Dún Laoghaire Living Streets approved by a clear majority of councillors

In the end, 30 votes were in favour of and 7 against the Dún Laoghaire Living Streets project. This was after a council meeting that ran into nearly 2am.

The Living Streets proposal was debated for around 8 hours and included 26 motions seeking to adjust the scheme. Eventually, a clear majority of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown councillors supported the project at 1.43am.

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Key parts of the now approved proposals include the pedestrianisation of 220m George’s Street Lower and modal filters on a number of streets in the town

The modal filters are planned for Tivoli Road, Cross Avenue, and Clarinda Park West. The filters’ purpose is to block rat-running traffic and make more streets low-traffic, thus making them safer and more attractive for walking and cycling while allowing car access.

Officials repeatedly clarified tonight that emergency vehicles will be able to cross the modal filters and access George’s Street when pedestrianised.

At around 12.30am, Cllr Jim Gildea (FG) said that the Green Party and anybody who supports public transport should support his motion. The reality of his motion, however, would be to remove the daytime pedestrianisation of George’s St. The motion failed — 7 in favour and 30 against.

Before that, there were two motions to remove the planned modal filters on Tivoli Road.

Frank Curran, the chief executive of Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, said that the modal filter is an essential part of the Living Streets scheme and also the cycle network for the area. There would be a significant risk of losing funding if the modal filter was removed from the project.

Cllr Mary Fayne (FG) and Cllr Justin Moylan (FF) are putting forward motions to remove the modal filter on Tivoli Road. It is the key part of the plan besides the pedestrianisation of George’s Street.

Cllr Mary Fayne said it’s an “arterial road” and “distributor road.” Cllr Michael Clark, who seconded Cllr Moylan’s motion, agreed it’s a main road.

Cllr Melisa Halpin (PBP) said there’s a better option — which, in her view, is to mix people cycling with what her fellow councillors called an arterial road.

Cllr Maurice Dockrell (FG) said it’s “blackmail” for funding to be possibly withdrawn if councillors decide to remove a key part of the project. He said that the road can be made safe for cycling to mix with traffic and, seconds later, he said that the street a distributor road.

Cllr Lorraine Hall (FG) said the population of the area is growing and councillors are fooling themselves if they think doing nothing will improve traffic. Making it safer to cycle will take cars off the road.

Cllr Dave Quinn (SocDems) said he has counted over 700 emails on the issue — he said he regrets that some people in cars will have longer trips but that climate change requires action.

Cllr Tom Kivlehan (Greens) said change is difficult but that he wants to see children to be able to have the freedom he had when he was a child by being able to safely cycle. A low traffic street will help provide that, he said.

He said that Dún Laoghaire is the county’s zero emission zone, which all councillors voted on. And he added that leadership is needed.

Cllr Oisín O’Connor (Greens) said he cannot blame parents who drive children to school because it’s currently unsafe with narrow footpaths. He said it’s up to councillors to make it safer and, when they do, more people will walk their children to school.

Cllr Peter O’Brien (Labour) challenged the idea that car access would be blocked. He also picked up the idea that the road has been open since before cars and said that the difference between years ago is the volume of cars now on our roads.

A motion to retain more car parking as part of the Clarinda Park proposals, which centred around expanding the park and joining it up better with George’s Street, was accepted without a vote after another motion which looked for even more car parking failed.

Cllr Hugh Lewis (independent) said it’s patronising to say change is hard. He said that he’s all in favour of change, but only change that “suits everyone” who uses the road.

Cllr Moylan attacked the council executive for what he called being arrogant and aggressive but was quickly stopped by Cllr Denis O’Callaghan, the Cathaoirleach of the council, for being out of order. Cllr Moylan was annoyed that officials implied that councillors might be unwilling to make hard decisions.

Cllr Moylan was looking for a report on alternatives directly after being told there are none for Tivoli Road.

Conor Geraghty, a senior engineer, outlined several times during the meeting how Tivoli Road doesn’t have space for cycle tracks in both directions, and nor does it have space for a two-way cycle path and one-way traffic for motorists.

It has the space for a contra-flow cycle path and people cycling with-flow to mix with motor traffic, but Geraghty said that the volume of traffic is too high to mix people cycling with motorists.

The council said a shuttle bus is to be trialled in Dún Laoghaire by the council regardless of the outcome of the vote for Living Streets. Councillors also voted for motions supporting the shuttle bus or their trialling.

Correction: Cllr Hugh Lewis was marked as being a member of People Before Profit (PBP), he is no longer a member and that had been changed in the above text to reflect such.

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  1. I’d like to say that the HSE and the President of Ireland are against SUVs.

    I hope that all the journalists now report this in their various outlets without double-checking with the HSE or the Office of the President of Ireland.

  2. 11.3.2024: Follow a marathon meeting @dlrcoco County Councillors gave a handsome cross party endorsement to the Living Streets Initiative.

    The majority (30 v 7) of Co. Cllrs reflected the majority (54% v 35%) public support.

    Dún Laoghaire can be better than yesterday.


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