Dublin residents stage footpath protest ahead of councillors voting on anti-rat-running mesures

Residents around Belmont Avenue and parents of children who go to local schools today staged a footpath protection protest ahead of councillors voting whether to trial a traffic management scheme aimed at preventing rat running.

At busy times, the heavy amount of two-way traffic on the relatively narrow street has led to motorists mounting footpaths to squeezed by congested spots.

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There are two options for Belmont Avenue — making a section of the street one-way or adding ‘filtered permeability’ to one end of the street. South East Area councillors are expected to vote on the issue at their local area meeting next month.

A local resident, Robert MacNicholas, told IrishCycle.com that the group today received good support to from passing pedestrians and cyclists. He fears that the one-way option might make things worse by increasing speed and thinks it would do little for the safety of people cycling.

MacNicholas said: “Belmont Avenue has had an issue for years with motorists using the pavements to bypass traffic congestion on the carriageway. This is obviously illegal and extremely dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. Given the lack of action on this issue by the council or the Guards, the residents and parents of children attending the local national school, decided to mount a ‘pavement protest’ to highlight the issue.”

He added: “Protestors simply stood on the pavement to prevent cars from encroaching on it and created a safe passage for kids going to school. Given the amount of community support that was received it is likely that today will be just the first such action.”

Overview of options

Option 1 put forward at the public consultation stage made a short section of Belmont Avenue, from the Sandford Road end of the street to Belmont Gardens one-way for motorists, with a contra-flow cycle lane for people cycling.

Option 2 includes filtered permeability at the Sandford Road end the street, which means that all of Belmont Avenue would remain two-way, but access would be limited to walking, cycling and emergency access at the Sandford Road end.

Both options would allowed for motoring access to all houses and in both options the Donnybrook Road end of the street would remain two-way for local access.

As previously reported, a spokesperson for the council said: “Dublin City Council have engaged with a consultant to prepare a report to prepare a post consultation report. This report is not yet finalised. Once the report is finalised it will be presented to the South East Councillors. We are hoping that the report will be finalised by the end of February 2022 and would hope to implement some traffic calming intervention in March / April 2022.”

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