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Author Topic: Ireland notes  (Read 1000 times)

Alps

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Ireland notes
« on: October 13, 2018, 03:18:28 PM »

Day 1: Met with Truvelo at the airport, went to Knocksink Bridge and then up through Dublin in the rain. A wrong turn ended with some older (white on brown) signage. Then right by Knocksink there is still a cast iron sign! It just reinforces that all those cast signs you see in "Irish" bars are replicas, because the actual sign would be white on brown. Downtown Dublin is very confusing with a maze of one-way streets and turn restrictions. At one point, I was forced to make a series of turns that put me straight into a pedestrian mall! There were absolutely no signs for vehicular prohibitions up until that point - it's as if Dublin figured no one could possibly end up going that way. After regaining my steps, there were some lovely bridge photos in the rain, with a very swollen River Liffey up to the highest water mark. Example (not mine) - it was even higher than this, to the greenish fringe above the wet brown. Roads were starting to flood in the gutterline:



So it's been very wet here lately. After that I had a nice tour past some ruins and made my way to Kildare for the evening. I've noticed even N roads can get down to 24 feet (using the measurement system they were originally laid out with) with no shoulders, while R roads can go at least down to 20 feet total width. L roads, forget it - they can be as narrow as 12-14 feet, requiring contrived passing maneuvers when oncoming traffic approaches. Everything is well signed - Ireland has been taking pains to sign all of its L roads compared to the 2009 imagery on Street View. There are still some older signs hanging on, though.


EDIT: One more note - there is a lighter pavement used at curves and intersections (though only in the stopping lane). I wonder if it's more expensive but sturdier to withstand braking.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 03:04:53 PM by Alps »
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english si

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2018, 05:07:53 PM »

while R roads can go at least down to 20 metres total width.
Feet, no?

There's some single-track bits (perhaps as low as 10' for R roads, certainly 12') of N and R roads further out.

Also L roads can go lower, given every public road that isn't M, N or R is an L road.
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Alps

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2018, 03:13:24 PM »

while R roads can go at least down to 20 metres total width.
Feet, no?

There's some single-track bits (perhaps as low as 10' for R roads, certainly 12') of N and R roads further out.

Also L roads can go lower, given every public road that isn't M, N or R is an L road.
Feet, not metres. Thought I corrected all of those. Whoops.
Is every public road an L road? I haven't seen city streets signed as such. EDIT: http://www.rmo.ie/uploads/8/2/1/0/821068/guidelines_for_classification_and_scheduling_of_roads_in_ireland.pdf suggests that local authorities are responsible for establishing their own systems, so L roads are up to each jurisdiction as to how comprehensive they may be.

Day 2 observations:
Several stone arch bridges, almost all with a reasonable vantage.
Actual mountains! Comeragh Road feels more like Iceland than Ireland as it winds its way into heath-coated hills and toward Mahon Falls in a rocky crag.
I've now seen R roads get down to 12-14 feet in width and L roads get down to single track (8'?). I've seen striped two-way, two-lane roads that are barely 16 feet wide. I also ended up driving through a couple of construction zones - a new alignment M11 (Gorey to Enniscorthy) with bridges already built, and the N25 New Ross bypass (2 lanes it appears) taking shape. (Dang - if I had done my homework on construction, I could have seen a cable stayed bridge and a lot more of these roads taking shape. Bad roadgeek.) It also looks like Enniscorthy has an N80 connector to M11 and an N30 bypass that I did not see. Oh well. These all seem to be opening in 2019 or so.


EDIT: Almost forgot, explored an old alignment of N25 at Matthews Cross just west of Kilmeaden. It's now a bicycle trail.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2018, 05:09:16 PM by Alps »
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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 06:34:30 AM »

Is every public road an L road? I haven't seen city streets signed as such. EDIT: http://www.rmo.ie/uploads/8/2/1/0/821068/guidelines_for_classification_and_scheduling_of_roads_in_ireland.pdf suggests that local authorities are responsible for establishing their own systems, so L roads are up to each jurisdiction as to how comprehensive they may be.
OK, fair enough, and the cities are less likely to both assign and sign L roads, given they have road names they can use for reference.

However, given the rural councils number everything (and, while not directly comparable, UK councils have the same numbering of every public road, but go with C, D, U and other letters to designate different classes within their network, rather than number blocks that Ireland has), I'd be highly surprised if there are public roads in Ireland that don't have a number, which would be L roads if they aren't M, N or R.
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Alps

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 06:33:33 PM »

Day 3: The notes get shorter as the scenery gets more beautiful. I've now driven on a tire-tracks L road and 12-foot R road, and for that matter a 16-foot N road (through a town, where sidewalks and buildings do as they please). I've seen six-digit roads, both five digits with a hyphen and four digits, hyphen, two digits. I briefly entered the Gaeltacht (it's apparently a lot of small regions, not one large one) and saw "Géill Slí" signs, but no STADs. Yet. I'll keep my eyes peeled. I saw a relative ton (about a dozen) of cast iron directional signs, including along N routes, so while they're nearly dead... not quite yet. Also they're almost all black on white - repainted of course - but there are a number of private ones in all sorts of colors (blue on white, white on red). Wasn't expecting there to be advertising/services signs that old. Also a ton of stone arch bridges, some tunnels (N40, N71, even a railroad tunnel)... what else, what else... I don't know, any questions?

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 08:17:02 PM »

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Alps

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2018, 06:00:27 PM »

any questions?

pub report?
Plentiful.

Day 4: Mostly non-roads, but the Old Irish Ways museum northwest of Bruff has a few dozen cast iron (or aluminum? says the curator) signs from back in the days of mileage-based distances, as well as a few town entrance signs. (I only found one embossed town sign so far in the wild.) So I highly recommend that place - it's just east of Meanus on L1412. Otherwise, Conor Pass would be the highlight of the day, specifically the north side. I think the wise decision is to drive northbound so that you hit the one-lane part after the summit, taking all your photos there and then putting it low gear for the descent. A lot easier to stop and let traffic pass with gravity on your side to get started again. It's also just gorgeous (the rain cleared before I got there, very very fortunately) and a feat of engineering to behold - again, much easier to see it going downhill. Still, there's something to be said for fighting your way uphill and then suddenly getting the whole south of the Dingle Peninsula coming into view. More bridges, more paved goat paths, etc. etc. I can now tell you almost everything to see in terms of scenery. (The Burrens. Go there. It's special.) But scenery isn't roads. Side note: passed an L driver going about 35 in a 100. Poor girl. A 20 foot wide road with truck, bus, and camper traffic, the latter being driven mostly by unfamiliar foreigners, is no place to learn how to drive. And judging from her right turn in Kinvara where I'm staying, she is very green.

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2018, 07:41:49 PM »

I am thus far severely dismayed at there being only one photo in this thread—which wasn't even taken by you.

GIVE ME EYE CANDY!
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Alps

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2018, 02:50:49 AM »

I am thus far severely dismayed at there being only one photo in this thread—which wasn't even taken by you.

GIVE ME EYE CANDY!
You can wait until Halloween. I've posted a handful of photos to Facebook but I am still on vacation and choose to spend my time how I wish instead of serving others. :)

Paulinator66

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2018, 10:11:02 AM »

I am thus far severely dismayed at there being only one photo in this thread—which wasn't even taken by you.

GIVE ME EYE CANDY!

I've posted some photos from our trip to Ireland a year ago.  I'm no photographer but I hope it helps get you through!!
https://www.flickr.com/photos/137981280@N02/albums
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Alps

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2018, 06:20:49 PM »

Day... *shrug*. Notes. Where am I.
Found another unannounced old alignment of an R route. 833? 834? Something like that. Just a little curve, but it was totally drivable with old striping.
I think at this point I've found every variety of interesting road Thing that is there to be found. Since I don't see any questions, I'm good. If you don't follow Alps' Roads on Facebook, you should. :)

J N Winkler

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2018, 12:33:29 AM »

One more note - there is a lighter pavement used at curves and intersections (though only in the stopping lane). I wonder if it's more expensive but sturdier to withstand braking.

These are high-friction surface dressings (the British term for what we call chip seal) that use specially selected aggregate to provide improved braking performance in wet weather.  They are a common safety spot treatment.

I briefly entered the Gaeltacht (it's apparently a lot of small regions, not one large one) and saw "Géill Slí" signs, but no STADs.

I have never seen a stop sign that has the Gaelic translation of the word stop.  In the current edition of the Irish Traffic Signs Manual, the stop sign is shown with just "Stop" while the yield sign is shown as both "Yield" and "Géill Slí."

I also ended up driving through a couple of construction zones - a new alignment M11 (Gorey to Enniscorthy) with bridges already built, and the N25 New Ross bypass (2 lanes it appears) taking shape. (Dang - if I had done my homework on construction, I could have seen a cable stayed bridge and a lot more of these roads taking shape. Bad roadgeek.) It also looks like Enniscorthy has an N80 connector to M11 and an N30 bypass that I did not see. Oh well. These all seem to be opening in 2019 or so.

I have tried obtaining drawings sets for Irish highway construction projects and have found it to be all but impossible for ones administered by the NRA, which seems to favor the Irish version of Early Contractor Involvement--essentially, a type of design-build--for all trunk road construction of any significance.  I have not systematically investigated the availability of drawings sets for projects administered by local councils.  In the UK, the norm is for the trunk road agencies to use ECI with no distribution of drawings or other actual meat of the project except to contractors that pass first-stage prequalification, but drawing availability from local authorities is now good and getting better with the widespread use of electronic tendering platforms, and many schemes touching on the motorways and primary routes are locally administered.

Edit:  Some casual digging on the Irish tenders site proved productive.  These flag signs are from an N81 realignment which is being administered by County Wicklow:

« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 12:59:17 AM by J N Winkler »
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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2018, 04:36:22 AM »

I have never seen a stop sign that has the Gaelic translation of the word stop.
I'm not sure there's any in Europe that aren't STOP or СТОП (STOP with cyrillic letters), save for the Turkish DUR signs in that SE corner.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2018, 10:40:05 AM »

I'm not sure there's any in Europe that aren't STOP or СТОП (STOP with cyrillic letters), save for the Turkish DUR signs in that SE corner.

I can't think of any besides Turkey myself.  Stop signs themselves are much more common in Ireland because there is no warrant for their use that involves nonresolvable limitation of visibility (the main factor that makes them as rare as hen's teeth in the UK), and in fact they are the expected provision at side intersections off N-roads.

Some further exploration of the Irish tenders site reveals that contract documents become available for free public download (no requirement to login) after the tender closing date, and local councils do significant amounts of direction signing through pure signing contracts.  I have so far found a N22/N69 reclassification in Tralee and a few R-road signing contracts in Sligo with probably a few hundred signing sheets all told.
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J N Winkler

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2018, 02:24:28 PM »

In the Gaeltacht (County Mayo).  A number of large signing contracts in the west of Ireland were put out to tender about five years ago in connection with the Wild Atlantic Way tourism route, and some county councils opted to refurbish other signs as well.

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Ben114

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2019, 11:31:14 PM »

When I went to Ireland in the summer of 2016, I was fairly surprised for the following reasons:
- signage was in excellent condition
- main roads were in excellent condition
- roads were narrower than the roads in the States
- they are beautiful
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Alps

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2019, 12:16:59 AM »

When I went to Ireland in the summer of 2016, I was fairly surprised for the following reasons:
- signage was in excellent condition
- main roads were in excellent condition
- roads were narrower than the roads in the States
- they are beautiful
Location: it only has two state routes that don't ever meet anywhere in the state
Northbridge?

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2019, 09:58:22 AM »

When we drove through the pedestrian zone in the centre of Dublin did you ever receive any fines or penalty notices from the rental car company?
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Alps

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Re: Ireland notes
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2019, 12:38:29 AM »

When we drove through the pedestrian zone in the centre of Dublin did you ever receive any fines or penalty notices from the rental car company?
I never drove through a pedestrian zone.  :sombrero:

 


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