School Streets to be expanded in Dublin after success

— 20% decline in air pollution in streets around School Street.
— Large percentage of students switch to ‘park and stride’.

School Streets — the concept of restricting motorised traffic outside schools at drop off and pick up times to make it safer and more attractive for children outside their school — is likely to be tried at least at two, or more, other schools in Co Dublin after the first trial proved successful.

Fingal County Council implemented Ireland’s first School Street in Malahide back in November. The pilot programme was widely welcomed and it resulted in a 20% decline in air pollution on streets around the school which were still open to traffic. The council are now looking at areas around the county to also roll out School Streets.

A report for the council by consultants said: “Given the positive outcomes noted to date in the current School Streets pilot, it is also recommended that consideration be given to extending the School Streets pilot to two further schools within Fingal County Council.”

The report continued: “This will enable the concept to be tested in different locations and school settings, while building on the experience and lessons learned from the initial Malahide pilot (for example the need for intensive and early engagement with local stakeholders prior to implementation and the benefits of adopting an iterative approach to the design of the scheme based on stakeholder feedback).”

“The lessons learned and outcome data from this wider pilot programme will help inform any future decisions as to future County wide roll out of School Streets at appropriate schools. Adopting a wider pilot programme will also build a solid evidence base as to the outcomes of School Streets, along with valuable learnings for such a roll out based on testing the concept in a variety of school settings,” it said.

It said that air quality monitor is located at the junction of the Rise and Grove Road adjacent to the school and that it is an area that still has car traffic.

The consultants said: “In the week prior to the implementation of the School Streets pilot, Nitrogen Oxide (NO2) (a
pollutant associated with vehicular traffic) values averaged 44.66 ug/m3. This dropped to 34.25 ug/m3 by the end of the following week at the 9am drop off time, a significant enough decrease to suggest it is as a result of the decrease in vehicular traffic.”

READ MORE: Fingal School Street Pilot Review 1 report (PDF)

Here’s the modal change directly after the changes based on a “hands up survey”, where
students were asked how they currently travel to school:

A sample of quoted reaction from the report:

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.

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