Monthly Archives: April 2019

Submission to BusConnects Bus Corridor 3: Ballymun to city centre

Overview

I am a cyclist, pedestrian, motorist and bus user and local representative in the Phibsborough, Glasnevin  and Drumcondra area.

I appreciate that the overall concept driving Bus Connects is to ensure greater space is allocated to buses and cyclists on the streets and roads within and around the city of Dublin.

In that regard I am very disheartened by the proposals for the Ballymun bus corridor which directly affect the Phibsborough area. The proposals do not go far enough. In stark contrast, the proposals go too far for the Mobhi road area. It is not clear how the impacts to one community will impact the next. While the radical proposals for the Mobhi Road area are intended to deliver faster through- access, these changes will lead to very little gain if the congestion in Phibsborough is not adequately dealt with. In that context, I believe both option A and option B for the Mobhi Road will instigate unnecessary upheaval and distress for very little gain.

Furthermore, it remains unclear how the building works and final access points to the Metro-link stations will interact with the Bus Connects proposals- both need to be looked at in conjunction with each other.

In the absence of any other innovative proposals for the Mobhi Road area, I believe there is a strong case for delaying action in this area until the necessary information is put together and the bottleneck referred to above is addressed.

In Phibsborough, there is little to suggest from the proposals of adjoining areas that the overall impact on the village has been considered. Phibsborough takes in traffic from three main arteries into the city and radical developments are proposed in two out of the three, Blanchardstown Bus Corridor and the Ballymun Bus Corridor and is discussed below, there will  be a significant inflow of car traffic arising from changes to the Old Cabra road.

For cyclists, certain developments such as the Royal Canal Bank cycleway are very much to be welcomed. However, the plan fails to adhere to the principal of a consistent, continuous cycle path that is segregated from the main vehicular traffic along Botanic Road, Cross Guns Bridge and Phibsborough Road.

Specific concerns for the Phibsborough area

For pedestrians:                           

On the positive side, the following is to be welcomed

  • Pedestrian crossing close to the PTSB on the Phibsborough Road and the Woodstock.
  • pedestrian crossing is planned for outside of McGowans.

However, the maps do not suggest that four way synchronised traffic light junctions are to be provided for at either Cross Guns Bridge, Doyles Corner or at the Connaught Street and Phibsborough Road junction.

Currently the traffic light sequencing at these junctions is staggered to favour the passing of vehicular traffic. BusConnects proposes to give traffic light priority to buses at Doyles Corner. There is no reference to pedestrians. In places of high traffic volumes, it can very time consuming trying to undertake two crossings. A four way synchronised junction would represent a significant improvement in the safety of those crossing, as pedestrians would be able to cross in one of three ways-diagonally across the junction or to either immediate side. Commitments to seriously consider this by NTA management at the Community Forum meeting on April 10th must be followed through.

For cyclists:

  • The new cycle route on Royal Canal Bank is very much to be welcomed as is the new toucan crossing opposite Tescos.
  • However, it is not true to say that cyclists are now adequately catered for in Phibsborough as was expressed at the Community Forum. Those who access Phibsborough Road from Leinster Street, Munster Street, Connaught Street, Royse Road, Enniskerry Road, the Boro’ or Monck Place will continue to have no access to a cycle lane on Phibsborough Road and no easy way of accessing the royal canal cycle way.
  • Commitments made at the Community Forum to seriously consider routing the cycleway under Blacquiere Bridge must be followed through. Any alternative will make the crossing unworkable and unsafe.

For the village itself:

  • It is simply not sustainable to route more city bound cars from the Navan road area through the Cabra Road and into Phibsborough, as is proposed under the Blanchardstown Bus Corridor proposals. Phibsborough already suffers from excessive congestion and will not have capacity to take this additional flow plus any rise in traffic arising from population and commuter increases in the greater Dublin area.

Concerns for the Glasnevin area

For cyclists

  • For those travelling southbound, the principal of a consistent, continuous cycle path is not adhered to. While there is obvious space difficulties along Botanic Road (although with imagination these are not insurmountable), the break in the path between Fairfield road and the area beyond Marguerite  road and the ending of the cycle path outside the Whitworth Pub and so ensuring no link to the Royal Canal Bank is both dangerous and unnecessary.

For drivers  

  • It remains far from clear that either option A or option B are workable proposals for the Glasnevin area.
  • Under option A, it does not in any way seem workable that the narrow stretch of Botanic road passing by the Botanic gardens can take additional vehicular traffic.
  • Furthermore the conversion of Ballymun road between Church Avenue and Griffith Avenue to a northbound one way system is excessive and wholly impractical for those living there, as it creates a much has the potential to create a ran run along Mobhi Drive.

Under option B, the environmental cost of removing so many mature trees appears excessive when weighed against the combined and limited benefits to bus users and cyclists of such an action. While the introduction of a separate cycle path on the eastern side of the road is to be welcomed, it is not clear that two separate bus lanes (northbound and southbound) are necessary, given the upheaval that this will create.

Ultimately, these proposals have been made in the absence of full information on the impact of the MetroLink plans and there is a very strong argument to be made here, that consideration of one simply cannot take place until more is know about the other. Ultimately, decisions will have to be made on the totality of the changes and the disruption from Metro construction works will shape some of the proposed Bus Connects changes. There is strong case to not proceed with such drastic action along Mobhi Road until a clearer sense of traffic patterns and volumes can be established.

Marie Sherlock

Local Area Representative

Labour Party

Phibsborough- Drumcondra- Glasnevin area, April 22nd, 2019

Submission to BusConnects corridor 4: Finglas to Phibsborough

I am a cyclist, pedestrian, motorist and bus user and local representative in the Phibsborough and Glasnevin, Drumcondra area.

I appreciate that the overall concept driving Bus Connects is to ensure greater space is allocated to buses and cyclists on the streets and roads within and around the city of Dublin. Furthermore, we have been told at Community Forums that pedestrians are to be fore in all considerations.

In that regard, the plans for the gyratory at Hart’s corner are very disappointing.  

Concerns

  • Given that many households on the Finglas road depend on their driveway for their parking space, it does not seem feasible that a small portion of that laneway could be taken, leaving households with sufficient parking space.
  • There are no improved cycling facilities for those travelling north bound onto from Hart’s corner onto Mobhi Road, nor for cyclists travelling southbound from Mobhi road onto Prospect Way.
  • While the western side of Hart’s corner will become a four lane road under the plan( Bus lanes x 2, car lane x 2 and  a cycle lane) , there are no corresponding traffic calming measure being proposed For those needing to safely navigate the Hart’s corner gyratory, there needs to be a new reduced speed limit to slow vehicular traffic.
  • An important feature of any safe cycle lane has to be continuity of lane and consistency of surface in that lane. This is vital if we are to promote more cycling and a greater diversity of people cycling, in particular families and young children. 

In that context, the sharing of space between buses and cyclists is far from ideal. Where possible, these situations must be minimised. So I would urge the NTA to look again at creating sufficient space on footpaths for mobility access and continuous cycle lanes to go behind bus-stops and at the potential to look of re-positioning some bus stops a negligible distance to accommodate this. In that regard, the NTA should reconsider the interaction of the bus stop and cycle lane outside St. Vincent’s school on the Finglas Road.

Marie Sherlock

Local Area Representative

Phibsborough Glasnevin Area, April 22nd, 2019

Submission to Bus Connects Bus Corridor 5: Blanchardstown to city centre.

I am a cyclist, pedestrian, motorist and bus user and local representative in the Navan Road and Old Cabra Road and Cabra Road area.

I appreciate that the overall concept driving Bus Connects is to ensure greater space is allocated to buses and cyclists on the streets and roads within and around the city of Dublin. In that regard, the efforts made under the Blanchardstown Bus Corridor to provide for semi- segregated cycle lanes are to be welcomed.

Furthermore, the introduction of a pedestrian bridge on the old Cabra Road is to be welcomed.

Concerns

  1. The plan to divert citybound traffic from the Old Cabra Road onto the Cabra Road and down into Phibsborough poses very serious implications for already extremely high levels of congestion in Phibsborough. It is not at all clear how over the medium term, Phibsborough will be able to sustain this inevitable increase in traffic volumes. Similarly, there is no indication as to how long a significant modal shift to public transport will take effect, if indeed at all. This route takes in large volumes of national route N3 traffic. In the absence of anything near sufficient information, it is not possible to support the cutting off of the Old Cabra Road with all the serious repercussions for Phibsborough and Stoneybatter and I would ask that alternative proposals are put forward.
  • It is vital that the bollards are retained in Cabra Drive so that it does not become a rat run between the Cabra Road and Old Cabra Road.
  • The introduction of a pedestrian bridge on the old Cabra Road is to be welcomed. However, a crossing for cyclists at or near the Glenbeigh road entrance is also necessary.
  • If the one way system on the Cabra Road is to take effect ( and I have registered my opposition above) and in order that car drivers do not breach the one way system northbound on the Old Cabra Road, it is vital that the NTA make good their commitment to use monitoring technology to detect offenders.
  • An important feature of any safe cycle lane has to be continuity of lane and consistency of surface in that lane. This is vital if we are to promote more cycling and a greater diversity of people cycling, in particular families and young children.  

In that context, the sharing of space between buses and cyclists is far from ideal. Where possible, these situations must be minimised. So I would urge the NTA to look again at creating sufficient space on footpaths for mobility access and continuous cycle lanes to go behind bus-stops and at the potential to look of re-positioning some bus stops a negligible distance to accommodate this. Between the Halfway House junction and the Prussia street stop, there is no cycling by-pass provided for at any of the bus stops.

  • In particular, this might be possible in map 21.
  • In map 24, if possible, the cycle lane could be re-located behind the set down area to minimise conflict between vehicles and cyclists in the set down area.
  • The sudden end to the cycle lane on Prussia Street and the gap between the Grangegorman campus and the two way cycle lane on Queen Street needs to be changed. To date, no plans have been provided by the GDA for a dedicated cycle path through the campus and so there can be no confidence that there will be a seamless routing connection through. It is also questionable whether cyclists will actually divert through Grangegorman if the most direct route to the quays is through Prussia Street.
  • Another feature of cycle safety is segregation. I believe the cycle lane travelling northbound on Manor street is poorly conceived and is dangerous as it is sandwiched between the bus lane and cycle lane and it goes against the recommendations contained within the National Cycle manual.
  • There is a concern relating to bidirectional cycle lanes that motorists will not anticipate cyclists from both directions if exiting a road. Therefore measures need to be taken such as sign, continuous footpath etc to ensure that motorists are forewarned.
  • There are real safety concerns for cyclists travelling northbound on Prussia Street. A further assessment of whether it is possible to continue the cycle lane as far the NCR is vital for safer left turn access to the NCR and to minimise road crossing.

More information required

  1. Ideally cycle lanes would be fully segregated from all other traffic. The idea to have the cycle path semi-segregated from the vehicular traffic with the path slightly raised from the main road is welcome. However, more detail is required on the safety of such paths.
  • Publication of detailed analysis of modal shift patterns and the timing of those shifts arising from the proposals- this is vital if you are to convince of the merits of the Old Cabra Road proposal.

Marie Sherlock,
Local area representative, Cabra Glasnevin
February 14th, 2019