Closure of Dodder View Road

I’ve been thinking lately that it would be great if Dodder View Road would be permanently closed to traffic.

The route – shown as R112 on most maps – runs alongside the River Dodder between Terenure and Rathfarnham.

Along it’s 1.2km length, between the Rathfarnham Shopping Centre at Fairways and Rathfarnham Road, there are no other roads coming off it, no driveways, and no homes or businesses requiring access. It exists solely for traffic to pass straight through, often at high speed.

Google Maps

The road also bisects some lovely parkland that runs along the Dodder valley to the south of Bushy Park, and curtails full enjoyment of the park because of the noise and danger of passing traffic.

There’s no particular reason to keep this road open. Motorised traffic could easily be accommodated on the nearby Butterfield Avenue.

It would be nicer if this road were reclaimed as parkland, and the road replaced with a greenway footpath and cyclepath for the benefit of nearby residents.

Google Maps Satellite View

Dodder stepping stones passable indicator

I often pass over the stepping stones on the River Dodder to access Bushy Park in Terenure.

On days like today, when there’s been a lot of rain recently, I can pretty much predict that the river level will be high, and make the stepping stones flooded and unusable.

But other days it’s harder to predict, and it’s not until you get to the actual stepping stones that you find out if they are passable.

So I got to thinking that it would be very useful to have some kind of online indicator to say if the river level is high blocking that crossing. It wouldn’t be that hard to create.

We would need a water level measuring device linked to a small computer (say a raspberry pi), with a SIM card for connection to the outside world, and maybe a small solar panel for power.

It could do a check of the water level, say every 10 minutes, and then call an API end-point on a publicly accessible server somewhere, to pass on the water level information.

The server can then host a very simple web interface (mobile accessible, obviously) showing if the steps are passable.

Then, when I’m out walking the dogs, I would be able to check online before I got near the steps, and divert to another route if needed.

Water features of Bushy Park Dublin

I’m very lucky to live near to Bushy Park in Terenure, Dublin. It’s a great park with loads of amenities, and is also a park full of interesting places to explore.

One of the parts of the park I love the most is the area alongside the River Dodder between Terenure and Rathfarnham. In this area there are a series of man-made ponds, situated just the other side of the park wall from the river.

I’m fascinated by these water features and how they were built, and often go snooping around in the bushes to understand their construction and to work out how the water flows from one pond to another.

Bushy Park Lake

The Bushy Park Lake is hidden at its start amongst the trees and bushes. It’s not readily visible from the footpath, and you have to go exploring in the trees to get a glimpse of it.

Western section of the lake

It’s not until you get to the first of the two walls that subdivide the lake that you get a good view from the footpath.

One of the walls that separate the lake

Depending on how you wish to count it there is either one lake or three here, as the body of water is separated into three parts by walls with small waterfalls built in that control the flow of water from each part to the next.

There are also two bridges allowing people to cross the lake at these waterfalls.

One of the bridges crossing the lake

The water for the lake is fed from an underground supply at its most eastern point, and then flows downhill over the two waterfalls in the same direction as the River Dodder from east to west.

Here’s a photo of the stream that feeds into the pond. I’m curious to know where this water supply comes from, as it’s much higher up than the nearby River Dodder by a few metres difference. So perhaps it flows here underground from somewhere else, such as the lake in Terenure College.

Underground water supply feeds in at the west end of the lake

As we move easterly through the park the trees and bushes thin out somewhat, and the footpath follows along the sides of the lake. As you can see from the photo below its common for algae to form on the surface at the east end of the lake.

The view of the east end of the lake

At the very far end there is an semi-submerged structure that looks like a water outlet.

Water outlet of the lake

Duck Pond

To the north and east of Bushy Park Lake is the better-known and more frequently visited Duck Pond. It’s a lot more ornamental, with a nice flat tarmac path and benches to sit and admire the view around its circumference. There’s also a small island in the middle. The pond attracts a fair amount of birds, including ducks and swans.

Bushy Park Duck Pond

Water is fed into the Duck Pond from a small waterfall at the west end just near to the bandstand. I suspect this water comes underground from the lake outlet.

Water inlet for the Duck Pond
Bushy Park Duck Pond

At the east end of the Duck Pond is the water outlet, which feeds the excess water under the wall and into the adjacent River Dodder.

Water outlet from the Duck Pond
Water flowing into the River Dodder

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