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What will it take for Ireland to protect cyclists at junctions?

COMMENT & ANALYSIS: A few years ago I asked someone how to get across the important of junction design with segregated cycle paths, their reluctant answer was that maybe every place has to make its own mistakes.

My question was in the context of London making mistakes on junction design. As this website has repeatedly reported: When Dublin hosted the Velo-City Cycling Conference in 2019, renowned UK cycle route designer, Brian Deegan said that the cycling design standards used in London were Dainish-like but they found that drivers turning left behaved poorly swinging left on front of people cycling straight on.

Deegan said that there were “quite a lot of fatalities” and it was at that point that more Dutch-like principals were adopted.

Despite learning from others being one of the central points of Velo-City, there’s a systemic issue with the National Transport Authority being unwilling to accept international experience. Ireland isn’t alone in this, Copenhagen bullishly claims to have the best cycling infrastructure while refusing to adopt Dutch designs which would reduce the likelihood of common deaths which happen in the Danish capital and around the world.

And to be clear: I’m (again) calling time on NTA claims that the Dutch designs are anti-pedestrian. The NTA promotes and allows councils use designs which fully mix walking and cycling on what are effectively footpaths where it suits them. And the NTA continues to promote designs which mix walking and cycling on crossings.

Campaigners have also called some of the designs experimental and unsafe, but nobody seems to be listening.

A project at Balbutcher Lane and Hampton Wood Drive in Ballymun already highlights the problems, but various versions of the flawed design is still planned to be used in a number of projects funded this year and also in BusConnects.

Another new example of poor junction design can be seen at the junction of Griffith Avenue and Ballymun Road in Dublin, as posted to Twitter:

NOTE: Audio not safe for work / home:

And in case people think that flashing amber turn signals for motorists will solve the issue … it might be better than motorists just seeing a green light, but maybe not much better as per account like this from Lombard Street in Dublin:

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IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.

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Cian Ginty
Editor, IrishCycle.com

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