New process of evaluating walking and cycling projects to start with Clontarf to City Centre and Kilmainham to Thomas Street routes

Dublin City Council is looking to better evaluate and measure the impact of the city’s active travel investments — a new programme of post-completion evaluation will start with the Clontarf to City Centre project and the Kilmainham to Thomas Street cycle route.

In a press release today, the council explained: “Phase 1 of this project will target two active travel schemes – the Clontarf to City Centre (C2CC) corridor and the Kilmainham to Thomas Street scheme and the surrounding areas. The initial steps will focus on sourcing, validating, and implementing the latest innovations in active travel monitoring. During Phase 2, the insights gained will inform the development of a toolkit to enhance policy-making and active travel project implementation citywide.”

The work is part of the council’s involvement with the Partnership for Healthy Cities in which cities “commit to one of 14 proven interventions, from improving safety for vulnerable road users to strengthening public health surveillance systems.”

The network is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the global health organization Vital Strategies.

The project will organised through the council’s Smart City team, and with  partners include the National Transport Authority, Trinity College Dublin and ADAPT,  a Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for which is described as being focused on using “AI-Driven Digital Content Technology”.

The council said: “The project will fill a gap in current methodologies by developing an Active Travel Data Toolkit, replacing the ad-hoc approach of data collection with a systematic and integrated process that supports and guides future investments in active travel.”

Lord Mayor, Cllr Daithí de Róiste, said: “Over the coming years, Dublin is investing in a city-wide active travel network to provide 310 km of safe, accessible, and convenient pathways for walking, cycling, and other forms of active transportation. While this capital investment will be transformative for the city we need to think beyond the physical infrastructure and ensure that we are investing in the right technologies to generate better data and actionable insights to help evaluate and justify these investments.” 

Dublin City Council has said that it is working with the Partnership for Healthy Cities to “pilot new cutting-edge technologies for evaluating and measuring the impact of the city’s active travel investments”.

Joe Seymour, head of Active Travel Investment at the National Transport Authority, said: “The last three years have seen a significant ramping up of NTA investment in Active Travel projects across the country, with many large projects, such as Clontarf to City Centre, now coming to fruition. The monitoring and evaluation of these projects needs to keep pace through the deployment of detection and counting equipment.”

“Smart detection technology may have an important role to play in understanding trends and patterns to inform decision-making and monitor the impact of schemes,” he said.

Seymour added: “The NTA recognises that new technology and data captured will greatly improve our ability to monitor and communicate the impacts of Active Travel schemes.”

Andy Walsh, director of the Active Travel Office in the city council, said: “By integrating advanced monitoring technologies, and data visualization techniques, Dublin City Council aims to set a new standard for active travel infrastructure. The ultimate goal is to achieve a measurable positive impact on citizen behaviour, emissions reduction, and overall public health, while also influencing active travel policies to foster healthier urban spaces.”

A press release issued today also outlines how the announcement today coincides with staff from Dublin City presenting details of the  project to public health leaders from more than 50 cities at the Partnership for Healthy Cities Summit in Cape Town, South Africa.

The annual event is described as providing cities from around the world with the opportunity to advance solutions and exchange ideas on how to create healthier, safer and more equitable urban centres.

Ariella Rojhani, Director, Partnership for Healthy Cities at Vital Strategies, an international NGO which promotes public health, said: “We congratulate Dublin on its commitment to the health and safety of its residents and look forward to seeing how this new data is used to improve their quality of life. Sustained investment in a city’s safe and active transit infrastructure can reduce noncommunicable disease risks and health inequities.”

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