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Cycle Lane construction, the designers and standards

  • 28-04-2015 7:21pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 762 ✭✭✭


    Hi Folks,

    Its been brought to my attention a document that contains the blueprints for cycle lane development across the country. The NATIONAL CYCLE MANUAL can be seen here http://www.nationaltransport.ie/downloads/national_cycle_manual_110728.pdf
    Based on your experience do the details within the document work ?
    Pages 192-194 show the construction details for these lanes. In my opinion the 50mm kerbing between the road surface and the cycle lane is lethal. Personally I've come off the bike having not seen this 2" kerb while trying to enter the cycle lane from the road. I know others have done the same - here's my thread. The blame and credit for the standards really goes to the authors of this document which the councils are obliged to follow. However some questions need to be asked :
    Who are the cycle lanes really for - the family out for a safe spin with the kids or the cycle enthusiast / club member ?
    If you are out for a spin with the club or mates do you use the cycle lanes - if not why not ?
    Should you be cycling hard on these lanes with average speeds of 15-40kph ?

    Personally I think the above speed is too fast for cycle lanes. From what I've seen around the country the majority of cycle lanes go up and down across driveways, are in such poor condition with grit & glass, have sunken spots and raised spots - making the road a safer and more comfortable place to cycle at these speeds.

    So what happens when you need to enter the newly designed cycle lanes ? The lack of consistency is dangerous. Take my case. The Slane to Navan side has 4" kerbing while the Navan to Slane side has a mix of flush and 2" grey kerbing that blends with the road.

    The NATIONAL CYCLE MANUAL contains names of persons involved in drafting these standards. Some have been made aware of accidents and yet the councils are still being told to build to these details !
    What is your opinion on this ?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,487 ✭✭✭Seweryn


    What is your opinion on this ?
    I have some cycle lanes on my commute, but I use the road instead. The paths are annoying, too narrow and you have to become a pedestrian at every juncion. They are also dangerous as you can see on the photo. The same road used to have a wide hard shoulder instead, so was much better for cycling on. Waste of taxpayer's money I'm afraid on this occasion.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,523 ✭✭✭Traumadoc


    They did the same on a road I cycle, fill in the hard shoulder with a raised cycle /footpath ,( jan 2014) that dips for each private entrance, it ignored the national guidelines.

    I got onto the engineer who was rather rude about it.

    No cyclists use it instead they cycle out on the main traffic flow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,604 ✭✭✭petethedrummer


    Seweryn wrote: »
    That's fantastic!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 4,457 ✭✭✭ford2600


    I don't cycle National primary roads much but in last ten days I cycled Portlaois to Urlingford on N8 and Farran to Ballincollig on N22?

    The sections I felt exposed on, and where I was most defensive, was where road engineers had actually gone to bother of designing cycle facilities.

    The new Cork cycle lanes, especially the counter flow on Probys quay, are a bit special.

    The depressing thing is they are well intentioned.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 23,204 Mod ✭✭✭✭godtabh


    Look up the Design Manual for Roads & Streets. Lots of other information on the principle and consequences of mixing bikes with traffic.

    I've had one too many incidents on cycle paths and dont use them any more.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 721 ✭✭✭tigerboon


    Who are the cycle lanes really for - the family out for a safe spin with the kids or the cycle enthusiast / club member ?
    If you are out for a spin with the club or mates do you use the cycle lanes - if not why not ?
    Should you be cycling hard on these lanes with average speeds of 15-40kph ?
    [/IND

    From a quick look through, I would say the policy is to design a network that encourages the use of bikes for short journeys therefore reduced car journeys.. Not a bad thing. They are aimed at commuters, family, leisurely riding etc but certainly not at roadies, clubs etc. Reducing car journeys reduces the need for expensive infrastructure projects and all the costs they incur. Saying that, they do come across as muddled and unclear both to cyclists and motorists.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 23,204 Mod ✭✭✭✭godtabh


    cycle lanes are for most definitely not for cycle enthusiast/club members unless they are commuting.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,379 ✭✭✭CarrickMcJoe


    So long as the person who designed these isn't in charge!

    http://www.broadsheet.ie/2012/07/12/meanwhile-in-dundalk/


  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭Andalucia


    zero cyclists are consulted on the design or building of any cycle lanes

    As someone as already alluded to, in many instances cycle lanes have been placed where previously there was a fine hard shoulder - its now more dangerous to cycle where the cycle lanes have been put - these cycle lanes are barely fit for young children - the ups and downs of some of them are like roller coasters

    As for any town that is designated as a Smart Travel location and has got a few quid funding to spend on cycle lanes for the sake of it - I'd suggest any cyclist visit such a location to witness such design ineptitude that you would not think is possible - I must take a few photos and post them here of one example in particular where the picture does the talking - a class of senior infants would have suggested it was a poor design, but still its get signed off by the engineers of Smart Travel


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 23,204 Mod ✭✭✭✭godtabh


    Andalucia wrote: »
    zero cyclists are consulted on the design or building of any cycle lanes

    As someone as already alluded to, in many instances cycle lanes have been placed where previously there was a fine hard shoulder - its now more dangerous to cycle where the cycle lanes have been put - these cycle lanes are barely fit for young children - the ups and downs of some of them are like roller coasters

    As for any town that is designated as a Smart Travel location and has got a few quid funding to spend on cycle lanes for the sake of it - I'd suggest any cyclist visit such a location to witness such design ineptitude that you would not think is possible - I must take a few photos and post them here of one example in particular where the picture does the talking - a class of senior infants would have suggested it was a poor design, but still its get signed off by the engineers of Smart Travel

    that sweeping statement simple isn't true. I've been consulted on many cycle lanes, tracks, routes and options. I know engineers working for LA who are keen cyclists who do similar work.

    Not all the work is based on good engineering practice and I blame a lax approach to overall engineering design for this


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  • Registered Users Posts: 553 ✭✭✭Andalucia


    ok so they may be consulted in some instances but its only to tick a box if so and they are not being consulted across the board - our club was never asked to contribute to the array of cycle lanes built locally - granted, there are cyclists outside of the club scene but surely that should be the first port of call- the vast majority of cyclists are aghast at most of the cycle lanes that are built for them because nine times out of ten its making the life of a cyclist more difficult.

    Its complete fallacy to take away a hard shoulder and replace with a kerbed cycle lane and expect cyclists to use it and interact with pedestrians and the roller coaster entrances


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,006 ✭✭✭Kaisr Sose


    Maybe some cyclist are consulted but there is total lack of thought for the cyclists right to unimpeded passage.

    Things like cycle lane on path, cyclists going straight ahead have to yield to traffic coming out of estates while the traffic on the road going the same direction have the right of way

    Cycle lanes that just stop or vanish into grass.

    Lambs Cross is a particular favourite. A real busy cycling road. Cycle lane practically all the from Enniskerry, stops at the bend before the cross, meanwhile the council add a filter lane for traffic turing right, leaving no space for cyclists between the near side kerb and traffic. Thus forcing them to stop. Madness. Similarally. Coming up from Dundrum, cycle lane all the way from town, then it ends just after council depot on right. Cycles back on road. No lane. No reason why it could not continue on. Then beyond Lambs, at the sharp bend no lane. Extremely dangerous for cyclists. Surely the engineers could work out something to make it safer for cyclists?

    Then there is the policy of allowing parking on cycle lanes. Surely a cycle lane is a traffic lane and would they permit parking dead in the middle of a single lane road? No they would not because it impedes traffic but for cyclists it's ok?

    In summary, there is no lateral, joined up, logical thinking going into these. They just want to create as many km as they can so they get awards from EU or even grants to construct. That they are not fit for purpose in many cases is totally irrelevant.


  • Registered Users Posts: 654 ✭✭✭Johnny Jukebox


    Lambs Cross certainly is special and not in the good sense.

    The only conclusion I can come to after the recent works is that the designers expect cyclists to queue up in line with the traffic because there is nowhere for them to go (other than the path or overtaking on the other side of the road) once the cycle lanes end.

    This in turns leads to cranky drivers being held up by slower moving cyclists as they try to beat fairly rapidly changing lights. It was much safer for cyclists *before* the upgrade. Given that its probably one of the busiest routes in the country for cyclists, you'd have to wonder do the professionals responsible for this actually think they've done good work here ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,006 ✭✭✭Kaisr Sose


    As somebody they navigates it twice per day, it's a disaster. Cars follow the lane marking and thus slam the door on cyclists, often without checking mirrors. Even for cars its a disaster-especially turning from Blackglen rd toward Stepaside. Why do the footpaths have to be so wide? It's not exactly pedestrian central!

    Whoever planned that should be shown the door.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,006 ✭✭✭Kaisr Sose


    godtabh wrote: »
    that sweeping statement simple isn't true. I've been consulted on many cycle lanes, tracks, routes and options. I know engineers working for LA who are keen cyclists who do similar work.

    They may consult in some cases but it is a tick box, compliance thing that makes them feel all inclusive like. Oh I hear them saying it, the essence of modern integrated planning is to consult with stakeholders. But then the budget gets canned and they cobble together some sort of thing that looks good but is totally useless.

    The beauty of traffic lanes is everybody is going the same way, you don't have joggers, walkers etc. to worry about. They are the best cycle lanes ever constructed and cost a fraction of the bespoke lanes thought up some engineer and drawn on autocad without ever visiting the site....

    They just don't care enough to make the fit for purpose..


  • Registered Users Posts: 828 ✭✭✭Koobcam


    I was in Berlin last week, a city noted as a place where a lot of people ride bikes instead of driving. There are a lot of people cycling there and bike shops on every other street. The cycling lanes though kind of reminded me a bit of Dublin-lots of quite poor surfaces and cobbles-basically not suitable for people aiming to travel at any sort of decent speed, but fine if you are just ambling along-which most people in Berlin would be (possibly because they would be knackered from the rather wonderful nightlife and incredibly cheap beer there). The real difference for me was than in a place like Berlin, it seems like cyclists are kind of accepted as part of the fabric of the city and I think people in cars, pedestrians etc generally behave accordingly. In Dublin, I don't feel as though we have gotten to that stage yet, though things are improving I feel. In terms of engineering, I agree that there are plenty of examples of poorly designed (if well-intentioned) cycle lanes, but for me, that is secondary to the culture of cycling as a legitimate means of transport becoming more widely accepted. Having said that, I also spent a bit of time in Belgium over the weekend doing the LBL sportive and compared to some of the irate drivers who were well p**sed off with a bunch of amateur cyclists causing traffic chaos, Dublin drivers don't seem so bad.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,227 ✭✭✭Boscoirl


    There are not many cycle lanes near me, the main one would be the Nenagh -> Limerick on the old N7, which cost close to €1m according to a newspaper report from around the time it was built, and all i can see is that they painted a bicycle on the road every few hundred meters along the hard shoulder to mark it out, while at the same time reducing the speed limit on the road to 80Km(thats another issue) the lanes dont ever seem to be cleaned, they are covered in loose chippings from tbhe road, and in the last few months they have made it worse by laying down a new gas pipe the length of route, digging up the lane and poorly resurfacing it imo.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,740 ✭✭✭✭tomasrojo


    Koobcam wrote: »
    I was in Berlin last week, a city noted as a place where a lot of people ride bikes instead of driving. There are a lot of people cycling there and bike shops on every other street. The cycling lanes though kind of reminded me a bit of Dublin

    I was in Berlin a few years ago, and though I didn't do any cycling, I was watching out for the cycling infrastructure. As you say, it wasn't of an especially high standard, and didn't handle junctions well. I think the law says you have to use it too (though if I recall correctly, cycling organisations there have some success in having the cycle track status of the worst ones recalled so people can cycle on the neighbouring road).


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,740 ✭✭✭✭tomasrojo


    I should add that there were lots of cyclists of both sexes and all ages, and it looked like a grand place to cycle around, despite the somewhat crummy cycle lane designs.


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