CLONTARF TO CITY CENTRE CYCLE ROUTE – UPDATE
Further to my newsletter earlier this year detailing the main features of the planning application advanced by the Transportation Department of Dublin City Council for the construction of a dedicated cycle route between Clontarf and the City Centre along the North Strand Road, I want to update you further on the proposal. 192 submissions were made during the public consultation that took place earlier this year and the majority of those observations focused on the loss of car parking, loss of trees, traffic congestion, shared space between bus stops and the cycle route as well as the need to improve the public lighting and enhance CCTV along the route. Transportation officials made a presentation to myself and other local Councillors last month in advance of planning permission being sought at the September City Council meeting. That presentation included details of what is being proposed for the cycle route including:
• Removal of 44 car-parking spaces between Talbot Street and Annesley Bridge.
• Provision of segregated one way cycle tracks.
• Removal of 62 existing trees along the entire route.
• Planting of 162 new trees along the route.
As local Councillors, we recommended that the proposal not be approved pending a review of how the cycle route and bus stops could be better organised, the impact of the cycle route the North Strand in terms of traffic congestion and increased demand for parking on side streets which is already at a premium. Indeed, myself and some of my colleagues outlined our opposition to the removal of so many trees in Fairview Park. Despite the concerns of North Inner City Councillors, it is likely that Council officials will still planning approval for the Clontarf to City Centre Cycle route in September. The proposal, as currently constituted, will not be supported by me. I am happy to answer any questions or queries that you may have in respect of the proposed Clontarf to City Centre cycle route. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UPDATE ON REFURBISHMENT OF FITZGIBBON STREET GARDA STATION
Advancing the refurbishment of Fitzgibbon Street Garda Station is a key component of our Fine Gael Government’s response to the Mulvey Report, published earlier this year. Since February, I have been, as Chairman of the Dublin Central Policing District, liaising with local Minister, Paschal Donohoe T.D. and the Minister for Justice to ensure that Government plans are advanced as quickly as possible. Minister Donohoe as Public Expenditure Minister has been working with the Tánaiste and senior Gardaí to finalise the cost of the works involved and the nature of the works that will take place. Our local Minister, Paschal Donohoe T.D. has insisted that all preparatory works take place this year, including the design, tendering and procurement of a potential contractor. It is envisaged that a Part VIV planning application will be prepared later this year. When details are further available, either myself or Minister Donohoe will sure to share them with local residents.
ROAD SAFETY AUDIT OF NEWCOMEN BRIDGE TRAFFIC ARRANGEMENTS
Earlier this year, East Wall and North Strand residents contacted Minister Paschal Donohoe about their concern over the revised traffic management system at the junction of the North Strand Road with Ossory Road. The majority of the concerns focused on the narrowness of the entrance to Ossory Road and the closeness of waiting vehicles to the newly installed Traffic Lights. In response to these concerns, we requested that the City Council examine the revised traffic arrangements associated with the Newcomen Bridge Cycle Project. City Council Engineers confirmed that a Stage 3 Road Safety Audit will be undertaken on site to identify any potential safety hazards which may affect any type of road user and suggest measures to eliminate or mitigate those problems. A final report is expected to be provided at the September meeting of the North Inner City Area Committee, which I chair. Once that information is available to me, I will share those details with North Strand and East Wall residents.
FUTURE PLANS FOR READYMIX SITE
In recent weeks, I have received many questions and emails from North Strand residents enquiring as to what plans Dublin City Council has for the former Readymix Site which backs onto Leinster Avenue, Hope Avenue and some East Wall Road homes. In an effort to ascertain those plans, I have written to the Deputy Chief Executive of Dublin City Council requesting clarification on those plans and to provide any timelines, should the Council be considering the possible redevelopment of the site. Let me assure you that as soon as that information is available to me, I will make sure to share it with you.
ROYAL CANAL GREENWAY – PROGRESS REPORT
I have been continuing to follow up with City Council officials to ensure the planning permission approved by Councillors some months ago is implemented as quickly as possible. Important community engagement took along the proposed PHASE II of the project in the North Wall area took place last summer. Issues arising from that community consultation have been finalised and I believe Dublin City Council should now be proceeding to tender for the selection of a contractor. I can now confirm that the City Council has now commenced the tender process for the selection of a contractor for PHASE II, which takes in the area between Sheriff Street Upper and the North Strand Road. It is anticipated that a Contractor will be selected by end October 2017. The Contractor procurement is a two stage process but it is expected that the selected Contractor will commence works on site in November 2017. In terms of PHASE III, which relates to the stretch of the Royal Canal between the North Strand Road and the Phibsborough Road, tenders for the procurement of a Contractor were issued in May 2017. From speaking with the officials, I understand the procurement process for this project will be shorter. It is anticipated that the Contractor will be appointed this month with the intention of commencing works on site in September.
HALLOWEEN PREPARATIONS 2017
As Halloween approaches, the Public Domain Office of Dublin City Council will direct Litter Wardens to visitor tyre retail premises to ensure that tyres are properly disposed. Furthermore, litter wardens will seek to ensure that premises reduce waste tyre stock in. Litter wardens will also contact Market businesses regarding the storage of pallets within markets located across the North Inner City. Environmental Services officers will also monitor and inspect sites or properties that have ‘traditionally’ been used as storage areas for tyres and pallets. If you come across any materials for bonfires being stored nearby, please contact either myself or the Public Domain Officer at 1800 248 348 or email@example.com.
TACKLING THE SCOURGE OF DOG FOULING
The Dublin Central Area Office of Dublin City Council will shortly begin a pilot programme to help reduce the scourge of dog fouling across the North Inner City. Officials have identified two areas where the pilot programme will be targeted in. Dog dispensers and bins will be installed at the entrance to Fairview Park and Whitworth Road near to the Royal Canal way. City Council officials will monitor the dispensers to ensure their effectiveness. This will determine whether the pilot scheme becomes more widely used across the North Inner City by Dublin City Council.
GOVERNMENT REPAIR & LEASING SCHEME
Dublin City Council, in line with our Fine Gael Government’s Housing Action Plan has initiated the Repair & Leasing Scheme. The focus of the scheme is to deliver housing while maximising the use of existing built housing stock in the City. Dublin City Council is targeting owners with vacant housing units that require refurbishment works up to a maximum of €40,000, inclusive of VAT. The refurbishment works are to be carried out to bring the properties up to standard for rented accommodation. The capital investment cost required to refurbish the units will be offset against lease rental payments to the property owner. The City Council is advertising the scheme on http://www.dublincity.ie where you can find full details of the scheme and how interested parties can apply. If you require any further information, please email me or the Council directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMMUNITY BASED CCTV SCHEMES
Our Fine Gael-led Government recently announced details of a new grant aid scheme to assist local groups in establishing community-based CCTV systems. Under the scheme, eligible community groups can apply for up to 60% of the total capital cost of a proposed CCTV system, up to a maximum grant of €40,000. Upon approval of the grant, the applicant will receive an upfront payment of 50% of the grant with the balance to be paid when the system is fully operational. €1 million has been provided by the Government in Budget 2017 and it is planned that similar funding will be available across each of the next three years. Such community run schemes, when run in conjunction with a text alert scheme helps to give our communities an enhanced ability to be proactive about the prevention of crime locally. Further details of the scheme are available by contacting the Department of Justice at email@example.com.
SHOULD THE LOCAL PROPERTY TAX (LPT) BE CUT THIS YEAR?
Dublin City Councillors will meet on Tuesday 19th September next to determine whether the Local Property Tax (LPT) rate for Dubliners should be reduced. Since the last local election in 2014, Fine Gael Councillors have voted to reduce the rate of the LPT Dubliners have to pay be the maximum amount possible. This year, in preparation for the September 19th Council meeting, a public consultation is being held to allow Dubliners put forward their views as to whether they think the Local Property Tax (LPT) should be varied in Dublin city. Section 20 of the Finance (Local Property Tax) Act 2012 allows City Councillors to vary the LPT rate by plus or minus 15 per cent. The council must ask the public for their views on this and take these views into account before making a decision. Anyone wishing to take part in the public consultation process can take the user-friendly online survey from Monday 31st July to 4.30pm on Wednesday 30th August at the following https://consultation.dublincity.ie/. I would welcome hearing your views directly as well. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org during the consultation process but also until the Council meeting on September 19th next. Should City Councillors decide to vary the rate, Dublin City Council must inform the Department of the Housing, Community, Planning and Local Government and the Office of The Revenue Commissioners by 30th September 2017. Any variation which may be made would apply from 1st January 2018.
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee