Earlier today Cyclist.ie made a submission to Galway City Council in regard to the Salthill Temporary Cycle Lane/ Traffic Calming Measures.
The full suite of documents relating to the scheme can be found here https://www.galwaycity.ie/SalthillTemporaryCycleway (and note that the deadline for submissions was 4pm on Fri 28 Jan 2022).
The main message in our submission is that Cyclist.ie broadly welcomes these temporary proposals for cycling facilities along the Salthill seafront, presented as two options. In general we favour Option 2 over Option 1, as it is less disruptive and more practical overall for the needs of the area.
We commend the City Council on this initiative which has been a long while in gestation and we are confident that the construction of these temporary facilities will be a huge success, once properly managed; and in the long term will, we hope, lead to a more permanent scheme which prioritises sustainable transport, and enables safe and comfortable access to the facilities in the area.
Our submission can be read in full below.
1 – Introduction
Cyclist.ie, the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network (ICAN), is the Federation of Cycling Advocacy Groups, Greenway Groups and Bike Festivals on the island of Ireland. We are the Irish member of the European Cyclists’ Federation. Our vision is for an Ireland with a cycle friendly culture, where everyone has a real choice to cycle and is encouraged to experience the joy, convenience, health and environmental benefits of cycling.
Cyclist.ie broadly welcomes these temporary proposals for cycling facilities along the Salthill seafront, presented as 2 options. In general we favour Option 2 over Option 1, as it is less disruptive, and more practical overall for the needs of the area. We commend the City Council on this initiative which has been a long while in gestation, but we are confident that the construction of these temporary facilities will be a huge success, once properly managed; and in the long term will hopefully lead to a more permanent scheme which prioritises sustainable transport, and enables safe and comfortable access to the facilities in the area.
We make some broad comments below on aspects of the temporary design of the Option 2 proposed scheme design.
2 – General Comments
2.1 Scheme Drawings/Images
Overall we welcome the presentation of this proposed temporary scheme, but the understanding of the proposal could have been enhanced with some 3D images and/or video presentations, to enable a clearer understanding of the proposals by the ordinary punter. We urge the City Council to ensure this feature is added to all future scheme consultations.
2.2 Cycle Facilities
In the realisation that this is a proposed temporary scheme, Cyclist.ie generally welcomes the proposed cycle track/lane widths of 2metres for single way and 3 metres for 2 way cycle tracks. But, we urge the Council to keep these minimal widths throughout the scheme, and not reduce them, as indicated on the Leisureland Cross Section drawing, where ample width exists on the roadway to facilitate a full 3metres.
In the long term we are confident that this attractive facility will be as successful as -the temporary scheme built in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council in recent years – see image below, and will be well used, with a likely long term need to review these minimal widths.
DLR Coastal Mobility Route – A game-changer and a massive success
A long term scheme will also give the opportunity to consider wider elements such as overall public realm improvement and clear prioritisation of vulnerable road users and sustainable transport users.
2.3 Pedestrian Facilities
It is noted throughout that no new proposals are included to provide safe crossing facilities for pedestrians along this stretch of roadway. This is an unfortunate omission which should be rectified, particularly close to major landside facilities, housing estates, and car parks.
2.4 Public Transport
The ready availability of public transport will be a vital part of this proposed scheme, to give people a further alternative to accessing the seafront area other than by car. The upgraded bus stops in some areas are to be welcomed, but we suggest the use and practice at these bus stops should be monitored to check on any pedestrian/cyclist conflicts.
We also note the apparent (from the drawings) omission of existing bus stops to the west of the proposed scheme?
2.5 Car Parking
We broadly welcome the proposed reduced car parking along the main seafront, which will help to improve the overall safety of the area, and also to make it more attractive. However, it is incumbent on Galway City Council to manage the expectations of car users intending to arrive in this area, by providing adequate forewarning of available parking locations, and ideally providing alternative means of accessing the seafront by providing extra public transport from possible designated locations.
We would also recommend that all on-road disabled car spaces are relocated to the seafront side, to enable easy access to facilities by users. There are a number of potential design options for this to be facilitated.
2.6 Other Issues
2.6.1 Scheme Extremities
At the Barna Road western end the proposed cycle track exit onto the busy Barna Road is not ‘intuitive’, and will undoubtedly cause problems, especially for beginner/young cyclists. This exit on to Barna Road needs to be re-examined and ideally a safe crossing installed, for cyclists wanting to turn right
At the Salthill/Seapoint roundabout there is no obvious way for cyclists to exit the 2 way cycleway onto Upper Salthill Road.
2.6.2 Cycling Access to and from the Proposed Cycle Track
It is not clear from the drawings exhibited if cyclists can easily access the proposed route from side roads, or alternatively leave the proposed route to exit across the main carriageway to a side road. This should be clarified.
3 – Summary / Conclusion
- This initiative by Galway City Council is to be broadly welcomed, and will increase the safety and enjoyment of the Salthill/Seapoint areas overall.
- We request Galway City Council to examine all of the issues that we have raised in Section 2 above, in order to improve the scheme overall, and its general acceptance by the public.
- We look forward to the implementation of this proposed scheme and in the long term a full scheme addressing the broader transport, public realm, and climate issues that a final permanent scheme will bring.
We are happy to meet with Galway City Council at any stage to discuss any of the points raised above.