Maynooth has finally seen Kildare County Council’s Transportation Department react to the Covid-19 health emergency with works on the Dublin Road, Mill Street and Laurence’s Avenue
Although the Dublin Road work s limited, Maynooth Cycling Campaign welcomes the pop-up cycle lane which has appeared on part of one side of the road. While it will not attract many more cyclists, it will give more space to pedestrians and reduce the risk of a collision between cyclists and motorised vehicles – at least when they are travelling towards Carton Park Shopping Centre.
Bollards have also appeared on Mill Street to form a pop-up footpath at the Rye Bridge on Mill Street on space which had formerly been allocated for cycling. Several cyclists thought that it was a pop-up cycle lane. They were astonished to learn that the space was to be reallocated from cyclists to pedestrians and that cyclists were expected to move out to the traffic lane and “share the road” with cars. Most other councils are improving conditions for pedestrians AND cyclists, rather than pedestrians OR cyclists. Legibility is an important aspect of road safety. Legibility means that road users can “read” where they are supposed to go – be they pedestrians, cyclists or drivers. While he changes was intended to benefit pedestrians, it is doubtful that many cyclists will swing out into the traffic lane.
When the work was announced as part of the July Stimulus, a requirement was for the work to be completed before the end of November but was only carried out in February. Thankfully Kildare’s Fire Service is more responsive to an emergency than the Transportation Dept.