Councillors’ calls to tackle rat runs fall on deaf ears

Arnott Street
Arnott Street

Dublin City Council officials told councillors on Monday that the primary reason traffic calming measures are being ruled out for a residential street is because the 50km/h speed limit is not being exceeded on the short and narrow street (pictured, right).

Although the road and traffic department said it would re-examine the situation on Arnott Street in Portobello because of the large petition from residents, councillors complained that the issue was going on for too long.

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Cllr Maria Parodi said there are a lot of young children living in the area and the situation is getting worse.

It was put by Cllr Mannix Flynn that if the inaction was the way the city was to handle traffic the city is “doomed” and “handing over the city to speeding cars”.

Cllr Kieran Binchy highlighted the refusal of traffic calming at the entrance to Saint Matthew’s School in Dublin 4 and St Kevin’s Road in Portobello.

St Kevin's Road
St Kevin’s Road

The school is looking for a ‘school ahead’ sign and traffic calming. He said that if parents and teachers are telling them that there’s a problem in front of a school it should be looked at again.

He said the issue of St Kevin’s Road which is being used as a rat run is very similar to Arnott Street. He said about five councillors have requested traffic calming but it has again being refused. Binchy said: “Rat running is going on and it’s an area with parents of young children who would like to be able to know that their children are safe on the street which they live. And yet again we are being refused.”

“What I was told was that the legal position is that it’s the management’s power, so it’s also the management’s problem to resolve. It’s completely ridiculous that we’re being told that councillors have no power and that you [council officials] are the ones with the power and yet you are not exercising that power,” Binchy said.

Cllr Dermot Lacey said residents have been “let down by the council”. He said that he accepts that the rules around placing calming measures might be made by others but that “there is a distinction between the engineering answers you have based on a whole load rules laid down by other people, and the real practical solutions which can be addressed when there’s a bit of local knowledge”.

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  1. ‘traffic calming measures are being ruled out for a residential street is because the 50km/h speed limit is not being exceeded’……that can’t be right? It is done ALL over the country. Either someone has been misquoted or they had some kind of brain explosion.

  2. Unbelievable. This is very basic stuff. All engineers should know that the speed limit does not automatically align with the appropriate speeds at which vehicles should be travelling, especially on local residential streets. At least they agreed to review the speed limit. This will however need to be supported with design measures. To keep speeds low on long straights carefully placed raised tables (not ramps) are a must.


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