Cyclists' €150k lane -- for going the wrong way
Published 04/12/2011 | 05:00
Cyclists who illegally went the wrong way up a suburban road have got their own way -- at a cost of €150,000 to the taxpayer.
The National Transport Authority (NTA) is spending the money on a cycle lane that will allow them to cycle against the flow of traffic from Blackrock village to Seapoint in Dublin.
While proposals for the lane were met with nearly as many objections as approvals from local residents and road users when they were first mooted last year, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council chiefs have defended their decision to press ahead with the lane's construction, citing the "high numbers of cyclists currently cycling illegally along Newtown Avenue against traffic" to access Seapoint Avenue.
Contacted by the Sunday Independent and asked to address concerns expressed by readers in relation to the overall safety of the Newtown Avenue cycle lane itself and the layout of its junction with Seapoint Avenue, a spokeswoman for the council insisted it had been independently assessed and approved of by Aecom Consulting Engineers.
Asked if the council was satisfied that the junction connecting the two roads was safe in its current state for motorists who might be unfamiliar with the route, the spokeswoman said additional bollards and road markings would be located at this point once the scheme was completed.
In something of an indication of the squeeze on its own financial resources, the council revealed that the cycle lane would not be continued on to Seapoint Avenue, saying simply that it was its "objective" that this would happen.
"The cycle lane will not be continued on to Seapoint Avenue as part of this project, but it is an objective ... to develop a continuous route from Booterstown to Dalkey," the spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman said this route, which would serve both tourists and everyday commuters, would connect Booterstown with Dalkey through the village of Blackrock and the town of Dun Laoghaire.