Councillors issued their condolences to the family of Josilaine Ribeiro, a 36-year-old Brazilian who worked as a carer and was cycling to a patient when she died after a collision involving her electric bicycle and a large truck being driven in the direction of the city centre on Monday, November 6th.
The fatal collision happened on Dolphin’s Barn Bridge, south of which is the Crumlin Road which South East Area Committee councillors have continuously raised safety issues about. Earlier this year councillors sought traffic calming on the “Mondello-like” Crumlin Road but officials remind them it’s an “arterial route”.
At yesterday’s area committee, several councillors expressed dismay that they still had no solutions from officials to present to residents who want to see action.
Cllr Carolyn Moore (Green Party) said that while the exact details were still under investigation and she did not want to speculate on the details of the collision, issues relating to the safety of the road and the adjoining Crumlin Road were a recurring topic at the area committee.
“A young woman who used a bicycle to get around the city to do her work as a carer lost her life at a location that leads onto the Crumlin Road which we have been speaking about and raising safety issues on a regular basis at this meeting,” said Cllr Moore.
She asked about the need to have cameras on trucks to give truck drivers a better view of people cycling near their trucks.
Cllr Moore said that many residents feel the design of the bridge “sets the tone” of motorists speeding down the Crumlin Road.
Cllr Tara Deacy (Social Democrats) said: “When I was elected four years ago I started raising issues around traffic calming on the Crumlin Road and for many years before I came into this chamber colleagues like yourself Cllr Dunne raised simular issues year in year out.”
“Nothing has really been ever done in any type of meaningful way — we’ve written up solutions in collaboration with residents, we’ve given some workable ideas but there has been little or no action,” she said.
The introduction of a lollypop lady at a local school is welcomed, it’s not good enough, she said.
Cllr Deacy said: “We have said on more than one occasion what is it going to take before something happens here and it has happened. The residents on this road are traumatised, they see incidents and accidents every single day, the users of the road are nervous constantly and a lot of people just avoid the road. They have enough.”
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She said that residents are “burned out and fed up” with the lack of action. She said: “I implore Dublin City Council to please take some action, to step up and play their part here.”
Cllr Deacy said the National Transport Authority had a part to play with regard to the design of the road in the context of it being a BusConnects route, but she said the council was not acting when it should be when people are risking their lives using the road.
She said that councillors had a meeting with residents that night but had nothing meaningful for them.
Cllr Claire Byrne (Green Party) suggested that the committee write to Josilaine Ribeiro’s family expressing their condolences which was agreed.
Cllr Mannix Flynn (independent) said it was outrageous that the road has been left in the state that it has been for so long and that he supports the calls for change.
Cllr Pat Dunne (Independents4Change) said that councillors have continuously asked for action but nothing has been done, and he asked the council’s local area manager to commit to action.
Cllr Deirdre Conroy (Fianna Fáil) asked if interim measures could be put in place ahead of BusConnects in cooperation with the NTA’s BusConnects team.
Cllr Fiona Connelly (Labour) said that she passed the site of the collision on her way home from work and she “shares the outrage and upset of the voices that haven’t been heard”, and frustration that no action is being taken.
Neil O’Donoghue, an executive engineer with Dublin City Council, said that the council was conducting speed surveys — which would start within days — and that they were then putting together a solution of measures for the Crumlin Road.
When challenged by Cllr Deacy, O’Donoghue said that those officials were looking for the data before coming up with proposals. He also said that the road had four lanes, with two bus lanes and two general traffic lanes. and that officials “had to look at it logically and from an engineering point of view how to best improve the road.”
He said some of the issues were policing ones which were a matter for the Gardai.