herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

All go for Dublin cyclists with proposal for continuous rush hour green light

TRAFFIC

Paddy Smyth
Paddy Smyth

DUBLIN cyclists could soon be benefiting from a 'green wave' allowing them to meet only green traffic lights during rush hour.

The proposed green wave would see the traffic lights co-ordinated so that bikes travelling at 20kmph would meet green lights during morning and afternoon rush hours.

A motion passed at a South East Area Committee on Monday has called on the traffic manager to introduce the system along suitable routes in the area, including the planned €7m Dodder cycling route.

Fine Gael councillor Paddy Smyth, who tabled the motion, plans to bring it to the wider city council after a pilot scheme is implemented in his area.

The 'green wave' has been introduced along three cycling routes in Copenhagen.

In the Danish capital there are green LED lights along the cycle lane markings which allow people to ensure they are travelling fast enough to make the lights at the next junction.

It is hoped that a similar system would be implemented here, though the LED lights could be put closer to eye level.

Cllr Smyth expects that changing the traffic light sequence would be cost-neutral.

DELAY

"We are currently investing so much in our cycling infrastructure that it makes sense to do this now," he told the Herald and added that budgetary constraints could delay retrofitting existing routes.

Because many of Dublin's cycle routes are not flat - as is the case in Copenhagen - the speeds may have to be adjusted above or below 20kmph for the green wave to work.

A study carried out in Denmark shows that there was little change on journey times for car and bus users due to the new system.

Buses were found to have a mixed response to the change in light sequences, in some cases journey times were reduced while at other times the journey time increased slightly.

"What drivers need to realise is that the more people cycle to work, the less competition there is for road space," Cllr Smyth pointed out.

Cycle routes such as the Clonskeagh to the city centre route or Templeogue to Dame Street would be the ideal place to pilot the green wave, according to the local representative.

The proposed cycle route for the north quays would also be a suitable route for the system.

Public consultation is due to end this week on four options for making the quays more user friendly for cyclists.

The proposal caused a stir when it was announced last July but none of the four planned changes involve taking road space away from cars.

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