Potential new Greenway link from Ongar village to Blanchardstown shopping centre

If you want to travel to Blanchardstown shopping center to go shopping or go for a coffee by bicycle google maps tells you it will take approx 12 mins from Ongar village at a distance of 3.8 km. A very doable distance for most people. There are a couple of options including cycling down the Ongar distributor road but there is always high traffic volumes and high levels of noise and air pollution. Although, the cycle lane is segregated there is no buffer between the cycle lane and the Bus lane so it is not an enjoyable space to be especially with children. An alternative greenway route to consider will be discussed in this article.
The greenway route option is currently located close to 3 parks, Hazelbury park, Hartstown park and finally Millennium park. If you wanted to cycle this safer route you can enhance the journey by making it via the 3 parks and finally entering Blanchardstown shopping centre via Millennium park behind Fingal County Council offices. You will need to add this preferred route on google maps which is not easily done. Here is the route option selection done for you: https://goo.gl/maps/N3PH396BwjN9SiWZA The route takes you firstly through Hazelbury park which is over 1.5 Kilometres of safe segregated winding path of shared cycling and walking space. At the end of the park you join onto the newly protected cycle lanes on Huntstown and then you can continue your journey through some small housing estate roads via Hartsown park at the junction of Pinebrook downs and Pinebrook lawns. After cycling though Hartstown park and exiting at the crossroads of Blakestown and Hartstown. Unfortunately, again this exit point is hampered by kissing gates to join up the the last section of the newly surfaced kerb protect cycle along Mountview road and it will bring you to a T junction with the entrance to Millennium park is in front of you. The Millennium park entrance is open and accessible for all ages and abilities and wide shared pedestrian and cycle paths. You can enter the Blanchardstown shopping centre at the end of Millennium park behind Fingal County Council offices. This new potential greenway route meets 3 of the 5 cycling needs of road safety, attractiveness andcomfort as covered by the NTA in link below. The 2 outstanding needs are coherence and directness.Coherence **could be improved by Fingal County council making it a designated route option and placing signage and removing the kissing gates from all the parks along the route. Unfortunately, the parks are blocked by very restrictive kissing gates covered in this previous article https://www.dublincycling.com/cycling/kissing-gates-k-barriers-barrier-b…. which makes this journey not very attractive if you don’t want to handle several kissing gates which would mean a lot of stopping and starting. See example in YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/udhmFazYpY0 Bicycle needs to be totally lifted upright. If you have a heavier bicycle or person is less well able bodied they might not be able to lift the bicycle making it a barrier for access for all ages and abilities. If you have a cargo bike Its not possible to make this journey, which is a pity as you could do some shopping with heavy items and still cover that short distance easily and get some added benefit of exercise and fresh air. As regards directness most people would detour a little part of their jounrney if it is a lot safe and cycling through parks instead of roads bust with vehicles. Other examples of Kissing gates blocking access for all https://youtu.be/POoCmQS8pv0 **FURTHER READING : https://www.cyclemanual.ie/manual/thebasics/fiveneeds/

Sunday, 6 December 2020 - 11:30am

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