‘The Drive for More Cycling in Limerick’ is the name of a new project in Limerick City which will seek to understand public perceptions of cycling infrastructure in the city and produce a detailed analysis of the potential of cycling across the city.
The council said the research project, which will be led by researchers at the University of Limerick (UL), will also include “bike parking innovations and the feasibility of sustainable logistics facilities in the city”.
Limerick City and County Council is currently seen as one of the faster-moving councils on the buildout of walking and cycle routes — for example, once the latest section of the Childers Road route is finished, the full route will circle a large section of the south side of the city. Around the centre of the route will link to the train and bus station towards the city centre via the Hyde Road cycle tracks, while the route will link to UL in the northeast and the approved South Circular Road scheme to the west.
The funding for the research project, which is to take place over 24 months, is funded by the National Transport Authority.
While UL will lead the project, the council expects insight from the work will be regularly shared and discussed with its active travel team which is aimed at helping upgrade Limerick’s cycling infrastructure.
Sean McGlynn, senior engineer with Limerick City and County Council’s Active Travel team said: “As we continue to expand the rollout of high-quality Active Travel schemes across Limerick, we want to ensure we have the most up-to-date data and information to do it as well as we can.”
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To collect data, the council said it also rolled out a number of air quality monitoring and radar traffic counters last year.
McGlynn said: “Understanding public perceptions of cycling in the city is particularly significant for us, as we want to continue to bring people with us on the journey to upgrade our infrastructure. Having analysis of local views and trends will be invaluable to our engineers and technicians going forward as they continue to formulate proposals for the city.”
Ross Higgins, Lecturer in Civil Engineering with the University of Limerick, who will lead the research, said: “Work on the project has already begun and UL has hired a full-time research assistant as a result of the funding provided through the Active Travel team.”
“We’ll be assessing the barriers to decarbonising our transport infrastructure in Limerick and how to address that throughout our research. We’ll also be looking at evaluating existing cycle parking around the city, as well as how the possibility of ‘micro consolidation hubs’ – effectively neighbourhood-scale storage and distribution hubs for last-mile deliveries – may work in Limerick.”
He added: “We look forward to working hand in hand with the Active Travel team going forward, during what’s a really important stage in encouraging a modal shift, as per local and national transport policy.”