New speed limits and traffic lights
Sir, – As part of the plan to reduce speed limits in Dublin city to 30km/h, will the council at the same time alter the traffic light sequences to reflect this? At present traffic light sequences in central Dublin are configured to favour drivers travelling at the prescribed speed limit. In theory, at least, drivers who go too fast would be frequently halted by red lights, while those who cruise carefully at the speed limit would experience fewer stops.
In practice, cars at rush hour frequently move at average speeds of less than 10km/h approaching the centre, and so this fine-tuning of sequences makes little real difference.
This policy is, however, extremely disruptive to forms of transport that typically travel below the 50km/h limit or which have to stop between lights, such as buses, bikes, heavy good vehicles, etc.
In fact one of the main reasons cyclists give for breaking lights is that frequently the light is red for no apparent reason, other than to regulate the flow of cars, which are at a virtual standstill anyway. Were traffic light sequences to be reconfigured to reflect the average cycling speed (about 20km/h) then frustrations might be reduced all around. – Yours, etc,
Phibsboro, Dublin 7.