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Council Proceeding to Phase 2 of Mobility & Public Realm Works in Blackrock Village

Date 
Monday, July 6, 2020
Location 
Blackrock
Intro Text 

160 public feedback submissions received from Phase 1 and several have been incorporated into Phase 2

We will be proceeding with Phase 2 of the Blackrock Village scheme starting on Monday, 6th July and we expect to be finished within 2 weeks. The key elements of work include installation of kerb separators, anti-skid buff surfacing and tweaks to the system following a review of Phase 1. We will also be attending to placemaking by installing new planters and benches which will give the village a more welcome feel and will also have a strong safety element by helping to protect pedestrians and cyclists, as well as having a calming effect on traffic through the village.

Our team has been working with Blackrock businesses over the last week to plan the allocation of space and to identify opportunities for businesses to use some of the space for their own tables and chairs which will be facilitated under DLR’s special free COVID-19 tables and chairs licence (apply here: https://bit.ly/3iBAPBd )

The public feedback from Phase One saw over 160 submissions and we have taken note and amended some of the elements of the project to reflect some of this public input.  74% of the submissions were positive, 18% negative and 8% neutral.

For Phase 2 we have taken on board suggestions from the public regarding the contraflow lane for cycling being specifically only for cyclists and not as a shared space for pedestrians, additional protections to be put in place for pedestrians and cyclists as well as additional bike parking. Based on public feedback, we are now also in the development stage of other cycle lanes and improved connectivity in the area – this was probably the most common request from those who supported the scheme and so we are examining how we can provide effective and safe connectivity from the Blackrock scheme onto (1) Main St. past Blackrock Library and then connect with Idrone Terrace and Newtown Avenue, (2) Bath Place, (3) Carysfort Avenue and (4) George's Avenue.

In terms of negative feedback, the key issues raised were:

  • Loss of car parking or difficulty finding car parking in or around village – there has been a relatively small loss of car parking in the village as a result of the scheme and in fact loading bays have been installed in the village for the first time.  Existing disability car parking is being maintained.  The intention is to extend loading bay hours to 4pm in the afternoon instead of 12 noon. 
  • Traffic delays at junctions entering the village – traffic signals are kept under continuous review and signal settings may be altered to reflect to give more time at certain junctions for vehicles.  However, pedestrians and cyclists also need a fair and safe allocation of time at junctions to allow them proceed safely as they cross or continue their journeys and so there is a balance to be reached.

The Council are also closely monitoring movement and usage information and we have also installed vehicle, cyclist and pedestrian counters on Main St. in the village and we are able to monitor usage and patterns in a data-driven way. 

  • Average of approx. 2000 vehicles / day in the one way with a reduced average speed of 27 km/hr,  a positive reduction and emphasises the impact the changes made already have had in terms of lower vehicle speeds;
  • 22,325 pedestrian movements/journeys in the village during the week;
  • 3,050 cyclists movements/journeys through the village in the same week.

The number of cyclists and pedestrians is very significant and makes Blackrock one of the busiest locations for active modes of walking and cycling throughout the county.  We will continue to monitor this data and patterns of movement as the scheme proceeds and the changes settle in place in the village.  We will continue to work in conjunction with the Blackrock Business and Community Network as the interventions proceed.

 

dlr is of a firm view that the interventions already implemented as part of Phase 1 have provided a marked improvement for pedestrians and cyclist safety and indications are they are proving positive for business too.  Not everyone is supportive and we have had some challenges and that will be the case as we respond to the Covid-19 crisis by installing critical safety and village enhancement measures in a dynamic and fast-paced manner. 

The key elements of the scheme – one-way vehicular traffic, widened footpaths and contra-flow cycle lane – are integral to the scheme and will be maintained and proceed to development in Phase 2, as well as placemaking.  We also need to allow time for the scheme to bed down and the Phase 2 benefits to kick in, which we believe will have a positive transformative effect on the village.  In any event, we will continue to review and monitor the scheme and make any further changes or improvements if considered necessary.

 

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