LONG AWAITED DRAFT OF THE
DÚN LAOGHAIRE TRAFFIC PLAN
PRESENTED TO COUNCILLORS
Dún Laoghaire Fianna Fáil Councillor, Cormac Devlin made several suggestions to the Transportation Department at the Area Committee meeting in relation to the Draft Traffic Plan and in particular to the need for better directional signage, access to the hospital, an integrated transport system (feeder buses, etc.), the needs of taxi's and the need to reduce traffic on surrounding residential roads/area's. The full written report is available below (a third option will be put to the public once it goes on public display again). To be notified of when this happens, please sign up to my e-Bulletin:
Draft Dún Laoghaire and Environs Traffic Management Plan
The County Development Plan states that for the town of Dún Laoghaire to become more competitive it needs to become a more desirable destination.
The purpose of a Traffic Management Plan is to ensure that, from a transportation perspective, the town can achieve the aspirations as set out in the Development Plan.
ILTP Ltd., were commissioned by the County Council to develop a traffic plan for the town and its environs.
The draft plan was completed in April 2006 and underwent an eight-week public consultation process. An open day was held on the 2nd May 2006. Extensive consultations were also held with key public and private stakeholders. As a result of this exercise a total of 24 submissions were received.
Following the public consultation exercise further consideration has been given to the emerging traffic proposals.
There is a general consensus that the following requirements are necessary and they will be addressed in a final plan i.e
(a) A comprehensive road hierarchy needs to be developed for the area and a coherent signage strategy, linked to this hierarchy, needs to be implemented.
(b) A management strategy for HGV’s is required.
(c) A number of junctions in the area need to be upgraded to improve their capacities
(d) Management of parking will be required together with improved enforcement of byelaws
(e) VMS signage, to direct drivers to car parks, should be provided at key locations
(f) SCATS needs to be introduced at selected junctions.
(g) Speed control measures need to be implemented.
There are however, other issues, which have also been raised and need to be addressed. These issues, which relate primarily to the town centre, are as follows:
(1) Rat running through residential areas.
(2) Pedestrian and Public Transport priority measures
(3) The level of passing traffic that should be accommodated in the town centre.
(4) The Business Environment in the town centre
There are diverging views on these issues. On the one hand we can argue that there should be improved priority for pedestrians and public transport. This may however, have an economic cost. There is a higher level of pedestrian and PT provision in Dún Laoghaire than Blackrock or other centres. Blackrock is however, a thriving retail centre, which Dún Laoghaire is not. There is a perception that the town centre is difficult to access by car.
Measures to discourage passing traffic in the town centre could in some ways be considered beneficial. However, it can also be argued that eliminating passing traffic could be detrimental to the retail trade and also removes an element of passive security on certain streets.
The current level of public transport priority provided on Georges Street Lower is very high. The disadvantage to this arrangement is that large buses travelling at relatively high speeds can be very intimidating to pedestrians. Again one could argue that if buses had to compete with other vehicles, overall speeds would be lower, to the benefit of pedestrians and the business environment.
Increasing pedestrian and public transport priority does improve the urban landscape on certain streets. It also diverts traffic onto other streets. If these other streets are through residential areas the environment for residents can be degraded. There can also be an increase in traffic congestion on alternative routes.
There is no clear-cut answer to these conflicting views. We have now developed two options for the town centre, which endeavour to deal with these issues. The two options are detailed in the appendices to this report with a summary of their respective advantages and disadvantages.
It is now proposed to submit these two options for the town centre to a further public consultation exercise. A one-month public consultation period will be allowed and two open periods will be made available, one in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening.
Following this public consultation exercise, the traffic management proposals and recommendations for the town centre and environs will be finalised. A prioritised work programme will be drawn up to implement the necessary measures subject to funds being available and any statutory consents being obtained
Director of Transportation
Enclosures: -Appendix A – Option 1 & Appendix B – Option 2
Appendix A – Option 1
This option significantly enhances the priority given to pedestrians and public transport in the town centre. The main components of this scheme are:
The current arrangements on Georges Street Lower will remain unchanged
These arrangements will be extended to the southern end of Marine Road
Park Road will be made two-way
Library Road will be closed just south of the existing roundabout
A localised one way system in the vicinity of Cross Avenue will be introduced
The advantages and disadvantages of this option are as follows:
1.Pedestrian Priority in the town centre is improved 2.Passing traffic in the town centre is reduced. This may enhance commercial activity. 3.It will improve facilities for public transport and journey times. 4.It will make rat running through residential areas more difficult 5.It will massively reduce traffic flows (by 89%) at junction 5
1.It will reduce the accessibility of the town centre by private car. 2.It requires that Park Road be made two way with a consequent loss of parking spaces, adjacent to the Peoples Park, both on Park Road and Queens Road. 3.It will increase average journey times in the town centre by 19% for private cars 4.It will increase traffic flows on peripheral routes and junctions i.e.: Junction 1+ 23% Junction 2+ 24% Junction 4+ 7% Junction 6+ 9% 1.It will increase congestion on peripheral routes at peak times 2.The reduction of traffic in the town centre removes the passive security provided by such traffic 3.The perceived increase in accessibility in the town centre could invite potential customers to take their business elsewhere 4.The intimidating effect of large buses, traveling at speed on a narrow shopping street, remains an issue 5.he increased traffic flows on Queens Road will worsen pedestrian access between the town centre and the harbour. Appendix B – Option 2
This option seeks to remove the perception of inaccessibility in the town centre. The main components of the scheme are:
The current arrangements on Georges Street Lower are discontinued and the street is opened to general traffic in the westbound direction. Library Road will be closed just south of the existing roundabout. A localised one way system in the vicinity of Cross Avenue will be introduced
The advantages and disadvantages of this option are as follows:
1.It will improve the accessibility of the town centre for private cars 2.It does not require that Park Road be made two way thus preserving existing amenity 3.It will not materially affect existing bus services but will effect a slowing down influence on buses travelling on Georges Street Lower 4.It will make rat running through residential areas more difficult 5.It will reduce traffic levels on Queens Road/Crofton Road. Thus improving pedestrian access between the town centre and the harbour 6.It will not add to existing traffic on peripheral routes and at junctions. 7.The additional traffic on Georges Street Lower provides enhanced passive security 8.The improved accessibility of the town centre by car may improve the business environment. 9.The increased traffic flows on Georges Street Lower (especially the through traffic component) will have a morning peak and this coincides with the time of lowest shopping demand
1.There will be increased through traffic in the town centre which will diminish pedestrian priority and amenity 2.Buses could be delayed on Georges Street Lower thus increasing public transport times 3.Traffic and pedestrians will be brought into closer contact on Georges Street Lower. A Safety Audit will be required and the recommendations implemented 4.Convent Road/Georges Street Lower/Sussex Street junction need to be signalised. 5.Designated pedestrian crossing facilities will be required 6.There will be an increase in noise levels on Georges Street Lower due to additional traffic on the cobbled street.
Mr. T. Loftus, Director of Transportation read the foregoing report and clarified a number of points during the presentation. A lengthy discussion followed during which the Members raised concerns in relation to the following: The status of previous reports presented to the Council in the context of this report:
The consideration of views expressed by the Members following previous reports
Accessibility problems due to sub-standard signage and directions to car parks
Change of direction of buses
Traffic problems at junctions
Impact on pedestrianisation
Consultation with Dublin Bus
Timeframe for implementation
Mr. T. Loftus replied that a number of the issues raised are dealt with in the report and the other issues would be examined prior to completing the final report.
Following some further discussion in relation to direction of travel of the buses on Upper and Lower George’s Street, it was agreed that a third option in relation to this item would be presented during the Public Consultation process.
The report was then noted and agreed.
UP-DATE: The Council has notified the public that consultation on the this Traffic Plan will begin, once again in August,