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Cycle track at Dublin’s Lombard Street open again after years of redesigns

A cycle track at the junction of Lombard Street and Townsend Street in Dublin, which has been redesigned a number of times since just before Dublin City hosted the Velo-city 2019 conference, is now open again.

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The use of a Dublin-style “protected” junction design at this location seems to have been abandoned. Dublin-style “protected” junctions have been criticised by campaigners as experimental and when implemented at the Lombard Street junction, people cycling mostly avoided it.

A trend in Dublin within the two years is to use flashing amber for motorists turning while cyclists have a green light to go straight on. Sometimes the cyclists also get a short headstart of a few seconds. It is understood that the Lombard Street junction follows this setup.

It is unclear how people cycling on Townsend Street are supposed to turn right towards Westland Row with the new design.

This is unlikely to be the end of the saga of cycle track junction design as Irish authorities continue to try to avoid following international best practices and campaigners push for better.

As reported by a number of times, London started to use more Dutch-style solutions after it was found that allowing motorists to turn left at the same time as cyclists went straight on caused an increase in injuries and deaths. This problem became more acute as more segregated cycle paths were built without properly dealing with junction design.

The recent work also included segregating Lombard Street between Townsend Street and the quays.

Despite three general traffic lanes — one of which is generally remained empty or little-used even at peak times pre-Covid — Dublin City Council chose to implement its first redesign by cutting into the footpath. The recent work also restored the footpath to its original width.

Since the cycle lane protection on Westland Row was removed for BusConnects, parking in the cycle lane has become a bigger issue again. Campaign group, I Bike Dublin, told it intends to host cycle lane protection protests on Westland Row again.

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Cian Ginty

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