I have sent the following observations to Dublin City Council in response to their public consultation:
Thanks very much for coming to the meeting of the Howth/Malahide Area Committee to present this cycle route. As Chair of the Committee, I know I speak for the Committee as a whole that we welcome the improvements for active travel that you propose.
The following comments (some of which were raised at that Committee but are repeated for completeness) are made with the goal of further improvements:
Orcas at junction narrowing
The consultation document says that “radii of all the junctions are tightened up to a maximum radius of 6.0m with road marking.” This is very welcome. On the maps, in some locations. these are also marked by orcas. In others they aren’t. e.g. Alden Road, Verbena Avenue, Kilbarrack Avenue, St. Margaret’s Avenue etc. They should be marked by orcas/bollards at all junctions.
Narrowing of wide side roads at junctions
As well as the radius of the kerb, the width of the road at the junction should be narrowed where it’s very wide (e.g. St. Margaret’s Avenue.)
Tonlegee Road/Raheny Road/ Grange Road junction.
This is a real problem junction for less confident cyclists. In the absence of a more fundamental redesign, steps need to be taken to ensure that the use of the junction is appropriate for mixed traffic. Maybe a) a 30km/h speed at this junction for the interim scheme and b) signage reminding cyclists to take the lane and reminding other road users to expect cyclists to take the lane.
Kilbarrack Road/Howth Road junction.
This junction needs to be addressed in this scheme. There are no traffic light phases to access and leave the cycle route. The consultation documentation says “Cyclists are encouraged to access the existing two-way cycle lane along Howth Road via the proposed toucan crossing.” With the narrowness of the footpath, this is geometrically difficult for users of all bicycles, impossible for users of some bicycles (e.g. cargo bikes) at all times and impossible for all bicycles when there are people walking. I understand Fingal has already forwarded correspondence from one cargo bike user describing the difficulties she experiences at this junction; if this isn’t to hand, I would be happy to send it on.
Cycle lane width
The width of the cycle lane, stated to be 1.5m, is however showing in the drawings as less than 1.5m because of orcas placed in the cycle lane. They should be outside the cycle lane, between cycle lane and general lane.
The scheme should provide island bus stops at any opportunity and should consider whether moving bus stops can help with achieving this.
The NTA is also considering how to extend the N6 to the coast as originally planned in the Bus Connects redesign, with a possible terminus at Blackbanks. It would be important to ensure that any new bus stops are well sited.
Shops on Kilbarrack Road
Although this area is lined for parallel car parking between the cycle lane and the pavement, cars currently usually park diagonally, partly on the cycle lane and reverse out across the cycle lane. The proposal effectively intends to maintain the current road markings, which can be expected to mean that the current dangerous use of the road will continue. The scheme should provide for car parking outside the cycle lane.
Thanks for considering the above.