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Dublin City Council starts to add concrete kerb to sub-standard cycle lanes on Griffith Ave

— Cycle lanes reduced to 1.2 -1.5 metres for wide traffic lanes, parking, turning lanes.
— Route planned for school children but protection at bus stops not part of current works.

Dublin City Council has started to add concrete kerbs to its sub-standard width cycle lanes on Griffith Avenue — the project is a continuation of the city council’s struggle to implement even a few hundred metres of continuous cycle paths.

There’s ongoing criticism in the area that people cycling are still using the Griffith Avenue’s wide footpaths rather than the cycle lanes. In response to such criticism as part of the consultation process, Dublin City Council said that it will “engage” with schools to convince children who are still cycling on the continuous and wide footpath to instead use the non-continuous narrow cycle lanes.

The council wants children to use the cycle lanes which not just narrow, but also have no protection at main junctions, no buffer except at car parking, and at minor junctions runs at the same level as cars rather than on raised crossings.

The council’s drawings for the project show the width of the cycle lanes will be 2 metres along unconstraint sections, but the cycle lanes will be reduced to 1.5 metres to allow for wide traffic lanes, car parking, and turning lanes. The narrowing to 1.5 metres is extensive on the route.

In one case, the cycle lanes is to be reduced to just 1.2 metres wide.

Widths of 1.2 and 1.5 metres are incompatible with Dublin City Council’s ongoing claims that it is designing for cycling for all — narrow sections are unsuitable for social cycling or adapted cycles and cargo trikes, such as those used by An Post, people with disabilities, and groups such as Cycling With Age:

In response to a public consultation suggestion that the carriageway should be kept to 6.2 metres for the length of the project and extra space given over to the cycle track, Dublin City Council indicated that buses passing each other need this space more than people cycling do.

The council said: “The design has sought to provide 3.25m wide lanes to cater for buses and larger vehicles that have to pass each other. However prior to installing the kerb the route will be reviewed and the cycle lane will be widened where possible.”

Strangely, newly planned green areas at both ends of the parking bays will reduce the cycle lanes to a pinch point meaning that the new greenery areas will impact on the effective width of the cycle route.

According to the drawings published by the council, there will also continue to be car parking inside the cycle lanes at one point, which leaves the cycle route not segregated for significant distance.

It is also unclear how people cycling along the route are expected to turn right off the cycle route — at most junctions cycle lanes are 1.5 metres or narrower, making it harder to make such a turn from within the cycle track.

There is also a slip turn retained against guidance and the drawings show the route ending a significant distance away from its eastern end at the Malahide Road.

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2 comments

  1. Very disappointing. This is a real please-everyone type solution with the person cycling loosing out. I cycle this route a lot and in the autumn/winter months the very narrow cycle becomes clogged with leaves and branches and becomes almost unusable. Plus at the major junctions the cycle lane disappears and you are left to fend for yourself with cards, buses and lorries. It is better than what was before (which was a potential death spot) but only just. It doesn’t make sense. If you are going to take the political flak for installing the cycle lane anyway, why not just do it properly.

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  2. A friend of mine (late 50s) walks Griffith Avenue and often feels intimidated by kids cycling on the footpaths, usually side by side and going quite quickly. The friend asked my opinion and I said: well if the infrastructure was better, the children (or anyone) wouldn’t use the footpaths to cycle. The friend didn’t fully accept what I said, but imo and as you’ve pointed out countless times, this is the key issue that is ignored by DCC, other councils, NTA & Bus Connects and media. Prioritising motorised traffic above all other users either endangers cyclists by pushing cyclists into conflict with motorised vehicle drivers or pushes cyclists and pedestrians into conflict. No other outcome. Yesterday I saw a young mother with two children on bikes attempt the dotted line ‘cycle track’ westwards between Portobello/Harold’s Cross. They were going very slowly (as is understandable and their right) at rush hour. I have panniers so can’t slip past other cyclists at small distances. So the only way to safely overtake them without pushing them against the kerb or me into the bumper to bumper traffic was to mount the footpath, swerve around a car that had nosed out of a driveway onto the cycle lane then come off the footpath onto the cycle lane in front of the children. Not a great example. The infrastructure made me do it, guv.

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