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Cost estimate for a cyclepath upgrade?

  • 30-03-2011 8:50pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 61 ✭✭✭ CurtisPadd


    Hi,
    I'm doing a Cost benefit analysis of upgrading a strech of cyclepath in Dublin. Would anybody know where i'd get accurate(ish) figures for building/upgrading a cyclepath?
    PC
    Tagged:


Comments

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    CurtisPadd wrote: »
    Hi,
    I'm doing a Cost benefit analysis of upgrading a strech of cyclepath in Dublin. Would anybody know where i'd get accurate(ish) figures for building/upgrading a cyclepath?
    PC

    I'm not being smart, but there's more questions there than answers -- sign of a interesting project or a hard one? :)

    Upgrading how? To what standard?

    On road or off road? Segregated or not?

    If it's segregated, are you just putting it up on a footpath like has been done poorly in many areas in Dublin? If not segregated, are you just painting or repainting lines in the road or resurfacing work?

    How many junctions does the stretch cross?

    Be very careful of using costs for some of the major recent cycle lane projects in Dublin. For example, the Grand Canal section done outside the city centre was largely as an ESB project to install ducting -- cycling was an afterthought as can be seen by the kissing gates which are unsuitable for cycling and lowers the routes value to commuting and leisure cyclists.

    Meanwhile the separate city centre section further along the canal also includes costs of upgrades of drainage and footpaths, and things like boardwalks and traffic light upgrades which are likely not needed everywhere, see here. Unlike the outer section, there is a very large amount of major junctions.

    The separation of these and other sections lower their value compare to if / when it is a non-stop stretch or a network.

    If you upgrade does the cost benefit analysis include just a small section or a full route or a proposed network? Does it include health benefits (for the individual and the State)? Does it include wider economic or environmental benefits? Will the lane help -- even in a small way -- to increasing cycling's modal share?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,290 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    Cost: lots
    Benefits: none

    use the money to repair road surface in the area, focusing on any damage to the left hand side of lanes where bike will mostly be. Roads are better, safer places to be than cycle lanes full of rubbish (cos they are never swept) street furniture, pedestrians and dodgy junctions with no priority.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭✭ gerdee


    The benefits from investing in walking and cycling infrastructure can actually be quite large (can have returns of nearly 30). I've attached a paper from the university of Bristol where the findings show that in the projects investigated that the ratios are quite large.

    I am not advocating placing cycle infrastructure everywhere in the country but there are many locations around Ireland where the investment would provide good returns.

    I hope this paper is helpful.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17,738 ✭✭✭✭ corktina


    cyclepath?...someone who kills cyclists?


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,290 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    gerdee wrote: »
    The benefits from investing in walking and cycling infrastructure can actually be quite large (can have returns of nearly 30). I've attached a paper from the university of Bristol where the findings show that in the projects investigated that the ratios are quite large.

    I am not advocating placing cycle infrastructure everywhere in the country but there are many locations around Ireland where the investment would provide good returns.

    I hope this paper is helpful.

    Interesting reading.

    my comment was somewhat facetious (sp?) in that I do not believe cycle paths along roads (on or off) offer cyclist any benefit over using the road itself but i can see how dedicated cycle paths cutting through areas other than roads (parks etc) are obviously beenficial


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    Interesting reading.

    my comment was somewhat facetious (sp?) in that I do not believe cycle paths along roads (on or off) offer cyclist any benefit over using the road itself but i can see how dedicated cycle paths cutting through areas other than roads (parks etc) are obviously beenficial

    As a cyclist and motorist a proper dedicated cyclepath makes it much safer (and faster in my experience) to cycle along a route.

    From the cyclists point of view it's safer because the motorised vehicles are separated physically from the cyclists and faster because some motorists have a tendency to sit near the kerb, significantly slowing down cyclists (regardless of the presence of a marked cycle lane). It's also easier and safer to pass slower cyclists. You're also less likely to get hit by an impatient sod wanting to turn left.

    From the motorists point of view, a cyclist that is physically separated from your steam of traffic is less likely to try to overtake a slower cyclist, swerve across you or generally do things you don't expect so you're less likely to hit one.

    The downside to how cyclepaths/lanes are provided here is that they are sharing with other users: cars and pedestrians - with signigicant sections of both who think that they are more entitled to use the path/lane than the cyclists that they are supposed to be for (pedestrians using them as extra wide footpaths and motorists just ignoring road markings like they always do).


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,290 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    antoobrien wrote: »
    As a cyclist and motorist a proper dedicated cyclepath makes it much safer (and faster in my experience) to cycle along a route.

    In my experience they are much slower than on road as they are routed very badly into signalled junctions in general, you never have priority at junction (which makes them extremely dangerous as cars will simply turn across you) and are never cleaned so move likely to produce punctures. There are also full of signs, posts, busstops, pedestrians, people cycling the wrong way etc.

    I hate them tbh and will nearly always use the road in reference.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,407 ✭✭✭✭ Stark


    antoobrien wrote:
    You're also less likely to get hit by an impatient sod wanting to turn left.

    This I disagree with. If there's a left turn, then you're obviously going to have to cross the road in order to continue on the cycle lane and without the advantage of having been seen in advance by oncoming traffic(most people are looking at the road and not the footpath when they're driving).


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,696 ✭✭✭ trad


    An uninterupted cycle path along the route of the M50 would get my vote.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    Stark wrote: »
    This I disagree with. If there's a left turn, then you're obviously going to have to cross the road in order to continue on the cycle lane and without the advantage of having been seen in advance by oncoming traffic(most people are looking at the road and not the footpath when they're driving).

    Ok two examples of how I disagree with you:

    Cycling on the Clontarf Road going straight on at the Howth road junction - I've seen (and been involved in) dozens of incidences where motorists zip past a cyclist to turn left instead of waiting a couple of seconds. Being on the road is no guarantee that a driver will pay attention:

    The cycle track further along along the coast at the main causeway to bull island. The cycle lane is split by the road (4 lanes) and it's not part of the junction. You stop and make damn sure it's safe to cross (if you don't you're at fault, besides you'll get hurt far more than the car will). There's also an entrance to the cycle lane provided where you can merge from the separated path onto the road (going back towards town).

    The trick about providing cycle lanes and junctions is figuring out what works well. Along the Alfie Byrne road cyclists are directed to the pedestrian lights where they can cross the road. I see a lot of people just coming off the paths where the kerbs are low (to allow council machinery in to cut grass etc), which does cause the issue you describe. Taking a couple of feet out of the path for 50 years to allow cyclists off the cycle lane would solve this problem and still leave plenty of room in the path. Will this be done, unlikely because it makes some modicum of sense.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,407 ✭✭✭✭ Stark


    I think it's okay in the case of the Clontarf road where you have very long uninterrupted sections and it's acceptable to yield in the few instances where you do have to cross over a road. What you don't want is a situation like the following: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/September2010.htm where you're constantly stopping and yielding to traffic when by rights you should have right of way continuing straight ahead. The off road cycle paths going through Drumcondra are another example where any time I've used them, I've been nearly creamed by cars coming out of the side roads whereas I've never had problems when using the bus lane.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    In my experience they are much slower than on road as they are routed very badly into signalled junctions in general, you never have priority at junction (which makes them extremely dangerous as cars will simply turn across you) and are never cleaned so move likely to produce punctures. There are also full of signs, posts, busstops, pedestrians, people cycling the wrong way etc.

    I hate them tbh and will nearly always use the road in reference.

    I'm confused are you talking about cycle paths (off road) or cycle lanes (on road)?

    For the record I was referring to off road paths (don't often see bus stops or signs on the ones I've used).

    Yes there are problems with maintenance, improper use and idiocy (pedestrian use of and cycling the wrong way along a cycle path/lane is asking for trouble) but are you seriously suggesting that cyclists trust Irish motorists to know what they are supposed to do in a situation (especially given your own skepticism about junctions)?

    Also the problem you allude with priority at junctions to is not unique to cyclists and i will disagree with you on this because whether i like it or not my convenience (as a minority road user) is not more important than the convenience of the majority. If the junctions are safe I've no problem using them, if they're not I go out of my way to avoid them if at all possible (on foot, bike or in a car).


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    Stark wrote: »
    I think it's okay in the case of the Clontarf road where you have very long uninterrupted sections and it's acceptable to yield in the few instances where you do have to cross over a road. What you don't want is a situation like the following: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pete.meg/wcc/facility-of-the-month/September2010.htm where you're constantly stopping and yielding to traffic when by rights you should have right of way continuing straight ahead. The off road cycle paths going through Drumcondra are another example where any time I've used them, I've been nearly creamed by cars coming out of the side roads whereas I've never had problems when using the bus lane.

    I know that road quite well (it's the road behind Dunnes Stores in Briarhill), that's not actually as bad as it looks - at least for that right side of the road, the left side is painful tho, between the bus stops, estates, apartments and businesses and irish motorists, it's hard to drive up that road, let alone cycle

    However I wouldn't take a bike down there unless I absolutely had to, you can't tell form the picture but there are hills behind and after the road you can see in the picture and they're the kind of short and sharp hills I hate.

    There are places where we can't do things that will suit everybody equally well, so we must try and do our best. the attempt in the picture is an attempt at that but is not nearly as misguided as converting all the roundabouts in Galway back into traffic light controlled junctions. When you take into account the fact that the roundabouts were installed because the lights couldn't cope with the traffic (going back more than 20 years) you have to wonder who's giving the city councils advice.

    I think, where possible, cycle paths should be as close as possible to the road with pedestrian paths separate a few feet away (granted, not always possible). On road cycle lanes should go outside bus stops (not inside as planned in the Seamus Quirke road in Galway or through them as seen here and on most roads I've used in Dublin) as you'll have to swerve around parked buses anyways.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,290 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    antoobrien wrote: »
    I'm confused are you talking about cycle paths (off road) or cycle lanes (on road)?

    off
    For the record I was referring to off road paths (don't often see bus stops or signs on the ones I've used).
    plenty on the n11. The clontarf cycle path also has but shelters protruding into it.
    Yes there are problems with maintenance, improper use and idiocy (pedestrian use of and cycling the wrong way along a cycle path/lane is asking for trouble) but are you seriously suggesting that cyclists trust Irish motorists to know what they are supposed to do in a situation (especially given your own skepticism about junctions)?
    I feel safer and more visible on the road than on an off road path. I also know if on a off road path I am liable to be squashed at every junction by turning vehicles, regardless of whether I have right of way or not, if on the road vehicles are much more courteous and will stay behind you until you clear a junction rather than expecting you to stop for them cutting across you.
    Also the problem you allude with priority at junctions to is not unique to cyclists and i will disagree with you on this because whether i like it or not my convenience (as a minority road user) is not more important than the convenience of the majority. If the junctions are safe I've no problem using them, if they're not I go out of my way to avoid them if at all possible (on foot, bike or in a car).
    so if you simply stay on the road you can easily travel through the junction safely along with the majority of traffic, rather than being stuck waiting for pedestrian lights, there are rarely cycle lights facilitating crossings.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    The clontarf cycle path also has but shelters protruding into it.

    The clontarf path goes around those bus shelters, they're no problem unless you're absolutely flying along and not looking up. The only spot I have trouble with is where you have to slow down for entrances, such as to the slip way at the yacht club, but you can see them coming so they're only a monor irritant when theres no pedestrians about blocking the way.
    on a off road path I am liable to be squashed at every junction by turning vehicles, regardless of whether I have right of way or not, if on the road vehicles are much more courteous and will stay behind you until you clear a junction.


    Not my experience - an awful lot have tried to zip around me (going left) and cut me off (turning right across me) rather than wait the couple of seconds for me to clear junctions. Bear in mind, I'm from the east of Galway city where, until recently, there were very few cycle lanes and those that were provided were the annoying double wide footpaths that pedestrians can't understand why they have to stay off the tarred section (for cyclists). Dublin is heaven compared to what I had to put up with for years in Galway.
    so if you simply stay on the road you can easily travel through the junction safely along with the majority of traffic, rather than being stuck waiting for pedestrian lights, there are rarely cycle lights facilitating crossings.

    Most cycle lanes i've seen where cyclists are not expected to use the junctions direct us to the pedestrian lights (e.g. clontarf rd & alfie byrne rd), which are designed to take non motorised traffic, such as ourselves, out of junctions where it is deemed too dangerous to use.

    I'd rather show a bit of patience and use the supplied crossings than risk another meeting with a motorist that isn't watching what they're at. A number of years ago I was put flying off my bike by a motorist who came tearing into a roundabout in Galway without bothering to slow down because he couldn't see oncoming motor traffic and I was moving too slowly to catch his attention. Fortunately the only injury was to my pride.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,290 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    antoobrien wrote: »
    Most cycle lanes i've seen where cyclists are not expected to use the junctions direct us to the pedestrian lights (e.g. clontarf rd & alfie byrne rd), which are designed to take non motorised traffic, such as ourselves, out of junctions where it is deemed too dangerous to use.
    where you are expected to dismount, walk across, cross the path and back tot he cycle lane and remount.

    That's not acceptable in my mind, nobody should be allowed design such a flawed crossing point for cyclists. Honestly if you had to do that why not just use the road anyway, really?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 61 ✭✭✭ CurtisPadd


    thanks very much for input. Gerdee the link to the value for money study by Bristol city council/NHS looks fantastically useful,thanks!
    My study is concentrating on the economics of upgrading the main routes to city centre of Dublin and yes i am factoring in the benefit to society of having a healthier public. This along with reduced emissions,reduced traffic volumes and reduced accident costs (NRA value an Irish human life at >2million euro!) are my main benefits.

    I could have written 10,000 word on opinions regarding cycling in the city and it was this frustration that prompted me to choose this topic. I think better education of motorist, cyclists and pedestrains(in that order) is essential.
    The layout and design of the cycle tracks are totally haphazard, some good, most bad and it is very hard to get reliable costs of construction per metre, i might be just pulling the figure out of the sky!
    I might get a job pricing the metro at this rate!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 61 ✭✭✭ CurtisPadd


    Ah, I've read one of the links to the Dulbin observer, 10m for 5km of cyclepath!


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,290 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    CurtisPadd wrote: »
    Ah, I've read one of the links to the Dublin observer, 10m for 5km of cyclepath!

    :eek:

    That's pretty insane. How can it cost that much and is it really worth it even given the benefits when there is adequate road infrastructure in place that cyclist can use anyway?
    The 10m could be much better spent on awareness and education of all road users than on a single stretch of cycle lane/path and would make a much greater overall impact IMO, or spend it on the Dublin bike scheme to provide more bikes and stations, again a much greater return would be seen.

    I remember hearing that the red paint surfacing costs €30 per sq metre, maybe that's why it costs so much!


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    That's pretty insane. How can it cost that much and is it really worth it even given the benefits when there is adequate road infrastructure in place that cyclist can use anyway?

    See: How does a 5km cycle route cost €10m? In short: Some costly non-cycling things such as drainage, lighting, and footpath upgrades. For both people walking and cyclists there's also boardwalks, bridges, and traffic lights.

    Where is the adequate road infrastructure around there?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    Taken from the article:
    Fallon said: “Nine major junctions are being re-signalised to provide for pedestrians and cyclists. Drainage and public lighting is being upgraded along route. A traffic communications fibre optic cable in being laid and a CCTV system is being installed.”
    Fallon also notes: “There are substantial costs associated with working in proximity with underground services – 10 bar gas distribution main and 220kV electricity.”
    Although, it is now unclear what options will be used on the cycle route between the Dockland and Fairview Park, it is understood that bridges made up a substantial cost of up to €4m for the short section. Plans included a tall bridge needed to cross the Royal Canal and railway tracks. Between West Road and Fairview Park there was also planned to be a bridge crossing the River Tolka.

    The surfacing is probably the least expensive part of the plan, building bridges, installing/upgrading/moving services is expensive.

    Junctions that are 're-signalised' are horribly expensive. Turing 1 junction from a roundabout to traffic lights (disastrously) in Galway cost over €500,000. If the same costs apply here, that's at least €4.5m accounted for.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument



    What they are trying to build and that on-road route are completely different.

    The new route:
    • is more suitable for younger cyclists and far more attractive to people of all ages, the on-road route is far less so suitable and attractive
    • because it has less conflicts with cars, both parked and moving
    • is more likely to help with a modal shift to cycling and help with the up take of leisure cycling too
    • has far more space compared to congested roads, some of which have tiny cycle tracks which are overloaded at rush hour
    • should (but I'm not 100% on this) have less turning restrictions than the on-road route

    About the only word for most of the cycle tracks around there is "adequate", but that's not good enough if you want more people cycling.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,290 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster


    I came across perhaps the stupidest one I've yet seen on Monday in sandyford.

    Starts just at luas depot, leads off road onto footpath level, is about 100m long and then turns sharply left into a crossing of the tram tracks, on the other side runs about 30m and stops surrounded by footpath forcing you to dismount and walk back to the road.

    Whoever designed and approved that deserves to be shot. I cannot understand how they think it's suitable at all, especially the way it simply stops in the middle of the footpath


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