Author Archives: david

Fingal County Council agrees to produce guidance on cyclists at roadworks

The issue of roadworks being carried out in a way that increases risks for cyclists is a recurring problem, often resulting from a failure of those carrying out the works to consider the needs and safety of cyclists. It’s not always done badly, and this article from Irishcycle.com gives examples of both good and bad practice.

I was aware of the draft guidance produced by Transport for London (but apparently not yet finally adopted) and I pointed to this in the preparation of the Plan. Unfortunately it wasn’t included in the draft plan.

At this evening’s meeting, the Council agreed to my motion to include the production of guidance for those planning and carrying out roadworks in the Road Safety Plan 2017-2020. (The text of the plan should be online soon at item 20 on this page.)

I hope that the fact that there’s already a draft by Transport for London might help Fingal to finalise guidance soon and that in turn other Irish local authorities might follow Fingal’s example.

Progress on link from Claremont Beach Promenade to Claremont Road

Subsequent to agreement at the Area Committee in 2015, the Council is now working on a design to link the promenade at Claremont Beach to Claremont Road, including renovating the public toilets at the beach.

This was the report to today’s meeting:

Howth Malahide Area Committee (Services A – Operational Matters)

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Councillor D. Healy – Fingal Coastal Way- Howth to Baldoyle. AI036624

“That the Chief Executive report on progress in relation to the following motion agreed at this Area Committee in April 2015:

“That the Chief Executive, as part of the Fingal Coastal Way, bring forward a plan for a pedestrian and cycle route from the West Pier along Claremont Beach promenade then by means of a boardwalk or other structure to join Claremont Road at the level crossing, continue along the right-of-way between the two sections of Claremont Road, follow Burrow Road to the level crossing and go down the right-of-way between Lauder’s Lane and also go behind Sutton railway station to link up with Baldoyle Promenade (thereby avoiding two level crossings), and that the possibilities for related improvements to the amenity of Claremont Beach including renovation/replacement of the public toilets provision of improved lifeguard facilities be included in this plan.”

Report:

Operations Department has employed a Consulting Engineering firm to carry out the following at Claremont Beach:

• A preliminary design and visualisation, with costs, for a boardwalk from the public toilet west, as far as Claremont Road.

• Outline design and costs for the foul water drainage of the public toilet. At present there is no foul drainage for the public toilet; tunnelling under the railway may be feasible.

• Advise on the rehabilitation of the public toilet (it is currently in a poor state of repair).

The Consulting Engineer’s Report is expected shortly and when to hand can be discussed with Committee members.

 

Arising from the report, the Committee agreed to my motion that the funding for this work be included in the Capital Programme.

Letter to Fingal County Council in relation to Dublin Airport Third Runway

The Austrian Federal Administrative Court recently rejected plans for a third runway at Vienna Airport because it would have a negative impact on greenhouse gas emissions and would be contrary to Austria’s international obligations to tackle climate change.

I wrote to Fingal County Council drawing their attention

a) to the conflict between building a third runway at Dublin Airport and Ireland’s climate change obligations, and the Council’s duties under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2017; and

b) to the fact that Dublin Airport Authority are applying to extend a permission they are simultaneously trying to alter, which I and many local residents suffering and expected to suffer from nighttime noise from the airport consider to be acting in bad faith.

My letter and attachments 1  and 2.

aviation-climate-change

Clontarf to City Centre Cycle Route – contact Dublin City Council

Dublin City Council has published a proposal to redesign the cycle route from Clontarf to Amiens St. This is the main route to the city centre for residents of the Howth/Malahide ward. The previous time they did a redesign in this area for a quality bus corridor in 2006 they failed to design safely for cyclists. Unfortunately they have come up with another unsafe design.

My concerns are as follows:

BICYCLES AND BUSES SHOULD NOT BE MIXED.
This is the busiest arterial cycle route in Dublin, with over 1400 cyclists and over 200 buses crossing Newcomen bridge southwards in the morning peak. The proposed design means buses would continue to pull across the cycle lane to reach the bus stops. This is bad news for both cyclists and bus passengers. We believe the design should be suitable for cyclists of all ages and abilities. This means `island` bus stops.

FAIRVIEW’S STREET TREES SHOULD BE SAVED.

The proposed design involves the removal of all of the footpath trees in front of Fairview Park, over 50 mostly mature trees. There is plenty of space in Fairview for a good design without felling these valuable trees.
SPACE SHOULD BE TAKEN FROM THE ROAD NOT THE FOOTPATH.

Because of a decision to maintain multiple traffic lanes, space will be taken from footpaths for the design. This makes no sense when there is less space for cars in the City Centre and the official goal is to favour walking and cycling. The design should prioritise walking, cycling and public transport because these move the most people along the route.

JUNCTIONS MUST BE SAFE FOR WALKING AND CYCLING.

The design proposes some real improvements to junctions. However other pedestrian crossings and cycle facilities have been ruled out because the required traffic signal timings would reduce capacity for cars through the junctions. Designing for pedestrians’ and cyclists’ safety should be the first priority.

Further information on the proposal is here. If you agree with these points, please make your views known to Dublin City Council, Block 4, Floor 3, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8 traffic@dublincity.ie before 16:30 on 9th March 2017.

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Current and future mixing of bicycles and buses

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Approach to cycleways being taken in London in recent years

Fingal County Council has agreed to make a submission following a motion I raised at the Howth/Malahide Area Committee.

Submission in relation to redesign of Mayne Road/ Hole in the Wall Road junction

A proposal for a new junction at Hole in the Wall Road / Mayne Road is on public display until 9th March.

I have made the following submission:

As discussed at the Area Committee, i would like to see alternative options for junction design being considered at this location. In particular, the design set out in this video has a lot to recommend it in terms of safety. I have used junctions like this and found them much better than the design proposed.

It’s quite a simple proposal but I particularly urge anyone who cycles or walks on these roads to have a look at contribute their comments.

 

Fingal agrees to encourage the development of car-free neighbourhoods

The Council today confirmed the following amendment I proposed to the Draft Development Plan:

“At locations where higher density development is being provided, encourage the development of car-free neighbourhoods, where non-motorised transport is allowed and motorised vehicles have access only for deliveries but must park outside the neighbourhood, creating a much better quality public realm with green infrastructure, public health, economic and community benefits.”

It reflects successful experience  in neighbourhoods such as Vauban in Germany and entire suburban towns like Houten in the Netherlands, as well of course in old cities around the world.

 

Fingal agrees to review cycle infrastructure and undertake appropriate remedial works

As recognised in the National Cycle Policy Framework (NCPF), a lot of the cycle infrastructure provided in recent years has been poorly designed.

Following on from this and the wider commitment in the NCPF to audit existing roads, I proposed the following amendment to the Development Plan.

“Review existing cycle infrastructure which was not designed in line with the Principles of Sustainable Safety in a manner consistent with the National Cycle Manual and the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets and undertake appropriate remedial works.”

Following public display, this amendment was confirmed by a margin of 1 vote today.

Fingal agrees to provide 30km/h environment in the vicinity of schools

Following public display, the Council has voted, (by a margin of 1 vote!) to confirm the inclusion of the following in the Development Plan:

“Ensure that as soon as possible, but by the end of the lifetime of the Development Plan, the environment in the immediate vicinity of schools is a safe and attractive low speed (30km/h) environment, and drop-off by car within a given distance restricted.”

The text is copied from the National Cycle Policy Framework; it is something which should be happening at all schools nationwide by 2020.