(Submission sent to BusConnects Core Bus Corridor Consultation by e-mail to email@example.com on Thursday 25th April)
I am a resident of the CIE Works Estate in Inchicore, and a supported of the BusConnects project. I cycle along Sarsfield Road almost daily. I would like to make the submission below with regard to aspects of the proposals for bus corridor CBC7 (Liffey Valley to City Centre) with particular emphasis on the stretch between St. Lawrence’s Road (Ballyfermot) and South Circular Road (Kilmainham) covered on maps 16 to 22 of the brochure.
Junction of St. Lawrence’s Road/Ballyfermot Rd/Sarsfield Road (Map 16)
This junction as currently proposed lacks appropriate facilities for turning right from Sarsfield Road onto St. Lawrence’s Road. This is a frequent choice of route by cyclists and others trying to reach Chapelizod village. Can space be taken from the verge to the south of the road to redesign this junction to allow for a short right turn lane? Can the planned pedestrian crossing be moved from it’s position 100m east of the junction so that it is adjacent to the junction, as envisaged in the DoT/DoE Design Manual for Urban Streets?
Sarsfield Road (The Ranch, Map 17)
There is currently a significant amount of footpath parking in this area, in particular at the present traffic calming measures immediately to the West of, and adjacent to Ruby Finnegans pub. There is also a plan to develop housing for the elderly to the north of the road here. This is a residential area, and it might be appropriate to maintain some traffic calming measures and develop some additional off street parking. Ideally this stretch should include at least two zebra crossings.
The junction of Landen and Sarsfield Roads currently has stop lines set back from the junction and widened corner angles, presumably to allow for the 79/79A to make the turn. I welcome the change to make the pedestrian crossing a single phase crossing and add crossings to all 3 sides of the junction, and would hope that the final plan removes the metal barriers from the island.
Zebra crossings would also be appropriate outside of Seven Oaks/Liffey Gaels as examination of the grass on the median strip will show that this is a very frequent crossing point. Again, the current ‘dual carriageway’ status of Sarsfield Road here encourages speeding, and changing priority to pedestrians would help.
Junction of Sarsfield Road/Con Colbert Road (map 18) to the end of Sarsfield Road at Inchicore Rd/Grattan Crescent (Map 19)
This section is currently for buses and cyclists only westbound and all traffic modes eastbound. I would suggest that this stretch of the road under the narrow railway bridge should be for buses/cyclists and access only . From the Con Colbert Road/Ballyfermot end, only traffic traveling to Dan Ryan Truck Rental should be allowed enter/exit. A bus gate (restricting both directions) with suitable engineering works and enforcement cameras should be put adjacent to Murray’s Cottages (directly east of the Dan Ryan yard) and general traffic could them be allowed in from the east to access Murray’s Cottages and the homes on Sarsfield Road/Woodfield. This whole stretch should be 30kmh on the basis of its residential nature and the Inchicore National School on the corner.
This would reduce traffic on Grattan Crescent significantly, along with some other measures, which I will allude to in a moment.
The slip lane for turning left from Sarsfield Road to Inchicore Road should be removed, reducing the number of crossings pedestrians must take from 3 to 2, again in line with DMURS, and the recognition that significantly less traffic will need this (and the absence of the 79 bus)
Grattan Crescent (Map 20)
A significant number of mature trees have been listed as for removal in this section. I have photographed these trees in March and include some here for reference. I would appeal to BusConnects to opt for options which restrict the traffic flow through Grattan Crescent instead of removing these trees. Much of the traffic in Inchicore village is made up of those accessing the Naas Road/N7. Traffic, including buses, should be limited to those accessing the area only.
I believe this is possible and can be achieved by:
1. Asking the NTA to route all buses apart from the Bus Eireann Rts 126 and 130 which stop in the village around the M50 and Chapelizod bypass when traveling between the city and the N7.
2. Changing all national roads directional signage from the Red Cow inwards and at Kilmainham Cross outbound so that no traffic is directed through the village and instead travels by the M50/R148 as above.
3. Reducing the volume of traffic accessing Grattan Crescent by introducing a 30km /h zone on Tyrconnell Road and narrowing the road by widening the footpath, adding a cycle lane, adding raised zebra crossings and alternating additional on street parking.
4. Further reducing the traffic accessing Grattan Crescent by imposing a 30km/h zone on Inchicore Road. There is currently a two-directional cycle lane on this one way road.
This lane also needs to be protected by a kerb or other engineering solution.
The junction between Inchicore Road and memorial road, where the cycle lane starts also needs to be significantly reengineered. At present it is not clear what cyclists are meant to do to access or exit the cycle lane. There are plans from CBC6 to include new cycle lanes on memorial road joining this lane. If these are built, or any other changes made, they need to be intuitive and in keeping with the cycle manual and the DMURS. The current set up is not.
Parking spaces could be recessed between trees on Grattan crescent. This would require the boundary of the Grattan Crescent Park to be moved back. An added advantage to this would be that the trees could have more appropriate surroundings with soil/flower beds in place of the current concrete and tarmac. It would also be of benefit to develop off street parking in the Village to ensure that this area is kept clear.
The bus stops on Grattan Crescent should also be located at the village end of the crescent, rather than at the Sarsfield Road end, as the stops on Sarsfield Road should be maintained, and having stops closer to the village is more appropriate.
I appreciate that some delays from traffic turning right from Emmet Road into Grattan Crescent exists. Much of the delay at this junction presently appears to be Naas Road Traffic, which should be reduced by the measures I mentioned above in addition to the bus gate proposed at Mount Brown. However, perhaps a time specific approach such as that used in Terenure village for the last few years could be used: right turns by general traffic could be prohibited during evening peak hours only.
Emmet Road/Inchicore Village (Map 20)
You will at this point have realized that Spa Road is one way northbound and Luby Road is also exit only onto Emmet Road, and so I will not dwell on those. It should be possible to soften the bend at the Golden Bridge in the centre of the village by narrowing the footpath and moving the parking spaces from the south of the road to the north, thus allowing for a better public domain in the village, as the north side of the road receives more sunshine, for most of the day. This should allow the council to provide public seating for the elderly of the area.
I am very much concerned at the lack of cycling space along this stretch, (and eastwards) as it appears cyclists will have to share bus lanes, which will probably lead to delays to buses. Having cycled from the City Centre to Inchicore frequently I have been involved in ‘leap frogging’ of bus 13/40s as they alternate between bus stops and passing me. It would be advisable where the road is being widened that extra space is arranged for separate cycle lanes in addition to the bus lanes. This should be the case east of Vincent Street.
Kilmainham Cross (Map 22)
I very much object to the provision of additional parking on the green space opposite the library. If extra parking is needed in Kilmainham village it could be located behind the shops (numbers 625-643) on the South Circular Road, or in the site at 736 SCR which has been vacant for over a decade.
This junction also needs additional bus priority measures to allow buses to pass through the junction eastbound ahead of other traffic as it is a significant pinch point. If restrictions have to be made to traffic turning left here onto SCR, then this should happen.
Oisín Ó hAlmhain