“Little or no progress” with Dublin’s complex junctions or major one-way streets says report on cycling

Cyclists travelling from Westmorland Street to O’Connell Bridge

Dublin City has seen “a definite improvement” for cycling in the last five years, an independent report says, but it warns that targets will not be met if the momentum is not stepped up. It highlights how one-way streets and large junctions are not being tackled.

The Bypad report written for Dublin City Council was finalised earlier this year, but was not reported on until now.

“The concise conclusion from the 2011 Bypad audit is that there has been a definite improvement in the quality of the cycling policy in the last 5 years which included the appointment of Ireland’s first Cycling Officer,” the report said. “However, cycling needs to be taken far more seriously as a core part of urban transport policy than it currently is.”

It called Dublin Bikes an “undoubted major success story” and welcomed the 30km/h speed limit in the city centre, but said progress is “insufficiently” quick for the targets in the government’s national cycle policy to be achieved.

The cycle policy calls for cycling to account for at least 10% of all trips taken nationally by 2020 – it is widely viewed by transport planners that for the national target to be met that Dublin would need to reach a level of 20-25%.

The report highlights that there has been “little or no progress in addressing” the issue of large junctions and one-way streets since the last report.

“Both of these elements of the road network – the [large, complex] junctions and the one-way streets – were highlighted in the 2007 BYPAD audit but there has been little or no progress in addressing these two major issues since then”, the 2012 report said. It said the large and complex junctions “are highlighted by cyclists as the most intimidating locations on the city’s road network” and the city’s multi-lane one-way street systems “require cyclists to take long detours and / or weave across several lanes of (sometimes fast-moving) motorized traffic.”

It also said that while there is now over 200km of “cycling infrastructure” in the city, “There is a still a perception amongst users that… many of the routes used by cyclists are not of a sufficiently high quality / are not sufficiently cycle-friendly”. Eoghan Madden, a senior engineer at Dublin City Council, said the point on the lack of progress on one-way systems was “A fair comment.”

Madden says: “One way streets are not something we’re into doing anymore. They tend to work from a car point of view because they generate capacity and longer links for stacking [traffic], but from a cyclist’s or pedestrian’s point of view they are not great.”

He says that “it’s not off the agenda but it kind of went slow” because of planning for Metro North and Luas, but said that “there should be a priority attach to them” – solutions such as contra-flow cycle lanes, which allow cyclists to go legally on otherwise one-way streets.
The National Transport Authority said that the repaving, which was focused on bus corridors, improved conditions for cyclists but it was completed after the report.

This article was originally published in the print edition of Cycling in Dublin in June 2012.

Download the full report: 2012 Bypad report for Dublin City Council

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