Cycle paths on Chesterfield Avenue in the Phoenix Park are to remain open and people attending the Wild Lights event at Dublin Zoo will be asked to use footpaths, the Office of Public Works (OPW) has said.
Signs which indicated that the cycle paths were closed have now been removed, the OPW said. But the park’s management are asking people cycling to be mindful of families crossing the cycle path in the hours of darkness. Flood lighting is also being provided.
Wild Lights opens tonight and runs from 5pm to 9.30pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in November and every day between December 1 and January 7 (excluding Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and St Stephen’s Day).
A statement from the Office of Public Works, which runs the park, said: “Paul McDonnell, parks superintendent for the Phoenix Park has discussed the matter with the Chairman for the Dublin Cycling Campaign, Paul Corcoran, this afternoon.”
It added: “In order to avoid any confusion for cyclists and persons attending the Wild Lights event at Dublin Zoo, signs have being removed and additional event personnel have being stationed on Chesterfield Avenue to advise patrons attending the event to use the adjoining footpaths and notify cyclists to use the cycle lane with caution as families will be crossing it during the hours between 17.00 to 21.30 on event days.”
The on-street car parking on Chesterfield Avenue is a source a major conflict between people cycling and walking — the nearest footpath to the car parking is inside a railing and around 20 metres of grass away from the road. The cycle path, on the other hand, is only around 5 metres from the road and outside the railing, so it is often used by people accessing the car parking.
Dublin Zoo’s website for the event only has car parking and public transport directions. The site notes that there is free car parking on Chesterfield Avenue.
In May 2016 there was fatal collision between a cyclist in his 50s and a pedestrian in his 30s. The cyclist in the collision, which happened between the Castleknock Gate and Áras an Uachtaráin, died days later in hospital from the injures he sustained. As is common until an inquest or court case takes place, the details of the collision have yet to be made public.