Dublin transport committee briefs: From project updates to questions on crossing the road safely

There is no Dublin City Council transport committee meeting this month but the following are several issues covered at the committee that IrishCycle.com hasn’t reported in separate articles — it includes project updates, questions from councillors and commute members about footpath maintenance and bicycle traffic lights blocking the view of pedestrians waiting to cross.

Christopher Manzira, deputy director of the Active Travel office in Dublin City Council, outlined how the Clontarf to City Centre remains on track to be open in Q2 2024, while further inbound sections are to be open by the new year. However, as this website reported in early November, the inbound part of the route was due to be opened by the end of November.

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The Royal Canal Greenway recently showed a substantial sign of progress with a new bridge being dropped into place, the project is scheduled for completion in Q2 in 2025, according to Manzira. Issues on the project are covered in a separate article published last week.

The Dodder Greenway between Donnybrook and Ballsbridge is nearly finished and set to be opened in the early weeks of the New Year, he said. At the meeting which took place last month, he said that the new toucan crossing could take until next year to be finished but this is now already in place, although the greenway is not yet open.

The Grand Canal upgrade project to improve pedestrian facilities, mainly at junctions where there were no crossings, was delayed due to the contractor going out of business, but he said it is now further delayed due to a lack of funding. Cycling improvements along the canal are expected to follow in a later phase of the project.

The Liffey Cycle Route works on Eden Quay — which includes removing a slip turn at Liberty Hall turning towards the back of Customs House — are due to be completed before Christmas. The two-way cycle path on the south quays from the existing two-way cycle path in the Docklands up to O’Connell Bridge is due to start in Q1 2024 but this is subject to funding from the NTA.

The Suir Road to Thomas Street route is also due to be finished by the end of December, Manzira said.

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Cllr Dermot Lacey (Labour) asked if the issues with the artists on Merrion Square North –part of the Trinity to Ballsbridge walking and cycle route — have been resolved and if there’s any proposal to reactivate the Strand Road cycle route trial at this stage.

Manzira said that the issue with artists had not been resolved yet. He said that because of that issue and how the project would link in with the City Centre Transport Plan, the route has been separated into sections. IrishCycle.com covered this in September.

Brendan O’Brien, the head of the transport section of the council who was also at the meeting, said that there was no confirmed date for the publication of judgment in the Strand Road case.

Cllr Keith Connolly (Fianna Fáil) asked if there was an update on the Finglas Village Improvement scheme, the Finglas Roundabout scheme, and the Finglas to Killester route. Manzira said that the village scheme is proceeding with changes based on councillor feedback and that the progress of projects will depend on funding.

Cllr Janet Horner said that currently while walking across the Liffey at Bridgefoot place that you have to cross from one side of the bridge to the other as the crossings at both ends of the bridge are on opposite sides.

She asked if the council had to power to implement Woonerf concept where there are issues with residents blocking footpaths. Manzira said that it hasn’t been done to date but would be open to looking at it.

Cllr Horner also asked about more provision for contra-flow cycling on one-way streets which Manzira said it is something that they are actually working on. He said there needs to be care in designing entry and exit points to make them safe.

She said that there was an unprecedented amount of money available for walking and cycling but that basic element of footpath maintenance and upgrades “has been missed time and again”.

Manzira said that the Active Travel team were looking at advancing pedestrian crossings and similar works but that maintenance is the responsibility of the roads section of the council and the Active Travel team is confined to looking at the priority network.

Gary Kearney, a PPN member, raised the issue of bicycle signals being installed in a way that it blocks the view when someone is standing at a pedestrian crossing. He said that the council has fixed an example he has brought to their attention already but that it needs to be looked at for future rollout. O’Brien said that they would be more careful in the future.

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