The Dublin Cycling Campaign is an independent, voluntary lobby group that has been working to improve the city for all cyclists for over a decade and a half.
2009-12-18 Portobello - Fairview Cycle Route
Dublin Cycling Campaign have submitted the following submission to Dublin City Council's Application to build a cycle route from Portobello to Fairview. The Executive Summary of the Submission is included below.
1 Executive Summary
• Dublin Cycling Campaign welcome the decision to invest in cycling and the willingness to reallocate general road space and parking to pedestrians and cyclists.
• It is regrettable that Dublin Cycling Campaign were not considered a stakeholder which needed to be consulted during the development of this Part 8 Application. This is contrary to the National Cycle Policy Framework. Many of the problems with the proposals could have been resolved at this stage with better engagement.
• The funding of the scheme by the Department of Transport in advance of the publication of the DTO’s Cycle Manual is contrary to Policy 2.7 of the National Cycle Policy Framework
• We welcome in principle the proposal to create a cycle route along the Grand and Royal Canals, even if it is in advance of the Dublin City Cycling Strategy. This greenway is an obvious location for a cycle route.
1.2 The Proposals
• The Application does not demonstrate the justification for choosing a segregated cycle track as the design solution for this cycle route. No analysis of the Hierarchy of Solutions as required by the National Cycle Policy Framework has been included in the application.
• There are serious deficiencies in the details which question the competence of the designers and the checking procedures e.g. the use of deficient 1.25 m cycle lanes and the marking of cycle lanes where cyclists are at risk of hitting opening car doors.
• The junction design has not yet been carried out. However, it has already been decided that cyclists are to be “pedestrianised” through the provision of fourteen toucan crossings at the main junctions. Therefore the proposals fail to “ensure that designs are created with the principal aim of preserving cyclist momentum” as stated in Policy 2.9 of the National Cycle Policy Framework?
• The designs are not legible or intelligible. It is not clear how cyclists are supposed to get between the cycle route and adjacent streets.
The design is more similar to the current deficient cycle-track designs than a premium route, which would support the National Cycle Policy Framework. The concerns expressed above are real ones. If the issues are not resolved the proposal will do more harm than good in the following ways:
• By creating conflict between pedestrians and cyclists at junctions.
• By contributing to the perception that cycling on the street is dangerous and using cycle tracks is safe when the converse is often more accurate.
• The creation of facilites which are not easily legible and which are not practical to use means that all road users struggle to understand how to use them. This leads to people accidentally or purposefully breaking the rules of the road, which in turn continues the culture of non-compliance prevelant among all road users in Ireland.
• When poor quality off-road cycle facilities are provided cyclists often prefer not to use them. This often frustrates drivers leading to a reduction in safety and comfort for all road users.
In conclusion, Dublin Cycling Campaign regrets that it cannot support this application as currently proposed.
Dublin Cycling Campaign would strongly welcome the opportunity to work with Dublin City Council to create a high quality cycle route along the Grand and Royal Canals which could be an example of international best practice.
In particular we propose the following:
• That the concept of this route forming part of a wider Dublin City Cycle Network be set aside pending the completion of Dublin City Cycling Strategy. Instead the route should be designed as a standalone route and it should be designed so that cyclists can join and leave it at all junctions.
• That the Hierarchy of Solutions be applied to the route to identify the appropriate measures which should apply to each section. This will include Education, Enforcement and Engineering measures. With regard to infrastructure off-road cycle tracks might be one of the measures applied but will not be the default measure applied before consideration of the Hierarchy of Solutions.
• The Education and Enforcement measures needed to make this an example of best practice will require the involvement of more stakeholders, particularly the Gardai and Road Safety Authority.
• The choice of toucan crossings at junctions should be reversed pending detailed design of the junctions. A review of international best practice in the design of cycle tracks through junctions should be carried out. The junctions will need to be completely redesigned to create an arrangement of signals that will maintain the momentum of cyclists while ensuring safe interaction with pedestrians and left and right turning vehicles. This junction design is unlikely to be similar to any existing design in Ireland and may well require changes to regulations and a specific programme of education and enforcement.