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Proposed Kerry Cycleway - Two-way Cycle Lane beside Two-way Road

  • 29-04-2022 12:30pm
    Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭


    I'm currently looking at a proposal for a new cycle-way in Kerry and was wondering if somebody with more knowledge on this could provide some advice whether it is a good or bad proposal.

    The proposed layout can be found here:

    In particular, I'm looking at the layout of the two-way cycleway on the bottom part of the plan and the left side of the section:

    Would you feel this is the optimal section design for this section of road? My thoughts would be that the cycle-way at least should be dropped to a level similar to the main road and changed into a dedicated cycleway and keep the footpath as a separate item. However, I don't know if 1.75m width is more dangerous for a two-way cycle width, i.e. you would then have to negotiate a kerb if you needed to dismount.

    In addition, I can't find any similar schemes in Ireland for review apart from the odd one in the Netherlands. My thought initially were the cycle route along the grand canal in Dublin, but this wouldn't have the additional aspect of a large number of entrances intersecting with the road. My concern here is that, if this is unusual for the country, people might not look both ways for cyclists and only be expecting them to be travelling in the line of traffic. Would the proposal be better with a grass verge on both sides of the road: footpath, 1m dropped cycle path, 1m grass verge, reduced carriageway, 1m grass verge, 1m dropped cycle path, footpath?

    Thanks for any help!



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,361 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    Can't offer expertise, but there's a few similar sections around Wicklow - around Wicklow Town - Port Relief Road, and between Rathnew Graveyard and the Port Relief Road, and the Hawkstown Road. Also the Farrankelly Road from N11 to Greystones. Wyattville Road to the Loughlinstown Roundabout southbound in DLRCC is also two way.

    Only issue I have experience on them is the usual that they essentially become shared paths (runners in particular thinking they run to fast for the pavement!). So you're proposed design would make it harder to move around pedestrians.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,841 ✭✭✭fat bloke

    Issues with raised / shared paths imo are that you are generally lowest priority at every junction / access road / junction so you're expected to yield at every one of those, plus the fact that each junction requires the path to be lowered and then raised again so you're roller-coasting up and down like the proverbial. Also, often these paths are not maintained or swept so one smashed glass bottle remains in situ for all eternity. And finally, shared bike and car space can be as inappropriate as shared bike and pedestrian space. Pedestrians are equally deserving of their own safe segregated path way out of the way of fast moving bicycles, whether that's fast road cyclists or commuters on heavy, fast moving, momentum-laden, electric bikes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,671 ✭✭✭DeepBlue

    I don't know if you're familiar with the road at present. There is currently a painted cycleway and footpath on the southern side and similar on the northern side. I guess the changes here mainly will be making the road portion narrower.

    The drawing would be more accurate if it showed the woman and child and cyclists on the left sharing space with parked cars as there's always a number of parked vehicles on that section of the cycleway/path currently where the locals treat is as residential parking space. Whether a kerb between the path and road will change that remains to be seen.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,107 ✭✭✭hans aus dtschl

    I suspect 1.75m is below minimum width according to the National Cycle Manual 7.2

    I think what they actually intend here is like a "greenway" where pedestrians and cyclists share the space allocation. In which case it's not bad at all and I'd be more interested in junction treatment and roadside entrance treatment.

    Such a facility is in place in Glounthaune, Cork, completed in the last 12-18 months and currently being extended. Conflict issues at property entrances and junctions are frequent. Conflict issues with pedestrians are frequent. Most continue to cycle on the road.

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,634 ✭✭✭✭Squidgy Black

    Not familiar with the road itself but from looking at the small stretch on Google maps it’s pretty dire. Particularly the amount of elevation changes in the path for such a short stretch of road too. Particularly with the school there I’d say the only way you’re going to prevent parking is with bollards or wands, but even then the amount of breaks you’ll need for driveways and entrances etc along that stretch they’d just ignore them.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,361 ✭✭✭Macy0161

    The yielding right of way is a decision though - they can pull pack the side road Stop or Yield line, if the council has the forethought. On the N11, DLRCC have it that way on some junctions, but not others.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 hill raider

    As already mentioned above, this type of cycle path will be no holy grail for cycling.

    If you put 'Colaiste Chill Mhantain Wicklow' into google maps you can see an effort at a cycle path crossing entrances to houses. As captured on the day that the google maps camera passed by, the cycle path is used for parking cars and leaving refuse bins on. I have cycled this road for many years and I have never seen anyone cycle on the side where the houses are. You can see that the house entrances take priority in that a car leaving a property does not have to 'mount a cycle path' to gain access to the road. Instead the cyclists have to continually drop down and rise up as they pass the home entrances. The perception is very much that the cars are the priority. The perception works.

    To address your points, I wouldn't be too concerned about the width of a two way cycle path. In my experience, cyclists tend to be glad to see another cyclist and are courteous in giving each other space. Also if you drop the cycle path to the level of the road then you just have a wider road for cars and a more convenient method for cars to gain access to parking. I don't mind too much sharing a cycle path with pedestrians. When cycling, I treat pedestrians the way I would like car drivers to treat me when I am on the road. That is with the more vulnerable road users safety in mind.

    The frequency with which cars leave houses is low and in my opinion not a major issue for cyclists. However, where you have entrances to housing estates or minor roads leading across the cycle path to larger roads is an area I would be concerned about. You can see an example of this in Wicklow, where the Marlton Springs road meets the Hawkstown road / cycle path. Cars emerging from the minor Marlton Springs road to get on to the Hawkstown road must cross the pedestrian foot path and the cycle path. If you look at google maps you will see that the stop line for cars is after the road cuts the footpath and cycle path. There is ambiguity for cars crossing the pedestrian and cycle paths. But there is none regarding crossing the white line at the junction. Again the perception, which leads to the rule is, that cyclists and pedestrians crossing the minor road better be prepared to stop. Cars know where they have to stop. The designers have painted a friendly white line for them...

  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭Victorian House

    Just to follow up on this story, the cycleway got approved by councillors in the end:

    At some point, I might have a few photos to upload just for the record of the thread.

    Thanks for all the comments.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6 hill raider

    This needs to be carved in stone:

    "Councillors claim the junction is not safe for large machinery and could lead to an accident or halt traffic flow."

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,583 ✭✭✭Montage of Feck

    A bike is a road vehicle so should be on the road not sharing the footpath with pedestrians. It sends out the message cycling isn't a legitimate form of transport.


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