Design of Grange Road/Industrial Estate junction

At the Area Committee meeting on 25th April,  my motion about the design of the new junction on Grange Road came up.  Local cyclists have expressed their concern to me about the current design, which removed the hard shoulder going up over the bridge.  Additionally, it included a cycle lane coming off the bridge on the inside of a left-turning lane, which is not where a cyclist should be.  A new design was shown to us. I have some concerns about it and have put them in writing to as below.  I will include a further update when available.

To: Peter Caulfield, Transportation Department, Fingal County Council
by email

Dear Peter,

Thank you for showing us the proposed redesign of the junction last week.

In relation to the design, I have the following comments.

I welcome the removal of one of the 3 eastbound lanes coming into the junction, to give more room for westbound traffic.

I am concerned at the design including cycle lanes within an existing lane. By the design shown, it is not possible for a car or truck to use this lane without travelling in the cycle lane.  This seems to be the case northbound entering the junction on the industrial estate road and eastbound entering the junction on grange road.  It seems to me that these could have 3 undesirable effects

   1. They are likely to encourage cyclists to stay left at the junction.  In fact, safe cycling requires that a cyclist travelling straight on should not stay to the left of the lane as to do so would risk a car or truck turning left across them.  Safe cyclists will occupy the centre of the straight ahead lane.
   2. They may encourage cyclists to travel up on the inside of trucks, which puts cyclists in a particularly dangerous position.
   3. They may encourage motor vehicles to pass cyclists without moving fully into the adjacent lane.

If there is a good reason for this design I would like to hear of it.

I am also concerned at the width of the cycle lane over the bridge.  The previous situation was a good wide hard shoulder.  The new situation should not lead to any reduction in safety for cyclists.  There is a tendency for a motor vehicle user to assume that it is safe to pass a cyclist on a cycle lane as long as each road user remains in their lane.  This, of course, is not the case, but it is a consequence of cycle lane design.  Narrow cycle lanes (especially if associated with other narrow lanes and markings such as central hatching) can encourage motor vehicle users to pass closer than they would otherwise have done.   In this case, we are talking about a road with high levels of HGVs, making safe passing even more important for cyclists’ safety and cyclists’ perceptions of safety. The width of the lane was not marked on the plan.  However, there is a tendency for road engineers to incorrectly assume that a width of 1.5m is standard.  In this case, a width of at least 2m would be appropriate

Is mise, le meas,

David Healy