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30th July 2020 | Green Gazette, Green Party News

Council update: Cork and Dublin councils commit to pedestrianisation and cycling infrastructure

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Cork City Council’s ‘Re-imagining Cork City’ programme was unveiled this week, which aims to transform the city with 14 new pedestrianised streets and €2 million investment in cycling infrastructure.

The programme has been backed by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and includes: the €1.5 million repair of 6 kilometres of existing cycle lanes, the installation of bollards on 4 kilometres of key cycling routes,  4.1 kilometres of new cycle lanes at Centre Park and Monahan Roads, Terence MacSwiney Quay, Horgan’s Quay and Victoria Road and South Mall and the construction of 43 bike racks which can accommodate approximately 500 bikes.

Hotels, restaurants, bars, wine bars, cafes and take-away restaurants were also granted free street furniture licences so that businesses, hard pressed for space, could expand out on to the 1.3 kilometres of temporarily pedestrianised streets, creating a more pleasant, safer and greener city.

Green Party Councillor for Cork South Central Lorna Bogue welcomed Cork City Council’s “Re-imagining Cork” programme and the improvements that Green Party members have long fought for.

“I am excited to see the publishing of the report, it’s certainly a sign of good progress,” Cllr Bogue said. “It’s great to see, in particular, the creation of new cycling lanes on Centre Park Road, Monahan Road, along the Quays and on the South Mall, the addition of bike parking for up to 500 cyclists, and the installations of bollards in places like Alfred Street, South Main Street and Washington Street, which ourselves and cycling campaigners have flagged as blackspots for dangerous illegal parking.”

“I hope a cycle route between the healthcare centres and the city will be seriously considered next. Thousands signed a petition to that effect, and a route between the hospitals would support students, workers and residents who want to cycle from Wilton into the city safely.”

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has launched a campaign alongside the Gardaí to increase enforcement and public awareness of bad parking practices, particularly on footpaths and cycle lanes. The council is also considering measures to limit illegal parking including double yellow lines, bollards and examining the feasibility of making some of the roads one-way only.

Speaking of the renewed effort to combat illegal parking, Green Party Cllr Una Power said: “Illegal parking is a significant issue across our county, especially during the summer months. This has negative impacts for accessibility to and enjoyment of our amazing local amenities. But blocking footpaths, lane ways and access point is not only anti-social, it’s also potentially dangerous and can cause issues for emergency services. I would appeal to all drivers to ensure they park in designated locations only.”

In Dublin city, the first pedestrianisation trial of the Grafton area took place last weekend, with Dublin City Council reporting “pedestrians galore” on Saturday. The streets closed for the trials are Anne Street, Duke Street, South William Street, Drury Street and Dame Court, and the trial will continue for the next three weekends.