Dublin City Council is expected to trial ‘full pedestrianisation’ of Capel Street expected after public demand.
Public consultation found that of the nearly 4,000 submissions received from members of the public, 85% were in favour of pedestrianisation.
A majority of businesses and residents were also in favour with 121 submissions received from businesses on the street and 59% in favour, and 207 submissions received from residents on the street and 74% in favour.
The council originally came into strong criticism for only planning to pedestrianise a small section of Capel St between its junctions with Ryders Row and Parnell St. DublinTown, which was widely viewed as a group which voiced on protecting status quo of car access in the city centre, called the council’s plans “half measures”.
Cllr Janet Horner (Green Party) said: “I’m really glad that the Council have agreed to trial pedestrianisation of Capel Street for six weekends over the summer. This is a huge opportunity to reimagine the street and to better envisage its full potential as an eclectic, vibrant northside hub, free from congestion and danger of traffic.”
“The lesson from the past year is that both businesses and people benefit from more people-friendly streets – wider footpaths with places to sit, safer cycle lanes and traffic calmed roads. I really hope that this will prove a huge success for all users and businesses on the street,” she said.
Cllr Horner added: “Some of the details still need to be confirmed. I’m seeking full, clear communication on the moving of disabled parking bays and a safe alternative cycle route for those coming Southbound from Bolton Street. I hope this is the first step towards much more people-friendly streets in the north inner city”
Dublin City Council said in a report to councillors: “Following a very engaged consultation with over 4,500 submissions, Dublin City Council will be moving forward with plans to increase pedestrian space on Capel St. This initiative is part of a wider programme being led by the Office of City Recovery.”
The council said that the quicker changes to the proposal following the consultation includes “buildouts on the west side on Capel St between Abbey St and Ormond Quay to be increased to the size of a full lane of traffic” and “6 car parking spaces to be retained between Mary St and Abbey St to assist non-hospitality businesses.”
The council added: “We acknowledge the fact that many people wanted to see more ambitious plans for the Capel St area. Therefore, a series of pedestrianisation trials on an incremental basis will begin on weekends from the 25th June for a period of 6 weeks. Details of the timing, scale and level of these pedestrianisation trials to be confirmed at a later date following development of detailed people and traffic management plans.”