IMAGES: Types of cycle path segregation

Segregated cycle paths are often talked about as one single thing, but cycle paths and raised cycle tracks come in different shapes and sizes — many routes will cross the boundaries of different types and elements.

Cycle path at footpath level

Having cycle paths and footpaths at the same level should be avoided for the benefit of users of both, but if that’s not possible an indented or raised are as focused on in the second image.

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Raised cycle track:

This has a small level difference between the footpath, cycle track and carriageway. The outside kerb of the cycle track is at the same level of the cycle track is the same level as the cycle track asphalt.

This also can make it easy for motorists to mount the cycle track. In the third photo, this is by design to access the loading dock.

Raised kerb on cycle path level with carriageway

These examples are with the cycle path at or close to the same level of carriageway:

Cycle paths at carriageway level with hard surface horizontal buffer

These can be more easily built with a number of materials, widths and can host a number of elements such as bus stops, bicycle patting etc.

Raised cycle path with hard surface horizontal buffer

On the raised cycle paths with hard surface horizontal buffers, the outside buffer can be cyclable but differs from a cycle track in that the kerb is taller and usually not easily not mountable by motorists. This in turn requires sloped entrance kerbs for access areas such as side streets or driveways as shown in the first two images below:

Greenery-protected cycle paths

Horizontal buffer areas come in a number of shapes and sizes, greenery is nice:

Cycle paths/tracks protected by parking

Mid-block/T-junction crossing

When you build segregation you also need crossings:

Bus stops at cycle paths

Dutch-style protected junctions

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  1. Thank you for the photos of the cycle paths/tracks and writing about the differences.

    I am horrified by the lack of attention to detail by DCC, in particular, but the Transport Department in general, when it comes to avoiding points of conflict between vulnerable pedestrians, bicycle users and vehicles. For example; the dangerous need to switch across busy lanes on the Dublin quays to remain on protected cycling tracks, the utterly confusing junction where Lombard Street meets the Dublin quays, the frightening College Green junction and Westmoreland Street and O’Connel Bridge, to mention just a very few.

    Such irresponsible planning is reprehensible to say the least and puts the aforementioned vulnerable in blantant danger.

  2. All nice examples of generally good design. Best practice is to provide a “forgiving kerb” to cycle tracks i.e. a bevelled kerb, which allows for safer redirection of the front wheel and has other benefits in terms of flexiblity for entering or leaving the cycle track and the potential trip hazard for pedestrians is almost eliminated. It is alway better to have the footpath raised relative to the cycle track when they run side-by-side, to aide the visually-impaired and also to deter pedestrians from drifting onto the cycle track.

    An article on cycle track kerbing would however not be complete without special mention of the Irish local authority favourite of placing cycle tracks at the edge of a road with a high vertical kerb drop to roadway: a potential lethal arrangment. See Ballyogan Road in Carrickmines as a particulary good example of what not to do and there are many others up and down the length of the country.


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