Collins Ave cycle tracks are an improvement but another sign Dublin needs to be aiming higher

COMMENT & ANALYSIS: If Owen Keegan, chief executive of Dublin City Council, is serious about “aggressively restricting” road space for cars, there needs to be a higher quality of segregation used to attract motorists who are able to cycle to get out of their cars and hop on a bicycle.

The Collins Avenue protected cycle track project which is under construction is sadly yet another example in the city council area where standards are too low even for quick-build projects.

To be clear here: Other councils are far from perfect but Dublin City Council seems to be making ongoing compromises on roads where there’s space to do things better. Sometimes the issue isn’t taking a huge amount of space more from motorists, but rather using the available space more wisely or narrowing wide lanes which only slows motorist down and help them keep to the 50km/h speed limit.

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Here are two short videos showing the Collins Avenue quick-build project, a work in progress:

Having such large gaps in protection — which is in the plans — is not good enough even for a quick-build project:

Not using the access/surface street off the main carriageway (pictured below) is a mistake — using it would be a bit trickier, but would free up space for higher quality segregation on the other side of the street and more space for people cycling turning, for bus stops etc.

The BicycleDutch website outlines in the article how service streets can work as part of cycle routes with seamless connections back into cycle paths at both sides — the parking is often also on the building side:

At the end of the day, there’s different ways to get to a higher standard of protected cycle routes. But if you’re talking about “aggressively restricting” car space, then the alternative on offer needs to be of a high quality.

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Cian Ginty

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