Road space will be reallocated to cyclists across the southeast of Dublin city, with measures including the removal of bus lanes in Ranelagh and car parking at Merrion Square, under new Dublin City Council “active travel” plans.
Designs for two schemes to provide continuous segregated cycling facilities from Clonskeagh to the city centre through Ranelagh, and from Trinity College to Ballsbridge via Merrion Square, will be presented to city councillors on Monday.
For some stretches of the route existing cycle lanes will be upgraded with kerbs and other barriers installed to bar vehicles from driving or parking in them. In others, road space will be requisitioned to provide new cycle lanes, with the removal of on-street car-parking spaces, a reduction in the width of traffic lanes and, in some areas, the removal of bus lanes.
The Clonskeagh to city centre route will begin on Clonskeagh Road at the river Dodder bridge where it will connect with the Dodder Greenway cycle scheme, currently under construction. It will continue through Milltown to Ranelagh Village and will connect with the Grand Canal cycle path, before terminating on Charlemont Street.
For large sections of the route, particularly the southern end towards Milltown and Clonskeagh, cycle lanes are already in place. However, in some cases these are time limited, operating from 7am to 7pm only, and are not protected from traffic by any physical barrier. These lanes will be upgraded to fully segregated lanes, initially with the use of bolt-on kerbs and bollards before more permanent structures are installed.
In Ranelagh village, bollards have already been installed at sections of the cycle lane in an effort to prevent illegal parking. However, this segregation is not continuous and in some cases pay-and-display parking interrupts the lane. The scheme would see this parking discontinued at the southern end of the village.
Approaching the “Triangle” at the northern end of the village, the cycle lane currently disappears. Segregated lanes will be facilitated on both sides of the road by the removal of a traffic lane on the western side of the road. North of the Triangle on the western side of the road some parking will be retained, largely wheelchair accessible spaces. The cycle lane at this point will run inside the parking next to the footpath.
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North of the village on Ranelagh Road, the biggest change will again be on the western side of the road where the bus lane will be removed to accommodate a cycle lane. The bus lane, which starts at the junction of Mount Pleasant Place currently offers limited priority to buses from Monday to Friday 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm. Outside these hours it is used for pay-and-display parking. These parking spaces will also be removed. Similarly the time-limited bus lane and parking on the western side of Charlemont Street will be eliminated.
The Trinity College to Ballsbridge route will run from Nassau Street to Northumberland Road using the northside of Merrion Square and measures will focus on the removal of on-street parking to facilitate the segregated lanes.
On Nassau Street the new contraflow cycle lane, installed during Covid-19 restrictions, will double in size to a two-way cycle lane by narrowing the existing traffic lane. On Merrion Square North, all 31 parking spaces will be removed to facilitate a new cycle lane on the park side of the road.
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Parking will also be removed from the north side of Mount Street and time-restricted parking in bus lanes will be discontinued in Mount Street and on Northumberland Road.
The council plans to introduce interim measures for both schemes this year, before the installation of permanent infrastructure from 2024. The schemes do not require the approval of councillors.