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Kirwin Action Group

  • 06-12-2017 10:26am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 893 ✭✭✭ PLL


    What is the story with them blocking the right turns on the Headford Road this morning. Is it legal to block a public road, especially one that is entrance to a school? Without former notice?

    If they legally have a right to do it then fine, but give commuters prior notice so they are aware their journey will take longer.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,845 ✭✭✭ thesandeman


    It was announced in the media in advance so I presume they had permission.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,278 ✭✭✭ Your Face




  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators Posts: 81,470 Mod ✭✭✭✭ biko


    From article
    Galway Bay fm newsroom – The Kirwan Action Group is holding a protest this week at the roundabout in the city over proposed changes to the junction.

    The €1.2 million project will convert the roundabout into a four-arm traffic light junction and divert the Coolagh road onto the N84 Headford road to create a three-arm junction.

    The Kirwan Action Group claims this will increase traffic through Menlo, Tirellan, and Ballinfoile.


  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ Unrealistic


    PLL wrote: »
    especially one that is entrance to a school? Without former notice?
    Parents of children in that school received advance notification that the protesters would not obstruct them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 893 ✭✭✭ PLL


    biko wrote: »
    From article

    There was no-one at the the roundabout at all which is what was really confusing. I thought it was just residents annoyed at traffic through their estate which makes complete sense. Protesting about a change to the roundabout on a side road makes no sense.

    Considering they had signs saying 'No right turn this Wednesday' they could have put them up on the route before then.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ Unrealistic


    PLL wrote: »
    There was no-one at the the roundabout at all which is what was really confusing. I thought it was just residents annoyed at traffic through their estate which makes complete sense. Protesting about a change to the roundabout on a side road makes no sense.

    It was similar to what you describe about "residents annoyed at traffic through their estate" but was actually about traffic through Menlo village rather than than through estates.

    It's 4.5km in a straight line along the Headford Road from Ballindooley Cross to Woodquay but there is a roundabout and four sets of traffic lights along the route. Every day hundreds of cars try to bypass that by turning off the Headford Road at Ballindooley and taking a 7.3km detour along narrow country roads through Menlo and down the Dyke Road to rejoin the Headford Road at Woodquay. Many more come in the Headford Road as far as Ballinfoyle/Tirellan and then shoot up through the roads of the estates to get to the Dyke Road that way and avoid the roundabouts and traffic lights.

    Sampling of the cars passing through Menlo has shown 98% of cars travelling over the speed limit. The upshot is that children who live on the other two approach roads to Menlo school from the north and west mostly walk to school but those who live on the eastern approach road are too fearful of the traffic using it as a rat run. So they feel compelled to drive their children to school for their own safety (a distance that could be walked in as little as ten minutes).

    So the concern is twofold. First it was a protest against existing traffic speeding through a residential area and, second, a fear that the change to the Kirwan Roundabout will encourage even more traffic to try to use these roads as a rat run.
    PLL wrote: »
    Considering they had signs saying 'No right turn this Wednesday' they could have put them up on the route before then.
    I believe they were up yesterday, if not earlier, but maybe they weren't very noticeable.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,138 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Zzippy


    It was similar to what you describe about "residents annoyed at traffic through their estate" but was actually about traffic through Menlo village rather than than through estates.

    It's 4.5km in a straight line along the Headford Road from Ballindooley Cross to Woodquay but there is a roundabout and four sets of traffic lights along the route. Every day hundreds of cars try to bypass that by turning off the Headford Road at Ballindooley and taking a 7.3km detour along narrow country roads through Menlo and down the Dyke Road to rejoin the Headford Road at Woodquay. Many more come in the Headford Road as far as Ballinfoyle/Tirellan and then shoot up through the roads of the estates to get to the Dyke Road that way and avoid the roundabouts and traffic lights.

    Sampling of the cars passing through Menlo has shown 98% of cars travelling over the speed limit. The upshot is that children who live on the other two approach roads to Menlo school from the north and west mostly walk to school but those who live on the eastern approach road are too fearful of the traffic using it as a rat run. So they feel compelled to drive their children to school for their own safety (a distance that could be walked in as little as ten minutes).

    So the concern is twofold. First it was a protest against existing traffic speeding through a residential area and, second, a fear that the change to the Kirwan Roundabout will encourage even more traffic to try to use these roads as a rat run.


    I believe they were up yesterday, if not earlier, but maybe they weren't very noticeable.

    I take that road maybe two mornings a week. yes, some cars go too fast, especially in the 50kmh zone. For those of us who drive according to the speed limit, it's a legitimate alternative route to avoid traffic. It's also a much more pleasant drive, its quieter, you get some nice views and you don't generally have someone sitting on your bumper. I meet locals walking that road nearly every morning. Calling it a rat run has connotations of rat runs in city housing estates with the implication that it should be closed to through traffic. The road was there long before a lot of the people there moved in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,085 ✭✭✭ what_traffic


    Zzippy wrote: »
    I take that road maybe two mornings a week. yes, some cars go too fast, especially in the 50kmh zone. For those of us who drive according to the speed limit, it's a legitimate alternative route to avoid traffic. It's also a much more pleasant drive, its quieter, you get some nice views and you don't generally have someone sitting on your bumper. I meet locals walking that road nearly every morning. Calling it a rat run has connotations of rat runs in city housing estates with the implication that it should be closed to through traffic. The road was there long before a lot of the people there moved in.

    Unless you have business in the Menlo then you are rat running here, and its not a legitimate alternative route. You are using a Local Road instead of a National Road.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,301 ✭✭✭ gordongekko


    Unless you have business in the Menlo then you are rat running here, and its not a legitimate alternative route. You are using a Local Road instead of a National Road.

    Bit like a cyclist using the road instead of a bike lane


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators Posts: 81,470 Mod ✭✭✭✭ biko


    Let's leave cycling out of this, thx


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,804 ✭✭✭✭ flazio


    Like many, I've used Menlo to get onto Bothair Na Treabh after business in the cinema retail park and or Galway shopping centre. Cuts out Dunnes catastrophic traffic lights.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,895 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    Unless you have business in the Menlo then you are rat running here, and its not a legitimate alternative route. You are using a Local Road instead of a National Road.

    Can you link us to the law saying that this is not allowed?


    Sounds to me like they need some serious traffic calming measures along the alternative routes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 143 ✭✭ Curly head


    biko wrote:
    Let's leave cycling out of this, thx


    That road is way too dangerous for cycling


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,344 ✭✭✭✭ ben.schlomo


    Can you link us to the law saying that this is not allowed?


    Sounds to me like they need some serious traffic calming measures along the alternative routes.

    Tirellan has plenty of traffic calming measures in place for many years.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,138 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Zzippy


    Unless you have business in the Menlo then you are rat running here, and its not a legitimate alternative route. You are using a Local Road instead of a National Road.

    I live less than 2 km from Ballindooley, on a road that is also used by commuters to cut between the Headford and Tuam roads. When I reach Ballindooley Cross, I can take the N84 into traffic, or the Menlo road into Woodquay, beside where I work. Both are legitimate routes, there is no law that says I must use a national road.

    I get the issue with traffic, I enjoy walking on our road too with kids, but traffic calming and proper speed enforcement is the approach needed, not telling people they are not allowed to drive a certain route. When we moved here we accepted that it was a public road that people used to get from A to B, folks in Menlo are also aware of that. Speeding is the issue, not traffic.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 10,577 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Robbo


    Unless you have business in the Menlo then you are rat running here, and its not a legitimate alternative route. You are using a Local Road instead of a National Road.
    Are there any shops in Menlo that sell Precious Things or Cans of Cant?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,085 ✭✭✭ what_traffic


    Robbo wrote: »
    Are there any shops in Menlo that sell Precious Things or Cans of Cant?

    You tell me?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,085 ✭✭✭ what_traffic


    Can you link us to the law saying that this is not allowed?
    There is no law in Ireland, it does exist on the Continent though .It still is RAT running.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,085 ✭✭✭ what_traffic


    Zzippy wrote: »
    I live less than 2 km from Ballindooley, on a road that is also used by commuters to cut between the Headford and Tuam roads.
    This is not right either. So you do know how it feels as somebody who lives on a local road when you see this rat running occur.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,138 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Zzippy


    This is not right either. So you do know how it feels as somebody who lives on a local road when you see this rat running occur.

    I knew before we bought the house that motorists who don't live locally use the road to get from one place to another. Thankfully most of them obey the speed limit and are considerate to other road users (I walk and cycle myself, as well as being a motorist). If they didn't, I would consider lobbying for some traffic calming measures. I certainly don't consider moving to an area and then expecting the road to be for mine and my neighbours' use only. There's no right or wrong about someone legitimately using a public road, there is only good and bad driving on that road. Bad driving needs to be rooted out and stopped, wherever it occurs.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,085 ✭✭✭ what_traffic


    Zzippy wrote: »
    There's no right or wrong about someone legitimately using a public road, there is only good and bad driving on that road. Bad driving needs to be rooted out and stopped, wherever it occurs.
    I disagree - these small local roads are not able to handle this vehicular through traffic. They were never designed for that purpose. Traffic calming is only addressing the effects not the root cause.

    Many local people in your vicinity disagree with your viewpoint based on the following
    http://www.tg4.ie/ga/nuacht/?id=925456
    and the video link of the same
    https://twitter.com/NuachtTG4/status/938485893844811776



  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,138 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Zzippy


    I disagree - these small local roads are not able to handle this vehicular through traffic. They were never designed for that purpose. Traffic calming is only addressing the effects not the root cause.

    Many local people in your vicinity disagree with your viewpoint based on the following
    http://www.tg4.ie/ga/nuacht/?id=925456
    and the video link of the same
    https://twitter.com/NuachtTG4/status/938485893844811776


    Disagree all you like. If someone drives in a responsible manner and is considerate to other road users, including and especially pedestrians and cyclists, a public road which is not a cul de sac is a legitimate route to take. Or are we to turn all non-national roads into gated communities with access restricted to residents and delivery men?

    That road has always been an alternative route to the N84 - if you live on a road that is a direct route into the very centre of a large town you can't expect to have that direct access only for yourself. Traffic calming measures may discourage enough of the people using the road for that purpose to suit you and/or residents, but it is and will remain a legitimate route should someone so choose.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,974 ✭✭✭ fergiesfolly


    There is no law in Ireland, it does exist on the Continent though .It still is RAT running.

    Rat running is the practice of driving through residential areas such as housing estates, as a shortcut. The road being mentioned may be very built up, but it's not a residential area, as such.
    If you want to cut off normal roads to all road users, you won't mind paying for its upkeep.


  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ Unrealistic


    Zzippy wrote: »
    I take that road maybe two mornings a week. yes, some cars go too fast, especially in the 50kmh zone. For those of us who drive according to the speed limit, it's a legitimate alternative route to avoid traffic.
    As I mentioned above, sampling showed 98% of drivers using that road during the morning period were exceeding the speed limit. If you are among the 2% that abide by the speed limit I commend you. But you might want to check the speed limits again. You refer to "especially in the 50kmh zone", implying the problem is less outside the 50kmh zone, but I'm pretty sure that entire stretch of road, from Ballindooley through Menlo and into town, is a 50kmh zone. If you've been travelling along it under the impression that only part of it is a 50kmh zone and the rest has a higher limit then you may have been inadvertently breaking the speed limit.

    5kje3m.jpg
    https://www.google.ie/maps/@53.3129575,-9.0238305,3a,23.6y,273.54h,84.32t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1scBR1EySDaTRLGVz8Ld9Mtg!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo0.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DcBR1EySDaTRLGVz8Ld9Mtg%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dsearch.TACTILE.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D96%26h%3D64%26yaw%3D137.18204%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656


    Zzippy wrote: »
    Calling it a rat run has connotations of rat runs in city housing estates with the implication that it should be closed to through traffic.
    I disagree. I think it is a textbook definition of a rat run. Drivers leave the N84 at Ballindooley in the hope of rejoining the N84 further in more speedily than if they stayed on it. When you leave a main road with a 100km speed limit, to take a longer distance journey on inferior roads only ever intended for local access in the hope of shortening your journey time, it fits the classic definition of rat running.

    Dictionary definition:
    rat run noun
    ​a small road that is used by a lot of drivers who are trying to avoid traffic on larger roads:
    "The road through our village has become a rat run for commuters trying to avoid delays on the A14."

    You only need to change A14 to N84 and it describes the situation of drivers diverting through Menlo exactly.


    Zzippy wrote: »
    The road was there long before a lot of the people there moved in.
    The road has been there for centuries, so it was there long before anyone who lives there moved in. I don't see what bearing this has on anything?


    Zzippy wrote: »
    I knew before we bought the house that motorists who don't live locally use the road to get from one place to another. Thankfully most of them obey the speed limit and are considerate to other road users (I walk and cycle myself, as well as being a motorist). If they didn't, I would consider lobbying for some traffic calming measures. I certainly don't consider moving to an area and then expecting the road to be for mine and my neighbours' use only. There's no right or wrong about someone legitimately using a public road, there is only good and bad driving on that road. Bad driving needs to be rooted out and stopped, wherever it occurs.
    OK, now I think understand what you were getting at when you referred to the road having been there before the people who live on it. But if you are making the case that people knew there would be through traffic when they bought their houses then this is not actually true. This phenomenon has only really become noticeable in the last 15 years. Only 20 years ago people would have laughed at you if you told them there would be 500+ cars leaving the Headford Road each morning, to drive down a narrow unmarked road only to get back onto the Headford Road, because driving a higgledy piggledy route through an isolated village would be quicker than continuing in a straight line.


    Zzippy wrote: »
    I live less than 2 km from Ballindooley, on a road that is also used by commuters to cut between the Headford and Tuam roads. When I reach Ballindooley Cross, I can take the N84 into traffic, or the Menlo road into Woodquay, beside where I work. Both are legitimate routes, there is no law that says I must use a national road.
    I don't think anyone said there was a law against it but rat running in general is considered to be an undesirable side effect of traffic congestion and measures are taken to discourage it.


    Zzippy wrote: »
    I get the issue with traffic, I enjoy walking on our road too with kids, but traffic calming and proper speed enforcement is the approach needed, not telling people they are not allowed to drive a certain route. When we moved here we accepted that it was a public road that people used to get from A to B, folks in Menlo are also aware of that.
    Certainly those two roads are similar but I believe there is one significant difference. The road between Ballindooley and McHughs connects two main roads running roughly parallel to one another and has been used as a through road since before there were cars. If you're on the Headford Road, say at Clada Group, and you need to get from there to Claregalway then that road has always been the most logical route. The road through Menlo is very different on that front. From Ballindooley the logical route into town is along the Headford Road. Taking a detour through Menlo was never a logical route to get from Ballindooley to town until relatively recently when it became a traffic dodge.


    Zzippy wrote: »
    Speeding is the issue, not traffic.
    For me, yes, speeding is the primary issue.


    Zzippy wrote: »
    Disagree all you like. If someone drives in a responsible manner and is considerate to other road users, including and especially pedestrians and cyclists, a public road which is not a cul de sac is a legitimate route to take. Or are we to turn all non-national roads into gated communities with access restricted to residents and delivery men?
    I don't think anyone is suggesting that on here and I don't think anyone protesting yesterday was advocating for a ban on cars driving through that route. But it is incorrect to suggest that the alternative to a free-for-all is gated communities. If a decision was taken to target rat running then there are ways to achieve it without using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. The crudest method would be to just have a sign on the Headford Road that says 'No right turns between 7AM and 9AM'. These are common in other countries and I believe they are also used on a couple of roads in Dublin. That would have the side effect of preventing people who live in Carrowbrowne from bringing their children to Menlo school so not an ideal solution. Another alternative in use in other countries is a camera controlled road signposted Local Access Only. Anyone is free to travel the road at any time but if your number plate is photographed leaving one side of the area within X minutes of having entered on the other side then you are considered as having used it as a through route and you get a fine in the post. I'm not advocating either of these solutions, and I don't think anyone else is, I'm just mentioning them to show that it's not about gated communities or anything close to it.


    Zzippy wrote: »
    That road has always been an alternative route to the N84
    As someone who moved to the area more than 40 years ago I can personally attest that this is completely untrue. Traffic using that route to get to town only became a thing during the peak Celtic Tiger years, lessened significantly by 2010 and then built up again over recent years.

    The road through Menlo is:
    1) 52% longer in distance than staying on the Headford Road
    2) 100% longer in projected travel time than the Headford Road when both roads are clear. (Google Maps projected journey times at 1AM)
    3) restricted to 50kmh for its entire duration whereas the Headford Road has higher limits until much closer to the city centre.
    4) too narrow for two cars to pass in many places whereas the Headford Road has at least one wide lane in each direction

    Why would it ever have been an alternative to the N84 before traffic became unmanageable?


    Zzippy wrote: »
    if you live on a road that is a direct route into the very centre of a large town you can't expect to have that direct access only for yourself.
    As an abstract statement that may be true but it has nothing to do with what we're discussing. Menlo is not on a direct route to anywhere. There are only two roads to Menlo and both lead from the Headford Road. When you get to Menlo your only option is to either turn around or turn 90 degrees and go back to the Headford Road again. It is bounded on two sides by the lake and the river so it is a physical impossibility for it to be on a direct route to anywhere else (until such time as the proposed bridge gets built at least).

    Just looking at the map makes it obvious that we're not talking about competing direct routes. We're talking a no-brainer direct route into town versus a pain in the hole meandering back road that takes you away from the direction you're actually trying to reach. It's only because the horrendous traffic makes the main road even more of a pain in the hole that people have started to travel what was previously a nonsensical route best suited to tractor traffic.

    x1xgdj.jpg

    I don't even know how this even came down to an argument about what constitutes rat running and what is 'legitimate use' of a route. I'm not a member of the Kirwan Action Group, and I do not speak for them, but I do have some knowledge of the situation so I just replied on this thread because I was able to respond to specific questions that were asked. If someone wants to make the argument that the city has grown and that Menlo, as part of the city, just has to suck it up and accept rat running to ease pressure on other routes then that would at least be honest. To an extent I might agree with that as an equitable statement, although it would be easier to accept if we actually had a local government system that could work towards a joined up transport strategy. But pretending it isn't rat running or that it is some traditional route not one newly created by congestion just rings hollow.


  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ Unrealistic


    flazio wrote: »
    Like many, I've used Menlo to get onto Bothair Na Treabh after business in the cinema retail park and or Galway shopping centre. Cuts out Dunnes catastrophic traffic lights.
    That's actually the Dyke Road rather than Menlo. If you had continued straight, instead of turning right to go down the hill to the Kirwan Roundabout to get on to Bothar na dTreabh, then you would have been heading towards Menlo. The Dyke Road isn't actually too bad. For most of its length it has footpaths and is wide enough for two cars to meet without having to slow down. But that only continues for another 700m on the way to Menlo. The remaining 5km from there to Ballindooley is a local road where pedestrians and cars share the same space and in many places is not even wide enough for two cars to pass when they meet. You either slow down, if the space is wide enough, or where it isn't one car has to stop at a suitable spot to let the other past. Sometimes you even find yourself having to reverse to find a spot where the car facing you can pass. This is the what the first stretch of that road looks like.

    25i3bpk.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ Unrealistic


    Curly head wrote: »
    That road is way too dangerous for cycling
    I cycle on it occasionally and it can indeed be hairy. Especially on the first stretch from Menlo towards town. The road gets wider from there in, so people naturally speed up, but there are lots of bends so it can take short wait to get a clear view to do a safe overtake. I'll have someone pass me on a blind bend at least once each time I cycle that road. The worst was some lady in a 20 year old Toyota a couple of months ago who tried to fly around me on the first bend as you leave Menlo. As soon as she pulled out two cars came around the bend towards her. She chose to point her car back at me to avoid a head on collision and jammed on the brakes. Lots of squealing tyres (ABS not working?) and she came to a halt inches from the back wheel of my bike. And then drove off as if nothing had happened.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 857 ✭✭✭ Unrealistic


    Sounds to me like they need some serious traffic calming measures along the alternative routes.
    I don't know how effective that would be. As you'll see from the picture above, you might expect that the narrowness of the road might act as a traffic calming measure but it doesn't seem to.

    Tirellan has plenty of traffic calming measures in place for many years.
    I gather it has helped there but has far from eliminated the problem. One of the community pages mentioned that gardai had been active in the estate recently issuing speeding fines to those using it as a shortcut to the Dyke Road.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,085 ✭✭✭ what_traffic


    Rat running is the practice of driving through residential areas such as housing estates, as a shortcut. The road being mentioned may be very built up, but it's not a residential area, as such.
    If you want to cut off normal roads to all road users, you won't mind paying for its upkeep.

    Incorrect - this is rat running through Menlo/Ballindooley. If people are diverting off National Roads to go on Local Roads (these are not Regional roads) to bypass CAR traffic jams on the National Road then this is the definition of Rat Running. These local roads will actual need less maintenance if you cut out rat running. As stated before they were never engineererd for this volume of vehicular traffic. As a result you would be saving tax payers money (which is everybody in the Country)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,974 ✭✭✭ fergiesfolly


    Incorrect - this is rat running through Menlo/Ballindooley. If people are diverting off National Roads to go on Local Roads (these are not Regional roads) to bypass CAR traffic jams on the National Road then this is the definition of Rat Running. These local roads will actual need less maintenance if you cut out rat running. As stated before they were never engineererd for this volume of vehicular traffic. As a result you would be saving tax payers money (which is everybody in the Country)

    They're part of the public road network. Roads in housing estates were never envisaged as part of a road network to facilitate all users, but as access for residents only. The road to Menlo goes through the village and onto other destinations and was there and being used by anyone and everyone before all the homes on it.
    Finally..What road built 100+ years ago was engineered for modern traffic?
    I'm sure it's not comfortable for residents having large volumes of traffic on the road. But a lot would have purchased or built their properties because of the ease of access to Galway and should've considered that other road users would also look at that route for the very same reason. Traffic volumes are definitely a situation I would look at when purchasing


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,085 ✭✭✭ what_traffic


    They're part of the public road network. Roads in housing estates were never envisaged as part of a road network to facilitate all users, but as access for residents only. The road to Menlo goes through the village and onto other destinations and was there and being used by anyone and everyone before all the homes on it.
    Finally..What road built 100+ years ago was engineered for modern traffic?
    I'm sure it's not comfortable for residents having large volumes of traffic on the road. But a lot would have purchased or built their properties because of the ease of access to Galway and should've considered that other road users would also look at that route for the very same reason. Traffic volumes are definitely a situation I would look at when purchasing

    The hint is in the name. "Local Roads". Unless you have business(does not mean shopping) in the locality, you should not be using them for your rat run commute to avoid the car traffic on the national roads.


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