Dublin City’s MetroLink stations to have bicycle parking for just 28% predicted demand

— TII says no need to cover expected demand, research doesn’t back that says campaigners.
— Plan for construction trucks “outdated by all European standards”.

Bicycle parking for Dublin’s planned MetroLink is planned to be an average of 48% of the predicted demand at stations and that drops to 28% of demand at stations inside the M50.

For example, Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), the State body planning MetroLink, has predicted a demand of 1,940 bicycle parking spaces at the Tara Street MetroLink and Dart interchange in Dublin City Centre, but it is planning to provide just 256 spaces. This is just 13% of the expected demand.

IMAGE: Tara Street station will have just 13% of the expected demand for bicycle parking.

Another example is Collins Avenue, which TII calculates will have a demand of 1,003 bicycles, but it is only planning to provide spaces for 37% of that figure.

International research shows that the combination of bicycle and rail transport can greatly expand the catchment area of metro stations such as those which will be built as part of MetroLink, a planned automated railway between Swords and Dublin City Centre.

The Dublin Cycling Campaign has said in a submission that it supports MetroLink but that it wants An Bord Pleanála to order an increase in the provision of bicycle parking and for safer trucks to be used during construction.

IMAGE: Map of the MetroLink route and its stations and connections.

Bicycle parking is significantly below predicted demand at many stations, but the Dublin Cycling Campaign is looking to make progress on the provision at four stops Northwood, Ballymun, Glasnevin and Tara Street. The group is asking An Bord Pleanála to make it a condition of the Railway Order for the project that the changes are made.

Kevin Baker of the infrastructure group of the Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “The provision at many stations falls well below the predicted demand. In particular of note are Northwood (38%), Ballymun (45%), Collins Avenue (37%), Glasnevin Metro + Rail (43%), Tara Metro + DART (13%).”

He said: “While we’re disappointed at the under-provision at O’Connell Street, Stephen’s Green and Charlemont there are understandable space constraints at those locations that makes the provision of adequate cycle parking is extremely tricky.”

“Our biggest concern is at Tara Street station. Again the applicant argues there is not enough space to provide the necessary cycle parking. The applicant is CPO’ing the whole block, as a result, the adjacent land is within their control,” he said.

In the campaign’s submission, he said that the vast majority of the site post-construction is marked for “future development by others” and that TII could use that space for cycle parking in the interim and have permanent bicycle parking as a condition of any future development.

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Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) has claimed in planning documents that it does not need as much bicycle parking because of bicycle share systems. But the Dublin Cycling Campaign said that TII does not have the evidence to support its claims.

And, while TII makes the claim that bike share will make up for the lack of bicycle parking, it is not even making any provision for the reinstatement of the DublinBikes station which it plans to remove at Tara Street.

Unsupported claim about bicycle parking in Environmental Impact Assessment Report

Baker said that, in the project’s Environmental Impact Assessment Report, TII references research by TCD Associate Professor Brian Caulfield to support a claim that “due to the short journeys usually taken by the Dublin Bikes and Bleeper Bikes, the turnover can be very high day to day, with a station turnover ratio of slightly more than 1:5 to the station capacity”.

He said that no reference is provided for the paper’s name but that after contacting Caulfield, he believes the paper they are referencing is “Effectiveness of Small Scale Bike Sharing Systems According to the Analysis of Turnover Station Ratios” (Jiménez, Nogal, Caulfield, 2018).

Baker said: “That research paper does not support the statement in section 3.2.2 that ‘an assumption can be applied to this scenario whereby 1 space on a public bicycle parking rack for shared mobility could facilitate 5 shared bicycle parking events during the 3-hour peak period used for calculating the potential demand.'”

IMAGE: A chart from the MetroLink planning documents showing the provision vs predicted demand.

Safer trucks

The cycle campaign also is seeking that safer trucks be used for the construction of the project. Baker points out that trucks are available with no blind spots from the driver’s view of where people are walking and cycling near the truck’s cab.

“Our other request is around the requirements for the heavy good vehicles (HGVs) that will be necessary to build the metro. Between 2013 and 2021, twenty people have died while cycling in Dublin. Seven of those people were killed in collisions involving HGVs, and in almost all cases by turning HGVs,” he said.

He said that 35% of deaths are directly attributable to HGVs despite them being “a tiny percentage of traffic on Dublin’s streets.”

Baker added: “The requirements that TII are suggesting for HGVs to protect cyclists and pedestrians are outdated by all European standards. We are asking ABP to require TII to follow the latest scientific evidence on eliminating blind spots around HGVs and other safety improvements.”

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