Sunday 17 December 2017

Cyclists should be allowed down Grafton Street

THIS is what Grafton Street could look like every day, if the recommendations of a new report are followed.

A major audit of Dublin City Council's cycling policy has resulted in a range of recommendations, which also include reducing the number of car parking spaces and implementing anti-theft initiatives.

It is hoped at least 20-25pc of all trips taken in the city by 2020 would be by bike, the report highlights.

To help achieve this, the council should investigate the feasibility of giving cycle access to some existing pedestrian-only streets, according to the Bicycle Policy Audit or Bypad.

It was suggested the measure could be introduced initially during off-peak shopping hours. A similar policy has been successfully pursued in Leicester, England, and Copenhagen, Denmark, the report says.

The document puts forward a total of 66 recommendations, which emerged from questionnaires, discussions and input from Bypad auditors.

Among the suggestions is that the council's road engineers cycle the city's routes to nurture an "understanding between designers and users".

The engineers need to "gain an enhanced understanding" of the issues facing bike users on their daily commutes, the report says.

Transport officials have also been asked to shorten signal times at junctions for cyclists and pedestrians.

Longer durations "often have the effect of encouraging red-light breaking by road users as they wish to avoid waiting for longer periods once the lights turn red", Bypad says.

The more controversial suggestions relate to vehicle use, with the report pointing out that much of the city centre's streetscape is "still dominated by car parking".

It calls for the council to critically assess the total land area in the city used for on-street car parking and evaluate the pros and cons of reallocating more of that space to uses which will bring more vibrancy to city centre streets.


"Such a reallocation of space can bring advantages to the city in terms of making streets more attractive for residents and tourists which, in turn, can bring more business to the city," the authors state.

The report adds that the road surface quality of many routes is not adequate.

"This is particularly the case in locations following poor reinstatement work by contractors and after the very harsh winter of 2010-2011.

"Since cyclists are more susceptible to being destabilised by poor road surfaces compared to other road users, it is essential that a more stringent regime to respond to these problems is developed," it adds.


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