Stop installing narrow cycle lanes beside wide traffic lanes, campaigners urge Dublin City Council

— South Circular Road cycle lanes too narrow beside wide traffic lanes, say campaigners.

Dublin City needs fewer narrow uncomfortable cycle lanes, particularly when the space exists for wider lanes, the chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign has said.

The latest narrow cycle lanes to be installed are on the South Circular Road. There was already some narrowness on the cycle lanes as part of a project to add new cycle lanes and bollard protection to the lanes on the road, but a backlash against the cycle lanes, as reported last week, has prompted Dublin City Council to further narrow sections of the cycle lane.

Campaigners say this is somewhat understandable at pinch points but unjustifiable especially where traffic lanes beside the lanes are wider than the national standard for such streets.

The main issue raised by retailers was loading and parking outside shops, but the narrowing has been implemented even at locations where loading is not possible.

Kevin Baker, chairperson of the Dublin Cycling Campaign, said: “This is a terrible decision. Far too much of this project includes overly narrow cycle lanes next to 4 metre wide traffic lanes. We need fewer narrow uncomfortable cycle lanes, particularly when the space exists.”

“There’s no need to narrow the cycle lane after the pedestrian crossing, which they have done. That cycle lane looks too narrow for cargo bikes or anyone on a tricycle. Dublin City Council can’t continue to deliver infrastructure that is this narrow,” he said.

IMAGE: Extract from the 2019 version of the Design Manual For Urban Roads and Streets.

Baker said: “Narrow cycle lanes are also an issue from the Chapelizod bypass to Islandbridge. The cycle lanes are barely 1.25 metres wide next to 4.5 metres traffic lanes. The minimum cycle width in National Cycle Manual is 1.5 metres in exceptional situations. Standard is 2 metres. Traffic lanes should be 3.25m as per the Design Manual For Urban Roads and Streets.”

Baker added: “I’m happy that Dublin City Council has fixed the deliveries issue (though they should mark an official loading bay) I’m just fed up with Dublin City Council spending months designing projects like this to deliver extremely poor infrastructure, when Dublin City Campaign offered simple suggestions in consultation.”

Cllr Michael Pidgeon, a local Green Party councillor who has pushed for the cycle route segregation on the road, said: “I will go take a look at the narrower bits you mention and see what can be done to improve.”

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