A vote to ban cycling on the planned College Green Plaza by Dublin City Council’s south east area committee of city councillors on April 10 was passed by the chairman’s vote, the council has confirmed.
The non-binding motion has already been overtaken by the council’s design for a low-visibility cycle route for the College Green Plaza, which will allow for cycling to one side and of the plaza. However, the symbolic vote will be seen by many as a sign of the unstable political commitment to cycling.
“Five councillors raised their hands to vote against the motion, five voted to support the motion and three voted to defer the issue and one was absent from the meeting on that day, but the chairman of the committee, Cllr [Paddy] McCartan, deemed that the motion was carried,” said Brian Hanney, the assistant area manager Dublin City Council’s south east district.
Cllr Paddy McCartan (FG) had said that when he previously suggested that cyclist dismount on a section of the Liffey Cycle Route he never got such a negative reaction via email, so he will be voting to defer the issue until more information will be provided by the design team. However, he, soon after saying this and without further information he used his casting vote to vote for cyclists to dismount.
Hanney added: “In the case of a ‘draw’ the Chair has the casting vote however the Chair omitted to state that he was using this casting vote when he deemed that the motion was carried. There will be a clarification, to this effect , included within the minutes of the April Meeting which will be on the Agenda for the next South East Area Committee Meeting on Monday 8th May.”
When we asked if the casting vote is valid when the chairman has voted for another option, he said: “As the 3rd option [deferral] is no longer in the race, and the chair voted for it, he must use his casting vote to decide only on the remaining 2 tied options.”
The minutes held on 10th April, states: “Order : A vote was taken with five councillors voting for and five councillors voting against the motion (and three deferrals). The motion was carried as the Chairperson’s casting vote was in favour of the motion.”
As we reported in April, those who raised their hands to vote to have cyclists dismount across the planned College Green Plaza were: Cllr Chris Andrews (Sinn Fein), Cllr Sonya Stapleton (independent), Cllr Mannix Flynn (independent), Cllr Ruairi McGinley (independent), and Cllr Anne Feeney (Fine Gael). Cllr Andrews proposed the motion.
Five councillors — Cllr Claire Byrne (Green Party), Cllr Dermot Lacey (Labour), Cllr Patrick Costello (Green Party), Cllr Mary Freehill (Labour) and Cllr Kieran Binchy (Fine Gael) — raised their hands to vote against the motion.
Three councillors, Cllr Claire O’Connor (Fianna Fail), Cllr Frank Kennedy (Fianna Fail), and Cllr McCartan voted to “defer” the issue. Paddy Smyth (Fine Gael) was unable to attend the meeting.
The formal consultation period for the College Green Plaza project is on-going. Submissions and observations may be made in writing to An Bord Pleanála at 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1 on or before 5:30 pm on the 30th June 2017 accompanied by a fee of €50.
CORRECTION: A version of this article first appeared with a minor error. This was quickly corrected within a 2 minutes. Further details from the original council meeting was then added shortly afterwards.