Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Pope's Quay Contraflow - At Last!

Cork City Council have installed a new contraflow cycle path on Pope's Quay in Cork city. This quay has been one way (westbound) for all traffic for a long time.

It's a 'path' because it's physically separated from motorised traffic by a raised concrete kerb although it's on the same level as the rest of the road. There are gaps in the kerb at gates and entrances to properties which give access to vehicles. Red non-slip surface and road markings have since been applied.

The first stretch of the contraflow heading east from North Gate Bridge, is one way for cyclists but opens out to be a two-way cycle path.

It is unclear why provision is made for cyclists heading west when they can just cycle on the quay with the rest of traffic. Maybe the thinking is that if work has to be done to provide contraflow, you might as well put in 'with-flow' beside it and you end up with a decent width of path that people can't help but notice and therefore pedestrians and car owners watch out for cyclists.

One of the downsides is that because of such a wide 2-way path, the remaining available road width can squeeze cyclists at certain points.

It may have been nicer to construct the path on the riverside where there is nice views and less parked cars to deal with.

The quay had provided 'head-on' parking along this side, but this has been removed and replaced by 'side-on' parking beside the raised kerb and separating cyclists from moving traffic.

There may be a problem here with car doors opening into the cycle path due to the proximity of the parking spaces.

Break in kerb to allow access to car park.

It could do with some signs warning cyclists to be aware of pedestrians and people entering or exiting cars. It should almost be considered shared space because people will walk across the cycle path to or from shops, pubs, offices, apartments, to get to the quay side or getting to or from parked cars.

This was during construction so cars (hardly) don't park here anymore!

Let's hope these road markings will be maintained. They tend to fade with rain, frost, sun (all on the same day!) and normal wear and tear from car tyres.

Gap in raised kerb at 'pedestrian' bridge leading to steps up to Widderlings Lane.

Flexible pencil bollard indicates way for cyclists and start of raised kerb.

Pedestrian crossing leading to Ferry Lane with parked cars between cycle path and moving traffic.

Cars don't park here anymore!

At the east end of Pope's Quay, the path leaves the road level and rises up to meet the footpath level.

Eastbound cyclists having come to the end of the contraflow must navigate across the bottom of Mulgrave Road. There is a pedestrian crossing with a call button but I doubt very many cyclists will wait that long.

All in all this is a very welcome contraflow. Let's hope it gets plenty of use! If you haven't tried it, give it a go!

Monday, October 15, 2012

The Only Way is Up!

Cycling to work, college or school in Cork is up 33 per cent since 2006!

Ok maybe it was quite low to start with in 2006 but then again it was the height of the Celtic Tiger so people had plenty of money to buy bikes....and cars!

Anyway congratulations to all of you who cycle regularly! The more cyclists on the road the slower the traffic becomes which makes it more comfortable for others to start cycling - so it's a snowball effect. I'm not sure what percentage of commuters that would be. Probably still quite low and the aim is to get 10 per cent cycling by 2020 - which is not that far away.
So as one political slogan goes "A lot done a lot more to do!"


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cementing Relationships

I've recently become aware of a different type of impediment to cyclists namely cement deposits. Actually concrete that has spilled onto the side of a road probably from a cement lorry and nobody bothers to clean it up and it goes hard (like ...eh... concrete!) and cyclists have to almost stop or move out into traffic to avoid it.

The first example is near the top of Silversprings hill on Cork's northside (Northern Ring Road) at the junction with Colmcille Avenue. I guess it's been there for about 3 or 4 years. Granted it's quite a hill climb for cyclists so not that many would use it from day to day but i see other cyclists coming up here regularly. And after a hard climb the last thing you need is a 'rocky' obstacle that would challenge any mountain biker!

And a close up of the obstacle field.

The second example is up around the corner on the Middle Glanmire Road on the way to Montenotte. If you look carefully the Lorry Driver was kind enough to leave a tiny space between the concrete deposit and the wall for cyclists to get through on the smooth tarmac! Otherwise you can go outside into the stream of traffic or brave it over the obstacle - which you really don't want to do.

Fourth image is close up of Glanmire Road.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Facebook Tidal Wave Hits Blog Shores

It's not easy updating a blog, website and facebook page all at the same time! So the website has been suffering and the blog has been very intermittent!
From now on I will be devoting more time to the facebook page so keep an eye out for that. I will try to put breaking news there and save the blog for longer articles.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Conundrum on Coal Quay

Despite having written to Cork City Council about the injustice of making the Coal Quay a one-way going north, lo and behold it has come to pass...

Now all traffic heading south from Shandon has to make detours to get up towards Patrick Street.

But why should cyclists have to make such long detours? Surely there could have been a small lane created so cyclists could access Daunt's Square and Paul Street etc.

Another few years and they will be ripping up stone paving and kerbs to create ramp access for cyclists!


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Cork's One Ways

Here's a map of Cork city centre showing the one ways. (ignore the coloured dots - they represent existing and proposed bike parking.)

This might make sense (!) from a traffic management point of view but for a cyclist it is very inconvenient. A bicycle takes up very little space on the road so there is little reason to stop cyclists from using the most direct route.

And in fact this is what most cyclists do. This should be legalised by allowing cyclists to go against one ways. Of course it has to be well signposted for all road users and maybe it wouldn't work for some one ways but if we can put a man on the moon surely we can manage this!

Bikes Allowed on Local Trains!

Yes it's true folks.

After only about 15 years of lobbying, Ireland's national railway Iarnrod Eireann, has finally decided to allow bikes to be carried on local trains.
So from now in Cork the local Cobh and Midelton trains should allow bikes in off peak times.
(10.00 - 15.30 and after 19.00) Keep an eye out for changes.
Of course some trains are practically empty at peak time especially if they are heading out of the city so maybe the rules will be adjusted.
I for one am looking forward to heading off on the weekends on the train with my bike!

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Cyclize your City: National Bike Week 2010