— One “exemplar” crossing project on Mountjoy Square will happen, as it had been previously agreed, a senior official said.
There is no funding for new pedestrian crossings or traffic calming in Dublin City Council’s Central Area, an area which includes all of Dublin City Centre north of the River Liffey.
The comments were made in response to councillors requesting safety measures at the local Central Area Committee meeting of local councillors yesterday.
Cllr Joe Costello (Labour) raised the long-standing issue of the lack of pedestrian crossings on Mountjoy Square and Cllr Ray McAdam (FG) said there was an issue with motorists coming into Aberdeen Street at “really excessive speeds”.
The west side of Mountjoy Square is a major bus and traffic route between Gardner Street and Dorset Street but there are only crossings on crossings at three of the eight sides of the two junctions that side of the square.
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Gerry McEntagart, an area engineer for Dublin City Council, said: “At the moment the area engineer has no funding for traffic calming initiatives anywhere in Dublin Central. We have no funding.”
“There’s nothing we can do down there to narrow the streets — I haven’t got the funding for any initiatives. If there is excessive speeding, it has to be brought to the attention of the Gardai, that’s an enforcement issue,” he said.
McEntagart said: “Again, pedestrian crossings on Mountjoy Square, the area engineer has no funding for this at all. There’s nothing we can do down there. I’d love to be able to put in pedestrian crossings across Dublin Central, but I simply haven’t got any funding.”
He said if councillor wants to get more work like this done, they have to allocate more funding in the council’s annual budget to such projects. He said: “The budget I’m receiving this year simply won’t cover anything I want to do in Dublin Central.”
Cllr Christy Burke (independent) proposed that there should be enough funding set aside for crossings at major junctions in the next budget.
Cllr Ray McAdam said that there was already a plan for a workshop between the council’s Traffic Advisory Group (TAG) engineers and it was all the more important to establish what they had money for. He added: “It seems like they don’t have money for anything.”
Karl Mitchell, a director of services for the north area of Dublin City Council, said that, if memory serves him right, they had agreed in a previous year to do one “exemplar” in Mountjoy Square. While at least one voice which sounded like a councillor said “Yes” in the background, Mitchell said: “I think we did commit to doing that, so, if we did, we will do it.”
He said that a roundtable meeting between councillors and traffic officials in the South East Area had been very successful and they will set one up for the Central Area after the Summer.