A “car focus” and little sign of #spaceforcycling in Limerick’s O’Connell Street redesign

— Locals annoyed with lack pedestrianisation for the street.

Contra-flow cycle tracks which stop and start on footpaths seem to be the only space for cycling in a planned redesign of O’Connell Street in Limerick City.

Meanwhile, a few artist’s impressions show bicycles sharing road space with buses. Drawings were displayed at a public event yesterday, and photos of the draft drawings were posted to Twitter.

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The project by Limerick City and County Council runs for 786 metres along O’Connell Street, between the junctions of Denmark Street and Barrington Street.

The plan is funded via €4.1 million in European Regional Development Funding and €5 million in matching funding from the council.

The project is classed as a “Smarter Travel” project and the council states on its website: “…based on our work as Ireland’s First Smarter Travel Demonstration Area 2012-2016, we will advance actions to promote walking, cycling, electric vehicle use and public transport to, from and within O’Connell Street.”

On Twitter locals suggested that there should be more  pedestrianisation included, while councillors had mixed views. 

An example of the prevailing view from residents on Twitter is ‪a comment made by Ailish Drake, an architect and landscape designer, who said: “This is a disappointing effort, O’Connell St is being revitalised with cars as primary focus, why can’t people come first? #liveablelimerick‬”.

Cllr Séighin Ó Ceallaigh (SF) “I highlighted issues with plan and believe it favours traffic Lot of changes must be made before decision later in year.”

Cllr Emmett O’Brien (independent) said he was “broadly happy” with the design and added: “It’s a compromise and takes account off traders and car users as well as cyclists and pedestrians. Twitter accounts for 3% of population.”

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