7 thoughts on “Kerb Your Enthusiasm

  1. The Dude

    Quality work there by DCC.

    If Dame Lane and Court were pedestrianised and large tables provided for the pubs etc beside to serve, it would mean that crowds with tins could not gather, as occurred last year. Cork City provided 15 side streets last summer, and Galway likewise. Such measures would be of major help to the businesses and give certainty. Instead, DCC have renewed the road surface with tarmac and continue to prioritise these lanes for vehicle traffic, even though Dame Court and Lane are in no way needed for through traffic.

    Around the corner on Wicklow Street, from the International Bar to Clarendon Street, DCC have also simply renewed the existing provision, leaving footpaths miserably narrow, while the carriageway is left wide enough to accommodate 2+ vehicles. It was an obvious time. place, need, and opportunity, for widening of the footpath – yet the money has been spent, and no apparent improvement made other than a few potholes filled in.

    The cycle lanes that DCC have recently put in are both manifestly dangerous and visually appalling. The proliferation of plastic bollards as the first preferred option is internationally substandard and resulting in cyclists having more obstacles by being hemmed in, with little forgiveness in design resulting in accidents.

    The absence of adequate signage and rumble strips etc to advise motorists of new intersections where cyclists have new routes is a blatant failure of basic safety provision by paid professionals who are supposed to know better. All over the city, there has been inadequate resolution of basic elements where the new lanes have been located; kerbs have been left jutting out despite having been originally built for different purpose; cycle lanes simply disappear when arriving at crucial junctions, such as from Werburgh Street onto Christchurch Place, and Nassau Street continuing westwards past Dawson Street. Traffic light sequences are a dangerous joke with different rules applying for cycle traffic lights on different sides of the city – green lights shared with motorists northside, but not southside. Overuse of white hatched lines also seems essential.

    Then there’s the Liffey Cycleway, which transpires to be only one way eastbound on the northside, despite Wellington Quay on the westbound southside being the location of highest cycle collisions in the city. Fitzwilliam Place and Street are another fine mess; no plastic bollards on Fitzwilliam Place inside the parked cars, and although the surface is notably poor and substandard, the lane spatially functions fine and seems safe – yet around Merrion Square, plastic bollards are again splurged all over the place in a historic setting.

    Other Local Authorities have shown good quality provision can occur; DLRCC’s Sandymount cycleway is a decent example. However Dublin City Council’s provisions lack strategic consideration, are poorly planned, dangerously executed, doing little to help business, and are destroying the visual appearance of the city at key sites – including the Four Courts, Merrion Square, Castle Street, O’Connell Street, and the Quays.

    Unfortunately it seems the DCC CEO is too busy concentrating on his White Elephant Water Raft mega-project to notice, while media outlets like RTE and The Irish Times inanely look on cheerfully.

    1. george

      How has the alleged danger of the cycle lanes manifested itself then? There have been significant improvements in cycling infrastructure and I don’t see anything of substance from you as to how they are dangerous.

      1. Jdawgs

        I had a really bad fall by tripping over one of those cycling orcas in Ranelagh whilst crossing at a pedestrian light. Just my 2 cents

      2. The Dude

        George, please allow me to describe user experience of going northbound from Bride Street at Golden Lane onto Werburgh Street, so as to access Christchurch Place:

        1. Cyclists are hemmed in a narrow path in by plastic bollards on Bride Street approaching the junction of Bride Road. Consequently it is now impossible for cyclists to ‘hold the lane’ approaching this junction, with the result that motor traffic is on the cyclist’s right hand side – even though the motor traffic is then forced to sharply turn left onto Bride Road, as was the case previously. This means that the cars are level crossing over the pathway of any cyclists intent on proceeding straight onto the new contraflow. There was no major issue here previously of illegal parking on the cycle lane, and the new plastic bollards are not only unnecessary, but are causing these circumstances to occur. It is not evident to me that there is any signage advising motorists of the new provision for cyclists – and consequently, drivers are unlikely to expect cyclists to cut across the vehicular lane turning onto Bride Road. The absence of rumble strips or ramps for motorists approaching the new bicycle level crossing also seems to be a dereliction of duty.

        2. From Bride Road junction along Bride Street to the junction with Ross Road, there is a notable decline in height, and cyclists are likely to travel at faster speed. The contraflow has been inserted along car parking spaces, which seems sensible. However, as the cyclist nears the bottom of the hill. a splayed corner of footpath juts out into the cyclelane at the junction with Ross Road. The plastic bollards in the approach mean the cyclist is corralled into the lane way and hence cannot do anything except apply brakes so as to cycle around this chicane. This is eminently dangerous as all of the other lines and visual cues on this road follow the street lines, and there is no advance warning to cyclists to expect the sharp turns. Hence the splayed pavement jutting out and consequent provision really needs to be justified if left in place. Yet the splayed pavement corners were originally designed to provide sight lines for motorists exiting Ross Road when there were cars parked on Bride Street, and this is not the case anymore. Consequently it seems to me that these works are dangerous and with design choices made that are not justified; ie a failure.

        3. Proceeding north from Bride Street onto Werburgh Street, past Burdock’s chipper, the cyclist comes to the Castle Street junction outside the Lord Edward, at which point there is no cycle lane provision made for the last metres so as to safely exit onto Christchurch Place: instead the cyclist is seemingly supposed to yield before turning right onto Castle Street, with ghastly plastic bollards now forming the approach to City Hall. It would be interesting to know what research the council did that has resulted in a route that could have been useful from Saint Patrick’s along Bride Street to Christchurch – but instead is a bizarre doglegged concoction ending at City Hall. Perhaps Castle Street is useful for city management going from Woodquay offices to City Hall.

        This catalogue of design errors has been carried out in a gap of less than 300 metres between Christchurch and Golden Lane. Unless sensible changes are made it is my professional opinion that the works are hazardous and may result in unnecessary collisions, with potential fatalities.

        Overuse of hatched lanes, plastic bollards, and poor reallocation of road space have all resulted in a dangerous and visually incoherent mess in the heart of the historic city.

        In my opinion, the works to date are not something for which this city should have any pride.

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