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Greenways [greenway map of Ireland in post 1]



  • Registered Users Posts: 988 ✭✭✭ Large bottle small glass

    I'm all for sustainable infrastructure but in the main Greenways as they are built currently are doing very little in getting people out of cars. I say that as someone who has lived beside a number of Greenways and currently have a house within 100m of Waterford Greenway.

    They are tourist attractions and drive a lot of car traffic to the various car parks at the access points; there are very few people commuting on the Greenways I have experience of. They do enhance economy of the areas they are built in terms of accommodation and food services etc which is the major reason local authorities want them.

    Sustainable safe cycle infrastructure which will benefit big numbers commuting within and to are major urban areas are what we need to get a big modal shift and reduce carbon emissions. That kind of infrastructure will require hard decisions of car parking, car access to cities, proper junction design and CPO expensive city centre private property.

    The money might be there for that, I don't know, but as of now the political will isn't.

    Greenways won't be exactly cheap, and as we head into a recession we'd want to be sure we are getting a return for the borrowed money required to build them

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,283 ✭✭✭ phelixoflaherty

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,107 ✭✭✭✭ breezy1985

    What kind of a "return" are you looking for with the greenways?

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,465 ✭✭✭✭ whisky_galore

    "I'm all for sustainable infrastructure but in the main Greenways as they are built currently are doing very little in getting people out of cars."

    That's because they are for leisure purposes by and large, and here's the kicker...most people drive to them to use them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 988 ✭✭✭ Large bottle small glass

    It's public money, I'd rather it wasn't wasted, and money on cycling infrastructure got people out of cars not into them.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭ hans aus dtschl

    I don't disagree with you at all.

    But greenways are being funded out of the transport budget, and included in the transport sections of local area development plans.

    The reason for this is because they want the counter-balance to roads expenditure, so that they can say they're spending 20% on sustainable transport etc.

    To let you know where I stand on the practice, I myself have made formal submissions against the inclusions of greenways as "Transport". Most are designed for leisure.

    So what I said at first isn't wrong: the money will be available. At least until CPO's and construction on a Dublin Metro kick off.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭ hans aus dtschl

    Yep. The urban greenways are the exception to the rule though, let's acknowledge them as being viable for getting people out of cars. I'll use some of the new under-construction greenways end-to-end without a car. So it's not all or nothing.

    I'd still prefer pedestrian/cycle segregation on these routes rather than the "shared" greenways but let's not split hairs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭ hans aus dtschl

    There is a health benefit, or Return on Investment. Let's acknowledge that. Similar to public playground facilities, there is a benefit to greenways. And they "teach" people to use the bike in a safe environment, encouraging them to cycle elsewhere.

    But many of the existing greenways are currently carbon neutral at best rather than carbon negative.

    But I think you and I are of the same mindset: rural greenways are not the optimal way of encouraging modal shift. But it's definitely not "all bad" is all I'm saying.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,107 ✭✭✭✭ breezy1985

    Greenways are not really cycling infrastructure though. From what I can tell they get a lot more walkers than cyclists.

    So if you think greenways are "wasted money" then do you also feel that public parks and playgrounds are wasted money ?

    Greenways are essentially a flatter version of the planned forest trails and hill walks we have had for years.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,308 ✭✭✭ timmyntc

    The fact that people have to drive to use greenways could be considered a reason why we need more greenways, because it currently isnt safe or attractive enough to cycle to them. We need more greenways in more areas so, as you pointed out, people will not be exclusively driving to use them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,107 ✭✭✭✭ breezy1985

    Links to the big urban centres does seem to be a bit of a problem. There is stuff in the works but currently a casual cyclist or a walker would have to drive (or coach) to any Greenway or trail around Limerick.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,201 ✭✭✭✭ Ush1

    I think in urban areas the greenways can link up with more standard cycling infrastructure for commuting. The dodder greenway can get you a fair ways in towards town before you need to join roads. I'd imagine it could be quicker for a lot of commuters(and safer of course) than just using the existing roads.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,535 ✭✭✭✭ flazio

    I see them as free leisure facilities, and basically anything that takes kids off their PlayStations that doesn't confine them within the 4 walls of a soggy sports field is welcome in my books.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,580 ✭✭✭✭ Zebra3

    They’re great for joggers too, and for narcissistic dog walkers who enjoy breaking the law by letting their animals loose.

  • Registered Users Posts: 988 ✭✭✭ Large bottle small glass

    I'd say there is very little between us; my fear is that they will be seen as "the" place to cycle. In other words Get the fu(k of the roads and use the Greenways; the very opposite of where we should be heading.

    We should be building a cycling culture where it is the normal way to get around to shop, commute etc rather than this thing we drive to to get exercise. People didn't exercise before because they had activity built into their lives, utility cycling is any easy way back to that.

    If you go beyond Durrow/Ballyvoile tunnel and in the rural sections of Waterford Greenway numbers fall off a cliff. The Limerick one seems to be very quite. They will be successful in areas like Dungarvan, Westport which are nice towns to start with, my suspicion we will end up with a lot of White Elephants. If those white elephants come out of a budget that could be building proper infrastructure that's criminal

    Local enough to me there was a push to get Thurles/Clonmel Greenway up and running; two sh1te towns in terms of tourist and would be risky in terms of reward for your investment. They have a small bit developed up near Derrynaflan (because its easy with bog land and probably a public ROW to Church) but the rest of it will be a ball ache.

    Like below or the bit passing the house of a horsey billionaire's mother's house 😀..

    CPO's will make a cottage industry out of it for the professional classes

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,107 ✭✭✭✭ breezy1985

    I wouldn't agree about the Limerick one. Maybe on some stretches but the better bits are busy.

    As for non cyclists sure they already think we don't belong on the road an simultaneously don't belong on the path. Plenty of them complaining about us on the Greenway too.

    We certainly should also be building commuter cycle infrastructure but it's a case of doing both whereas you are coming across as if it's one or the other. Especially with your very NIMBYesque "white elephant" stuff.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,299 ✭✭✭ serfboard

    You have qualified your statement that "there are very few people commuting" with the caveat "I have experience of". The reason that there may be (and we don't know) very few commuting on some Greenways, is, that some Greenways don't go into urban centres. The Limerick Greenway, for instance, doesn't go into Limerick city, the Great Western doesn't go into Castlebar.

    In the case of The Waterford one, it does go into the city, but not right into the city centre, it takes quite a circuitous route, and doesn't pass any large population centre on the way. So I'm not surprised if you don't see many commuters on it.

    However there are examples of commuter-friendly Greenways. The Passage Railway Greenway in Cork is one. It goes into the city (but again not right into the centre) and does pass through some built-up areas. If you wanted to commute from Rochestown to the city, for instance, you can do it mostly by Greenway. You can't say definitively that no-one is doing this.

    The Athlone Greenway passes through many built-up areas and also allows a commute from Moate to Athlone. Again your anecdotal evidence cannot say that this is not happening.

    Tralee's current Greenway also goes into the Town Centre, and if you wanted to cycle from Mounthawk to the Town Centre you could do it on the Greenway. Mounthawk also has a large secondary school, so kids who live in the town can cycle out, again using the Greenway. When the Fenit line opens up, commuters will be able to travel from Spa and futher afield.

    The Connemara Greenway will also allow commuting from Oughterard and Moycullen into NUIG/UHG and Galway City Centre.

    Just because you don't see it, doesn't mean that it's not happening.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,107 ✭✭✭✭ breezy1985

    Another one that gets heavy traffic is Limerick City to UL along the canal path.

    It's not considered a Greenway as it's small and predates the current Greenway concept but it will eventually be the beginning of a longer Greenway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,929 ✭✭✭ nilhg

    Interesting discussion here, I'm living close to the new Barrow Blueway which will, once it's finished, connect at Lowtow/Robertstown to the Grand Canal greenway, which will, when it's finished, connect Naas/Sallins/Clane to Dublin and run very close to many of the industrial areas close to the M50/N7 area on the edge of Dublin. How many will use it to commute is still to be confirmed but I already know a couple of guys who commute from Naas/Sallins into the greater Dublin area by bike on the road, something it'd have to think hard about doing if I was in that position. However the potential is very clear.

    On the newly opened sections of the Blueway in my area I'd reckon about 15% of the activity is cyclists another 10% is kids socialising on MTBs, something that has noticeably grown since Covid/the blueways opening. The rest would be a mix of serious runners, walkers and people with dogs. Our club used it for midweek night time spins and we met far more people out walking in the dark than I expected, I would say in general it's busy at the top end of my expectations.

    Because it's not finished and doesn't yet through connect to any other centres of population there really aren't any tourists coming to use it as yet, I'd see the odd bikepacker cycling up from or down to the lower reaches of the barrow navigation.

    Our town, being in the greater Dublin area, has like all the others in the county grown rapidly with lots of new houses going up, the Blueway is in the general scheme of things costing small money, I can't see how it won't pay for itself very quickly, I know if it for some reason dissappeared it would be badly missed.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,465 ✭✭✭✭ whisky_galore

    Kind of defeats the point of a greenway, being a reasonably straight linear route though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭ roadmaster

    I was on the back roads of the N52 lqst week and it seams the Kingscourt/Navan greenway is well underway

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,084 ✭✭✭ pigtown

    Limerick Council are proposing an extension of the City-UL greenway along the riverbank and into Annacotty village.

  • Registered Users Posts: 127 ✭✭ Mungret Native

    I cycled the entire length of the Limerick one at the weekend, there and back. I'd say I met 5 people between Barnagh and Abbeyfeale and back. A distance of allegedly 28km. Someone needs to sort out those distance signs by the way. Rathkeale to Ardagh is allegedly 10km but in reality is just over 8.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,861 ✭✭✭ whyulittle

    Athlone's new cycleway bridge to be lifted into place in coming weeks

    The new cycleway bridge over the River Shannon in Athlone will start to take shape towards the end of this month, when specialised equipment will be used to lift it into place in three sections.

    This will be a significant moment as it will give the public the first clear glimpse of what the bridge will look like when complete.

    Easter of next year, which falls in early April, is the projected opening date for the pedestrian and cycle bridge and a project spokesperson told the Westmeath Independent that it remains on course to open at that stage.

    New greenway bridge over the Shannon in Athlone to start moving into place at the end of this month. On target for opening Easter 2023.

    Full story at Westmeath Independent.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,465 ✭✭✭✭ whisky_galore

    Good luck with them sorting out that.

    tbh I prefer quieter greenways, them dog walkers with the long leads/loose dogs and the wagon trains of buggies can go elsewhere.