South Dublin Quietway vote expected to be victory for “rat-runners over the safety of children”

A Dublin City councillor has said that an expected vote against the proposed South Dublin Quietway on Monday will be “another triumph for rat-runners over the safety of children”.

The route from Kimmage to Donnybrook aims to improve walking and cycling links on traffic-reduced road — there would be few section of cycle lanes or paths.

A motion — by Cllr Paddy Smyth (FG) and seconded by Cllr Patrick Costello (Green Party) — is to be debated at the South-East Area Committee on Monday outlining that, given the uncertainty over MetroLink is over, “the committee requests that the Traffic Department now proceed with Public Consultation on the proposed South Dublin QuietWay.”

Quietways or similar routes are common in London, parts of the US and in the Netherlands. The routes use a combination of smaller residential streets, parks and other roads linked together to form a route.

A key component of the type of routes is to “filter” out through motor traffic, making cycling and walking safer while maintaining car access to resident’s homes and other locations.

IrishCycle.com has asked all local area councillors how they intend to vote — the responses are below and so-far mostly negative. A previous vote for public consultation on the route failed with 8 votes against, 5 for and one councillor abstaining.

This website also asked, if councillors are voting no, are they aware Drumcondra traffic reduction scheme using bollards which was started off as unpopular but quickly gained popularity as people saw the benefits.

Campaign groups, I Bike Dublin and the Dublin Cycling Campaign, are currently running a “call to action” asking members of the public to contact their councillors.

The Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “This project is an important first step in creating safe cycling infrastructure in Dublin City. It will create a safe route for children to cycle to the many schools along its route, away from the busy main thoroughfares.”

Responding to the prospect of the public consultation being voted against, Cllr Paddy Smyth (FG) said: “It would be deeply disappointing as I leave local politics to see my constituents, particularly those with young families, still denied not only a safe route across the constituency for vulnerable road users, but also even the right to have their say in a public consultation process. If the motion is voted down, it will be a another triumph for rat-runner over the safety of children.”

Cllr Dermot Lacey (Labour) said: “Last month myself and Cllr Paddy Smyth sought a report on the impact of closing or part closing Marlborough Road to through traffic on the adjoining Roads. For my part that information is an essential ingredient towards ensuring an informed public consultation on the Quietway proposal. It is in fact what I asked for and was declined by the proposer at the original meeting to discuss this matter.”

He added: “We have not got that information yet…therefore my view is that the motion is premature. I look forward to supporting positive improved cycling infrastructure proposals in the future as I have in the past.”

Cllr Ruairi McGinley (independent) said: “I will be voting no. The entire process flawed is my view as I outlined many months ago.”

When asked what was wrong with the process or the proposed project, Cllr McGinley said: “Originated with one Councillor who made no attempt to explain to other area councilors. Documentation sparse and not widely available. Road closures proposed across a wide area and no consideration of views of residents living on the roads. Widespread opposition to my personal knowledge.”

Cllr Mannix Flynn (independent) said: “This motion is highly confrontational and has no consent from the local community groups who still have grave concerns about this cycle way irrespective of the Metro issue going forward or not.”

He said: “I want great cycling facilities for our city. I want a public transport system that works for all users.”

Cllr Flynn “For the record I am opposed to this motion and I support the local residents in their justified concerns about the what can now only be described as the unquiet-way. Nothing about the local community without the informed consent of the local community.”

Cllr Patrick Costello (Green Party) -said on Twitter: “I’m being told by some that 6 weeks from the local elections that I should’ve kept my head down and not jointly proposed the motion seeking public consultation on the Quietway. Election or not I stand by what I believe in — we need great cycling infrastructure and this is it.”

We will add further responses if they are forthcoming and as soon as we can.

The measures proposed traffic calming and reduction measures are common in London (first image) and widely used in the Netherlands (second and third images):

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

4 Comments

  1. Colin McGovern April 6, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    Is the vote exclusively the local councillors or all councillors on the DCC?

  2. Only the local area councillors.

  3. Any news on how the vote went?

  4. Here’s a holding update: https://irishcycle.com/2019/04/08/triumph-for-rat-runners-as-cllrs-vote-against-south-dublin-quietway-consultation-for-second-time/ — more detailed article to come tomorrow or possibly the day after.

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