Kerbs and bollards installed on cycle lanes on part of Suir Road to Thomas Street route

Work is ongoing on the Suir Road to Thomas Street interim active travel scheme — with kerbs and bollards very recently installed on sections of the route.

At the South Circular Road section of the route, it is planned that the project will include walking and cycling crossings to link with the linear park between the bridge over the Luas at the South Circular Road and the junction of Suir Road.

The full set of drawings for the project can be found on this website’s previous coverage, with the comment and analysis article titled ‘Suir Road to Thomas Street cycle route is a no brainer but its design is too poor‘.

Here’s a video of the section which is open and has kerbs along some of it and the contra-flow without lanes:

For now, the works are progressing east of the South Circular Road, on James’s Walk and Marlborough Lane — the barriers on the left of the image seem to be currently marking out a temporary footpath even though the footpath on that side never extended to the junction and the final design for this section has pedestrians crossing to the footpath on the opposite side:

It should be stressed that the route is not opened yet and barriers are in place along parts of it — see the video above showing the section of the road which is opened.

Motorists are not supposed to take the turn to the right onto the South Circular but many do. This was continuing to happen thought the construction worksite.

The two-way cycle path will also not be continuous. This section for example will have people cycling in the contra-flow direction in a protected cycle lane but people with-flow will mix with motorists for a short section alongside parking:


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The side roads are mostly already marked with except cyclist signs.

It is seen as problematic that the Department of Transport has not allowed exception plates (ie the plates which say ‘except cyclists’) to be used in combination with the newer European-style no-entry signs or the standard blue directional signs. This causes the need to use the old-style no-entry signs and an extra sign above the directional signs (see example in the third image below).

To follow the recommendations in UN conventions on signs to avoid text to make signs more understandable to tourists and others, the Department should also be changing the text to bicycle symbols as used in most of Europe.

There are what some might think of as margin calls on the design of the allocation of space to different uses. For example, where the cycle path could have benefited from 0.5 metres or less of extra space but that space has been given over to traffic lanes that don’t need to be so wide.

But it’s now clear as day that the cycle path has been left totally needlessly narrow in some sections where the now one-way traffic lane is needlessly wide:

As per the video above, at the time of writing or at least on Thursday afternoon, there’s only a kerb on a small section of the route and bollards on another section (see below).

COMMENT & ANALYSIS: An adjusted route?

IrishCycle.com has long advocated for contra-flow cycling on narrow one-way streets, it should be standard on most narrow one-way streets. This is common in cities across Europe where there is no space or need for marked lanes. Sometimes there is segregation at the entry and exit points where there’s space and a need for such.

But it might be argued that the balance is not right and there’s too much traffic for this contra-flow street to form part of a route.

Currently, there’s also no notice aimed at motorists outlining that cycling is allowed in both directions. It’s understood that markings will show this but signs are needed.

The lack of Irish guidelines on this needs to be fixed by the Department — there are two approaches to this: The UK version with a different sign or the continental approach with an except cyclists/bicycles plate.

It should be noted that the UK sign replaces the standard one-way sign, it is not an additional sign.

As well as the narrowness of the street in the last image (Forbes Lane), there’s also a pinch point on the Marrowbone Lane section of the road and that’s a busier road — a route around via Newport Street is slightly longer, but with the right junction design it could be more attractive:

On Marrowbone Lane, it currently still looks like the perpendicular parking will be left inside the cycle lane:

It’s also unclear why it was not chosen to run a two-way cycle path along the north side of Marrowbone Lane (to the left side in the above photo and the right in the below image).

With the route suggestion above, the two-way cycle path would be over 370 metres without any side road junction or other reason for motorists to be crossing over the cycle route. It could be more easily segregated with one concrete kerb or a wider buffer if some space could be taken from the extra wide footpath.

The reality of the route is that users are currently left with this on the side of the road where there is demand for parking, loading etc:

2 comments

  1. Sadly have already seen multiple cars inside the bike lane driving the wrong way. Many motorists also ignoring the one way system. Unclear what the plan is towards the las bridge where the cycle lane will presumably become one way or disappear completely as the road narrows.

    Reply

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