Dún Laoghaire based Councillor, Cormac Devlin (FF) has welcomed the decision by the Council to re-open (for a 12 month trial period only) Georges Street, Dún Laoghaire to cars once again this week. The main street was closed off seven years ago in 2001 after it had been re-designed by the Council thus preventing cars from using the main thorough fair except for Dublin Bus and Emergency Vehicles.
“The main street was never fully for pedestrians only nor was it used fully used by public vehicles, such as buses either,” said Councillor Devlin who has for many years argued for taxi’s to be able to use the main street despite objections from Council Officials. At the October meeting of the Council, Councillor Devlin voted in favour of re-opening the main street to all vehicles on a 12-month basis.
“There are a number of local reasons for fully re-opening this street,” stated Devlin. The first reason is that ever since this main artery of infrastructure was choked off to public vehicles, all through traffic has been forced up onto smaller, narrow residential roads causing huge safety concerns for small children. The second was the fact that many pedestrians felt that the street was completely for pedestrians only and often nearly walked out in front of passing bus. The third reason was that at night the main street can be quiet and passive traffic will be good for bringing life back into the heart of the town said the Dún Laoghaire Councillor.
Acknowledging the Green Party’s objections to the re-opening of the road, Cllr. Devlin said “they have mistakenly informed people that this street was fully open to pedestrians but this was never the case. Also, unfortunately due to the road network around Dún Laoghaire, it is not seem feasible, although it would be desirable, to have a fully pedestrianised area like many other towns across Ireland and Europe. The reason for this is that St. Michaels hospital must be serviced by buses due to the aging population in the locality and the lake of alternatives roads to take the additional traffic caused by the closure of the main street” comment Devlin.
“Finally, the last remaining important item that the Council must now address is the dangerous paving/cobblestones on Georges Street. These cobbles are particularly dangerous for the elderly and need to be examined and made safe for pedestrians” concluded Cllr. Devlin.