Residents in a community in Dublin’s south inner city have said they are willing to limit private cars locally and increase their use of public transport in order to save trees.
Over 70 residents from Inchicore have written to the National Transport Authority (NTA) in relation to the BusConnects proposals stating they are willing to "sacrifice convenience" and increase their usage of public transport, cycling and walking "so that we can save our green spaces".
Under the NTA’s proposed Liffey Valley to city centre corridor, some of the trees on Grattan Crescent in Inchicore would have to be removed to accommodate an additional bus lane.
In a submission to the NTA residents from the Woodfield area said saving trees at Grattan Crescent was their “number one priority”, and have proposed a one-way system for private motorists on the road “as a compromise”.
Residents said they are willing to support the bulk of the plans along with some amendments, but that “mature trees are an irreplaceable feature of our locality”.
BusConnects aims to overhaul the current bus system in the Dublin region by creating 230km of dedicated bus lanes and 200km of cycle tracks along 16 of the busiest corridors along with a redesign of the network.
Over 1,400 properties stand to lose part of their front gardens to accommodate the plans, while more than 1,600 trees and 700 parking spaces would be lost. The NTA said where trees were removed “a comprehensive replanting programme” would be put in place.
Lauren Tuite has been living in the Woodfield estate on the Sarsfield Road with her husband and their nine-month-old baby since March. She said she and residents met with the NTA to discuss alternative options under the proposed plans.
“We said ‘what do we have to do to save the trees’ and the NTA said ‘it [Grattan Crescent] would have to be a one- way system for motorists, whether it’s north to south or south to north, that’s something for you to discuss among yourselves’.
“I went home and wrote a letter to all of my neighbours and distributed it, making an argument for why we should have a one-way system and lose our direct access to the village by car. I was expecting people to be very much opposed to it but people starting ringing and saying can we have a meeting about it,” she told The Irish Times.
“We had two meetings and a lot of discussion about how difficult it would make life for some people, not being able to access crèche facilities by car and discussed ‘well is it worth walking your children if we can save the trees’.”
Ms Tuite said residents came to a consensus they would favour a one-way system for private vehicles if it meant the trees would remain. She wrote up a submission to the NTA with the local residents’ alternative proposal, which has been signed by over 70 people from the area.
“It’s just a lovely part of Inchicore, and it would just be such a loss to lose those trees,” said Ms Tuite.