— Different options on the table for both streets including going back to pre-pandemic status quo before car-free initiative.
Dublin City Council has started a 3 week public consultation on the Capel St and Parliament St “traffic-free streets initiative”.
After backlash from the public the council last week extended the time-limited motor traffic-free streets until the end of September. The current initiative only operates from 18:30 to 23:30 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.
In a statement this afternoon, the council said: “The City Council wants to hear from anyone who has a view on the traffic-free weekend evenings, and anyone who would like to express a view on what options should be further explored for both streets.”
It said: “During the consultation period, the City Council will be consulting with all key stakeholders including the emergency services and disability groups.”
Dublin City Council added: “Following the period of public consultation, a report will by prepared for consideration by the elected members. Detailed planning of the preferred option will then be advanced. Any option which is advanced will be subject to further consultation and any necessary statutory requirements.”
You can fill out an online survey and read the report outlining options on the councils website. Below is an outline of the options:
Capel Street options
Option 1: Maintain the current (weekday) arrangement on Capel Street, with footpath extensions for outdoor dining and pre-pandemic traffic flows. But no weekend car-free times.
Option 2: Capel Street traffic free between Parnell Street and the north quays.
The report states that: “This option would require a substantial permanent traffic management plan to be developed so that the arrangement could work without the large amount of traffic management operatives that are currently required. This would mean changes to traffic flow to the streets around Capel Street to facilitate local residents, a reduction of on street parking in the area (note there are 2,500 carpark spaces within a 4 minute walk of Capel Street) and limited loading hours. A comprehensive consultation with businesses and residents would need to be undertaken.”
This option would have sub options for the time of day it would apply includes 7 days a week except for specific delivery hours (typically 6am to 11am), evert evening from 18.30 to 23.30, or only weekend evenings from 18.30 to 23:30.
The report adds: “It should be noted that the map shown is indicative and more detailed traffic management changes would have to be worked up, in order to assess the feasibility or otherwise of the proposal.”
Option 3: Traffic Free between Parnell Street and Mary’s Abbey on Capel Street.
The report notes: “This option would allow the northern end of Capel Street to be traffic free and would remove the through traffic from the top of street, allowing local access to continue to use the lower end of the street and simplifying any traffic changes required.”
Option 4: Traffic Free between Parnell Street and Strand Street on Capel Street.
The report notes: “This option would allow for traffic free operation of the majority of Capel Street but would leave the one way system in operation on Great and Little Strand Street and so not require such extensive local changes for residents.”
Option 5: Restore the arrangement from prior to May 2021, including removal of the footpath extensions and reinstate the parking and traffic lanes.
Parliament Street options
Option 1: Traffic Free Parliament Street.
This would have three sub options: 7 days a week except for specific delivery hours (typically 6am to 11am), all week at evenings from 18.30 to 23.30, and weekend only evenings from 18.30 to 23:30.
The report notes: “Access to Essex Street East would be via Crane Lane or Sycamore Street. Exchange Street Lower would be reserved and Exchange Street Upper made one way southbound. There may also be a requirement for changes to Fishamble street. There would also be a requirement to reroute bus routes 69,79,79A.”
Removing buses from the street is planned in BusConnects in any case.
Option 2: Reduce to one vehicle lane.
The report notes: “This would only be feasible if traffic volumes from Capel Street were reduced (Option C3 or C4). All traffic and access arrangements would remain the same and the bus route would be maintained. There would be a significant reduction in traffic in combination with the removal of through traffic on Capel Street and footpaths could be extended to provide additional space.”
Option 3: Maintain current arrangement Maintain the current layout on Parliament Street.