Comment & Analysis: IrishCycle.com reported yesterday that Dublin City Council is planning a two-way cycle path on south quays between Ha’penny Bridge and Docklands… some people have asked ‘won’t just be another disjointed cycle path?’, the opposite is likely to be true.
We don’t have sight of drawings for the route yet, but going by the description the council gave, the route will connect to an emerging network of cycle routes in Dublin City Centre.
Here’s an overview of the existing permanent (dark green) and interim routes (lighter green), and routes under construction or, in the case of interim routes, those to be built this year (both in orange):
(Just to note: Not shown are most shorter sections of lanes protected with bollards, some decent bits of quick-build routes that are not likely to be connected to the quays any time soon, and planned routes which we don’t yet have clarity on)
In the image below, the planned two-way cycle path is shown as an orange line along the Liffey — it should be directly connected to/from:
- Temple Bar and, via it, Dame Street (avoiding College Green)
- The existing cycle path along the south quays in the Docklands
- North Wall Quay cycleway
- Grand Canal Cycleway
- Royal Canal Greenway (as far as North Strand with onwards to Phibsborough starting construction)
- Contra-flow route to Busáras
- Lombard Street Route etc
On the above alone, it is one of the most connected routes, and it will also be a short distance from the Clontarf to City Centre (C2CC) and onto the S2S Dublin Bay route in Clontarf.
The routes shown on the map, as well as other projects that might be progressed, will allow the Clontarf route to start off feeling into at least an emerging city centre network of segregated and low-traffic routes.
The Clontarf route stops at Connolly Station, while the Busáras contra-flow route is only one-way and only as far as the south side of the bus station. There is scope for this missing section to be filled in quickly — the Pathfinder project for Dublin City Centre mentions Beresford Place and the council had plans drafted to bring the Clontarf route closer to the quays.
It’s the start of an emerging network for the city centre. But, for an individual, a network is only as good as its weakest link to/from the locations they need to travel to.
That brings us to the quays themselves and, in particular, towards the west of the city. IrishCycle.com’s position remains the same on the Liffey Cycle Route that a continuous two-way route could still be trialled even if it means cars are taken off the quays. For now, the cycle route on the quays should be a bit better with this new cycle path, but will still be of a stop-start nature overall.
Somebody asked if people will be expected to drag their bikes over the steps of the Ha’penny Bridge — that’s not likely to be an attractive option for most.
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The main western access point from the west on the quays will be via Bachelors Walk along the quay-side bus lane after the bus gate where the (narrow) protected cycle lane ends. Bringing the two-way cycle path to the Ha’penny Bridge still has value as it links with Temple Bar which is a popular destination itself and onto Dame Street (a route which avoids College Green).
To be clear: A good chunk of the above is based on a bit of speculation around the description given, some links will depend on details, such a crossings being provided in the right places. We’re hoping that the Ha’penny Bridge to Docklands route will be of a higher quality range of what’s been built on the quays so far. Only time will tell.