— Despite misinformation claiming otherwise, majority of sea-side car parking maintained in both options.
— Cycle path for people who don’t cycle now including “children, teenagers, women, people with disabilities” says campaigners.
— Cycling groups also call for extra disabled parking to be included in plan.
Galway cycling groups — the Galway Cycling Campaign, Galway Urban Greenway Alliance, and the city’s cycle buses — called for public support for the planned 3km Salthill cycle path trial.
As reported last week, Galway City Council said it wants to have the route in place from March to September 2022.
The cycling groups said that they are calling on residents, businesses and visitors to take part in the public consultation which closes at 4pm on Friday, January 28. People can fill out an online survey or email email@example.com.
Both options run from Grattan Road, just over 1km west of the Spanish Arch, to the junction of Barna Road / Kingston Road (where the R336 meets with the R337) at Knocknacarra.
The main difference between Option 1 and Option 2 is on the section of the route between Blackrock diving tower and the large roundabout at centre of Salthill village.
On this section, Option 1 retains more on-street parking by making the roadway one-way for motorists while Option 2 removes most of the sea-side car parking on this section but keeps the roadway as two-way. There is also a “do nothing” option in the survey.
Car parking is maintained along the northern side of Seapoint Promenade, the northern side of Salthill Road Road Upper along the shopfronts, and the surface car parks, which account for the majority of car parking along the seafront. A small section of parking is also kept beside Blackrock diving tower and across the road from Lady’s Beach.
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Galway Cycling Campaign and Galway Urban Greenway Alliance said that Option 2 is “the better and more viable option” beside it retains two-way traffic between Blackrock Beach and the roundabout at the village centre, which allows for buses routes to be retained along the promenade.
Kevin Jennings, chairperson of the Galway Cycling Campaign, said: “It’s important to remember that this cycleway isn’t for people like me – male, middle-aged, able-bodied, confident cycling in traffic. It’s for people you don’t see cycling right now — children, teenagers, women, people with disabilities. It’s for people who would like to cycle to school or shops or work but don’t, because they don’t feel safe sharing the busy road with cars, buses and trucks.”
“We need more blue badge parking, and the parking for people with disabilities at Ladies Beach needs to be on the Prom side of the road for safe and direct access to the beach. There also needs to be more pedestrian crossings along the route,” he said.
Michelle Smyth of Galway Urban Greenway Alliance said that parking for older people needs to be provided. “We are again calling for Age Friendly parking along the seafront in the Seapoint car park. We’ve heard that older people want to be able to sit in their cars and enjoy the stunning views of Galway Bay, and these courtesy parking spots would enable them to do so. It’s very simple to allocate a few spots for older people.”
Image provided: Community cycle along Salthill / photo by: Galway Urban Greenway Alliance.