The KN Group on behalf of Dublin City Council are working on the construction of the ‘build-outs’ as part of the Oxmantown Road Traffic Scheme.
These works are a result of an initiative I undertook with the Transportation Department of Dublin City Council along with Oxmantown Road residents to create a safer environment for those living on the street. The initiative started with the undertaking of traffic speed surveys which highlighted the average traffic speed far exceeded the 30km/hr limit for the street.
In early 2019, I started a consultation with householders to get their feedback and ideas as to the measures the Council should implement to slow down vehicular traffic and improve the environment on the street for kids, elderly residents, other pedestrians and cyclists. In February, I distributed a consultative leaflet and carried out a follow-up canvass to talk with people about the suggestion of build-outs, the possibility of bike hangers, electric car charging points, etc.
After meeting engineers on Oxmantown Road in late March, I circulated further details of how the build-outs might look and the general location of where they would be placed.
Finally, in late November last year, I circulated a further update detailing the nature of the works that are now taking place as well as the locating of planters along Oxmantown Road. Some concerns were raised that there could be an increase in emissions from vehicles having to stop or slow down due to the build-outs. The City Council reassured me by sharing with me research by the Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE) of the University of Surrey, and iSCAPE partner, summarises best practice regarding GI implementation for improved urban air quality and reduced pedestrian exposure to air pollution. This research has “not only produced unique evidence and support for our advocacy to install hedges and other forms of green infrastructure along busy roadsides to protect schools, playgrounds and pedestrians/cyclists from air pollution exposure; it has also provided a clear indication that evergreen species should be favoured for barriers against air pollution to exploit their year-round performance.”
Furthermore, the Parks Department proposed to under plant the tree pits on Oxmantown Road with hedging to absorb the particulate matter emitted from cars, protecting pedestrians as they walk by. This planting will help ensure that air pollution created by road traffic is captured through the vegetation which acts as a barrier between emissions from vehicles and other road users like pedestrians or cyclists. This is done, I understand, by collecting pollutants on leaves or by the redirecting the flow of polluted air.
During last May’s Local Elections, I campaigned on a platform that sought to improve the environment for those of who live in or near the City Centre. I wanted to ensure that improvements like this on Oxmantown Road be delivered so that the street is safer to live on, safer for kids to enjoy, safer for our elderly and vulnerable neighbours to be out and about, safer from the speeding car or motorbike. Just safer all round. I believe these works will do that and by making a success of this project, I hope that we can make other streets in Stoneybatter and across the North Inner City even safer.
Nonetheless, if you have any further questions or queries about this project, please get in touch with me at RayMcAdam@gmail.com.
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee