Dublin North Central Area Committee to hear from Dublin Cycling Campaign on Malahide QBC

In response to 4 submissions on the dangerous design of the route as it affects cyclists (from Dublin Cycling Campaign and 3 members of the Campaign including one from me), as well as concerns about the failure of the DTO to support removal of the Artane Roundabout, the Area Committee decided to defer the QBC route until their July meeting.  At the proposal of Cllr. Bronwen Maher (Green, Clontarf) the Dublin Cycling Campaign is to be invited to address the meeting.  There was long and confused debate.  The official from the Quality Bus Network office of the City Council was unhappy about these decisions and bizarrely suggested that there would be no reason for him to attend the July meeting.

I attach my email to the Councillors on the North Central  Area Cttee of Dublin City Council.

From: David Healy / Daithí Ó hÉalaithe [mailto:verdire@eircom.net]
Sent: 19 June 2006 19:46
To: Cllr Anne Carter; heney@oceanfree.net; Gerry Breen (cllr_gerry.breen@dublincity.ie); Larry O’Toole (cllr_larry.otoole@dublincity.ie); Niamh Cosgrave (cllr_niamh.cosgrave@dublincity.ie); Cllr Sean Kenny; Sean Paul Mahon (cllr_seanpaul.mahon@dublincity.ie); Tom Brabazon (cllr_tom.brabazon@dublincity.ie); Bronwen Maher (bronwen@eircom.net); Eibhlin Byrne (m/sdublin@hotmail.com); Killian Forde (killian@killianforde.com); Naoise O Muiri (campaign@naoise.ie); Paddy Bourke (pbourkelabour@eircom.net); Terence Flanagan
Subject: malahide road QBC

Dear colleagues,

Thank you for deferring this proposal to next month and inviting the Dublin Cycling Campaign to address your next meeting.  I just wanted to send a quick email to clarify some of the points which came up at the meeting.

Cllr. Bourke’s question: what are the main problems with the design?

In my view the three main problems are:

1.    Cycle lanes to the left of left-turning traffic.  This is a known
and widely recognised source of danger.  In recent years it has led to the deaths of a cyclist in collision with a truck at Annesley Bridge/East Wall Road and another cyclist in collision with a truck at Malahide Rd./Griffith Avenue.  In response to both deaths, the coroner’s jury recommended that Dublin City Council look at the design of the cycle lanes at these junctions.
report on inquest of Dante de Vere Padua at Annesley Bridge/East Wall
report on inquest of Maria Sonia Jimenez Martinez at Malahide Rd./Griffith Avenue

These requests appears to have been ignored.  I do not know whether legal action is being taken against the City Council in relation to the negligence involved in the road design at these locations, but I think there is definitely a prima facie case.

2.    Cycle lanes in “door zone”.  This is a known hazard and has been
done in a number of locations on the route, notably in Fairview.  It is only a matter of time until someone is killed by this. See
report on death of Dana Laird in Cambridge, Massachussets

3.    Width of cycle lanes and combined cycle/bus lanes.  The National Manual on Provision of Cycle Facilities sets a width of 4.5m and an absolute minimum of 4.25.  The design is much narrower than this.  Narrower lanes encourage motorists to pass cyclists where there isn’t room. If there isn’t room for a cycle lane matched to the conditions and speed of traffic it is better not to mark any cycle lane at all. Cllr O’Toole gave an instance of what happens in these circumstances.

Cllr Breen’s question: What is the percentage of cyclists on this route?

Cyclists are 17% of the traffic crossing Newcomen Bridge between 8 and 9 am according to the City Council’s count.  This is the busiest of the canal crossings for this period. (Source)  This is the only location on the route where counts have been taken.

Mr. de Burca / Cllr O’Toole’s discussion: Whether it is better to have cycle tracks on the carriageway or off it.

This will depend on the conditions.  A cycle track such as that along the coast at Kilbarrack is excellent.  A cycle track on the footpath such as at North Strand brings cyclists into serious conflict with both pedestrians and turning motor vehicles.  I have suggested in my submission that north of the Artane junction there is space for a high-quality segregated cycle track on each side of the carriageway.

I attach a copy of my submission in relation to the route.

I hope these comments are of use,

Best wishes,


Councillor David Healy
Green Party/Comhaontas Glas
Howth ward / Dublin North East

01 8324087
54, Páirc Éabhóra, Beann Éadair
54, Evora Park, Howth

Re the coastal cycle track. I got a comment pointing out that it is not an excellent route. I accept that it is not a good idea for me or anyone to describe it as excellent.  By comparison with the appalling Malahide Rd route as exists or as proposed it is excellent and it is in that context that I made the comment.  However, there are significant flaws with the route and my comment is the kind of comment that could be misused at some stage.

The problems include the bins, steps and excavations on the route, also boulders at the causeway, too close to parking near the Clontarf pumping station, no route through Alfie Byrne Road junction, concrete walls jutting into the path at bus stops, inappropriate marking of two lanes (from Kilbarrack Rd. north) and lack of lighting which is likely to lead to collisions between cyclists.  I know there have been collisions between cyclists on this route; I don’t know if they are recorded.

A number of these flaws have been included in the design since it was first built

Fingal Councillors are trying to get ramps where the steps are, safely designed for cyclists and mobility-impaired users; also at the Sutton Park entrance where there is no access.