Photo of the Week - Week 22:
Donnybrook's AX640 is seen on the newly opened Rosie Hackett Bridge on the 24th May 2014 operating Route 14 to Dundrum.
The 21st bridge over the River Liffey, the Rosie Hackett Bridge, opened to bus traffic on Wednesday 21st May 2014. Rosie Hackett was a prominent trade union activist who was heavily involved in both the 1913 Dublin Lockout and the 1916 Easter Rising. The bridge was built to facilitate the construction of the cross-city Luas project which will see the green line extended to Boombridge on the northside. As per the photo only one line of track is present, with only southbound trams using the bridge. Northbound trams will use O'Connell Bridge and O'Connell Street. The other two lanes are bus lanes, the one to the right in this photo used for buses using Hawkins Street and the left lane, occupied by AX640 in the photo, being used by buses accessing the quays. For this reason the bridge is also used by Bus Eireann buses heading west out of the city. A aerial view of the bridge is available on the Dublin City Council website.
Clontarf's AV285 is seen on the new contra-flow bus lane on Custom House Quay on the 24th May 2014.
To access the bridge, buses from Amiens Street or from North Wall Quay can access a newly opened contra-flow bus lane on Custom House Quay. The photo above shows AV285 making use of the new facility. As per all contra-flow bus lanes in the city, it works incredibly well, showing how bus priority in a radially based city is of extreme merit. Routes 14, 15, 27, 33D, 33X and 151 use the new contra-flow bus lane heading southbound, stopping on Eden Quay. The stops on Eden Quay are directly opposite the northbound stops, again a good feature for cross-city services. George's Quay is still served by Route 90, which thus still links the stop closest to Tara Street Station with Heuston Station. However, the 90 is a morning peak hour service only, and is currently on borrowed time. The picture below shows the road layout which was introduced with the opening of the Rosie Hackett Bridge. Note that right turns from Custom House Quay to Memorial Road are now banned, indicated by the road sign alongside AV285 in the photo above.
Harristown's AX551 is seen at the set down stop on Eden Quay on the 24th May 2014. A driver change is currently taking place, as it is on the 27 behind and the 14 behind that. Thankfully there is a good amount of space available.
The construction of the cross-city Luas can only be considered a progaganda move by the current government. With funds for transportation always in short supply in our green isle, the Luas cross-city project was by far the least expensive. The other side of the coin is that it is the least required and the most troublesome in terms of its construction and the amount of space it will take up when complete. The Metro or the DART cross-city projects would have really added to Dublin's public transport system. The Luas has quite impressive operation figures, however it is the only example of a fully prioritised public transport system using roads in the city region. Buses have been confined to some painted white-lines, which they share with an ever growing number of cars. How can a Taxi be considered anything other than a car? These painted white lines have been successful, showing the ability of the bus to grow customer demand, however time and time again they have been undermined. The Malahide Road QBC now has so many left turn filter lights that only operate half the time due to pedestrian crossings. This slows down bus operation. At no instance were cars banned from making left turns, were lights prioritised using technology to give buses provision, no yellow boxes to alllow buses to escape from behind these motionless left turning cars. And yet, when passenger numbers decline compared to the Luas, the suits will blame the bus as an outdated transport option. In reality, the bus is the only system that will ever serve all of Dublin's population. It serves over 115million passengers each year. To take away such an amount of city centre priority in favour of a system that will only ever serve much less than half of the traffic of the bus system would seem idiotic to most, but seemingly not all. If buses had full priority throughout the city, they could use these benefits to grow demand across the entire system. The BRT projects do seem interesting, but did anyone else notice that none will serve O'Connell Street or Grafton Street / Nassau Street routing. In such a heavily confined city centre, in the centre of a radial city, buses are once again being pushed out away from where people want to go. 21st Century Irish transport planning at its best it would seem!
Ringsend's AX518 is seen turning from Eden Quay to the Rosie Hackett Bridge on Route 27 on the 24th May 2014.