New Coastal Mobility Interventions in dlr
Two-way segregated cycle lane from Blackrock to Dún Laoghaire, one-way system for vehicles.
Works to begin in July.
Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has been assessing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and identifying public realm and mobility interventions needed to safely reopen our county. A new plan by the Council, ‘Coastal Mobility Interventions’, is aimed at promoting and facilitating a necessary shift to walking and cycling along the strategic coastal transport corridor within our county.
This plan features the installation of a new 3.6 km section of temporary, segregated 2-way cycleway from Newtown Avenue in Blackrock via Seapoint Avenue, through Dún Laoghaire to Sandycove and the Forty Foot bathing area. Space for vehicles will come in the form of a reallocation of road space, by the introduction of a one-way system for vehicles, specifically on Seapoint Avenue, Queen’s Road, Windsor Terrace and Marine Parade.
Speaking of the announcement An Cathaoirleach of dlr Una Power said:
“This is a very exciting initiative to improve walking and cycling infrastructure along one of our coastal routes. Over the last few months we have seen how important our public realm is to us and I’m really hopeful that this will be a great way of making it better for everybody of all ages and all abilities to access our county.”
Some of the key considerations included in designing the plans centre around health and safety of people in our area. This set of critical mobility interventions is centred on making walking and cycling in dlr safe and enjoyable for all ages and abilities. The plan is in line with current Government public health advice where people are advised to walk or cycle if they can and to avoid using public transport unless they need to.
The provision of segregated cycling infrastructure will support safe and sustainable transport and critically will provide dlr’s citizens with a safe and reliable means of travel so as to ensure that the current limited public transport capacity can be prioritised for essential workers, those needing to complete essential journeys and people who don’t have or can’t use an alternative to public transport.
Director of Service for Infrastructure & Climate Change Robert Burns said: “The road safety risk is a matter of serious concern and dlr as a local authority and a road authority is of the view that it is now necessary to make an important intervention along these sections of coastal road to safeguard the health and safety of people walking and cycling in DLR, who are the most vulnerable road users.”
Businesses and the local economy have faced a very difficult time over this last 3 to 4 months and many have been closed for long periods of time, with some businesses having recently reopened and others planning to reopen over the coming weeks. The Council has been engaging with business groups and is very aware of the difficulties of local businesses and these interventions are also aimed at supporting those businesses reopening and the local economy, generally.
The temporary cycling corridor presents a significant opportunity for local businesses and tourism. This will be enhanced by the promotion and development of cycling links to the towns and villages along the route. This will create strong and vibrant pedestrian and cycling links with Booterstown, Blackrock, Monkstown, Dún Laoghaire, Glasthule, Sandycove and Dalkey.
Aligning with this plan it is proposed to close a section of Queen’s Road (between the Lexicon Library and Park Road junction) temporarily at weekends to facilitate the relocation of the popular dlr CoCo Markets which is ordinarily held in Peoples Park but is currently closed due to Covid-19 physical distancing restrictions. The temporary closing of this section of Queen’s Road offers potential for a vibrant civic space for various events and activities.
In addition, there are a number of opportunities along the route for the creation of imaginative ‘Pop-up Spaces’. These are spaces where cycle parking, seating and planting can be provided at stop-off points on the cycling route or close to village centres. As well as providing rest areas, using public seating, these can also facilitate local businesses who may not be in a position to have seating located directly outside their premises.
The Council will be further engaging with residents’ groups and business groups in the county with a view to assessing other enhancing the public realm, through the reimagining of public spaces, to help facilitate safe physical distancing and support businesses as they reopen.
Other important points to note on the coastal scheme today include:
- The number and location of residential parking spaces along the routes will remain unaffected but parking along the coastal side of affected roads may be offset from the existing kerb to accommodate the installation of the cycling infrastructure.
- Other car parking spaces along the route will be retained except for a small number of standard car parking spaces which will be repurposed to provide additional disability car parking spaces and bike parking.
- Under the proposals, traffic will no longer be able to access the Harbour car park closest to the East Pier via Queen’s Road (i.e. at the National Yacht Club) to avoid conflict with cyclists and pedestrians and instead access to this and other car parks within the Harbour will be facilitated from the Queen’s Road/Marine Road junction and via Coal Quay Bridge.
- There will be no change to the direction of flow of traffic or existing car parking arrangements on connecting roads between Seapoint Avenue and Monkstown Road.
- Existing public transport, including bus routes and bus stops, will remain unaffected by the proposed cycling infrastructure interventions.
The Councils design team is currently finalising the design details and engaging with stakeholders including the Gardaí, NTA, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Dublin City Council Traffic Signal Controls and the local community and businesses.
It is expected that works will start in early July 2020 and will take about 3 to 4 weeks to complete with certain phases of the temporary cycle route being opened earlier during that period as works are completed. dlr is being supported technically and financially by the National Transport Authority (NTA) in implementing these interventions.
This is also an opportunity as a society to reflect on the use of public space and to possibly reimagine our use of, and relationship with, that space, so that we can reopen our society and county with renewed hope as we recover from the exceptional challenges posed by Covid-19.
For much more detailed information on the plan, schematic drawings and artists renderings, please see here: https://bit.ly/dlrCoastal