Why the yellow route is best on Limerick’s Wickham Street project

Comment & Analysis: Ahead of an information session on Limerick’s Wickham Street to Clare Street active travel project tomorrow (Tuesday), Eoin Buckley outlines why he thinks that the yellow route should be seen as the best option.

The yellow route looks like the obvious winner from the four presented at public consultation earlier this year. It provides the shortest and most direct route for those under their own steam and opens up the streets for public use.

Some people have been led to believe that all motor access to the Milk Market area is being cut off (it’s not). The bigger question is why do we need to have so much crosstown traffic going down Wickham St and High St? Reverting Upper Gerald Griffin Street to a two-way street provides near-parallel access for cars and is a smart fix.

Yellow Route will also hugely benefit businesses along Wickham Street and High Street and build on the great work being done by removing through traffic will open up space for people to stop, shop, eat and drink no matter how they travel to the area.

Yellow also provides a massive boost for the new Gaelcholáiste Luimnigh campus under construction on Clare Street. Encouraging children to cycle to school is very good for their health & independence while reducing traffic and air pollution around the school and beyond.

The longer-term benefit of the yellow route is that by adding just 600 metres of safe cycle lanes on Mallow Street we would have a near-continuous route all the way from Coonagh Cross to UL. This would be a huge step in helping those who want to use their cars less but don’t feel safe.

The Green Route is similar but avoids removing through traffic on Wickham St and High St so all the potential positive economic benefits are lost. Also requires cyclists to use the laneway pictured and I think it’s fair to say that not all users will feel safe doing so. Non-runner.

The blue route diverts self-powered users further along Gerald Griffin Street and then back onto the direct route via Sean Heuston Place. Again all benefits from removing through traffic are lost and, anyway, I think it is fairer instead to ask motorists to take the slightly longer way round.

The pink route belongs in another scheme really as it doesn’t touch Wickham Street or High Street. Would be a nice-to-have as a parallel route in time, but will require removing a lot more on-street parking and we know from recent experience that won’t appeal to a lot of people.

In summary:

🟡 Yellow — direct, helps businesses, limited parking impact – winner by a mile.
🟢 Green — will not be used due to the laneway section.
🔵 Blue — longer for bikes makes no sense, no benefits for Wickham/High, huge parking loss
🔴 Pink — see blue

Eoin Buckley is a committee member of the Limerick Pedestrian Network.

Limerick City and County Council is holding the information session on Tuesday, December 19th between 6pm and 8pm at the Strand Hotel, Ennis Road, Limerick, V94 03F2. The bulk of this article was originally a Twitter thread.


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