Cyclists wheelie mad over proposed Rathmines detour under BusConnects

by Rachel Darcy

A proposal by BusConnects to re-route cyclists away from Rathmines village hasn’t proved favourable amongst cyclists.

Those on bikes have said a proposed re-routing of cyclists through a ‘quiet way’ will take longer than a direct route through Rathmines and may involve more ‘conflict points’.

The proposed re-routing would run through a number of residential roads, with numerous points of possible difficulty at schools, homes and vehicles along the route, which will take approximately 15 minutes longer to reach the city centre than the direct route through Rathmines village.

Cyclists say the extended travelling time is due to the slightly longer route, in addition to not being able to cycle as fast due to the number of potential road blocks.

The detour is one of two options proposed in the BusConnects plans for the Rathfarnham to City Centre corridor, with the second option keeping cyclists on a direct route through Rathmines.

The direct route proposed will involve a cycleway through Rathmines Road, Richmond Street and Camden Street Upper.

Option B – the detour – will be an cycleway through side streets adjacent to Rathmines Road with a new canal crossing and a quiet cycle route through Martin Street, Stamer Street, Heytesbury Street and New Bride Street.

The proposal on the BusConnects website regarding the two options says: “There are difficult choices involved in both options and, as part of the consultation process, feedback is sought on these two alternatives before concluding on the preferred option.”

A Twitter thread posted in late January details the exact re-routing under the plans, which includes cyclists diverted by St Louis’s primary school and St Louis’s secondary school, something which cyclists say will cause issues when children are being dropped off and collected, and the area is awash with cars.

Speaking to Dublin Gazette, cycling advocate and Green Party councillor Ciaran Cuffe said that people need to be put first, rather than vehicles.

He said: “In Dublin City Council, we have a transport hierarchy that puts pedestrians first, followed by cyclists, then public transport users and delivery vehicles, and then car users.

“I believe it would be wrong to subject cyclists to lengthy detours from their desired route, in Rathmines or at other locations in the city.

“The Green Party wants to ensure that the BusConnects projects puts people first and makes it easier to get around on foot, by bike or in a wheelchair.”

Dublin Gazette contacted BusConnects about the controversial plan, but had not received a response by time of publication.

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