You may remember that prior to Christmas, Dublin Central City Councillors considered draft proposals from the Transportation Department of the Council to enhance road safety at Hanlon’s Corner, with a specific focus on pedestrians and cyclists. Since December, I have been liaising with the Transportation Department requesting an update on the work undertaken, in response, to Councillor queries and to advance improvements to road safety at Hanlon’s Corner.
That meeting sought a list of further considerations from Transportation Engineers as well as detailing concerns we wanted addressing. These included:
- That the drawing for the proposals be modified to show clearly that a left turn onto the old Cabra Road from NCR is provided as part of the new arrangement. Where the slip lane is removed any additional footpath space created should be designed in a manner that is legible for pedestrians with impaired vision.
- That consideration be given to retaining the pedestrian island (refuge) in the middle of Prussia Street or else (a) can pedestrian crossing times be increased and (b) can some form of countdown timer be provided?
- That consideration be given to the removal of all guard rails in the vicinity as part of these proposals.
- That instead of indenting the cycle lane into the footpath on the south side of the NCR opposite Annamoe Road consideration should instead be given to widening the NCR in the vicinity of Annamoe Road to the north to allow for the carriageway to be realigned and space created for a protected cycle lane on the southern side of the NCR.
- Consideration be given to installing measures to prevent footpath parking on the Old Cabra Road. The measures preferably not to comprise of bollards be some other alternative, not merely increased enforcement.
- Request for advanced signals for cyclists on all arms of the junction.
As Chair of the Dublin Central Area Committee, I can confirm in response to these issues, Transportation Engineers have provided clarity in respect of a number of these points and are seeking further observations and input from residents living in the vicinity of Hanlon’s Corner, through Stoneybatter, Annamoe, Cabra West, Christ The King area of Cabra East, Ellesmere Avenue district, Rathdown Road district, Arbour Hill, Montpelier and the Infirmary Road area via a non-statutory public consultation.
Once the Area Committee has agreed on this approach, a consultation can be held with a report on the submissions made being presented to Councillors for our consideration. The National Transport Authority has indicated that it would be prepared to fund improvements to road safety at Hanlon’s Corner as well as the full re-surfacing of the junction. I have outlined below the proposals and clarity provided by the Transportation Department and would welcome your further thoughts and feedback on the matter. Please email me your views to RayMcAdam@gmail.com.
Update on Proposed Interventions at Hanlon’s Corner to improve the current walking and cycling facilities:
- Removal of Left Turn Slip Lane onto Old Cabra Road
As stated in the meeting the proposal is to remove the left turn slip lane from the North Circular Road onto the Old Cabra Road but to retain the left turn itself. The existing traffic island at this corner will be demolished and the pedestrian crossings realigned to allow cars make this left turn. The project drawings have been revised to reflect this change. The designs will be subject to a Road Safety Audit before going to construction. As part of the audit the issue of legibility for visually impaired pedestrians will be specifically addressed and any modifications required will be implemented.
- Pedestrian Refuge in the middle of Prussia Street.
Consideration has been given to retaining the pedestrian refuge in the middle of Prussia Street. However in order to provide protected cycle lanes inbound and outbound on Prussia Street, while maintaining a dedicated right turn onto the NCR and the bus stop on the inbound side of Prussia Street, it is necessary to demolish the pedestrian refuge. Our ITS Team will adjust the signal timing in this junction to provide increased time for pedestrians to complete this crossing to compensate for the removal of the refuge.
Countdown timers are used to indicate to pedestrians how long they have to wait until the next green light to begin a crossing. They are not used to indicate to pedestrians how long they have remaining to complete their crossing. Countdown timers have fixed cycles and are not adaptive to pedestrian demands. They would not be appropriate in this circumstance.
- Removal of Guard Rails.
There are guard rails on both the north-east side of junction between Old Cabra Road and Anamoe Road and on the south -east corner at the junction of Prussia Street and the North Circular Road. The proposals will include for their removal but this will be subject to the findings of a pre-construction Road Safety Audit.
- Indenting Cycle Lane into footpath opposite Anamoe Road
Concerns were raised about indenting the cycle lane into the southern footpath on the NCR opposite Anamoe Road. Instead it was requested that consideration be given to realigning the NCR in the vicinity of Anamoe Road, widening the NCR to the north to provide space for a protected cycle lane on the southern side of the NCR.
Consideration was given to widening the NCR to the north at the Anamoe junction to accommodate a protected cycle lane on the southern side of the North Circular Road. However the designers have concerns about realigning the NCR over such a short distance. It would involve shifting the carriageway to the north in advance of Anamoe Road only to shift it back to the south immediately after the junction to tie in with the current alignment of the North Circular Road to the east. It is considered that any such realignment would be best addressed by the main project to improve walking and cycling facilities along the North Circular Road which is one of the schemes the new Active Travel Office will be implementing.
As part of the interim proposals in this location it is proposed that the indenting of the cycle lane into the footpath is not advanced at this stage.
- Footpath Parking on the Old Cabra Road
This is a limited suite of interventions available for the prevention of footpath parking. Bollards are commonly used as they have a relatively small footprint. However in cases where there are wider footpaths consideration can be given to the use of planters or other street furniture.
In the case of the Old Cabra Road, the existing footpaths are relatively narrow and planters are not considered appropriate. Cast iron fluted bollards are recommended for this location.
- Advanced Cycle Signals
The signal heads and timing of the signals will be modified to provide cyclists with advanced green signals as part of the works
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee