CORK Cycling Campaign and Pedestrian Cork have both rejected the proposed design of Cork City Council’s Togher Public Realm Enhancement.
Both groups cited concerns with the design’s shared pathway for cyclists and pedestrians.
The National Cycling Manual, the guide to incorporating cycling into city design, specifically recommends against using mixed facilities.
It says: “Shared facilities are disliked by both pedestrians and cyclists and result in reduced quality of service for both modes. With the exception of purpose-designed shared streets, shared facilities should be avoided in urban areas as far as possible.”
Pedestrian Cork said their key concern was the shared pathway for cyclists and pedestrians.
“We unanimously reject the proposed public realm enhancement in its current design… this is designing in conflict into the main street of Togher.
“Elsewhere in the city where paths are shared by people who cycle and walk there are anecdotal reports of conflict. In the case of the Blackrock Greenway, the area has been earmarked for widening due to conflicts.
“People on bikes move at a faster pace than people who are walking. The Study of Age-Friendly Environments from May highlighted cycling on pathways as being a key area that made older folks in the city feel unsafe.”
Orla Burke of Pedestrian Cork told The Echo she was also concerned that when the pathway was completely taken up by pedestrians, cyclists, including the young and inexperienced ones, would be forced to go out onto the road.
Cork Cycling Campaign rejected the proposals for similar reasons.
“There is no dedicated cycle infrastructure in this scheme. ‘Shared paths’ feature in some instances but these offer a reduced quality of service for both pedestrians and people cycling and need to be avoided as far as practicable.”
They also said that the plans are in “clear breach” of the Cork Cycle Network Plan, which proposed this route as a “primary [cycle] route with mandatory cycle lanes in both directions”.