uniform signage).

If the Irish examples are not enough to reassure people, the design is used more widely in the UK, and ever more widely in places like France and Belgium. It’s not too common in Denmark, but it’s ubiquitous in the Netherlands.

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. The example I think is Leinster Road in Phibsborough? I cycle this way every day, it mostly works but I get aggro from drivers coming the opposite direction at least once a week. I’m not stupid, It’s easier for me to make way for a car and I will always do that, but you still get shit. I’m 6 4 and don’t get much bother normally, so I imagine my experience is very different than other cyclists using this route. This solution should work but driver education is probably still the problem

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