SEGREGATED cycle lanes on Sullivan’s Quay are due to be removed as part of the Office of Public Works’s Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme.
Currently, the cycle lanes on Sullivan’s Quay are separated from the road and footpath by wands and a raised pavement.
However, a new CGI image of the flood relief plans show a ‘shared space’ footpath and cycle lane on the quay.
Cyclists say this is dangerous, and are calling for private cars to be taken off the road to make space for the cycle lanes.
The Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme’s official Twitter account responded to concerned Twitter users, saying: “We acknowledge the variety of views on this. Spatial restrictions in some streets don’t make two-way cycleways and pedestrian walkways possible. Shared space is common in Continental cities and seems to work. There’ll be further consideration of this before a final decision is made.”
However, Conn Donovan of Cork Cycling Campaign says shared space contravenes best practice.
“Most cities that take cycling seriously have connected networks of segregated bi-directional cycle paths, supported by streets with low traffic volumes and low-speed limits.
“Shared cycling and walking paths are generally disliked by both users. The National Cycle Manual, published by the National Transport Authority, makes it explicitly clear that they should be avoided in urban areas as much as possible.
“The current footpaths on Sullivan’s Quay are narrow and of poor quality, but permitting cycling on a wider footpath is not a good long term solution,” he says.
“The Cork Metropolitan Area Transport Strategy (CMATS) identifies Sullivan’s Quay as part of the Primary Cycle Network. The street is close to the city centre, so it’s also an area of high footfall.
“Designing a path for people cycling and walking to share, while retaining on-street parking, is an affront to those who are choosing the healthiest and least-polluting way to travel in Cork,” Mr Donovan added.
“The Cork Cycling Campaign expects other agencies and advocacy groups to be highly concerned with this plan, and we would urge the OPW to go back to the drawing board.
“CMATS sets out that Cork will be the most walkable city in Ireland by 2040. Forcing people cycling and walking onto ‘shared’ footpaths is not going to help us achieve this goal.”
Ken Leahy, Arup project consultant on the Lower Lee Flood Relief Scheme, said previously that the thinking behind shared space “continues to evolve.”
“The design scheme at the moment has been informed by the current views of best practice in the context of the available space that is there, and trying to provide the best solution for all users.
“People will have different views on this and it will be a point of contention, but it’s based on discussions between experts and the City Council in terms of the plan for transport going forward.”