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IrishCycle.com has found over 400 zebra crossings across Ireland… have we missed many?

COMMENT and ANALYSIS: As part of a project, IrishCycle.com is documenting the zebra crossings in Ireland — please take a look at this map and check if all the zebra crossings that you know of are on it, and, if not, then comment below with the location.

So-far IrishCycle.com — with the help of readers — has found the location of

  • 400+ zebras with beacons
  • Nearly 40
  • 3 normal signalised crossing (which should not include zebra markings)

Such zebras crossings have seen a resurgence in Ireland, but are strangely missing from a large part of our cities and far more extensive use is needed in many towns. In cities, zebra crossings might not be suitable for multi-lane roads, but zebras could be used more extesively, especially raised zebra crossings.

Raised zebra crossings, often work best as they do not just give people crossing priority, but also act as traffic calming, visually enforce the priority, and offer a level surface which is especially better for wheelchairs, prams etc. These are sometimes called “wombat crossings” (mainly in Australia) but we’ll stick with the phrase raised zebra crossings.

There are some misconceptions about zebra crossings that they are only of use in very low-speed environments. But, according to our mapping, it varies but the opposite of the misconception generally seems to be the case — zebras are often used in environments where there’s a need for a controlled crossing. Most local authorities have opted for uncontrolled crossings in lower-speed environments in town centres etc.

As an aside: IrishCycle.com doesn’t just cover cycling issues and this is one of those things that is being covered isn’t directly about cycling.

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IrishCycle.com will be covering this more when the mapping is close to complete. But — for now — here are a few rough notes on common issues.

  • Not enough zebra crossing — many streets and roads left with no formal crossings
  • Many crossing are located too far away from desire line for pedestrians — ranging from a silly distance away from the desire line to daft distances.
  • There is a misconception that zebras cannot be located near junctions, guidelines contradict this misconception… does this influence placement of crossings away from desire lines?
  • Use of zebra crossings on cycle routes when cyclists are not legally allowed to use the. The UK has legislated for parallel crossings, where a cycling crossing is put beside a zebra crossing. Why don’t we do that instead of making zebras shared?
  • Crossings on some but not all arms of some roundabouts — this creates confusion on priority and often makes it harder and less safe for pedestrians when it’s impractical to cross over to the zebras (ie crossing to the zebra can involve crossing three times vs crossing the side without a zebra).
  • Crossings with more than one lane to cross — vans and trucks can block line of sight and crossing two lanes at a time can be risky.
  • Located on a street or road with too high of a volume or speed of traffic without even a raised surface.
  • Crossing plonked into an environment such as a mini-roundabout or on a wide road without removing wider turns or reducing the number of lanes or adding raised crossings etc.
  • Wrong colour tactics used — should be red, sometimes yellow are used.
  • Wrong signs.
  • Extra signs added to the main zebra polls when these signs are warning signs to be used in advance of crossings.
  • The zebra markings in Ireland should be of the “ladder” design, but this is often not the case and is it even the best design to use?

We know Transport Infrastructure Ireland is aware of most of these issues and that the NTA and Department of Transport are looking at the issue of removing the requirement for flashing beacons.

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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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I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.

The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!

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Cian Ginty
Editor, IrishCycle.com

29 comments

  1. In Clondalkin, Monastery Road has 3, Convent Road has 1 and New Road/Laurel Park has 1. There also 4 at the Wellington Rd / Templeville Rd roundabout in Dublin 12 (R112)

    Reply
  2. Carrick-on-Shannon, across the N4 just after the bridge (on the Leitrim side).
    South of Drumshanbo, across the R207 just south of the Acres Boardwalk (blueway) car park.
    I recall zebra crossings in Killeshandra and other villages in Cavan and Leitrim, but cannot recall exact locations.

    Reply
  3. Maynooth, Dublin Road, at the Citizens Information Centre.
    Maynooth University, at the SE corner of the ring road
    Maynooth University, outside the Phoenix.
    St Vincents University Hospital, main entrance.

    Reply
  4. We are just back from a week in both Paris and rural Normandy and the French use a lot of Zebra crossings, most without any direct lighting bar street lamp standards (certainly no Belisha beacons!). However many are set on raised-tables so drivers forced to slow down on approach. Sharks-teeth on the slopes. Standard sign to indicate it’s a crossing. Generally on all arms of any junction.
    Our raised-tables are very confusing for both drivers and pedestrians since no clear indication that they might be a crossing.
    There is a Zebra crossing on main street of Oughterard.

    Reply
  5. 3 inside tesco clearwater also there are hundreds all around the city but not marked there uncrolled crossings on roads where dropped kerbs are provided at junctions but no lights or markings are provided i would use about 15 of them a day you rely on traffic to give way

    Reply
  6. Clonroad More, Ennis, 52.831181, -8.986250

    Clonroad More, Ennis, 52.830928, -8.991516

    Cahircalla Beg, Ennis, 52.830214, -8.996337

    Ennis, 52.832681, -8.991817 (newly complete)

    Ennis, 52.848783, -8.976739

    Reply
  7. Some towns (Tullamore, for one) have things which functionally appear to be zebra crossings, but actually have stone paving running across the road instead of zebra stripes. People tend to treat them as crossings, and they look nice (in line with the streetscaping), but I’m not sure how well they work for visually impaired users. They don’t have the high contrast effect of zebra crossings.

    Also, the one with traffic lights has exactly the same look as the two without, which is confusing.

    Reply

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