A one-way traffic system swung into operation in the south Dublin village of Blackrock yesterday in a bid to ensure safe social distancing as part of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last month Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown County Council said it had taken the decision to help with safe physical distancing, mobility and the re-opening of local businesses.
The temporary system will see space reallocated for pedestrians and cyclists. The village has a population of almost 9,000.
It will be installed in two phases - from June 8-26 and monitored by council officials for several weeks.
Yesterday, council workers were removing two-way road markings, altering traffic lights and setting up wider footpaths for two-metre distancing.
The second phase will be introduced from June 29 to July 10. It will be a one-way flow for vehicles and cyclists from Rock Hill down through Main Street.
The space left by removing a traffic lane and sections of on-street parking will give greater safety for pedestrians through wider footpaths and cyclists.
"Once we are satisfied with how the new system is working in practice, we will install the more substantial screw-down kerb separators between traffic and pedestrians/cyclists, as well as placing a contrasting layer (buff-coloured anti-skid) of surfacing in the pedestrian and contraflow cycling area," the council said.
"Planters and street furnishings will be added to the layout as we progress.
"The expanded pedestrian zones may also offer opportunities for cafes and restaurants to use the public realm whilst ensuring safe physical distancing is adhered to.
"We want to ensure that the village is safe and can be enjoyed by all - the young and old, those who are new to cycling or who may have taken it up again after a long time; those who are mobility-challenged, including amongst others the blind and visually impaired."
Public transport serving the village will be unaffected with only a minor alteration to one of the bus routes (No 114) but the level of service to the route will not be affected.
Blackrock has five large car parks and is served by the Dart rail network.
The measures are expected to remain for as long as the challenges of Covid-19 continue.
Oisin O'Connor, a spokesperson for the Dublin Cycling Campaign, said: "Providing more space in our villages for people walking and cycling is important in the current crisis.
"Now is a time for us all to be supporting our local businesses while maintaining social distancing - encouraging walking or cycling to the shops is one of the best ways of doing that.
"Many of our local members recently co-signed a letter from 100-plus residents of Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown calling for the Council to take radical measures to enable safer mobility for families and workers."