— Car use reduction needed as pollution makes COVID-19 worse — Lord Mayor.
It is vital that the Strand Road Cycle Route trial and similar measures are rolled out without any further delay, Dublin’s Lord Mayor, Cllr Hazel Chu, has said.
The Lord Mayor’s statement follows the news that a group of objectors want the trial further delayed and four councillors are backing them.
Cllr Hazel Chu (Green Party), who is also a local councillor, said: “With cases of COVID-19 at their highest level yet in Ireland, and with our hospitals, our healthcare workers and our Intensive Care Units under serious pressure, it is more important than ever that we provide space for people to move around safely within their 5km radius.”
“Since the start of the public health emergency, I have worked closely with officials in Dublin City Council to ensure that mobility measures are implemented which will provide people with the space they need to walk and cycle around their communities safely. We have seen measures introduced across the city including wider footpaths, modal filters and segregated cycle lanes, but we need to do more,” she said.
Cllr Chu said:” We now know that air pollution can facilitate the virus transmission and increase its persistence in the atmosphere. A reduction in car use in the city will contribute to slowing the spread of the virus, particularly in areas that suffer from poor air quality.”
The Lord Mayor pointed to what she said was the success of the trials of ‘filtered permeability’ at Pigeon House Road and at Grangegorman Lower show how the council can work with local communities to deliver “timely interventions that make our city more accessible and more inclusive to all, regardless of age or ability”.
“I have listened to the concerns of local residents in Sandymount and am committed to a process which will identify any weaknesses during the trial period and introduce additional mitigation measures where necessary to ensure that the quality of life in Sandymount is enhanced for all. I will also engage with the National Transport Authority to make sure that the concerns of residents are listened to, are understood, and are acted upon,” said Cllr Chu. “The Strand Road Cycle Route is a facility that will benefit all the people of Dublin and it can do so while also improving the lives of people who live in its vicinity.”
She added: “We are in an emergency situation and it is vital that measures like the Strand Road Cycle Route trial are rolled out without any further delay. I fully support Dublin City Council’s efforts in this regard.”
Lovely! So during the Covid pandemic peak, we’re going to have a load more motor traffic crawling through the residential areas of Ringsend, Irishtown, Sandymount, Merrion and Ballsbridge, causing more pollution and, if the Lord Mayor has it right, increasing the infectivity of Covid in those communities. The commercial and industrial traffic at present using the northbound lane of Strand Road cannot switch to bikes or public transport.
@Peter: Modern traffic planning indicates that measure like the Strand Road trial reduces traffic not just on the road itself but beyond it.
If you’re relying on the outdated traffic modelling, that doesn’t account for people switching to bicycles etc. Of course that won’t apply to trucks, but many of the trucks on Strand Road shouldn’t be there in the first place and it’s a very weak argument to say the trial shouldn’t go ahead because of law breaking by motorists.
@Peter. Any HGVs using Strand Road are doing so illegally. So that’s not a reason to prevent a measure that will have a net benefit for society. As for rat-running in Sandymount itself, I think we can all agree that rat-running and in general using your car to dive a kilometer to the shops is a bad thing and should be firmly discouraged and disenabled.