— Move to make space welcomed by councillors and campaigners.
— Council preparing county-wide plan for COVID 19 street and road changes.
A new one-way system for motorists is to be installed in Blackrock village in Co Dublin and street space will “be reallocated for the safety and benefit of pedestrians and cyclists”, according to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
The council said on its website: “In response the COVID-19 crisis and to facilitate safe physical distancing, mobility and support local businesses reopening, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council plan to install a temporary one-way traffic system in Blackrock Village with the space reallocated for the safety and benefit of pedestrians and cyclists.”
It’s understood that the one-way system will only be for motorists and cycling will be allowed in both directions.
“The Council are working on this initiative with the support of the Blackrock Business Network. The details of the plan are currently being worked on and will be finalised next week and it is envisaged that the temporary changes will be implemented in the village from Wednesday, 27th May. The proposals are being planned so as to not adversely affect public transport serving the village. In putting in place the temporary measures, It is proposed to use materials that are both functional and sympathetic to the public realm in Blackrock Village,” it said.
The statement from the council added: “Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council are in the process of preparing a County-wide plan of temporary measures to address the challenges in the public realm resulting from COVID-19 to address public safety, mobility and to support the recovery of the local economy, and this County-wide plan will be completed in the next two weeks.”
It’s understood that the request for the change was led at a council meeting on Monday last by local councillors Shay Brennan (FF) and Séafra Ó Faoláin (Green Party).
On twitter last night, Cllr Ó Faoláin said: “Incredible news! So proud of @dlrcc and the local residents and businesses for working together to make Blackrock *one-way* – can’t wait to see it!”
Cllr Marie Baker (FG) said: “Well done @dlrcc @Iloveblackrock great to see this swift response.” She said it was “Round 1 of additional safety measures deployed in Blackrock to allow for social distancing and to give people more room to queue outside business premises.”
Cllr Deirdre Ní Fhloinn (Green Party) said: “Great news for Blackrock and community collaboration at work with @DLRCC, businesses and residents coming together.”
Dublin Cycling Campaign said it welcomes the announcement made last night that Blackrock village will be made one-way and it said this should accommodate more room for people walking and cycling, as well as extra space for queueing and outdoor seating.
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Oisín O’Connor, a spokesperson for the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown branch of the Dublin Cycling Campaign said: “We welcome any proposal to make our local villages safer and more enjoyable to travel to by walking or cycling.”
“Providing more space in our villages for people walking and cycling is important in the current crisis. Now is a time for us all to be supporting our local businesses while maintaining social distancing – encouraging walking or cycling to the shops is one of the best ways of doing that,” he said.
O’Connor said: “Many of our local members recently co-signed a letter from 100+ residents of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown calling for the Council to take radical measures to enable safer mobility for families and workers in the county. The proposals we submitted included pedestrianising Blackrock and other villages, implementing a rwo-way cycle track from Blackrock to Sandycove and reducing the speed limits in all villages to 30kph. We need other communities, both residents and local traders, to support similar proposals.”
He added: “Dublin Cycling Campaign are willing to engage with local communities to collaborate on ideas for their villages and towns.”