Residents, businesses and councillors have signed a letter calling on Dublin City Council to use temporary measures to try out wider footpaths Queen Street and a two-way cycle track on Queen Street, George’s Lane and Mellows Bridge.
The possable intervention would link to existing measures on Grangegorman Lower and Bridgefoot Street, creating a safe cycle route from the North Circular Road at Cabra to Thomas Street / James St in The Liberties. The letter asks for “consultation and engagement” with the local community to happen soon.
The letter calling for action was spearheaded by local residents Luke McManus, Mike Banim, and Stephanie Dickenson, and was co-signed by 8 elected representatives, three residents associations and 12 local businesses.
Mike Banim said: “With better walking and cycling, more greenery and places to socialise, we think Queen St could be revitalised.”
With better walking and cycling, more greenery and places to socialise, we think Queen St could be revitalised: pic.twitter.com/AbZK5tGAyR
— Mike Banim (@MikeBanim) January 18, 2021
“Change for Queen St is already in the pipeline with BusConnects, but we’d like to see some temporary improvements in advance of that. We shouldn’t have to wait until 2023 for a liveable street, and testing now could provide valuable information that informs the permanent scheme,” he said.
The letter said: “Queen Street is one of the most densely populated streets in the north inner city. Yet it endures large amounts of car traffic, travelling at some of the highest speeds of any street in the area.”
“Three lanes for cars, all travelling one way, has created an unpleasant environment for people. The street is loud and polluted, and stops all but the bravest from cycling to and from the Quays and Bridgefoot Street. The traffic is choking trade, choking the social life of the street and are failing to adequately link the communities both north and south of the river. It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it hasn’t always been.
The letter includes a photograph of Queen Street in 1964 and the group highlights the woman with a pram on the carriageway, men chatting on the street, child playing next to a cat, and a man cycling up the street which currently not possable due to the one-way nature of the street.
“Queen Street was a street with life then, and we would like it to be one again,” the letter said. “We’ve been inspired by recent street transformations across Ireland, Europe and North America, that have created spaces where people want to linger, socialise, and spend money, and not just to drive though – spaces which are healthy, social and vibrant, rather than polluted and noisy.”
As well as the two-way cycle path, the group said it is also requesting “Dublin City Council consider reallocating space to footpath widening and placemaking, to help businesses on the street and to provide a more liveable environment for people.”
They said that the image used as the main image in this article is one possible solution.
The letter said that an intervention by the council could make Queen Street and its surrounding areas a more pleasant place, and create a north/south route connecting Stoneybatter and Cabra to the Liberties in advance of the opening of the new park on Bridgefoot Street in March. It said that “Extending the two-way cycle track across Mellows Bridge is key to this”.
It said: “It would help encourage cycling amongst locals in the area, particularly families and school children, and would help attract more visitors from further afield, which would be a great support to businesses on Queen Street, struggling to weather the difficult economic conditions.
The group added: “On a broader level, the Grangegorman Development Agency have indicated their support for this plan, and the Dublin City Council Development Plan 2016-2022 sets out ‘facilitate and encourage sustainable modes of transport in the city’ which this Queen St initiative would undoubtedly do.”
The letter is signed by Luke McManus, Chair, Rathdown Road & District Residents Association; Mike Banim, Resident, Kirwan Street Cottages; Stephanie Dickenson, Resident, Kirwan Street Cottages; Cllr Christy Burke; Cllr Máire Devine; Cllr Janet Horner; Cllr Tina MacVeigh; Cllr Darragh Moriarty; Cllr Cat O’Driscoll; Cllr Michael Pidgeon; Senator Marie Sherlock; Alec Darragh, Residents Of Grangegorman Encouraging Real Engagement And Dialogue; Robert Bourke, Marian Fitzpatrick, and Dorothy Smith of Reimagining Phibsboro; Amy Smith, Board of Directors, Dublin Steiner School, Meath Street; Dr Paul Horan, Head of Campus Planning, TU Dublin; Cathal Gaffney, CEO, Brown Bag Films, Smithfield; Patrick Hickey, Executive Chairman, Accenture/Rothco, Smithfield; Robbie Devine, Manager, EMEA Workplace Development Offices, Workday, Smithfield; Charlene Lydon, Element Pictures/Light House Cinema, Smithfield; Sam Pearson, The Vegan Sandwich Company, Queen Street; Tadhg Coughlan, Frank Ryan’s Pub, Queen Street; Maria Mirza, WokeCup Cafe, Queen Street; Stephen Crockett, Viribus Crossfit, Queen Street; Tony O’Rourke, Oh Rourke’s!, Bridgefoot Street; Barrie Kidd, BKGDesign, Morning Star Avenue.