Vision for Straffan Road Maynooth

Rationale behind Allocation of Road Space

Maynooth Cycling’s vision for the Straffan Road is of a tree lined boulevard with traffic calming and high quality facilities for walking and cycling to encourage mass cycling and walking. The reduction in traffic arising from an active population would result in improved traffic flow for those who have no choice but to drive long distances.

This vision is very different from what was proposed for the North South Corridor under the Part 8 Public Consultation. The Straffan Road is much wider than most of the roads in Maynooth so there is scope to provide above average facilities for pedestrians and cyclists. The rationale behind our proposed allocation of road space and the difference with the allocation proposed under the Part 8 Consultations is detailed below. It is divided into the following sections

  1. Lane widths
  2. Partition verge
  3. Priority at junctions
  4. Bus stop design
  5. Postscript

1. Lane Widths

Appendix 1 shows how Maynooth Cycling would typically allocate road space.

The lane widths are very different from those proposed in the Part 8 drawings. They show the main drive lanes at 3.0m/3.25m and the turn lane at 3.0m. Maynooth Cycling proposes that the main drive lanes should be 3.0m and the turn lane 2.6m.

The 2.6m dimension is taken from the Traffic Management Guidelines Table 9.2 Typical lane widths for District Distributors and Local Collector roads. This compares to a minimum of 2.5m.

The Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets gives a range of 6m to 6.5m standard carriageway widths for arterial and link streets with low to moderate design speeds. Maynooth Cycling favours the minimum in the interests of safety whereas the Transportation Department favours the maximum. As wider lanes results in higher speeds, we favour traffic calming and narrower lanes.

In the city of Assen in the Netherlands, Maria in Campislaan road is a two lane carriageway which is used by buses travelling to the city centre. The width of each lane is 2.8m. The road can be seen on Google Maps and it is clear that the profile of the road has not been changed for some time which indicates that the width does not prevent the road from functioning as it should. It fact it is likely that the road will be upgraded in the near future as the cycle facilities are outdated by Dutch standards.

In the US, details were recently published of a temporary traffic management measures. The cross-section shows 10’ or 3m wide travel lanes. Maynooth Cycling believes that if 3m is wide enough for cars in America, it should be wide enough for cars in Ireland but Kildare County Council thinks otherwise.

Appendices 3 and 4 show the proposed cross-sections at the Glenroyal and Parklands junctions respectively.

At the Glenroyal, there is additional public space available at the Harbour Field to provide high quality walking and cycling facilities.

At the Parklands junction, a verge of only 400mm means that the signal poles will impact on the adjoining cycle track but it is considered reasonable given the constraints on space. In the medium term with the construction of the ring road between the Celbridge Road and the Dublin Road, the turn right lane can be removed and the verge widened to 1.7m as elsewhere.

 

2. Partition Verge

The Straffan Road is 17.4m wide – so there is ample room to provide for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.  The general partition verge of 1.7m is designed for signage and traffic signal poles but could also be used for trees to give a boulevard appearance. It should not be grassed but should have a hard surfacing – one differentiating it from the carriageway and the cycle track.

As well as being for signage and services, the verge also eliminates pedestrian/cyclists conflicts at crossings by providing additional space for cyclists and pedestrians in which to wait and is in line with best international practice and the Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS).

Appendix 5 shows an example of a high quality Dutch cycle track with adjacent verge.

 

3.  Priority at Junctions

In relation to priority at junctions, pedestrians and cyclists should retain priority over side traffic in line with international best practice. This has been a long term practice in the Netherlands and within the last year has gained increasing acceptance in London and other parts of the UK.

 

 4.  Bus Stops

The National Cycle Manual contains 9 different designs. The first choice of Maynooth Cycling would be for Island type bus Option 1 as it minimises the pedestrian/cyclists conflict but any of 8 designs would be acceptable. The ninth, Kneeling Bus Option 1 is unacceptable, because it needless puts cyclists on road where there is a risk of cyclists/vehicle conflict. This is the current Part 8 proposal.

Island bus stops are generally called Floating Bus stops and have been used in the Netherlands for over forty years. More recently, they have been introduced in the UK and in the USA. In the last two years since 14 were constructed In Brighton, there has been no pedestrian/cyclist conflicts.

Appendix 1 also shows an example of an island bus stop.

 

POSTSCRIPT

Due to objections from the residents of Old Greenfield and Silken Vale, councillors voted to approve the Part 8 proposals as advertised subject to the retention of the right turn lanes at the railway station and elsewhere so the prospect of a Straffan Road boulevard is dead. As the residents of those estates were the winners, in our opinion, the losers were the other c13,000 residents of Maynooth.

For anyone familiar with cycle advocacy in the UK,  Maynooth  is another example of Groundhog Day  with non-cycling road engineers and non-cycling elected councillors that they knew  It took nearly twenty years until 2015 when they accepted that mass cycling needs high quality facilities and began t refused to cycle on porr quality

 

Appendix 1      Example of Boulevard Street with Verge and High Quality Cycle Track

                             (Netherlands)

 


Appendix 2: STRAFFAN ROAD – PROPOSED TYPICAL CROSS-SECTION

 

DIFFERENCES FROM PART 8 PROPOSALS

  • Where there are kerbs between the cycle track and drive lane/footpath, a width of 0.75m (0.5m+0.25m) is unused by cyclists.
  • Providing a 1.7m verge on the drive side and forgiving kerbs on the footpath side increases the effective width of cycle track to 2.0m from 1.25m (as per National Cycle Manual) so the standard (quality) of cycle track increases from class C to class A.
  • Space for verge is achieved by
    • Reducing the width of drive lane from 3.25m to 3.0m and
    • Reducing footpath on west side from 3.4m to 2.0m and on east side from 3.5m to 2.0m.

 

Appendix 3: LANE WIDTHS IN USA AT BROOKLYN

RED HOOK GREENWAY (NEW YORK)

 

 

 

Appendix 4: GLENROYAL JUNCTION – PROPOSED CROSS-SECTION

DIFFERENCES FROM PART 8 PROPOSALS

  • Where there are kerbs between the cycle track and drive lane/footpath, a width of 0.75m (0.5m+0.25m) is unused by cyclists.
  • Providing a 1.5m verge on the drive side and forgiving kerbs on the footpath side increases the effective width of cycle track to 2.0m from 1.25m (as per National Cycle Manual) so the standard (quality) of cycle track increases from class C to class A.
  • Space for a verge is achieved by
    • Reducing the width of drive lane from 3.25m to 3.0m
    • Reducing the width of turn right lane from 3.0m to 2.6m
    • Extending width on west side by 2.2m.
  • The effective width of the footpath is increased from 1.2m to 2.0m due to signals located in verge rather than the footpath.

 

Appendix 5: PARKLANDS JUNCTION – PROPOSED CROSS-SECTION

 

DIFFERENCES FROM PART 8 PROPOSALS

  • Where there are kerbs between the cycle track and drive lane/footpath, a width of 0.75m (0.5m+0.25m) is unused by cyclists.
  • Providing a 1.5m verge on the drive side and forgiving kerbs on the footpath side increases the effective width of cycle track to 1.95m from 1.25m (as per National Cycle Manual) so the standard (quality) of cycle track increases from class C to class B.
  • Space for a verge is achieved by
    • Reducing the width of drive lane from 3.25m to 3.0m
    • Reducing the width of turn right lane from 3.0m to 2.6m
    • Extending width on west side by 2.2m.
  • The effective width of the footpath is increased from 1.2m to 2.0m due to signals located in verge rather than the footpath.

 

 

Appendix 6   Priority at Junctions (1) (Netherlands)

 

Appendix 7      Priority at Junctions (2)

Extract from Leeds City Council Report on Leeds/Bradford Cycle Superhighway

 

 

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