A plan by Dublin City Council to trial the widening of sections of footpaths on Merrion Row to allow for outdoor dining will now include a contra-flow cycle route on Ely Place and Hume Street.
The council said that decision to proceed with the trial was made following public consultation that received almost 2,400 submissions, with 93% respondents in favour. Although business groups and campaigners have warned the city council isn’t generally going far enough.
The plan for Merrion Row includes narrowing Merrion Row itself to one lane eastbound, and reversing the flow of traffic on Ely Place and Hume Street.
IrishCycle.com previously reported that this reversal of traffic with no provision for cycling east-west in the plan would mean less cycling permeability — this issue is now resolved with the inclusion of the contra-flow lane.
Motor traffic from Kildare Street will continue to use Merrion Row to access Merrion St and Baggot Street. While motor traffic from St Stephen’s Green East heading east will now be directed via Hume Street and Ely Place.
Dublin City Council said it is “pleased to announce that, following last weekend’s successful trial, outdoor dining will be facilitated on Merrion Row, initially for the summer, with a review to take place in the autumn to ascertain the long-term viability of continuing.”
It said: “A contra flow cycle lane will be provided on Ely Place and Hume Street and cyclists will still be able to access Merrion Row from St Stephens Green East.”
The council said that 8 car parking spaces will be removed on the east side of Ely place. It added: “However 90% of spaces on Hume Street/Ely Place will remain. There will be no changes to any disabled spaces.”
The city council said that the traffic changes will be implemented from Sunday May 30, 2021.