Councillors ignore nearly 600 public submissions in Liffey Cycle Route debate

At least two councillors at the central area committee of Dublin City Council earlier this month ignored nearly 600 public submissions on Liffey Cycle Route when they were debating how the cycle route would affect the Croppies Acre memorial park.

The relevant discussion on September 8 opened with the committee chairman, independent Cllr Nial Ring, stating that: “…on these plans to basically put cycle lane through Croppies Acre which I don’t think anybody would, emm…  be in favour of.”

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Cllr Ring, who is a serial objector to cycle paths, was asking if there was conflict between spending money on cleaning up the park now with large changes planned linked to the Liffey Cycle Route. Other councillors echoed this, however, understands only a small section of the park would be effected by the cycle route, if it goes ahead.

Option 3 for the Liffey Cycle Route — the most popular option to date — involves extending the Croppies Acre park to the river-side, where there would be walking and cycling paths along the river. This would be part of an overall continuous route from the Phoenix Park to the Point Village.

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To allow for the extending of the Croppies Acre park to quayside the current quays road would have to be removed — the current four lane road (three traffic lanes and a bus lane) along the river would be replaced by a three lane road (two traffic lanes and a bus lane) at the back of the park beside the Luas tram tracks.

Cllr Ciaran Cuffe (Green Party), who has publicly stated his dislike of the creating the replacement road, said that there are currently four options and that the final option could be a combination of these.

Cllr Janice Boylan (Sinn Fein) said: “I don’t think anybody wants the road or the cycle lane to go through the Croppies Acre, we certainly don’t want it to be touched. We want it to be left the way it is and to be looked after.”

Cllr Ray McAdam (Fine Gael) said it does not make sense to spend money on the park and that if funding was to be used on the park to fix it up now it should not be moved. He said: “If we’re going to relocate a park for its strengthening, it does not make any sense to me. If we’re to spend some money on it now, that should mean that there shouldn’t be changes to the park in terms of its location and any plans for its moving should be shelved, but I’ll leave that up to the traffic and transport [committee].”

Cllr Christy Burke (independent) said: “The National Graves [Association] has probably lobbied everybody under the sun and rightly so. And, yet, we’re coming into 2016 where we need to be commemorating our history and our culture. To interfere with the Croppies [park] is a no, no. So, maybe we should halt the [clean up] works which maybe are going to have that domino effect… in whoever is making the decision that the Croppies is going to become part of a cycle lane — that’s not going to happen.”

He added: “It’s only recently we had it cleaned up, it had become a drug den. So, any attempt to interfere with the Croppies is going to be resisted strongly.”

Cllr Cuffe said that there is a large difference between the clean up works and the Liffey Cycle Route. He suggested that football playing pitches would be incorporated into the park for local resident use, adding: “I don’t subscribe to the view from the National Graves Association that this is sacred ground which should be untouched… it should be an active part of a high density, populated area. I think there’s room for both respect for the dead and respect for the living.”

He added: “I think we should be coming back over the next several months to look at the cycle route and see what is the best way of accommodating the massive increase in cycling which has taken place all around the city.”

VIEW: Webcast of the meeting from Dublin City Council
MORE: Liffey Cycle Route delayed again as councillors lobbied by local residents
MORE: Two-way Liffey Cycle Route option gains public support
MORE: Councillor objecting to cycle route on “mental health” grounds is a serial objector to cycle paths

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