Cyclists in Dublin are set to benefit from ‘greenwave’ traffic signals similar to ones already employed in the Netherlands and Denmark under an initiative that will also see a speed limit of 20 kilometres an hour imposed on a busy bus route in the Irish capital.
The Journal reports that the proposals for the College Green bus corridor have been unanimously approved by Dublin City Council’s south-east area committee, with the changes due to be implemented next year subject to planning approval.
Traffic lights will be synchronised to let people riding at a constant speed of 20 kilometres, or 12 miles, an hour meet a succession of green signals.
Proposed by Fine Gael councillor Paddy Smyth, who has produced a YouTube video showing how it would work in practice.
He said: “The redesign of College Green in Dublin's city centre will significantly increase the area dedicated to the pedestrian. This will dramatically improve the amenity of arguably the city's most important civic space.
“However, the decrease in available road space means that cyclists will have to share a lane with Buses.
“In order to ensure that cyclists are safe, and made to feel safe, it is proposed to reduced the speed limit in this shared section to 20kph. This is the average speed at which commuter cyclists travel on the flat.
“In order to reinforce compliance with the new speed limit and also aid cyclist to traverse the area efficiently, it is also proposed to delineate the lanes with sequenced LEDs, co-ordinated with the traffic lights, which will clearly demarcate the maximum speed allowed.”
He told The Journal: “There was only one slight objection at committee to the idea, and that was because the councillor in question was disappointed that cyclists would have to share lanes with buses at all.”
However, Nial Ring, independent councillor for North Dublin, described the initiative as “mad.”
He said: “There’s an anti-motorist bias in Dublin for certain.
“If the speed limit drops down to 20 it will be like returning to Flintstones-style transportation. It’s mad stuff, absolutely mad stuff.
“It’s the retailers I feel sorry for. Just as we’re seeing a slight recovery, a hare-brained scheme like this is just another kick in the teeth for them,” he added.
Sstudies in places such as Copenhagen and New York City, however, have shown that initiatives that promote cycling have a beneficial effect on local shops.
Last month, we reported how the city of Aarhus in Denmark is piloting a scheme that sees RFID tags attached to bikes to allow traffic lights to be automatically turned to green as cyclists approach them.
Cycling campaigners in London welcomed the move and said they would like to see similar technology deployed there.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.