Residents of Sandymount in Dublin have developed a new proposal that they hope could end the controversy over Dublin City Council’s plans to turn the road space into a cycling route.
Members of the STC – Serpentine Ave, Tritonville and Claremont Roads – Residents Group examined the need for a bike path and came up with what they hope would be a solution: put the bike path above the planned coastal defenses.
The group is now asking the City Council and the National Transportation Authority to participate in its new proposal, titled 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 of Sandymount, Merrion Road, Ringsend and Irishtown.
Dublin City Council had initially planned to convert what is now a two-way stretch of Strand Road to the gates of Merrion into a single exit lane with the other lane used as a two-way cycle path. It would have meant that some residents looking to go downtown by car would have to go south, before returning to the city. Residents also feared the effect of the traffic restriction on roads in and around Sandymount village.
Local man Peter Carvill and local councilor Mannix Flynn have filed a lawsuit alleging the council’s plan should have a town planning license and an environmental impact assessment. They claimed that the council was wrong in claiming that the work was exempt from development because it was a traffic calming measure.
The new plan describes a long-term solution that involves an off-road cycling track combining it with planned flood protection works, as well as a new water network.
The new option would create a two-way, mostly segregated bike path.
The STC group said it designed the plan with the input of experts in the areas of architecture, flood risk engineering, traffic engineering, biodiversity engineering and computer-generated modeling.
Although more work on the details may be needed, residents said it was now the role of the council and not the local community to move the project to the planning application phase.
STC spokeswoman Audrey Hanley said the group wanted to “reiterate that our group is very supportive of cycling.” She said “the vast majority of local residents are committed active cyclists, who fully support a cycling track outside the type provided for in Sutton’s original proposal to Sandycove, which has existed for many years.
Our collective opposition to the road proposal proposed by Dublin City Council is based on the negative effects of the huge volume of displaced traffic and consequent pollution, in Sandymount and adjacent areas resulting from the closure of the northbound lane of Strand Road, ”she said.