Sandymount residents come up with new plan for cycleway

Locals want route plans moved from the existing road to proposed flood defences

Dublin City Council had initially planned turning a two-way vehicular stretch of Strand Road as far as the Merrion Gates into a single outbound lane with the other lane used as a two-way cycle track. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

Dublin City Council had initially planned turning a two-way vehicular stretch of Strand Road as far as the Merrion Gates into a single outbound lane with the other lane used as a two-way cycle track. Photograph: Crispin Rodwell

 

Residents of Sandymount in Dublin have developed a new proposal which they hope might bring to an end controversy over Dublin City Council plans to convert road space into a cycle route.

Members of the STC – Serpentine Ave, Tritonville and Claremont Roads – Residents Group have examined the need for a cycling path and they have come up with what they hope will be a solution – putting the cycleway on top of planned coastal defences.

The group is now calling on the City Council and the National Transport Authority to engage with their a new proposal, entitled the Sandymount Coastal Cycleway – The Way Forward.

At a public meeting on Thursday the group said the plan had the support of the overwhelming majority of the communities in Sandymount, Merrion Road, Ringsend and Irishtown.

Dublin City Council had initially planned turning what is currently a two-way vehicular stretch of Strand Road as far as the Merrion Gates into a single outbound lane with the other lane used as a two-way cycle track. It would have meant some residents seeking to go into the city centre by car would have to go southwards, before turning back to the city. Locals also feared the effect of the traffic restriction on the roads in and around Sandymount village.

Local man Peter Carvill and local councillor Mannix Flynn brought a court challenge claiming the council plan should have had planning permission and an environmental impact assessment. They claimed the council was incorrect in asserting the work was exempt development because it was a traffic calming measure.

The new plan outlines a long-term solution involving an off-road cycleway by combining it with the planned flood protection works, as well as a new water main.

The new option would create a two-way, mostly segregated cycleway.

The STC group said it designed the plan with input from experts in the areas of architecture, flood risk engineering, traffic engineering, biodiversity engineering and computer-generated modelling.

Although more work on details may be needed, the residents said it was now that it was now the role of the council and not the local community to move the project to planning application stage.

STC spokeswoman Audrey Hanley said the group wanted “to reiterate that our group is very much pro-cycling”. She said “the vast majority of local residents are committed active cyclists, fully supportive of an off road cycle track of the type envisaged by the original Sutton to Sandycove cycleway proposal which has been in existence for many years.

Our collective opposition to the proposed-on road proposal advanced by Dublin City Council is based on the negative effects of the huge volume of displaced traffic, and consequent pollution, on Sandymount and adjoining areas arising from the closure of the northbound lane of Strand Road,” she said.