The Liffey Cycle Route is being discussed at the Dublin City Council traffic committee — watch it live here.
Brendan O’Brien, a senior official with the council, is is outlining the route starting with the Point Village and moving westwards.
A draft outline of the route can found in our recent report.
In the Docklands there will be two-way cycle paths on both side of the river:
Fiona Kielty of the National Council of the Blind is outlining how there needs to be safe crossing points for pedestrians and safe space for pedestrians and cyclists.
Cllr Ciaran Cuffe suggests demolishing the old Docklands Authority building on the quayside near the IFSC, but Cllr Mannix Flynn says that this is a community resource and the community would need space else where.
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O’Brien says that upgrading pedestrian facilitates is a key part of the project.
O’Brien says that the route would mean that that traffic lanes would be down to two lanes at O’Connell Bridge. A separate process relating to bus priority — not directly linked to this project — will decide if motorists will be allowed to continue onto Eden Quay.
Richard Guiney of Dublin Town (BID) says there is growing concerns from the business community about access for drivers. He says that businesses want a full picture of the restrictions on car movements.
O’Brien says that it is a seprate project and the cycle route can go ahead without the Eden Quay restrictions.
O’Brien says the cycle route will be attractive to everybody and will be segregated and safe for even young children.
Fiona Kielty says that different levels in the cycle path and floating bus stop / bus stop bypass on Eden Quay would be needed for clarity for users with sight issues.
Cllr Paul Hand, Ind. said that business should support the Liffey Cycle Route and that it would open cycling up to all.
O’Brien says the Eden Quay bus priority project will be dealt with next year as a seprate process.
The removal of trees on Bachelors Walk is not desirable but required says O’Brien. The project will include the removal of 14 of the 19 trees on the quay along here.
Cllr Ray Mac Adam is speaking against the project and claiming that there would be a negative effect on residents of a joining areas. Says it should not be separated from the other transport projects in the city centre.
Cllr Mannix Flynn echoed Cllr Mac Adam.
Cllr Flynn says that the Liffey Cycle Route will create vast hostility — seems to be a reference to segregation. He calls it a “leisure route”.
Cllr Paddy Smyth says 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 says 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 says that listening to some commentators in the media that the economy of the city centre was based on people driving in to the city centre and buying flat screen TV, he says it’s not but they will still be able to drive in.
Allowing for access for cars and buses and new bus stops, pedestrians will be directed onto the Boardwalk along sections of the quays:
Parking will be removed along the quay side.
At the Four Courts, the trees will be maintain:
Cllr Mannix Flynn says is the boardwalk and boardwalk where people sit and wait or a footpath where people rush along.
O’Brien says that there is a very low volume of people walking along the footpath on the quays and most people already use the footpath.
Moving on to the section between Church Street and Blackhall Place where cars might be diverted off the quays…
O’Brien says that “quite reluctantly” the only solution is to have the quays at this section bus / cycle / walking only. Boardwalks, diverting buses and diverting bicycles have all been looked at.
O’Brien says even if the footpath on the quay side was removed and pedestrians were directed to the building-side that there would not be enough space.
Cllr Ciarán O’Moore outlines concerns of diverting traffic.
Cllr Ray Mac Adam says that the volumes of traffic which is on the quays will be the volumes diverted into other streets.
Cllr Mac Adam says he wants further consultation before the planning process and asks to confirm if the Park 8 process will be used.
Cllr Frank Kennedy thanks the council officials and says that there are hard decisions to make. He outlines how Cllr Jane Horgan-Jones, who has had to leave the meeting, has concerns for the detours.
Richard Guiney of Dublin Town objects to the route says Dublin has to go underground.
He says there are too many practical concerns for the route.
He says he has concerns for the safety of cyclists and outside schools in the areas where traffic will be diverted.
Guiney says that there would be more congestion and traffic would be crossing the Luas tracks more and this would be a safety issue because of frustrated motorists, which he says he would not condone.
He says the larger retailers are particular concerned.
Guiney says that an environmental impact study is needed and more work is needed on the route.
Guiney said “at the moment I don’t think we can support the project”.
Cllr Paul Hand says it this section will cause problems but more people will cycle.
He says the bus lane on this section could be timed to allow residents to use it after peak times.
Cllr Hand says 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.”
Cllr Mannix Flynn says 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 says: “It will kill the city economy. Cyclists don’t keep the economy going.”
Cllr Ciaran Cuffe says with Luas Cross City there will be less traffic and that will help.
He says the project design is a practical solution and a positive one.
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”.
Brendan O’Brien says that it’s not correct saying that all of the traffic would be diverting northbound into Blackhall Place as about a third of the traffic already diverts south along here and that people will switch to other modes.
He says international experience shows that traffic disperses and there is modal change (to cycling, walking, public transport).
The council will be doing traffic modelling and conducting noise and environmental screening to see if the project needs a Environmental Impact Study is needed.
He says that the diversions will not use new road — only existing ones.
Moving on to west of Blackhall Place…
O’Brien says that Frank Sherwin Bridge will be improved for walking and cycling and allow for safe crossing of the road — it currently has few formal crossings.
O’Brien says they are not looking for approval to go to Part 8 today and at the next committee meeting in February they will tell councillors if Part 8 or if they will have to go to An Bord Pleanála with a environmental impact study.
Fiona Kielty says people with visual impaired would have issues with shared space proposed around the Frank Sherwin Bridge. She welcomes the improvements crossing along the route but asks for further crossings from the bridge side to the other side of Parkgate Street.
O’Brien says they are starting with “zero” pedestrians in terms of crossings and says they will look at the issue of shared space and extra crossings.
Replying to the issue of committee approval, he said they would at least look for general consensus. Part 8 would be up to the full city council.
Cllr Ray Mac Adam is speaking again against the project. He says he has been generally supportive of the idea of the cycle route but that the “devil is in the detail.”
He says he wants the council officials to go to the local area council committee.
Cllr Mannix Flynn again says he could not support the project.
The Liffey Cycle Route item has ended.