Saturday, November 05, 2016

More criticism of Thompson's Cross works

There’s continuing public criticism of the new road layout at Thompson’s Cross, writes Brian Byrne, particularly with the confirmation that a cyclist was knocked off his bike on Wednesday night.

The elimination of the hard shoulder in favour of high kerbing on the approaches to the junction is the main focus of concern, as it causes serious difficulties for cyclists, walkers and joggers.

According to the National Roads Authority’s ‘Design Manual for Roads and Bridges’, a typical junction like this should see the hard shoulders taper off into the curves of the intersection, and not push cyclists and pedestrians into main road traffic.

As the current changes stand, the space behind the new kerbing is to be infilled with grass, and not made into a footpath/cycleway.

According to general design parameters all road junctions, there is ‘a requirement to consider pedestrians and cyclists and other vulnerable road users’ (Oliver Dalton, Chartered Engineer, Clifton Scannell Emerson Associates).

Here’s what local people who use the Thompson’s Cross Junction think, as commented on the Kilcullen Diary Facebook link:

Esther Ni Roidigh: These kerbs have proved to be treacherous for this cyclist — and that is just the beginning I would say. It doesn't take an engineer to see that these kerbs have created a death trap for cyclists and pedestrians, never mind the unsuspecting motorists who will pull into the hard shoulder, for whatever reason, and hit them. When schools start back next week there will be mayhem. Cars coming from Kilcullen wishing to turn right for Sunnyhill will create a backlog — and the same will happen in the opposite direction. People will start to avoid the area and traffic will increase on the narrow roads around the Yellow Bog area. Why couldn't the Council have listened to local opinion and made a roundabout. The introduction of these kerbs for "safety" reasons will have the opposite effect. 
Ellen O'connor: A really poor decision on behalf of Kildare County Council and yet again I doubt anyone using this road was asked for an opinion. 
CaoimhĂ­n McDonnell: How about flexible bollards? Like the ones you see in school yards, that would have been better. Room to move between for pedestrians and cyclist while still doing the same job without ripping up the road and putting the most dangerous kerbs I have ever seen. 
Gillian Egan: Apart from the disaster that is the new layout there is not one single sign up to warn any motorists, cyclists or pedestrians that the road layout has changed? 
Samantha Clarke: It was an absolutely ridiculous move on the Council’s part. I nearly crashed into the curb last night. 
Austin Egan: Wonder what the objective was? If it was to slow traffic down it will certainly do that. Tailbacks every time someone is turning right in any direction. The hazardous junction is now hazardous on all four roads — and if you are unlucky enough to be involved in an incident between the huge kerbs you won't be able to move your car off the road — traffic will be going nowhere in any direction. Tow truck will have a problem getting there as will ambulance etc. with no hard shoulder. Busy backroads for a while I d say ... mind yourself out walking! 
Vinny Duffey: I wouldn't like to hit one on my motorbike. 
Joe Duffey: I have never seen a junction laid out in such a manner. That kerb serves no purpose. It's only a matter of time before someone ploughed into it coming from Kilcullen side, taking a sump out. Thompson’s house was for sale — the Council should have tried to buy it and forward plan the junction. I know it’s hard to please everyone but I'd definitely pull that kerb out of it. No advantage. A few new signs would be a better help and cost a lot less. 
Rebecca Pierce: People die through lack of proper road lighting and markings.