|Location Map ( geo)|
|To:||Mount Merrion (O198289)|
|Distance:||7.8 km (4.8 miles)|
|Meets:||R105, R148, R118, R137, R816, R110, R840, R811, R824, R815, R112, N31, N11|
|Route outline (key)|
It begins at O'Connell Bridge, and runs around D'Olier Street. College Street has been open to public transport and taxis only since 2009 but still suffers from congestion and may be closed all together. Northbound traffic used to run up Suffolk Street, but this has been closed.
The R138 begins to get some sense of order at Nassau Street. Here two separate roads run to St. Stephen's Green, where they run along-side very briefly, before splitting up again to take different routes around Loreto College.
After crossing the Grand Canal on Eustace Bridge ("Leeson Bridge"), the southbound carriageway breaks away again to take an older route around Sussex Road. Now the two carriageways rejoin for good, and run through the middle of Donnybrook.
Then... something happens. After all the stress of the city centre, the R138 crosses Anglesea Bridge, and it's free! It opens up as a D3 with no adjoining properties. The sudden narrowing of the northbound carriageway, the wide bridge and the cheap industrial units along Donnybrook Road all suggest that there was once an aspiration for this dual carriageway to head further into the city.
This euphoria doesn't last long. While the road beyond here was once a fast dual carriageway, it is now filled with traffic lights every few hundred metres. The first section past Donnybrook Bus Garage is probably the clearest run you will get.
Even so, it's worth taking in the presence of RTÉ's Montrose Campus (which had its entrance moved to face the dual carriageway in 2019), and UCD's Belfield Campus (which gets its own underpass), which were once the only features on this road and gave it a high status.
Curiously, the Dublin Transportation Study suggested Leeson Street should operate southbound only, with northbound traffic being sent along Adelaide Road and Camden Street.