Councillors on Dublin City’s South-East Area Committee have voted against holding public consultation on the proposed South Dublin Quietway for the second time.
The proposed Quietway would be a walking and cycling route between Kimmage and Donnybrook. Such routes usually use traffic reduction and rat-running blocking measures, with a limited amount of cycle paths or lanes.
South East Area councillors voted 8 against, 3 for, and 1 abstained on having public consultation for the South Dublin Quietway.
Councillors voted on a motion by Cllr Paddy Smyth (FG) and seconded by Cllr Patrick Costello (Green Party) which said, 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.”
The three councillors who voted for consultation on the project were Cllr Smyth, Cllr Costello, and Cllr Claire Byrne (Green Party).
As this website reported before the vote, on the prospect of the motion being voted down, Cllr Smyth 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-runners over the safety of children.”
Councillors who voted against the public consultation citied a number of reasons for voting against public consultation on the route including not enough public consultation (this is not a typo), supporting the opposition from residents’ associations, being against impacts on car users, claims of selected or overall “unworkable” details, a lack of information on what happens to motor traffic, that nothing of note had changed since the late vote and a host of other reasons.
Cllr Mary Freehill (Labour), Cllr Dermot Lacey (Labour), Chris Andrews (Sinn Féin), Claire O’Connor (Fianna Fáil), Ruairi McGinley (Independent) Cllr Sonya Stapleton (Independent), Cllr Anne Feeney (Fine Gael) and Cllr Paddy McCartan (Fine Gael).
Cllr Kieran Binchy (Fine Gael) abstained. Cllr Frank Kennedy (FF) and Cllr Mannix Flynn (independent) were not present for the vote but Cllr Flynn had made his objections known before hand.
Cllr Michael Mullooly (Fianna Fáil) also spoke against the route at the meeting, although was not able to vote as he is not a member of the local area committee.
IrishCycle.com should have a more detailed report on the meeting in the next 24 or 48 hours.
If there is one good thing is that people are having a chance to see what their councillors really stand for. There are several people there that have consistently avoided to make decisions that might inconvenience drivers, even if the overall benefits are huge.
I watched the webcast on the DCC website. There seem to be three primary factors which killed this off:
1) not enough information for a consultation to be effective
2) a lack of confidence, on the part of councilors, in the consultation process
3) too close to the local elections, it would be a matter for the new Council
While I am disappointing this proposal has been voted down, I can understand some (not all) of the reservations expressed. One councilor made the point that this was a good example of how not to implement change to council infrastructure. That is a fair point, given how opposition to the scheme managed to galvanize around what were only suggestions, not proposals. There are lessons here for all campaigners.
I just hope the idea is not completely dead.
I want to add a thank you to Paddy Smyth, for making the effort. He had a tough five years in office.
The councillors obviously believe (perhaps correctly) that the rich vote more. They caved to ragey pressure from residents of two well-off roads: Marlborough Road in Ballsbridge and Garville Avenue in Rathgar.
If the consultation had been done along the whole route, I have no doubt that they would have had a revelation about who wants the route and who doesn’t. Even in those two roads, I have no doubt that people – if consulted individually – would have liked the idea.