COMMENT & ANALYSIS: Here are two approaches to bus priority — a busway in Utrecht vs the first BusConnects project in Dublin. This includes different approaches to buses, walking and cycling, greenery, and space devoted to cars… which do you prefer?
Utrecht vs Dublin
Two-way busway in the middle or side of the road with mainly single traffic lanes in Utrecht vs bus lanes added to already large urban dual carriageway in Dublin — the space in Utrecht might be a bit larger, but the space in Dublin is mainly about choices made (retaining general traffic lanes, keeping green space to the rear of footpaths etc).
Before and after in Utrecht:
Before and after in Dublin’s Liffey Valley:
|Suburban location with relatively few constraints.||Suburban location with relatively few constraints.|
|Switch from bus lanes at the side of the road to a dedicated busway in the centre of the road.||Road expansion with newly installed painted bus lanes on each side.|
|Reduction in the number of traffic lanes.||Increase in the number of traffic lanes.|
|Reduction in max width people walking/cycling need to cross the road.||Increase in max width people walking/cycling need to cross the road.|
|Continuous bus route from city centre to suburb, including bus underpass of three busy roads.||Buses priority at some junctions but buses mix with motorists, ie into/out of the interchange.|
|A green buffer between the main motoring and cycling areas.|
|Extra green space.||Reduction in green space.|
|Mostly little or no buffer between the main motoring and cycling areas.||Mostly little or no buffer between main motoring and cycling areas.|
Typical cycling environments in Utrecht vs Dublin:
|Red asphalt surface.||Red asphalt surface.|
|Priority for cycling at minor junctions.||Cycle paths and low-traffic bicycle streets away from the main carriageway.|
|Dutch protected junctions at large junctions.||Mix of solutions, including 90 degree turns into motoring-priority roundabouts.|
|People walking and cycling have separate spaces at junctions and crossings.||People walking and cycling are mixed at junctions and crossings.|
|Cycle paths and low-traffic bicycle streets away from main carriageway.||Pinch points for cycling aimed at slowing them down while few apparent interventions for motorists.|
|Cycle paths and low-traffic bicycle streets away from main carriageway .||Kerb segregated but cycling beside buses etc.|
|Two-way cycle path (footpath level) removed and replaced with unidirectional cycle paths, contra-flow cycling indicates desire line broken.||Two-way cycle path (footpath level) was removed and replaced with unidirectional cycle paths, contra-flow cycling indicates desire line broken.|
|Large green buffers.||No green buffers (green areas inside cycle/footpaths).|
Which do you prefer? Which one looks like climate action and which doesn’t? Which will get more people cycling?
Very good article. But a bit depressing too.
We are definitely following the “garbage in, garbage out” design principle.