— Dublin Town objects to cycle route along the Liffey quays
A decision on the Liffey Cycle Route at the Dublin City transport committee was postponed this morning as Dublin City Council are now looking to see if an environmental impact study is needed for the project.
An outline of the reaction to the full route was outlined in our live reporting this morning: Live updates: Liffey Cycle Route at the Dublin City traffic committee.
Richard Guiney of Dublin Town (BID), which is designed to represent all city centre businesses, said that there is growing concerns from the business community about access for drivers into and around the city centre. He says that businesses want a full picture of the restrictions on car movements.
Guiney said that there would be more congestion and traffic would be crossing the Luas tracks more and this would be a safety issue because frustrated motorists would break red lights, which he says he would not condone.
He said that the larger retailers are particularly concerned and that an environmental impact study is needed. Guiney said: “At the moment I don’t think we can support the project”.
Cllr Ray Mac Adam (FG) spoke against the project and claimed that there would be a negative effect on residents of adjoining areas. He says it should not be separated from the other transport projects in the city centre.
However, Cllr Paddy Smyth (FG) said that Cllr Mac Adam should look at the project as a congestion reducing one. He says the experience in other cities is that the anticipated extra traffic congestion never materialises after similar projects.
He said that streets, which are already car parks in the morning rush hour, will remain so or possibly get less congested as more people will have the option of cycling.
Cllr Smyth said that listening to some commentators in the media you would think that the economy of the city centre was based on people driving into the city centre and buying flat screen TVs. He says it’s not, but they will still be able to drive in and have access to car parks.
Cllr Mannix Flynn (Independent) said the route is going to be “appalling” and “it simply won’t work” and that trucks need to access the markets behind the Four Courts. He says he has to “reject” it. Flynn said : “It will kill the city economy. Cyclists don’t keep the economy going.”
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Cllr Ciaran Cuffe (Green Party) said that with Luas Cross City there will be less private traffic and that will help. He said the project design is a practical solution and a positive one.
Cllr Paul Hand (Independent) said a pinch point selection between Blackhall Place and Church Street, where cars are proposed to be diverted off the quays, “will cause problems” but that more people will cycle. Cllr Hand said the route is a hugely important project which the city desperately needs. “I have an objective mind, it will cause problems but needs to go ahead.”
He says the bus lane on this section could be timed to allow residents to use it after peak times.
Derek Peppard of the Dublin Cycling Campaign says, “We have a choice, do something or do nothing.” He says it’s not “a perfect solution” but is “better than doing nothing”.
City council official, Brendan O’Brien said that they are not looking for approval to go to Part 8 today and at the next committee meeting in February the council will tell councillors if Part 8 will be used for the project or if they will have to go to An Bord Pleanála with an environmental impact study. Environmental screening is underway.
The removal of trees on Bachelors Walk is not desirable but required said O’Brien. The project will include the removal of 14 of the 19 trees on the quay along here. Trees near the Four Courts will not be affected as previously expected.