A TD has said that there was strong opposition against the planned Fitzwilliam Cycle Route at a public meeting last night.
The project which is set to have Dutch-like segregation at junctions is aimed to be built by June 2019.
The route goes from Leeson Street to the junction of Holles Street and Mount Street Lower, running along Fitzwilliam Place, Fitzwilliam Street, and Merrion Square East.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan tweeted after the meeting: “Strong opposition from local residents at the meeting tonight. We need a clear presentation from @DubCityCouncil on the future of cycling in our city, so that people can see how individual schemes fit into an overall plan.”
Asked by a member of the public “What were the main points raised in opposition or was it plain old NIMBYism?”, Ryan replied: “Not clear. Main concern seemed to be that the justification for prioritising this project was not outlined. Also a worry that pedestrians would be vulnerable to cyclists.”
This morning, Cllr Paddy Smyth — who has promoted using parking-protected cycle lanes on the route — said: “The justification for prioritisation is that the current layout is ridiculously dangerous for cyclists.”
“I don’t see how pedestrians would be vulnerable as modes would be segregated. Other concern was possible conflicts with people getting out of their cars and oncoming cyclists but buffer [space between the cycle lane and parked car] sorts that.”
As IrishCycle.com reported over the weekend, councillors at the South East Area Committee meeting on July 9 raised concerns about lower amount of car parking and people accessing cars across cycle lane, as well as potential loss of turning lanes.
Christopher Manzira, from Dublin City Council’s transport department, said that the aim is to provide of between at least 0.7-0.8 metres of a buffer between a parked car and the cycle lane and this will allow space for people to open car doors and get out without standing in the cycle lane.
A number of councillors welcomed members of the South Georgian Core Residents Association in the council chamber’s gallery.
Cllr Claire Byrne (Greens) said that of the main question that residents have is why is this route being prioritised over, for example, Leeson Street. Manzira said that the cycle routes on main arterial routes are expected to be covered under BusConnects, which includes Leeson Street and Baggot Street. Consultation for the infrastructure segment of BusConnects is expected to start within the next two months.
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Council officials said that that just 54 residential parking permits are available along the streets of the route.
A presentation given to councillors showed that within the study area of the streets on the route and four side street, there will be 580 car parking spaces. This will fill a peak demand of 573 cars and demand drops to around 300 cars by 5pm and just 100-150 cars at night.