THREAD: I spent some time cycling around Wicklow Town yesterday to check out their cycling infrastructure. At its best, Wicklow probably has the best designed cycle paths anywhere in Ireland. But the limited extent of the network and very poor permeability hampers it's usefulness
Let's start with the good stuff. In 2011, a few major new roads were built around the town on greenfield sites. These roads were all built with bidirectional cycle paths on both sides of the road, and junction designs that would not look out of place in the Netherlands. 2/n
All the major junctions on these roads use Dutch style designs, with protected crossings on all arms. Some of the turns were a bit sharp, and it would be better if cyclists had priority, especially on the roundabouts. But this should be gold standard for junction design. 3/n
Video of me using the protected roundabout. Please excuse my heavy breathing. Wicklow is a very hilly town. Cycling with luggage up a hill while crossing a roundabout and trying to film is not easy. 4/n
Cyclists aren't the only people who benefit from beautiful cycling infrastructure. This gentleman said he finds it difficult to get around the town centre because of dodgy footpaths. But he was perfectly relaxed on these smooth cycle lanes with well designed crossings. 5/n
Unfortunately, this great design is limited to a few roads. There are no cycle paths connecting to the town centre. Newer roads have been designed with unusable cycling infrastructure and hostile junctions. The first two photos below are right at the entrance to a school. 6/n
Wicklow Town shows us how to design excellent cycle paths. But it also shows that a couple of exhibition cycle paths, no matter how great, are not enough to make cycling a major mode of transport.
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