Fingal Council Wants to Hear From You By Thursday 19th December!

Skerries Cycling Initiative have made the submission below to Fingal County Council in relation to proposals for the Harry Reynolds Road in Balbriggan. Please feel free to use any or all of this - and even add your own thoughts - to make your own individual submission.

Check out the website link on Fingal Co Co’s website for more information on the proposals. In a nutshell though, you can send you submission in by email to fingal.developmentplan@fingal.ie or else via https://consult.fingal.ie/en/browse. Note the deadline of this Thursday 19th of December.

SUBMISSION ON HARRY REYNOLDS ROAD UPGRADE

Skerries Cycling Initiative (SCI) welcomes the provision of good quality cycle tracks within the Harry Reynolds Road scheme, which are segregated both from roads AND pedestrians. The width is good. We note that the tracks convert to on-road cycle lanes when crossing side roads so that cyclists retain right-of-way, as the motor traffic does, across the junction with the side roads. This feature is lamentably missing from many Fingal cycle “tracks”. We also support the concept of having a ramp at the exit of side roads into the main road, which reminds drivers that the cyclists passing in front of them have right-of way.

However there is one aspect of the draft Harry Reynolds Road plan that contravenes a fundamental principle of cycle provision in urban areas - and this concerns cycling within a pedestrian space. In several places approaching roundabouts, the cyclist is ushered directly into space shared with pedestrians. Cyclists who wish to continue ahead through the roundabout must negotiate Toucan crossings in order to get through the roundabout and then re-enter the cycle track on the far side. This is not a 21st century layout. It is vital to understand that experienced adult cyclists are unlikely to obey this layout for two reasons. First, in the interests of safety, cyclists must be kept apart from pedestrians (except in deliberately created urban shared spaces where the layout imposes powerful speed restrictions and safety measures). No commuting cyclist travelling at 30km/hr can tolerate cycling among pedestrians - who will also reject such a solution for their own safety. The second reason is that negotiating multiple toucan crossings to get through a roundabout is time consuming. The commuting cyclist will prefer to take the road route through the junction.

Solution to the roundabout problem on the Harry Reynolds Road: We propose dished ingress and egress junctions between the cycle tracks and the road before and after roundabouts and where required at pedestrian crossings. The dished ingress/egress points should be aligned at thirty degrees from the road alignment. Cyclists can then ride through the roundabout directly and return to the cycle track. These junctions are used on the Barnageeragh Road in Skerries (see photo) and are included in Dublin’s BusConnect proposals where they provide for uninterrupted cycling when joining or leaving a segregated cycle path. These arrangements can be used in addition to the shared space that has been proposed, which are more appropriate to young or novice cyclists. For the adult commuting cyclists, signage must advise caution on re-entering traffic. For cyclists using the shared space, signage must insist on speed reduction and giving way to pedestrians.

It should be noted that the NTA approves of the “European” design for small roundabouts - i.e. the approach road makes a 90 degree angle with the roundabout, greatly slowing entry speeds of vehicles into the circulatory area of the roundabout. This is a far more forgiving to cyclists than the flared approach road entry which bedevils Irish roundabouts. While wishing to promote the “European” roundabout concept, we accept however that the Harry Reynolds Road layout deals mainly with pre-existing roundabouts of modest size.

Yours truly etc.

Skerries Cycling Initiative

News Item
Wednesday, December 18, 2019

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