Thursday, February 12, 2009

Is this one of the most dangerous roundabout ideas?

This is the Groody Roundabout in Limerick, named after the river and area nearby. It sits on the very busy N7 (Limerick to Dublin Road) at the entrance to Limerick City and The National Technology Park, with the University of Limerick (20,000 people) and is the main feed road for North East Limerick and North and West Tipperary into Limerick. It's busy. Very busy. And the pedestrian crossing is lit with constant yellow lights, which give pedestrians an automatic right to just walk out - fair enough!

The council has decided to put a pedestrian crossing at each of the four entrance/exits to this roundabout. 3 of the entrances have 2 entries into the roundabout and the fourth, on the Dublin side, has 3, including a quick direct left only. With traffic coming predominantly in from the Dublin side and then from the Limerick City side, people are constantly driving out at the earliest opportunity only having to stand on the breaks when exiting 25% around again.

At time, when you come into the entrance of the roundabout alongside a van or truck on the outside or inside, you can't see throught them to see if there is pedestrians on trying to cross.So you slow down and creep over. But this is impossible given the acute angle of vision. I have a 4 door saloon with a looong bonnet. So if I have a truck beside me, I have to stick out a bit in front (and hope nobody is about to leap out in front).

From the above image you'll see a truck that came from the Dublin lane and sticked to it's lane, an X-trail forced to stick to it's lane yet might follow in behind the truck (as is so common). I'm not trying to be offensive but dual entrance/exits on roundabouts in Limerick/Tipp/Clare/Kerry are uncommon. People often weave across the two lanes on the roundabout on an hourly basis, as the Skoda demonstrates (not illegally dangerously here albeit without an indicator).

These photos are stills. It doesn't capture the intesity and urgency of the quick rush-stop-rush that goes on. It's such a busy roundabout with so many entrances that you're constanlty looking around to see whats going on, that you dont expect to have then break immediately on exit.

So the onus is clearly on the vehicle/motorbike driver to watch out. Fair enough. But it's a roundabout. You're looking left, right, behind and straight ahead. Somebody or more than somebody will get hit. A car, a bus, a bike. Actually its already happened. Someone hit a bus. Fine. What happens a car shoots out, sees a pedestrian and someone else smakcs him into the pedestrian. Sure, we can play blame games and throw in opinions. But why do we have to? Why couldn't the crossing be at a safer distance?

I've never seen anything like this before - and probably for good reason. This is an accident waiting to happen and God help those involved.


  1. You want a reason, its because its Ireland!

    When it comes to our road system its a sham, an embarrasment and downright lethal!

    This though really is such a joke, what the fuck was the council thinking putting pedestrian crossings on the exits of major roundabouts, seems similar to my walk of death and why Bray town council build a 4.5 million euro pedestrian bridge that no one can access!

  2. It makes no sence to me how Pedestrian corssings can be put on any exit of a RAB. Surely the concept of a RAB is to maintain a free flow system. If cars are suddenly coming to a halt just at the exit this will cause a back up and eventlaly result in an accient There's a simialr one at home and unless you are taking th first exit you can't see the pedestrian lights or if anyone is waiting to cross.

    It just makes no sence that the CC can sign off on such a badly engineered layout. If ther are going to ahve a pedestian crossing then there should be traffic lights coming on to the RAB that co-incide.