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2minutes sitting on Luas at OCS lights

  • 12-03-2023 9:12am
    Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭

    I timed it. It was just shy of 2 minutes. Red Line Luas from Heuston to Abbey.

    As we approached OCS junction, a tram coming from Abbey was sitting at the junction. Our tram got to the junction and stopped. About 3 seconds later the other tram very slowly crossed the junction. Our tram sat there and waited for the next sequence.

    I don't use the Red Luas often, so was shocked that this crap hasn't been sorted. We also waited at 3 other traffic lights, for short periods, between Heuston and Abbey. I missed a bus connection because of it and had to wait 15minutes for next one. My connection was tight but it should have been fine.

    Also of note, during the 2minutes waiting the pedestrian lights remained red with huge numbers of pedestrians building up behind. They all got frustrated and started crossing just before our tram started crossing which is dangerous for everyone.



  • Registered Users Posts: 18,032 ✭✭✭✭namloc1980

    The wait at the OCS crossing is ridiculously long. It's a busy street though.

  • Registered Users Posts: 927 ✭✭✭d51984

    The Luas should not have to wait at any lights through the city IMO, the lights should recognize when a Luas is about 10 seconds from them and give it an immediate green. Imagine the amount of time this would cut from each journey. Over 100 people on a tram sitting there waiting for the lights to go green is madness. Its painfull sometimes been on a Luas from Connolly to Heuston.

    Not only Luas though, buses should have traffic light priority through major junctions, and cars should be banned completely from town or if not a daily charge for any car entering the city should be applied, but this is another days work. The amount of private cars with only the driver in them clogging up the inner city is absolute madness.

    Might as well go the whole hog and ban any Taxis not carrying passengers from bus lanes... We can dream right..

    Its a disgrace Joe!

  • Registered Users Posts: 36,160 ✭✭✭✭ED E

    Busses do have priority lights in many many places.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,202 ✭✭✭markpb

    It would be very hard to reconcile those three priorities at a junction like OCS where all three meet!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,973 ✭✭✭blackbox

    What's OCS?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 888 ✭✭✭angel eyes 2012

    O'Connell Street, Dublin.

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    At the very least, if a Luas is crossing the junction, a Luas in the opposite direction should be able to cross at the same time.

    It's utterly farcical that this isn't the case.

  • Registered Users Posts: 927 ✭✭✭d51984

    Why cant two Luas trams not cross OCS at the same time? Absolutey bloody ridiculous. You could walk from the Jervis street to Abbey Street stops quicker most of the time.

    Its a disgrace Joe!

  • Registered Users Posts: 927 ✭✭✭d51984

    Does it work though? Most private drivers do not give a flying f**k anyway, sure look at the city bound bus only lane in Fairview/North Strand. The guards are half to blame here for not enforcing it, imagine the money it would make.

    10 euro per day for any car entering a zone around the city, put all that money back in to public transport and cycling infrastructure. Proper bike lockers, bus waiting shelters, get busaras done up or move it completely, the list is endless. Has anyone seem the new underground bike parks in Amsterdam? They are amazing. More bus lanes more electric buses park and rides more more more. Cars have no part what so ever in any city.

    We cant even manage to get a few sets of lights working properly so its all a pipe dream. I hate this country sometimes.

    Its a disgrace Joe!

  • Registered Users Posts: 927 ✭✭✭d51984

    On the above folks, I know we are getting a lot done through Bus Connects but we really really need to step it up a gear now.

    Its a disgrace Joe!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,950 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Luas is extremely slow in town. You can usually beat it on a Dublin bike for most journeys.

    Even walking at times is quicker, though they've up the frequency of luas late so walking mostly isn't quicker.

  • Registered Users Posts: 60 ✭✭757TFFIU

    The issue the OP has described is an ongoing issue, even before Luas cross city became operational. That junction of Abbey Street/O'Connell Street has always been ridiculously slow for letting trams through the junction. Throw in a day where there's been delays on the Red Line and the trams are queuing up Abbey Street to get through the junction and you are looking at in excess of 5 minutes to get through the junction and into the stop in Abbey Street (I was in a queue of 3 trams one morning last week - if I'd noticed beforehand, I'd just have got off at Jervis!)

    I suspect part of reasoning behind the Luas crawling through that junction is due to pedestrians ignoring the lights and walking onto the road - that's also a regular occurrence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 998 ✭✭✭mikeybhoy

    Why should bus users have to wait in a traffic jam of buses just let one Luas go through. There could be 15 buses queuing up at the set of lights on OCS just to let one tram go through.

    15 buses are likely carrying more passengers than one Luas so only logical to prioritise bus movements same reason S-N buses get priority on Westmoreland/D'Olier Street over E-W buses operating on the quays. Public transport has to prioritise the majority.

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    To be fair, buses already get high priority on OCS. I rarely use the Red Luas, but often take the bus, and I can't recall being stuck on OCS waiting for a Luas to cross.

    The big issue I outlined is a Luas waiting 2 minutes for the next sequence of lights despite another Luas crossing in the opposite direction while the tram sat there waiting.

  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,191 Mod ✭✭✭✭bk

    While the Red Line shouldn't get priority over the buses, the entire junction could absolutely be far better timed.

    There is no reason at all why two Red Line Luas can't pass in opposite direction at the same time and frankly the east - west pedestrian lights should go green at the same time so pedestrians can cross as the Luas does too.

    Likewise The Green Line Luas should be timed to go with the buses and again the north - south pedestrian crossing at the same time.

    Of course all of this could have been avoided if they just had done the sensible thing in the first place and made the red line cut and cover all along Abbey Street. You would have non of these issues or contstraints on the capacity of the Red Line.

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    I've a feeling it all got worse after that bus and Luas crash? Can anyone recall better?... that's ages ago like.

    I feel like they went overboard after that with safety and the light sequences got way slower. Could be wrong.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,569 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu

    2 trams can go across OCS at the same time. In my limited experience of the red line, it seems to be an issue if one tram starts crossing and another tram arrives at the junction at the same time, it then has to wait for the next sequence.

    On trams vs buses at OCS, off peak at least I'd imagine there are a lot more people on the trams, and trams frequently get held for a long time even when there are few or no buses or Green Line trams going along OCS. Surely a more intelligent signalling system is possible? I mean the NTA knows where all the buses and trams are in real time... It always amazed me that they'd spent 100s of millions on a mass transit system and then given it next to no priority through the city centre.

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    On the occasion I mentioned, my tram had 100% arrived and stopped a seconds before the other tram proceeded to cross. I've noticed many other times where a tram arrives at the junction while another tram is already crossing.

    In both cases, each tram should be able to cross. It's farcical that they can't.

    As another poster mentioned above, it should be possible to limit all crossings at this junction to North-South and East-West. There has been a clear move in the city to give pedestrians higher priority (a good thing), but at a junction like this it hinders other modes.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,569 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu

    I don't think pedestrians are a major issue, the trams are generally moving at walking speed through this junction. There's plenty of places (both in Dublin and on other tram systems) where pedestrians cross the track in an uncontrolled manner and accidents are thankfully very rare. It's the city centre, pedestrians will generally cross wherever they can, I don't see what you can do to prevent it.

    Long term they should really be looking at cut-and-cover to put the Red Line under O'Connell St - they'd probably have to move the Abbey stop or put it underground.

  • Registered Users Posts: 510 ✭✭✭AerLingus747

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  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    An underground line below the Red Line will never happen unfortunately. Any of that resource would be better served building a spur from James to College Green or into a Dart+ tunnel.

  • Registered Users Posts: 486 ✭✭Pixel Eater

    Yeah the Luas may linger a bit too long at O'Connell Street but it is a major thoroughfare with another Luas line and a lot of other traffic so some dwell time here is to be expected. However a real bugbear is the way it stops at minor streets; like Queen Street and Blackhall Place on the Red line. Sometimes it even stops at each junction even though they're barely 100 metres between them; the Luas should have absolute priority at such places. It really slows the journey down.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,569 ✭✭✭✭loyatemu

    I've seen in other cities where they've cut-and-covered tram lines to get through busy junctions, it's not an outrageously expensive thing to do and trams can cope with gradients so the c&c sections can be quite short. 500 metres of C&C would get you from Liffey St, under OCS and Marlborough St and back up at the end of Lwr Abbey St (or a little bit further if you wanted to go under Gardiner St as well).

    I don't expect this to happen any time soon, it should probably have been considered when the Red Line was designed. As mentioned above a quicker win would be give the Luas better priority at minor junctions. Gardiner St is another bugbear of mine - I know there are some bus routes on it, but in my experience the Luas is often held solely to allow queues of private cars out of the junction, more intelligent signalling could again help at this location.

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    Ah sorry you just mean the junction. I was picturing the whole city centre section. Yeah that should be feasible, though I still think unlikely to happen, at least until other modes are well up and running including Metro, Dart+ and Lucan Luas.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,433 ✭✭✭✭_Kaiser_

    This is why they should have gone Metro rather than trams - or at least in the city centre areas. Oh well!

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,352 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    Gardiner Street is complicated as it requires traffic on three separate routes to be stopped:

    • Gardiner Street southbound
    • Lower Abbey Street eastbound
    • Beresford Place northbound

    That can really only work by working through the full traffic light sequence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,352 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    Two red line trams can (and do frequently) cross O’Connell Street together, but I believe it does require the second tram to have triggered the signals before the first one has started moving.

    OP I think you just happened to be unlucky on that particular journey and that it was poor timing.

    They did initially give red line tram drivers the ability to prioritise the lights at the OCS/Abbey Street junction but it caused massive traffic problems on OCS (principally affecting the bus service), stretching back onto Westmoreland Street and the Quays.

    Now with Green Line trams crossing that junction as well, along with 20 bus routes, it just wouldn’t work to give red line trams priority - you have to work through the light sequence.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,352 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    Many traffic lights at junctions across the city have a sensor that will make the lights stay green a little longer once it detects a bus approaching.

  • Registered Users Posts: 910 ✭✭✭brianc89

    I disagree that my example was an unlucky exception. This happens regularly.

    We're not talking Luas super priority, just a 10second buffer - if a Luas arrives while another tram is crossing, this tram should be able to cross.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17,352 ✭✭✭✭LXFlyer

    How long did it take to get from Heuston to Abbey?