Phoenix Park ‘cannot cope’ with traffic volumes, Minister says

0
189
Phoenix Park ‘cannot cope’ with traffic volumes, Minister says

Transportation and planning authorities must stop viewing Phoenix Park in Dublin “as an avenue to O’Connell Street,” said the Secretary of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW). The number of cars using the park has reached “saturation levels” with 10 million passing through each year, and it “cannot handle the traffic that is thrown in every day,” said Patrick O’Donovan. He spoke about the release of a plan to reduce commuter traffic, speeds and parking at Phoenix Park and encourage visitors to choose more sustainable travel options. Authorities involved in planning transportation routes into the city center cannot include Phoenix Park in their transportation solutions, he said. “I’m talking to the NTA [National Transport Authority]but also the parishes of the greater Leinster area, not only west Dublin but also south Meath and Kildare. You need to realize that the road that goes through the center of Phoenix Park is not a national main road. It is not a road that can be included in your traffic modeling. It has to be calculated. “Bus Corridors Mr. O’Donovan said he was concerned that proposed dedicated bus corridors could result in more commuter traffic moving to the park.” We are very aware that changes to the bus corridors will be in the not too distant future “He said.” Where should the traffic go? We are not working in a vacuum here, but we appeal to other bodies not to work in a vacuum either and to be aware of changes in their respective areas of responsibility that we are have a very fragile biosphere and environment that we have to protect. ” Last March, the OPW restricted car traffic in the park by closing most of the gates except Castleknock and Parkgate Street entrances to encourage compliance with the 2km Covid-19 travel restriction. Mr O’Donovan ordered the gates to reopen last July and said the park was a “drive through” for some commuters coming from Longford, Westmeath and Meath. Speaking to the Irish Times this week, he said it was just a statement. “I was just telling the reality that people still use the park for commuting. I didn’t say it was right or wrong, it was just a simple statement of fact, ”he said. “I’m not a Neanderthal.” However, he said that his own attitude towards the park had developed. “I was one of those people who parked for free on Chesterfield Avenue and went down to the Ashling Hotel and got a luas to go to Croke Park, but I’ve thought about it and I don’t do that anymore.” Parking lots on Chesterfield Avenue were removed during the first wave of pandemics last year to make more space for cyclists. This measure will be retained and the cones currently blocking the cars will be replaced by permanent structures. “Is it appropriate that Chesterfield Avenue, the entrance to the Áras An Uachtaráin presidential residence, is one of the longest parking lots in Dublin? As Minister for the OPW, I have to say that is not the case. ”Mr O’Donovan said that while urging other authorities not to direct traffic through the park, the OPW must be aware of the implications of the changes to the Parks could have on local communities. “We would like to have a situation where we don’t have cars in Phoenix Park, but I have to be very aware that what we do in the park can have ramifications for the urban villages around the park. You are our neighbors. I can’t lock the gates and throw our problems over the wall and let our neighbors take care of them. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar had submitted to the consultation process on the plans warning of the closure of gates and streets in the park. However, Mr O’Donovan said this did not affect his decision-making. “Absolutely not. Each submission was the same weight,” he said. “But when the gates were closed, people, often a lot of the elderly, were literally barricaded into their homes by parking in front of their doors.”

[ad_2]