Only 2% of people around O’Connell Bridge are in cars

Pedestrians and people on buses and trams amount to the “vast majority” of people around O’Connell Bridge, where bus gates are planned under the hotly debated Dublin City Centre Traffic Plan.

Brendan O’Brien, Dublin City Council’s executive manager for traffic, told RTE Radio One’s Today With Claire Byrne Show on Wednesday that despite the low number of cars, space still needs to be maintained for them.

O’Brien said: “At O’Connell Bridge, over a 12-hour period, there’s about 1/4 of a million people using it going backwards and forwards, with Dublin Bus, Luas, etc. Only 2% of people are in cars, but yet we have to maintain road space for those cars. Really, that’s what we’re trying to address — the vast majority of people in the [core city centre] are pedestrians, they are public transport users. They are not in cars.”

He said the council was focused on reducing through traffic while still allowing for car access to various different places.

When questioned by presenter Claire Byrne, O’Brien was adamant that recently announced changes to the plan were to try to address concerns from Disabled Persons’ Organisations and not because of the intervention from car park owners, retailers and a junior Government Minister.

Similar data was presented by O’Brien in a planned presentation to Dublin Chamber members — unlike some other groups, the business group Dublin Chamber is more generally supportive, and a number of attendees confirmed that there was a generally positive feel of the presentation.

The charts presented to the Chamber — provided by the council on request — show that Dublin Bus carries the majority of people at the junctions on the north and south quays at O’Connell Street. This is followed by pedestrians, Luas, and private buses.

While other data shows that cyclists outnumber motorists on the quays at peak time, over a 12-hour period, the numbers of people carried by bicycle and car use are similar on the north quays, where there are disjointed cycling facilities along the quays and shared with buses on O’Connell Street. While cycling is lower on the south side, where there are little to no cycling facilities.

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