Submission on the proposed Blanchardstown to Phoenix Park cycle route Scheme
The Dublin Cycling Campaign made the following submission to Fingal County Council on the proposed Blanchardstown to Phoenix Park cycle route.
Dublin Cycling Campaign (DCC) welcomes this overall scheme design, which will provide a significant improvement in the provision for cyclists and pedestrians along the route, and undoubtedly encourage an increase in the modal share into the future. We also welcome the fact that the design is generally in line with the recent Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS) and that it liberally uses the recommendations of the National Cycle Manual (NCM). We commend Fingal CC on the web display and general quality of the Part 8 consultation drawings, which greatly assist in assessing the proposed scheme, but note a number of minor issues as follows:
- Drawing 239, which is the area east of Castleknock Village containing Auburn Ave and extent of proposed 30kph zone, has not been available on website in recent past.
- Further Cross Section details might have been supplied in particularly difficult or sensitive areas, such as outside Supervalue supermarket in Blanchardstown Village, at Bell Pub Junction, Castleknock Rd/Hawthorn Ave junction, and Auburn Avenue junction.
- Elevations in Pedestrian-Cyclist Bridge Drawing are both labelled Elevation B
- Some cross sections shown are difficult to locate due to print size and prominence
As stated above, we welcome this scheme overall, in particular for the following reasons:
- Introduction of 2 specific 30kph zones within the original village areas of Blanchardstown & Castleknock. These 30kph zones should help to improve the ‘village’ feel and general environment of both these areas, and make it safer and easier for the movement of pedestrians and cyclists. See http://en.30kmh.eu/why-30kmh-20-mph/ and http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk/rationale_for_20_mph.htm for further background.
- The use of ‘mandatory’ cycle lanes, in the sense of discouraging parking by motorised vehicles on these lanes, which is a continuing problem for cyclists in the Dublin region.
- The proposed introduction of the new cycling/pedestrian crossing bridge at Royal Canal/Railway Line, which will greatly improve cyclist safety and ease of movement.
- The new proposed underpass under Castleknock Road at Royal Canal, which will form part of the eventual Dublin to Galway cycle route (EuroVelo2), and will also support commuter cycle use of the Royal Canal route
- The general narrowing of vehicular lanes to 3m, with a few notable exceptions (see below). Reduction in vehicle lane width helps to reduce speed levels and make the situation safer for all users.
However, we also have some suggestions for improvement as follows:
- We suggest that the 30kph zone in Blanchardstown Village be extended to run from the Snugboro Road junction to the Bell Pub Junction. This would also require an entrance treatment on the Clonsilla Road before junction with Main Street. In coming off both the Snugboro Road and Clonsilla Road motorists need to be made aware that they are entering a new ‘village’ area, with a different ethos.
- While we agree with the limits of the Castleknock Village 30kph zone we recommend the addition of an entrance treatment on the College Road before the junction with Castleknock Road.
- We note the inclusion of vehicular car lane widths of greater than 3m in a number of locations along the proposed route. In the overall context of this proposed scheme in a highly built up and very residential area we feel this is unwarranted. We ask that these limited locations be reviewed and reduced to 3m, and greater allocated width be given to either or both pedestrians and cyclists.
- Most of the proposed route provides a cycle lane/track at the minimum recommended width of 1.75m or greater. This is understandable in the context of limited space, but we also note the proposals in both Blanchardstown Village and Castleknock Road East to reduce the cycle lane to 1.5m at a number of locations. We strenuously suggest that these cycle lane widths be upgraded to at least the minimum recommended width of 1.75m, and if necessary vehicle lane widths be reduced accordingly. This will also help to reduce traffic speeds.
- We note the use of ASLs in a number of locations, but suggest that these be provided at all signalised junctions requiring a right turn. These are critical in enabling cyclists to make a right turn at difficult junctions.
- We note the proposed changes to the Hawthorn Lawn/Castleknock Road roundabout, and while we welcome the reduction in entry widths and turning radii the introduction of raised zebra crossings, and the pleasant landscaped pedestrian/cycle paths, we suggest that this is inadequate. Roundabouts are particularly difficult for cyclists to negotiate, but this does not mean that their journey should be lengthened or made more awkward at these features. We would like to see specific facilities provided for experienced cyclists to be able to enter and exit the roundabout from the Castleknock Road as part of the main traffic. This could easily be facilitated by introducing transitions at entry and exit points to the roundabout, and by painting large cycle logos/sharrows on the roundabout itself to indicate to motorists to expect cyclists.
We look forward to the eventual detailed planning of this route, and await any comments from Fingal CC in the meantime. If you have any queries on, or wish to discuss any of the issues raised in this letter feel free to contact the undersigned.
Dublin Cycling Campaign
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