Cycle lane highlights in Dublin

Motorists often wonder why cyclists are not using cycle lanes, cyclists say it’s because the lanes are rubbish. But just how poor are Dublin’s cycle lanes?

Here’s some examples, and, from our research, most of these designs are repeated across Co Dublin…

While it would be a full time job for Gardai to stop some cyclists from cycling on footpaths, Dublin’s councils have been busy at work mixing cyclists and pedestrians even where there’s no room to do so. This prime example is from the Finglas Road:

Meanwhile in Swords, there’s more room, but it’s unclear what cyclists are required to do — bar stopping a lot or ignoring the very helpful designs:

South Dublin County Council says the following is standard design, which is fair enough given sign posts and traffic lights can also be found in the areas of Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council:

Also on small, on-footpath cycle lanes are ESB polls:

Painting cycle tracks in pedestrian areas with little room is also a pastime at the National Roads Authority. A two-way cycle track doesn’t really fit on this footbridge over the M50 near the Liffey Valley Shopping Centre:

And the Railway Procurement Agency think cyclists and pedestrians are ok in tight spaces, at a 90 degree turn and beside trams and a busy road:

Even if you manage to get around all those walking and standing on the cycle tracks, you have to face yield signs even few meters. Even when cycling along a main road you give way to side roads — which is a reverse of what the rules of the road state:

The ends of on-footpath cycle lanes are often designed in a way that staying on the road would have been less dangerous:

On-road cycle tracks aren’t much better. Very strange things can happen, like being directed towards building or footpaths rather the road ahead, as happens on Dublin’s quays:

On-road cycle tracks also end for no reason or because the space is shared with parking or loading bays, few cycle tracks operate 24 hours all week long.

Illegal parking on cycle lanes is a problem, but it’s an uphill struggle when parking bays are a common feature of cycle lanes and many can be parked on outside of limited operational hours. It’s a defining feature of the cycle tracks in and out of Ranelagh:

Elsewhere, like on the Berkeley Road, a parking bay starts just around a corner, leaving unaware cyclist to pull on their break fast or pull out into traffic. At least the Mater Hospital is around the corner:

When parked cars are kept out of the way, lanes still place cyclists in the striking zone of car doors:

Cycle lanes are also placed in other dangerous locations where there is no room from them, such in filter lanes:

And within traffic lanes where there’s no room for both a car and a cyclists, likely giving false impression to both and no advantage to anybody:

Bus lanes are also often too small for both a bicycle and a bus or a taxi, which slows down buses and taxis and can be hard for even seasoned cyclists. Bus lane designs like this often increases the chances to buses and taxis passing cyclists too close or cyclists getting abuse from taxi or bus drivers:

And even when millions are spend on a cycleway along the Grand Canal, pedestrian ‘kissing gates’ are installed:

While not having space is often a problem, on this very reasonably sized two-way cycle track it was decided to put in some fun — four bus shelters in a row along a short stretch of road near Adamstown:

The following shows how bus stops generally are obstacles, and the widespread problem of lack of maintaince, leaving glass, broken up surfaces and other debris in the path of cyclists:

Want to see more? Visit the Documenting Irish Cycle Lanes group on And if you have your own photos please add them to the group.

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1 Comment for “Cycle lane highlights in Dublin”

  1. Who honestly comes up with these crazy things? It’s just another example of poor planning and foresight. If you want something done done right, don’t do it in Ireland.

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