Cylists have their say: The 'worst junctions' in Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Galway
Published 24/07/2015 | 11:12
Cyclists give their views on what they deem to be the worst junctions in Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Galway.
One constantly-recurring feature for cyclists in Dublin city is the fear and danger arising from multi-lane systems, says Colm Ryder from the Dublin Cycling Campaign.
“Virtually all of the Liffey bridges are cyclist unfriendly.”
1. The Quays
“Think of Church Street Bridge and Capel Street Bridge, where there are no cycle lanes, and cyclists have to fight with motor vehicles, and the different problems at the O’Connell, Butt, and Talbot bridges where the difficulty of making cycling manoeuvres is impeded by the volume and speed of moving traffic, and the huge width of the existing roadway.
2. North city centre: The Customs House area
“The junction of Memorial Road, Amiens Street and Custom House Quay. Coming from the Northside there are numerous lane-changes involved if you're going straight or right onto George's Quay.”
“Coming from Abbey Street, Gardiner Street or Butt Bridge, numerous lane changes in moving traffic required, depending on desired route.”
3. Junction at Tara Street and Townsend Street.
“If you come down Pearse Street, follow onto Tara Street, and want to turn right onto Townsend Street, you have to cross three lanes of traffic. A bit awkward if you'd like to park your Dublin Bike at the Townsend Street bike station.”
4. D'Olier Street heading south from O'Connell Street:
“Lanes disappear, no visible road markings, no cycle lanes at all and traffic is forced to merge from four lanes to, possibly, three (it's pretty hard to tell).”
“Zero options for bikes coming around College Green. No cycle lanes anywhere!”
5. St Stephens Green West:
Cycle lane appears to be marked between York Street and Glovers Alley but then disappears. No access for cyclist through to Kildare Street
6. Doyle's corner in Phibsborough
(Phibsborough Road / North Circular Road) is atrocious, particularly when you're approaching from the Cabra side. There is no cycling lane at all.
7. Heuston Station
A bus stop and a cycle lane share the same area of the road.
8. Harolds Cross Bridge - Junction of Harold’s Cross Road, Parnell Road and Grove Road. (Location of ghost-bike)
The right hand turn going from Harold’s Cross Road onto Grove Road is very, very tricky. While there are (just about) two 'inbound' traffic lanes here, the rightmost lane is for both straight ahead and right-turning traffic. Why not make the right-most lane on Harolds Cross Road 'right-turn only'? This junction needs to be redesigned.
9. Junction at Christchurch cathedral, Dublin 8 - High Street / Nicholas Street /Winetavern Street / Christchurch Place.
This is a wide, multi-laned, intimidating junction. Manoeuvres which are particularly difficult are the right turns from Nicholas Street (continuation of
Patrick Street) onto Christchurch Place, or from High Street onto Nicholas Street. Even while cycling straight ahead (eastwards) from High Street onto Christchurch place, the cyclist can feel squished as traffic lanes narrow here.
This junction needs a complete overhaul to make it feel safer for all cyclists.
Cycle lane conflicts with parked vehicles opening doors
Fairview/Marino Mart at Malahide Road junction going out of town is hell if you are going straight on towards Clontarf, traffic pulls across the bike lane at speed to turn left.
Responding to the above, a Dublin City Council spokesperson said: "A lot of these issues will be addressed with the various different schemes which are in design i.e. the Liffey Cycle Route and the City Centre Study."
1. Junctions on either side of the Christy Ring Bridge
The Christy Ring bridge is a large, five-lane bridge in the heart of the city, with large, busy and intimidating junctions on either side of it. They are have almost no lane markings, or even cycle lanes. The junction marks the point where the dual carriageway from the north (the N20 and Blackpool Bypass) meets the city centre. There are especially large numbers of HGV traffic. Turning right is especially difficult. You see a lot of people cycling on the pavement here because it feels much safer.
2. The Fingerpost roundabout, Douglas
A busy roundabout with five entry/exit points, it does nothing to accommodate cyclists.
3. Sheares Street meets Dyke Parade meets Prospect Row
An awkward junction where two three-lane wide streets are offset against each other. Cyclists naturally keep to the left of the road, however most of the traffic here turns left, meaning there’s a great risk of being left-hooked. The road surface is poor here, which is very off putting when you’re trying to concentrate on the traffic around you
4. South Link Road meets Eglinton Road
There’s about 16/17 lanes running into and out of this junction, and here’s heavy amounts of HGV traffic on it. There’s a surprising amount of bicycle traffic here, but not as much as there might be if there were safe facilities for cyclists.
5. Wilton Road Roundabout
A large lozenge-shaped junction in the middle of an extensive residential area. Junctions like the Wilton Road are fine if you can cycle at the speed of a car, or in general behave like a car. For anyone else they’re terrifying.
6. Victoria Cross
Victoria Cross is actually two junctions. Both are very busy and are separated by about 200m of very heavily trafficked road with no cycle lanes.
7. The Kinsale Road Roundabout
A very large and complicated multi-arm junction on the South Ring Road, with no cycling provision. It’s a good example of how cyclist-unfriendly infrastructure discourages cycling. There’s a large residential area beyond this that’s effectively cut off from the city by this junction.
Cork City Council has not responded to the above.
1) Where Careys Road meets Roxboro Road.
Because of the nearness of the Bus Eireann Depot, the volume of bus traffic makes each road and the junction especially tight, and extra caution is advised for cyclists.
2) Turning right off Parnell Street onto Roches Street
Difficult for cyclists as they must be wary of traffic converging from two lanes on Sexton Street which join the two lanes on Parnell Street at a point where Parnell Street becomes a two way street. The right hand lane can be used for continuing straight or turning right, so there are a lot of factors to process for a cyclist turning right.
Limerick City and County Council says there is a major redesign of Parnell Street currently out to public consultation.
3) Joining the Dock Road from Mount Kennett Place
Not only are there two lanes of oncoming traffic from the right, there is also a pedestrian crossing immediately after the turn.
4) Negotiating the Parkway Roundabout is difficult.
This roundabout allows two lanes of traffic to circumnavigate it. If a cyclist is not making a left for the shopping centre, they must cross to the right hand lane while being mindful that the two lanes on the roundabout condense into one for the exit immediately after the roundabout.
Limerick City and County Council says it has begun a design process for a new Bus Route from UL to the City Centre via the Parkway Roundabout, which will take cyclists’ needs into account.
5) Turning right of O'Connell Street for Shannon Street. The sheer volume of traffic here poses a challenge for the cyclist to get to the right hand lane from where they can proceed to turn right. As the main retail thoroughfare there are many parked cars left and right.
6) Turning right off Henry Street for Cecil Street,
Cyclists have to advance to the right lane which means moving across not one but two lanes of traffic. It’s a very busy junction.
Limerick City and County Council says advance stop lines have been painted along Henry Street to assist cyclists’ movements.
7) Proceeding up Catherine Street away from the city centre at the junction of Glentworth Street.
This is difficult as each of the four roads coming onto the junction is two-way with side street parking in all places. Glentworth Street accommodates bus parking which makes the cyclist have to work harder to observe for oncoming traffic.
8) Continuing from Henry Street straight onto Liddy Street
The cyclist must move inwards from the left-most lane which now becomes a left-only lane serving Sarsfield Bridge and the Ennis Road.
9) “We recommend cyclists exercise particular caution in Limerick city centre with its grid formation meaning cars are leaving and joining main arteries constantly. This is particularly evident on Henry Street where each block has traffic lights and feeder lanes stopping and starting.”
10) Arthur’s Quay demands special care for cyclists as the one way route forms a series of chicanes that demand concentration from all road users.
Limerick City and County Council says it is to be noted that the Limerick 2030 Plan envisages that in future that the road layout in this location may be changed.
Limerick Cycling Club praised the efforts of Limerick City Council in improving cycling conditions in the city and county, and drew attention to the Smarter travel bike lockers in the Thomas Street Car park with adjoining maintenance facilities for punctures, air pumps and other repairs.
1) The new cycle track on Thomas Hynes Rd . As you can see, the cycle track ends abruptly and places a cyclist in the wrong road position (ie in front of a motor vehicle)
Galway City Council says: This image is at the exit of a juntion. The works at this Junction are yet to be completed. In addition works on the construction of a cycle lane on Thomas Hynes Road are yet to get under way.
2) The recently built Seamus Quirke Road/Bishop O Donnell Road Improvement Scheme also contains dangers. If a cyclist is using the provided cycle facilities to travel outbound on the Seamus Quirke Road and wishes to continue in a straight line at the junction for the Old Seamus Quirke Road they risk being in a collision with left turning traffic that wishes to access the Old Seamus Quirke Road. The reason for this is that the cycle lane provided is inside left turning traffic.
3) On the N6/N59/Newcastle Road junction, the red paint underneath the path of the truck is the cycle lane.
Galway City Council says: "The markings on the road are there to reinforce the message to left turning motorists in particular, that there may be cyclists going straight through this junction and that they must exercise extreme caution when making a left turn."
4) Traffic lights controlled by sensors: Galway Cycling Campaign has found cases where traffic light detectors do not detect bicycles, and as a result, the traffic lights will not change for people who are cycling. An example in Galway is at the junction of Fr Griffin Avenue and Fr Griffin Road.
Galway City Council says: "Our sensors typically pick up cyclists and where we are made aware that they are not we adjust the sensitivity. Fr Griffin Avenue and Fr Griffin Road had not been brought to our attention previously regarding cyclists and this will be checked and adjustments made where necessary."
5) Left slip turn at Galway Shopping Centre Junction (N6/Headford Road/Sean Mulvoy Road): The recently installed junction at the Galway Shopping Centre contains a dangerous left slip turn on the N6 (the slip turn facilitates vehicles travelling from the Quincentenary Bridge to the Kirwan Roundabout). People on bicycles who wish to proceed straight from the Headford Rd to the N6 must run the gauntlet of this high speed slip turn.
Galway City Council says: "This left turn does provide extra capacity at this junction. However the cycle lane has been designed such that the cyclist is on the road in advance of this if they are proceeding straight and are visible to vehicles. The width of the slip lane entry has been minimised which in turn minimises the conflict zone. We are unaware of any issues over safety at this location and meet with the Gardaí on a quarterly basis to get updates on accidents. We will continue to monitor these areas."
6) Kirwan roundabout (N6/Bóthar na dTreabh/Headford Road/Sandy Road): The Kirwan roundabout is a five-arm double-lane roundabout that is also multi lane in approach. Three of the five arms feed into National Roads. It can only be classified as pedestrian and cycle hostile.
Galway City Council responded: "There was a design drafted for this roundabout, which signalised the junction and provided for cyclists and pedestrians. However, the entire design was turned down by the Elected Members of Galway City Council. Galway City Council is in the process of restarting this project."