Saša Novak Uí Chonchúir

Green Party Councillor for Limerick City North

Candidate in Local Elections on 7th June

Dock Road

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I had the following motion at the Transportation and Mobility SPC today: “I will move at the next meeting that road space on the Dock Road be reallocated more appropriately towards cycling, walking and an improved public realm.

I asked the Council to consider firstly, the annual financial losses in the Limerick Tunnel, secondly, previous commitments that the pedestrian environment in Limerick City would be improved after construction of the tunnel, thirdly the need to protect 40 postal workers who are travelling on the Dock Road every day on electric bikes and other workers and students, and lastly and most importantly – the children who use the Dock Road to cycle or walk to school. 

Apart from An Post depot and the school cycle bus there are numerous people who already cycle on the Dock Road because they live or work there. There is also student accommodation on it, there are plans for further housing right next to it and Lidl is moving in shortly. Kids who live on the Dock Road and walk to Salesians and JFK have to navigate a very dangerous and fast road with heavy vehicles that should be taking the tunnel. I cycled it when we had meetings in Patrickswell. It’s a wide and dangerous road. Some of it is used for parking, some for filter lanes, some of it is just excessively wide. A lot of it can be reimagined. It can be transformed to be a safer place for those living there and for those using the road – either by car, bike or on foot.

It is critical that we protect the most vulnerable users in the most hostile areas by transforming the hostile areas into more liveable and traffic-calmed areas. I believe it would be wrong to use the hostility of the area as a reason why not to install protected infrastructure.

When asking for reallocation of space to pedestrians and cyclists I often get a response that we must accommodate all road users equally. But I don’t believe that to be the case – we have an instruction to prioritise according to the hierarchy of road users prescribed by DMURS. Shifting prioritisation from motor vehicles to walking and cycling will take some brave decisions. We need to start making these brave decisions.

The statement of then Mayor Cllr Maria Byrne on the reopening of the Limerick Tunnel and the possibiities that should open up for the City.