Work set to start on cycle routes in €40m upgrade
Dublin City Council will begin work on three major cycleway projects in the city centre this year at an estimated cost of between €35m and €40m.
Works on the Clontarf to city centre cycleway - one of the busiest cycling spots in the city - will begin around August, a council spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the Fitzwilliam Street cycleway, which will see car parking spaces being moved to act as a buffer between cyclists and moving traffic, will also begin this summer.
Work on the Royal Canal Way project, which will be a segregated, mostly off-road cycling route from Sheriff Street to Ashtown, has already begun.
All three routes will be segregated "as much as possible", the spokesperson said.
A preliminary cost estimate across all three projects is in the region of €35m to €40m.
"However, these figures are subject to change as we go through a procurement process and are only an estimate," the spokesperson said.
Every day, between 7am and 10am, more than 1,000 cyclists travel inbound to the city centre around the Fairview/Clontarf area.
Under the new plans, cycle lanes at Fairview will be Dutch-style - slightly raised and separated from the road. A completion date is set for 2021.
"This project also includes upgraded off-road cycle facil- ities in Fairview Park," the spokesperson said.
Green Party councillor Ciar- an Cuffe, who is chairperson of the Transportation Strategic Policy Committee, said the three projects represent progress for the city's cyclists, but he added that "progress is very slow".
"We've had the Greater Dublin cycle plan for five years now, but we're dependent on money and staff from central Government and the slow progress is frustrating," he said.
"A lot of people approach me and say, 'I'd love to cycle, but I just find it too difficult'.
"And there is a gender divide there that men often take risks that women wouldn't. It's about reaching out and eventually making it easier for women and children to cycle."
Colm Ryder, of the Dublin City Cycling Campaign, agreed that "the big thing is to be able to encourage people of all ages to cycle".
He said that aside from the major cycling projects planned for the city, there are also "quick wins" taking place, such as improvements at junctions of side roads and improved signage.
In June, Dublin City Council will host Velo-City, a major world cycling conference which will bring experts on cycling and the provision of infrastructure to Dublin.
Design work is continuing on three more routes: the Dodder greenway, Ranelagh to the city centre, and the Canal Way extension from Portobello.