— Delivery vehicles to retain access while cycling to be banned.
Dublin City Council plans to ban cycling on a section of a second street in the city centre, Lower Liffey Street.
Council officials are seeking approval from the local central area committee of councillors tomorrow (Tuesday) to lodge a Part 8 planning application in late February, with public consultation for 4 weeks.
The street would be a potential key link between the long-delayed Liffey Cycle Route and the Henry Street area which has a large volume of workplaces as well as shops.
It follows the council banning cycling on Suffolk Street since the start of February for a pedestrianisation trial which will last at least 6 weeks.
The latest plan includes banning all general traffic, including cycling, on the section of Lower Liffey Street, between the quays and Strand Street.
While cycling will be banned all day long, delivery vehicles, including vans and trucks, will be given access up to 11am. The city council’s draft plans shows the access system will use automated retractable bollards.
According to the council’s consultant, the project is to include the refurbishment of the street surfaces and widening footpaths, pedestrianisation of area of Liffey Street Lower outside Woollen Mills to form new plaza area, facilitating deliveries to pedestrian streets during delivery hours up to 11am, extra trees, and a water feature at plaza.
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The plan also includes no provision for contra-flow on northern half of Lower Liffey Street, when the council’s development plan looks for contra-flow to be provided where possible.
Commenting on the outline of the proposals, Colm Ryder of the Dublin Cycling Campaign, said: “Dublin City Campaign broadly welcomes the project to improve the public realm, but cycling needs to be accommodated.”
According to a briefing report issued ahead of the local area council meeting tomorrow: “A traffic study was conducted and showed an average of 1,000 vehicle movements a day along Liffey Street Lower and 32,000 pedestrian movements along the same axis in both directions. Liffey Street has become the preferred pedestrian connection between Temple Bar and the Henry/Mary St commercial area, including the links to Parnell Street and the north inner city. Pedestrian movements heavily outweigh vehicular movements and this is not reflected in the current layout of the streets. The proposals include for widening of existing pavements to cater for existing and anticipate pedestrian demand.”
The council’s report also outlines how the plans were developed — IrishCycle.com understands cycling campaigners were not involved — the report states: “Dublin City Council has established a public realm coordination group to bring forward projects and drive improvements in the public realm. Guided by the Public Realm Strategy, the City Centre Masterplan and the Reimagining Dublin One Study, Liffey Street Upper & Lower is one of these projects. The objective is to bring forward and implement a proposal that improves the quality and experience of the public realm for the local community, business and visitors to the area while effectively dealing with all the challenges that are associated with a complex public realm refurbishment project.”
It adds: “A multi-disciplinary design team led by dhbArchitects was appointed by DCC in May 2018 to deliver on the project objectives. The design team has worked closely with the Steering Group, the Public Realm Working Group and stakeholders to develop and gain consensus on the proposals. The project involves street improvement works to Liffey Street Upper & Lower. The proposals aim to declutter the streetscape while creating a pedestrian-friendly environment through a series of safe and enjoyable public spaces linking the Hal’penny Bridge to Henry Street.
It continues: “The importance of the axis as a connector between the north and south commercial and cultural quarters of the city is combined with the place’s importance as a destination in its own right, in terms of its own history and character as well as its own commercial offering. Prioritising the needs of the pedestrian over the vehicle is central to the concept, and pedestrian numbers can be expected to increase once the proposals have been implemented”.