January 15, 2024

Living Streets Dún Laoghaire

Ciarán Cuffe, MEP for Dublin
Green Party Comhaontas Glas
The Tara Building
11-15 Tara Street, Dublin 2

Senior Engineer, Active Travel, Infrastructure and Climate Change Department

By email: info@dlrcoco.ie

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council

County Hall, Marine Road, Civic Hub, Dún Laoghaire

Co. Dublin, A96K6C9

Dear Madam/Sir,

I welcome the opportunity to give my views on these progressive and healthy proposals to improve transport and  mobility in Dún Laoghaire. I am pleased that it will provide significant road safety improvements and will enhance children’s independent spatial mobility. A crucial aspect of the scheme is that all transport modes are catered for, but with greater levels of equity between modes. 

My views are as follows:

Air Quality Improvements

  1. The estimated improvements in air quality are highly significant. The European Environmental Agency estimates that 238,000  people die prematurely from poor air quality every year in the European Union. Transport emissions are a significant contributor to this, therefore positive modal shift and the potential for traffic evaporation from avoided journeys would be a positive outcome.

Commercial Success

  1. Town centres are facing multiple challenges in recent years, including the threat from peripheral shopping centres, as well as from online purchasing. Improving the public realm as this scheme proposes can be an effective mechanism to attract people of all ages to the town centre, as well as persuade them to spend more time there. This will be a positive boost for town centre retail businesses.

Road Safety

  1. The danger from trucks and larger cars is a real one. Measures that free up road space for pedestrians and cyclists will save lives. The evidence from cities like Pontevedra in Spain and Oslo in Norway is that traffic calmed neighbourhoods have less deaths and serious injuries from road traffic. The proposals are therefore worthy of support.

Tackling Urban Noise

  1. While the health impacts of traffic noise are not as well documented as those from road traffic collisions, they are nonetheless significant. It seems clear that most residents and visitors to the proposed traffic-calmed area will benefit from reductions in traffic noise which is likely to improve their physical and mental health.

Modelling Improvements

  1. It is regrettable that the traffic modelling report points to difficulties in fully assessing the traffic impacts within the study area (specifically referenced in 4.4.3 and 4.4.4. It is also a concern that journey times from Tom Tom are used in some instances, rather than a wider data set. Given the importance of sustainable transport choices perhaps the local authority could engage with the NTA and other agencies to improve modelling so that trips made by walking, cycling, e-Bike and public transport are fully integrated into the model. The reference to traffic reduction within the Barcelona superblocks (7.2.3) is timely and welcome.

Public Realm Upgrades

  1. I am pleased to see the focus on wider footpaths,  planting, and seating within the proposals. It is crucial that the delivery of these works is accompanied by a management and maintenance program that is determined in coordination with cultural groups, An Garda Siochánna and other agencies. 

Detailed Planting proposals

  1. I would hope that the use of native trees and planting can be prioritised within the detailed landscaping plans. I am pleased that the planted areas will also have a role in facilitating sustainable urban drainage. Perhaps the Plan could incorporate fruit and nut trees or bushes in selected locations.

In conclusion I welcome the detailed plans and look forward to their implementation. 

Warm regards,

Ciarán Cuffe

Ciarán Cuffe

Green MEP for Dublin

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