Monthly Archives: December 2020

Submission to Core Bus Corridor 5: Blanchardstown to City centre. 

Overview  

I am a cyclist, pedestrian, motorist, bus user and public representative in the areas covered by this bus corridor; Navan Road, Cabra, Stoneybatter and Phibsborough. 

I support the mission of BusConnects which is to deliver more efficient transport times for bus users, a safer travel environment for cyclists and improve pedestrian infrastructure.  

I am also supportive of the concept of do no major harm and in that context, I am alarmed at the intention to proceed with the closure to general traffic of the Old Cabra Road. Another solution must be found and consideration must be given to a timed bus gate to apply for evening hours only. 

The negative spillover to small residential roads in Cabra, Phibsborough and off the Navan Road is simply not acceptable, with draft modelling appearing to suggest the combined traffic flows from changes within the Ballymun Bus Corridor and Blanchardstown Bus Corridor will lead to an additional circa 600 cars in Connaught Street in the morning peak period by 2028. The impact on Charleville Road, Avondale Road and Monck Place as relief roads will be circa 300 cars, while the estimated increased traffic flow on Nephin road is up to 200 cars in the morning peak period. Furthermore, Annamoe terrace is expected to take another 200 cars. 

For the most part, these are small and narrow residential streets that not designed to take significant increases in the volume of traffic. The changes proposed effectively attempt to pit the desire for faster travel times from city bound users coming from the west with the pedestrian and cycle safety of those living on the roads taking the brunt of the diverted traffic. 

For Stoneybatter I want to acknowledge the positive modifications have been made to earlier proposals. However, the case for a 24 hour bus gate at the bottom of Prussia Street is not well made, the upheaval created by the one way systems will be dramatic in terms of travel times and I believe that there is a strong local appetite to introduce a timed bus gate at peak travel times to allow a better balance between the interests of the bus travelling public and local residents. 

For the Navan Road, the introduction of a continuous and segregated cycle track on both sides of the road is very welcome. However, the impact from the changes to the natural environment with the removal of approximately 150 trees is excessive. The removal exacerbates the concept of the Navan Road as a commuter thoroughfare and fails to recognise that first and foremost it must be recognised as an urban residential setting. I ask the NTA to seriously consider a planting programme of mature trees along both sides of the Navan Road. 

For Cabra and Phibsborough the diversion at Cabra cross will mean a significant increase in traffic flows on narrow, densely populated residential roads. These flows arise from two bus corridors changes; Blanchardstown and Ballymun and it is vital that the twin effects are considered together and not separately.  It must be highlighted that there are five primary schools that are located off the Connaught Street and Faussagh Avenue thoroughfare and there are efforts ongoing to establish a cycle bus there. Already the thoroughfare is quite hostile to pedestrians and cyclists given the existing volume of traffic on these roads. Any child friendly cycle initiative will be extremely difficult to sustain if the increased flows materialise as projected.  

I’m conscious that the NTA has indicated to that they will start work separately on developing cycle lanes on the Cabra Road and North Circular Road next year and this is very much to be welcomed. However, these will be not be alternatives to existing cycle travel and we need to ensure that we do not make worse routes currently in use, by a high number of children and local residents, by foot and by bike.  

The case to lift the no- right turn and no-left turn at St Peter’s church is not well made in the proposal document and there is considerable concern about pedestrian safety and increased congestion in front of St Peter’s church if these changes were to go ahead. In particular, lifting the no-right turn from the Cabra Road will involve considerable traffic sequencing changes at that junction. 

My BusConnects Submission to Core Bus Corridor 3: Ballymun to City Centre.

Overview 

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

There are important improvements for cyclists and pedestrians in the plan for Glasnevin and Phibsborough that must be acknowledged.  

However, there is disappointing lack of vision for the future development of Phibsborough village.  

This is reflected in the lack of a cycle way on Phibsborough road, failure to adequately consider access to the Royal canal cycleway given that a large share of Phibsborough residents live on the western side of the village with the cycleway located east of the Phibsborough road and there are minimal change to traffic flows through an already heavily congested village.  

In the NTA draft modelling documents, the NTA highlight that in November 2019, 49,008 cars went through Doyle’s corner in a 24hour period. The traffic modelling suggests this will decrease by  100-300 cars in morning peak traffic by 2028.  

The modesty of the proposals for Phibsborough stands in stark contrast to the Glasnevin area where arguably, the proposals involve excessive upheaval and disruption. Overall, it seems that a timed bus gate on Mobhi Road could be initially trialled, as the impact of a 24 hour bus gate on traffic flows on the area are enormous. 

For cyclists 

Positive:  

  • For the most part, there will be a continuous cycle route from Hart’s corner to Ballymun Road and beyond and this will represent a significant improvement for cyclists in the area. In particular, the two-way cycle path on Botanic Road/Prospect road is most welcome as is new cycle path parallel to Mobhi Drive and the cycle paths on the northbound side of Ballymun road and on both sides of Glasnevin Hill. 
  • Similarly, the new cycle way between Cross Guns bridge and Western Way will represent a significant improvement for those cyclists that will use this path. 

Of Serious Concern: 

  • The failure to have any cycle path through the main thoroughfare in Phibsborough Village is a serious disappointment as is the removal of the existing cycle lane segregation on Phibsborough road south of Doyle’s Corner to make way for a bus lane.  
  • It reflects a poor vision of the village as one dominated by cars commuting through from one location to another as opposed to the thriving people-friendly village that it could be.  
  • While the Royal Canal greenway is most welcome, cyclists will inevitably continue to cycle on Phibsborough road because of difficulties in accessing the cycle path. A large share of the cycling population in Phibsborough live west of the Phibsborough road while the cycle path is located to the east of the road.  

There has been some suggestion by the NTA at community forum meetings that Devery’s Lane (located opposite the Connaught street junction) and Kings Inn Court- Kelly’s Row (located close to the Monck Place junction) could be used as access points from west of Phibsborough road to the cycleway.  

The width of Devery’s Lane is 1.5m at its narrowest and is bound by the gable end of two houses on either side. While it would be wonderful to see it as an access point, major works would need to be undertaken. Use of the vacant site located just off the lane and currently valued at €400,000 on the DCC vacant site register might be a starting point for how to bring the lane into greater use. 

If Kings Inn Court- Kelly’s Row is to become an access point to the cycle way, then a toucan crossing will need to be introduced close to the entrance of the Fire station on Phibsborough Road to facilitate safe crossing for cyclists and pedestrians. 

For Pedestrians 

Positive:  

  • The widening of the footpath on Cross Guns bridge to overcome that pinchpoint for pedestrians on the northbound side is most welcome.  
  • The introduction of three new pedestrian crossings on Phibsborough road and the improvement of the public realm outside the church in Glasnevin are positive proposals. 
  • Finally, that most of the existing trees on Prospect Way and Mobhi Road will be retained represents an important improvement on previous proposals. However, the safety and confidence of pedestrians is hugely important and there are serious concerns about the footpath width on Mobhi Road. 

Of serious concern 

  • The diversion of northbound traffic via the Botanic gardens creates serious concerns for congestion and pedestrian safety along that narrow stretch.
  • Both Connaught street and Monck Place/ Avondale Road face similar challenges with diverted traffic flows from the old Cabra road ensuring greater traffic volumes on both roads. These changes create serious challenges for pedestrian and cycle safety in what are residential areas. 
  • The case to lift the no- right turn and no-left turn at St Peter’s church is not well made in the proposal document and there is considerable concern about pedestrian safety and increased congestion in front of St Peter’s church if these changes were to go ahead. In particular, lifting the no-right turn from the Cabra Road will involve considerable traffic sequencing changes at that junction.

Finally, there are very real concerns about the proportionality and impact of the road traffic diversions in the Glasnevin area. While local access onto Mobhi road is provided for at the junction with Botanic Avenue, it is not acceptable that these same local access rights would be afforded to traffic coming from Fairfield Road on Mobhi Road.

Lower Phibsborough: BusConnects Blanchardstown Bus Corridor and Ballymun Bus Corridor Changes – Winter 2020

At the start of November, the NTA published their third and final set of proposals for the Ballymun Bus Corridor and Blanchardstown Bus Corridor. The consultation is now open so if you have a strong view on the changes for your area, do make a submission. The deadline is December 16th.  

For Phibsborough, there are some positive changes for cyclists and pedestrians with the development of the Royal Canal cycleway and the extension of footpath space outside the shopping centre and on Cross Guns Bridge.

However, changes along the Blanchardstown bus corridor will have the very worrying impact of pushing more vehicular traffic into Phibsborough.

A decision on whether to make permanent the Grangegorman “filtered permeability” trial is due to be made next month by Dublin City Council.

  • The proposed closure of the old Cabra Road to general traffic to make way for buses, taxis and local access only, will mean eastbound/city centre bound cars will have to divert at Cabra Cross to the Cabra Road or Rataoth Road. This, in turn, will push additional general traffic onto Cabra Road, Charleville Road, North Circular Road, Avondale Road and Monck Place.

National Transport Authority modelling appears to suggest that the combination of changes will generate an overall reduction in vehicular morning rush-hour traffic volumes along the Cabra Road and North Circular Road. However, there will be an estimated increase of 200-300 cars in the morning peak along Charleville Road, Avondale Road and Monck Place.

  • At St Peter’s Church, the no left turn (from the NCR) and the no right turn (from the Cabra road) will be lifted to allow traffic flows between the NCR and Cabra road.
  • The development of the new cycleway along Royal Canal Bank will be an important development for cyclists travelling north-south through Phibsborough. See image overleaf. However, access to the cycleway remains a key issue with a large share of Phibsborough residents living on the western side of the village – the areas off Connaught street, Monck Place and North Circular Road.  
  • There are two main changes to the traffic layout for Phibsborough Road1) Unfortunately, the current cycle lane segregation on Phibsborough road south of Doyle’s Corner will be removed to make way for a bus lane. 

2) The southbound right turning traffic lane into Leinster, Munster and Connaught street will be curtailed to make way for the planting of trees. In November 2019, 49,008 cars went through Doyle’s corner in a 24 hour period. The traffic modelling suggests this will decrease by between 100-300 in morning peak traffic. 

  • For pedestrians, three additional pedestrian crossings on Phibsborough Road; one outside McGowan’s pub, another connecting Monck’s Green and Permanent TSB and one between Leinster Street and Enniskerry road.

The footpath will be widened outside Phibsborough Shopping centre, multiple trees will be planted along the widened section, two existing trees will be removed and parking will be reduced to a single row. The footpath on Cross Guns Bridge will be extended on the side adjacent to Des Kelly Furniture to overcome the very narrow pinch point. 

The proposals here refer only to North-South traffic through Phibsborough and the spill over effects of changes made on the Old Cabra road.  The NTA have indicated to that they will start work separately on developing cycle lanes on the Cabra Road and North Circular Road next year. 

This is only an overview of the changes and is not exhaustive. For exact detail, please see busconnects.ie

Next Steps:   

Dec 16th: Deadline for submissions

Jan. to March 2020: “Preferred route” will be published. Environmental impact assessment report will then be published.

Mid 2021: Statutory Process will commence where application for compulsory purchase order to An Bord Pleanála (ABP) will be submitted. This will involve a statutory consultation and oral hearing.  

2022: Works will commence. 

Connaught Street: BusConnects Blanchardstown Bus Corridor and Ballymun Bus Corridor Changes – Winter 2020

At the start of November, the NTA published their third and final set of proposals for the Ballymun Bus Corridor.  The consultation is now open so if you have a strong view on the changes for your area, do make a submission. The deadline is December 16th.  

For Phibsborough, there are important and positive changes for cyclists and pedestrians with the development of the Royal Canal cycleway and the extension of footpath space outside the shopping centre and on Cross Guns Bridge. However, changes in the Blanchardstown bus corridor will have the effect of pushing more vehicular traffic into Phibsborough. 

  • The proposed closure of the old Cabra Road to general traffic will mean eastbound cars will have to divert at Cabra Cross to the Cabra Road or Rataoth Road with the result that additional cars in the morning peak hours will be pushed onto Faussagh Avenue and Connaught Street. This will combine with increased westbound traffic flows on the same roads arising from changes on the Phibsborough Road. Traffic modelling suggest that both sets of changes could lead to increased traffic flows of 600 cars in the morning peak period. 
  • The development of the new cycleway along Royal Canal Bank will be an important development for cyclists travelling North-South through Phibsborough. See image overleaf. However, access to the cycleway remains a key issue with a large share of Phibsborough residents living on the western side of the village – Connaught street and environs, Monck Place, Cherrymount and environs.  
  • There are two main changes to the traffic layout for Phibsborough Road1) Unfortunately, the current cycle lane segregation on Phibsborough road south of Doyle’s Corner will be removed to make way for a bus lane.  2) The southbound right turning traffic lane into Leinster, Munster and Connaught street will be curtailed to make way for the planting of trees (see image overleaf). In November 2019, 49,008 cars went through Doyle’s corner in a 24 hour period. The traffic modelling suggests this will decrease by between 100-300 in morning peak traffic. 
  • For pedestrians, two additional pedestrian crossings on Phibsborough Road; one between Leinster Street and Enniskerry road and another connecting Monck’s Green and Permanent TSB. The footpath will be widened outside Phibsborough Shopping centre, multiple trees will be planted along the widened section, two existing trees will be removed and parking will be reduced to a single row. The footpath on Cross Guns Bridge will be extended on the side adjacent to Des Kelly Furniture to overcome the very narrow pinch point. 

The proposals here refer only to North-South traffic through Phibsborough and the spill over effects of changes made on the old Cabra road.  The NTA have indicated to that they will start work separately on developing cycle lanes on the Cabra Road and North Circular Road next year. 

This is only an overview of the changes and is not exhaustive. For exact detail, please see  busconnects.ie

Next Steps:   

Dec 16th: Deadline for submissions

Jan. to March 2020: “Preferred route” will be published. Environmental impact assessment report will then be published.

Mid 2021: Statutory Process will commence where application for compulsory purchase order to An Bord Pleanála (ABP) will be submitted. This will involve a statutory consultation and oral hearing.  

2022: Works will commence. 

Mobhi Road: BusConnects Ballymun Bus Corridor Proposals, Winter 2020

At the start of November, the NTA published their third and final set of proposals for the Ballymun Bus Corridor.  The consultation is now open so if you have a strong view on the changes for your area, do make a submission. The deadline is December 16th.  

The impact from the proposals on the road layout and traffic flows on the Glasnevin area will be enormous – particularly for car users. 

Overall, the changes will deliver improvements for cyclists, reduced travel times for bus users accessing buses on Mobhi Road and Botanic Road, while drivers will face significant changes of route.  

Compared with previous rounds of BusConnects proposals, most of the existing trees will now be retained.  

  • Overall, the proposals involve a whole new traffic system for the area encompassing Glasnevin Hill, Old Finglas Road, Ballymun Road, Botanic Road and the adjoining roads in this area. 
  • One way systems will be introduced on the Ballymun Road between Claremount and Church Avenue (one-way southbound only) to prevent it becoming a rat run or relief road between Glasnevin Hill and Griffith Avenue. Additional car parking will be made available on the northern end of Ballymun road before the junction with Griffith Avenue. On Mobhi Road, the northern end of the road close to the junction with Griffith Avenue will become one-way southbound only to general traffic. This is to allow a “bus gate” on the northbound lane at the top of the road. 
  • Northbound traffic coming from the city will be diverted in the first instance at Hart’s corner to go via Finglas Road, Old Finglas Road and Cremore Villas. Northbound traffic on Botanic Road will be diverted via the Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin Hill, Old Finglas Road and Cremore Villas. 
  • Local northbound access as far as the top of Mobhi Road is preserved to a large extent. However vehicles wishing to travel from Mobhi Road to Griffith avenue and beyond will have to go via Botanic Road, Glasnevin Hill, Old Finglas road and Cremore Villas. 
  • For cyclists: there will be a continuous cycle lane for westbound cycle traffic on Glasnevin Hill and northbound cycle traffic on Ballymun road.  The existing walkway behind Our Lady of Dolours Church that runs parallel to Mobhi Drive will be upgraded to a new two-way cycle track. 
  • For pedestrians, in Glasnevin village, it is proposed to upgrade the junction outside Our Lady of Dolours to improve pedestrian safety, slow car

traffic and widen the footpath – see image below.

 A new pedestrian crossing will be introduced adjacent to River Gardens. Speed control signage will be introduced on the crossing adjacent to St David’s Terrace, River Gardens and the Tolka House. The bus stop outside the Met Éireann office will be relocated close to the Hospital gates. 

This is only an overview of the changes and is not exhaustive. For exact detail of the changes, please access http://www.busconnects.ie 

Next Steps:   

Dec 16th: Deadline for submissions.

Jan. to March 2020: “Preferred route” will be published. Environmental impact assessment report will then be published.

Mid 2021: Statutory Process will commence where application for compulsory purchase order to An Bord Pleanála (ABP) will be submitted. This will involve a statutory consultation and oral hearing.  

2022: Works will commence. 

Glasnevin Hill: BusConnects Ballymun Bus Corridor Proposals, Winter 2020

At the start of November, the NTA published their third and final set of proposals for the Ballymun Bus Corridor.  The consultation is now open so if you have a strong view on the changes for your area, do make a submission. The deadline is December 16th.  

The impact from the proposals on the road layout and traffic flows on the Glasnevin area will be enormous – particularly for car users. 

Overall, the changes will deliver improvements for cyclists, reduced travel times for bus users accessing buses on Mobhi Road and Botanic Road, while drivers will face significant changes of route.  

Compared with previous rounds of BusConnects proposals, most of the existing trees will now be retained.  

  • Overall, the proposals involve a whole new traffic system for the area encompassing Glasnevin Hill, Old Finglas Road, Ballymun Road, Botanic Road and the adjoining roads in this area. 
  • One way systems will be introduced on the Ballymun Road between Claremount and Church Avenue (one-way southbound only) to prevent it becoming a rat run or relief road between Glasnevin Hill and Griffith Avenue. Additional car parking will be made available on the northern end of Ballymun road before the junction with Griffith Avenue. On Mobhi Road, the northern end of the road close to the junction with Griffith Avenue will become one-way southbound only to general traffic. This is to allow a “bus gate” on the northbound lane at the top of the road. 
  • Northbound traffic coming from the city will be diverted in the first instance at Hart’s corner to go via Finglas Road, Old Finglas Road and Cremore Villas. Northbound traffic on Botanic Road will be diverted via the Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin Hill, Old Finglas Road and Cremore Villas. 
  • Local northbound access as far as the top of Mobhi Road is preserved to a large extent. However vehicles wishing to travel from Mobhi Road to Griffith avenue and beyond will have to go via Botanic Road, Glasnevin Hill, Old Finglas road and Cremore Villas. 
  • For cyclists: there will be a continuous cycle lane for westbound cycle traffic on Glasnevin Hill and northbound cycle traffic on Ballymun road.  The existing walkway behind Our Lady of Dolours Church that runs parallel to Mobhi Drive will be upgraded to a new two-way cycle track. 
  • For pedestrians, in Glasnevin village, it is proposed to upgrade the junction outside Our Lady of Dolours to improve pedestrian safety, slow car traffic and widen the footpath – see image below.

 A new pedestrian crossing will be introduced adjacent to River Gardens. Speed control signage will be introduced on the crossing adjacent to St David’s Terrace, River Gardens and the Tolka House. The bus stop outside the Met Éireann office will be relocated close to the Hospital gates. 

This is only an overview of the changes and is not exhaustive. For exact detail of the changes, please access http://www.busconnects.ie 

Next Steps:   

Dec 16th: Deadline for submissions.

Jan. to March 2020: “Preferred route” will be published. Environmental impact assessment report will then be published.

Mid 2021: Statutory Process will commence where application for compulsory purchase order to An Bord Pleanála (ABP) will be submitted. This will involve a statutory consultation and oral hearing.  

2022: Works will commence.