Saturday 21 October 2017

'The vulnerable will be in trouble' - Councillor 'disappointed' with new design for Dublin cycle tracks

Dublin City Green Party Councillor Ciarán Cuffe
Dublin City Green Party Councillor Ciarán Cuffe

Claire Fox

Green Party Councillor Ciarán Cuffe has described the proposed design for the new Clontarf to Dublin city centre cycle route as "not good enough for the vulnerable".

The Dublin Central Councilor expressed this view following a presentation of the design by the National Transport Authority during this morning's Dublin Central Area committee meeting. 

The design presented by NTA Engineer Chris Mazira, proposed that a one-way segregated cycle track be built as it would allow cyclists to move in the same direction as other traffic. However, Cllr Cuffe was unhappy with this proposal and urged other members of the committee to reject it.

"I'm suggesting we reject this report. I think the vulnerable will be in trouble. I wouldn't let an 80-year-old or 8-year-old out on that," warned the Councillor. 

The proposed design also planned to remove a significant number of trees and 59 parking spaces, with an increase in the road width near Fairview Park, a factor which Cuffe said will "increase speed" in the area.

"The dramatic increase in the road width will have a massive impact on people. I don't think this report understands human capability. These are also very mature trees and I have chained myself to trees in the past but I don't feel like doing it again."

Councillor Eilis Ryan also supported Cllr Cuffe's views.

"I'm sick of us being left with crappy cycle paths and facilities and we don't get anything from them," said Ms Ryan.

Councillor Christy Burke said that the wide width of the road in Fairview and the narrowing of it as the path entered the city centre was "nothing short of an insult" and needed to be reviewed. He also criticised the attitude of a small number of cyclists. 

"You would fit a combine harvester on the lane in some parts. I'm a great supporter of cyclists but there's a number out there that are still arrogant," said Councillor Burke. 

Although Mazira reassured the committee that 160 new trees would be built along the route and that additional car spaces would be made available, the Committee Chair, Councillor Ray McAdams said that he "wasn't convinced" and believed it should be "rejected outright".

The committee then voted to wait until the design was shown to Dublin's North Central Committee next week before taking action on the proposal. The new route will take in the North Dublin areas of Clontarf Road, Marino Mart, Fairview, Annesley Bridge, North Strand Road and Amiens Street. It hopes to reduce the city's reliance on cars and increase walking and public transport use.

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