BusConnects provision for cycling on Navan Road is blah, blah, blah

COMMENT & ANALYSIS: No, that’s not a mistake in the headline. The provision for cycling on Navan Road under BusConnects is blah, blah, blah… the BusConnects team in the NTA is boring us into accepting poor cycling infrastructure and — it seems — nobody is willing to stop them.

In summary, the issues are:

  • Substandard widths of cycle paths — under 2 metres usable width when 2+ metres is needed, and many sections which fall to 1.5 metres or narrower.
  • Bus stop and cycle path design which is likely to cause conflict between bus passengers and people cycling. This is despite there being ample space for better designs, in most cases there’s existing space or space that could be acquired from institutional or State-owned lands.
  • Experimental junction designs which puts people cycling and driving in conflict.

This is a continuation of an in-depth look at the Blanchardstown to City Centre Core Bus Corridor Scheme. The first section, around the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, is desperately poorly designed, and the second section, from Castleknock to Ashtown, is a continuation of Ireland’s disregard for best practices. Sadly the design of the Navan Road under BusConnects isn’t much better.

The last article ended with a look at the conversation of the Ashtown roundabout into a junction — the design improves things for walking and cycling, but that’s a low bar… the standard of design of far lower than where Ireland needs to be to get the benefits of active travel.

Just to east of the junction is more unnecessarily narrowings at bus stops:

As previously stated, these narrow bus stops aren’t good for both people cycling or bus stops — the design is going to cause more risk of conflict than other designs and space nearby for better:

This is the first junction on this section, at Kempton Ave:

A planned Dublin-style junction as part of the BusConnects project

The traffic light sequence means while cyclists are going straight left turning traffic will have a flashing amber and right-turning traffic will have a green and be under pressure from motorists behind them going straight. If you cannot visualise that, the video below might help….

Traffic light sequence

It will be like this but likely worse as the Navan Road will be wider and busier:

A lot going on with cycling in Ireland and I’ve fallen behind on looking at the BusConnects routes…

The junction with Ashtown Grove is a little more constrained but it has green areas, extra wide footpaths and institutional lands to the south, a bit of which could be CPOed without much impact…

Current view of junction with Ashtown Grove

This design is poor for the space available — not enough space to allow for turns and angles which are too acute for cycling straight city bound:

Pedestrians will have to cross the full road at once — around 16 metres, or over the width of five traffic lanes.

Rather than pushing for better design the scaremongering about pedestrians being unable to cross cycle paths without traffic lights has made things worse.

Then, there are more bus stop designs which are poor for both cycling and bus passengers…

BusConnects drawing showing bus stops with little space for passengers.

This due to a lack of space, it’s a lack of effort and willingness to get the design right for passages and people cycling including people on adapted cycles and other larger bikes:

BusConnects bus stops with little space for bus passengers or cycling.

I cannot get over this — Pushing people using the cycle lane (including wheelchairs and adapted cycles) into a double narrowing and bends beside a bus lane — have the designs ever seen what happens which somebody falls off the bike or out of their wheelchair?

A double narrowing and bends on a cycle track beside a bus lane

This is the kind of design which we should be aiming for at bus stops, but scaremongering but a small group of anti-cycling campaigners have given the NTA a weird excuse to use a design which is worse for everybody…

More here on that scaremongering: Fears of cycle paths beside bus stops should not be dismissed, but scaremongering is clouding balanced solution.

I’m just thinking about the amount of time it takes in London to record and stitch together the highly-edited scaremongering videos of cycle paths at bus stops in London… hours?… days? And is it beyond everyone involved to stage any of it?

The design on the Navan Road continues much the same way:

The road includes road widening, yet…

Yet, BusConnects leaves cycling at a sub-standard width — it should be at least 2 metres wide…

But where the width includes the kerb, the effective width of the cycle path is less than 2 metres.

It makes side-by-side cycling and overtaking less possible or less safe.

An extra half metre would make all the difference, but very hard to retrofit.

The next cross-section is similar…

But the drawing shows that the already sub-optimal cycle path narrows further:

Trying to cram the Dublin-style protected junction design beside Cabra Garda Station is very strange given that people cycling will get a green light at the same time as buses:

There’s no legal reason for the cycle path to bend in or to have the protection corner on the left, as there’s no traffic which is allowed to turn left when people cycling are going straight ahead:

This is State-owned land — there’s no reason to use this confined bus stop design which is poor for cycling and bus passengers:

This is a mess — loads of narrowings and bends on the cycle path, most of which are artificial or could be avoided…

As per usual, there’s ample space to do the cycle path at bus stops right but it’s not planned and there’s a turning lane for cars but no crossing for walking and cycling and a notable distance to the junctions with the awkward Dublin-style protected designs:

And finally on the Navan Road… the T-junction here is for access to Cabra Library, Tesco, Iceland etc.

Yet, despite the space available here without knocking buildings or CPOing gardens, the cycling design is poor with not enough space to provide for people turning in and out:

To be continued…


  1. I mean compared the cycling infrastructure of just a few years ago, this seems like a dream. But, so many ways it could be so much better. Lots of places where the cycle path seems to narrow for no reason, pushing cyclists to the right, then making them veer left around a bus stop. I can’t help feel some of those junctions would be good candidates for a Dutch style roundabout.


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