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Residents of Drogheda’s Congress Avenue demand action on traffic rat run

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Cllr. Pio Smith on Congress Avenue.

Cllr. Pio Smith on Congress Avenue.

Badly worn road markings on Congress Avenue.

Badly worn road markings on Congress Avenue.

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Cllr. Pio Smith on Congress Avenue.

droghedaindependent

A Louth County Council survey, analysing traffic movement and speed travelling through Congress Avenue has failed to consider the human aspect of those living in the area, says concerned residents.

Residents of Congress Avenue gathered on Thursday evening at ABACAS school, voicing their distress regarding traffic issues, to local Councillor, Pio Smith. 

No Council officials were present. 

A community challenge that the residents face daily involves drivers who constantly try to beat the traffic by skipping through their estate. 

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Cllr Smith, who was originally contacted about the ongoing issue nearly three years ago, said, “it is important to submit these plans this year, as money is allocated the year ahead.”

Alongside other Councillors, Cllr Smith has brought the issue to the attention of the engineer within Louth County Council.

Thus far, the council have conducted a number of tests throughout Congress Avenue, through the form of speed camera’s, documenting cars travelling through the area. 

However, the survey failed to take into account the direction of the flow of traffic.  

Data shows two peaks through the day, those being morning time and evening time. It was found that 1400 cars travelled through Congress Avenue daily, however, there was no evidence found supporting speeding in the area. 

The Congress Avenue Roads, which are public roads, are marked as 50km roads. Meanwhile, in other estates, the speed limit is 30km. 

From the data, it showed that cars travelling through Congress Avenue, drove at a medium of 30-50km. 

Cllr Smith informed the residents that protocol states that those living in the area must apply directly to the council requesting a speed limit change. 

A concerned resident noted that students from ABACAS with disabilities are brought out for walks through Congress Avenue and the area can be dangerous for them. What the survey failed to account for was the human aspect of the roads. 

Additionally, the Council’s data found that the majority of traffic came from Barracks Lane into Congress Avenue, travelling from the Bullring area, creating a short cut. 

Residents present then suggested closing off Barracks Lane to the public, preventing this, and instead, forcing drivers to travel up Mary Street. 

Another suggestion involved installing a pedestrian crossing in the area to try to slow traffic, along with ramps.

However, ramp installation requires over 50 percent of people living in the area supporting the fixture. Additionally, under road legislation, a ramp has to be 5m either side of a telegraph pole and cannot be placed outside of a driveway. 

Other suggestions involved a permit system preventing traffic from flowing through the area, along with a one way system down Congress Avenue. 

As the meeting progressed, it became increasingly clear that what might work for residents in one area, may not work for residents living elsewhere in the estate. 

Cllr Smith said, “the solution will likely involve a few different interventions and might not satisfy everyone.”

However, it was clear that residents agreed that the solution might involve pushing traffic into Marian Park. 

Cllr Smith added that going forward, it is important to try to change people’s behaviours, and the way to do this is through junctions and roads. 

Cllr Smith will be bringing these suggestions before Louth County to trial and to bring before the public. 


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