The latest round of public consultation on the Core Bus Corridors conducted by BusConnects closed on the 16th December 2020. Below is my submission.
Please find attached my submission on the 3rd round of public consultation on the core bus corridor. My submission relates to the section of the Blanchardstown to City Centre Bus Corridor in the Dublin West constituency.
Minister Roderic O’Gorman
Slip lanes – maps 1 and 2
In maps 1 and 2 of the Blanchardstown to City Centre preferred route option, there are numerous slip lanes which cut across cycle lanes. This is not recommended by the NTA’s National Cycle Manual. Additionally, slip lanes result in pedestrians being required to make more movements to cross roads. At one point in map 1 a pedestrian will have to make 4 crossing movements, which in map 2 there is a point in which a pedestrian will need to make 5 crossing movements. This is excessive and does not prioritise active travel at these junctions. Removing the slip lanes will reduce the number of crossings required as well as allowing the proposed route to meet the recommendations of the NTA’s National Cycle Manual.
Although I am making this point specifically in reference to maps 1 and 2 of the preferred route, this could refer to other locations along the route, and indeed on other bus corridors. I would ask that the NTA reconsider all slip lanes.
Mill Road/N3 Bus Stop
As regards the proposal to put a new bus stop on the N3, accessed from Mill Road, I would reiterate the point that I made in an earlier submission that this stop should only be accessible from Mill Road and not through the Millstead estate. It is important that there is an adequate boundary wall between the estate and the new bus stop to reduce noise pollution from the N3, and that any trees removed from the estate’s current green space to make room for the ramp up to the bus stop should be replaced.
From Auburn Road to Circle K on the Navan Road
Cyclists will be brought along a ‘quiet road’. This is a welcome change from the previous plan to have cyclists continuing along the Navan Road which would have resulted in the removal of a large portion of trees. The trees provide a visual barrier between local homes and a very busy section of the Navan Road as well as providing some protection from the noise.
I note that a new bus stop is to be put in close to the Auburn Avenue entrance onto the Navan Road. I would request that the NTA consider using an embankment at this location to preserve as many of the trees and vegetation as possible. Similarly, I would ask that when the safety barriers are installed around the bus stop closer to the circle K that there is as little impact on the trees as possible. I also ask that any trees that are removed are replaced.
Navan Road Parkway Junction
It is worth noting that map 17 of the preferred route shows the junction which will be the entrance/exit for Edmund Rice School. Construction of this school is yet to commence, but there will be up to 1000 students, teachers and staff navigating this junction on a daily basis. As a result there needs to be adequate segregation between cyclists and pedestrians in this area. It is also important that the cycle routes and pathways will link into the school facilities when building commences to allow for seamless active travel to and from the school.
I note that the current proposal at the Ashtown Road roundabout involves retaining the roundabout, saving the mature trees in the middle of it. I welcome this decision as removal of the roundabout, and the trees with it, was a massive concern to local residents. I also welcome that the roundabout will be upgraded with signalling installed. This will be an improvement and ensure that traffic flows well in this area.
I do have some concerns in relation to how pedestrians and cyclists will be using the roundabout in the current proposal. The current proposal suggests that cyclists and pedestrians will be merging to cross the roads at traffic crossings. It is best practice to have cyclists and pedestrians segregated and I would ask that the NTA re-examine the layout of the roundabout to achieve segregation between them.
Also, cyclists heading along the N3, towards the city centre, will have to cross two road junctions to get from the cycle lane on one side of the Navan Road, to the cycle lane on the opposite side of the road on the other side of the roundabout. As a cyclist, this is not a great solution and I would ask that the NTA consider other options for dealing with cyclists at the roundabout.
Ashtown Roundabout to Cabra Cross
A number of residents have been in touch with me to raise concerns in relation to the large volume of trees which are to be removed along this stretch of the core bus corridor. Most of these trees are mature trees and there is a concern that the area will look like a ‘concrete jungle’ if all of these trees are removed. Please can I ask that the NTA retains as many of these trees as possible and, if it is not possible to retain, considers replacing the trees which they remove where possible.
The extra lane on the road will result in the footpath becoming narrower leaving less space for pedestrians. At a time when we are encouraging active travel, I would ask that the NTA leave the footpath as wide as possible so that pedestrians are not discouraged from using it.
Extra lane means local residents will have to cross a cycle path and 2 lanes of traffic when turning out of their driveways onto the opposite side of the road which is a cause for concern for some residents. Has the NTA given any consideration to the safety of those entering/exiting their homes on the Navan Road if the current proposals are implemented as they are?