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!


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