Updated BusConnects designs show promise of cycle routes for all
On Friday 17th April, Dublin Cycling Campaign submitted 17 separate submissions to the National Transport Authority on BusConnects. This was in response to their round two public consultation on the project.
The BusConnects Core Bus Corridors project plans to deliver 230km of continuous bus priority and 200km of segregated cycle tracks across Dublin. It will deliver the backbone of a cycle network for Dublin. On a whole, the project will transform Dublin’s transport and public spaces for the better.
In the first round of public consultation, Dublin Cycling Campaign was broadly supportive of the project because we could see the huge potential. Though we were highly critical of many aspects of the project.
The cycling facilities that were proposed were of a very low standard. There were gaps in the cycle lanes and the curb protecting the cycle lane would disappear at all key points including near bus stops, on street car parking and at junctions.
One of our core beliefs is that we can make cycling a safe and enjoyable option for people of all ages and abilities if we design for it. It is possible to design cycle lanes that are safe for kids. We can do it. The initial BusConnects designs were not safe for adults, let alone children.
We can report a glimmer of hope with the designs of the updated BusConnects proposals.
Some routes have seen significant improvements. Of note is new cycling bridge and underpass near Phibsborough (CBC3), new two-way cycle tracks on the Lucan route (CBC6), less road widening and a new Poddle Greenway on the Kimmage route (CBC11), and a bus gate in Rathmines (CBC12) that will allow for wide footpaths and proper protected bike lanes on Rathmines Road Lower.
While there is still a huge amount of design work needed before the cycle routes are safe for all, we can see that the National Transport Authority (NTA) is listening to our concerns. The NTA did stress that these are work-in-progress designs.
Across all sixteen corridors there are improvements to the cycle routes. There are much fewer gaps in the cycle tracks. There are elements of high-quality cycle design. There are properly designed Dutch-style protected junctions, which keep people safe from heavy traffic at larger junctions. There are parking protected cycle tracks that means parking cars don’t have to cross the cycle lane. There are better bus stop designs that keep people cycling separate from buses pulling into a stop, and people boarding the bus.
If the NTA uses these high-quality cycle design elements as key building blocks, they can combine them to create cycle routes that are safe for all ages and abilities.
However, there are still areas where we have serious concerns with the NTAs proposals, including in Stoneybatter (CBC5), Terenure Road East (CBC12), Nutley Lane (CBC14) and North Wall Quay (CBC16). On the north quays (CBC16) the updated designs are significantly worse than the previous round with people walking and cycling squeezed out to make room for another bus lane.
We’ve attached all 17 submissions to the National Transport Authority (NTA) below. The NTA have promised another public consultation on the Core Bus Corridors in September, depending on the COVID-19 situation. Everyone will have another opportunity to make comments and suggestions then.
A huge thank-you to the Dublin Cycling Campaign volunteers who read through hundreds of pages of documents to create the submissions.
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