Sandymount residents urge rethink on cycle plans
Council plans to requisition traffic lane on Strand Road for two-way cycle path
Dublin City Council has been urged not to go ahead with plans to reallocate road space on Strand Road for a cycle path. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
The council plans to requisition a traffic lane on the coast road for a two-way cycle path, and introduce a one-way system, with cars allowed to travel outbound only to the Merrion Gates.
The STC Community Group, of residents of Serpentine Avenue Tritonville Road, Claremont and adjoining roads in Sandymount, have put forward an alternative proposal, which would see the seaside footpath turned into a cycle path, with pedestrians using the “landside” of the road.
The last 270m before the Merrion Gates, where the footpath would not be wide enough to accommodate cyclists would become a “shared space”, the group said with speed restrictions for motorists to improve safety.
“While it is not possible with the current layout to provide cycle protection for the last 270m of strand road, we do not feel that having to ‘share’ this short tight stretch is a huge ask given that it is what cyclists currently have to do,” it said.
The council said its planned cycle path, which will be implemented later this year for a six-month trial, is needed to ensure schoolchildren can cycle safely. However, the group said few children use the coast road to cycle to school, but they do use roads within Sandymount which would become “rat runs” if cars were not permitted to use Strand Road.
The council has acknowledged traffic is likely to increase on the Merrion Road and roads in Sandymount when the one-way system is introduced on Strand Road.
The group also said it was concerned about the relocation of a bus service from Strand Road if the one-way system was introduced, which would cause particular difficulties for elderly residents in accessing Sandymount village.
Councillors from Labour and Fine Gael will on Monday ask the council management to consider the group’s proposals before beginning the trial.
However, the council, as part of a public consultation process on the cycle route has assessed the option of converting the footpath to a cycle lane.
In its report, which will be presented to councillors on Monday, it said: “Using all the footpath on the sea side for a cycle route would require us to extend the footpath over the entire length, narrow the carriageway to 6m and remove all informal parking along the entire length of Strand Road.
“Even if this was implemented there is still 300m on the approach to Merrion Gates where it is not possible to provide any cycle protection without the removal of a traffic lane.”
Almost 3,000 people responded to a public consultation process on the cycle track proposal, with 56 per cent “strongly in favour of proceeding with trial”, the council said. Just over a quarter (27 per cent) objected to the trial, while 17 per cent stated they had some concerns.
The council does not require the sanction of councillor to go ahead with its cycle path plans.