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DCC Covid Mobility Report, September 25th.

25 September 2020


To the Lord Mayor and
Elected Members of the City Council


COVID-19 Mobility Measures Update

1. Introduction
Implementation of the COVID Mobility Programme for the City Council area continues with an emphasis now on schools following their re-opening. The recent move to Level 3 restrictions emphasises the need to continue to respond to this health crisis with a range of interventions.

1.1 Pedestrian Volumes

There are two data sources that the City Council monitors. Firstly, there are the footfall counters which count continuously and provide 24 hour data. These counters are located between Stephen’sGreen and Henry St. These show that the footfall in this core area had reached a high of around 60% of pre-COVID levels, although there has been a marked decrease, since Level 3 restrictions came in.

Secondly, pedestrian counts at 9 key cordon locations were carried out in May, June and July. These showed that the number commuting by foot in the morning peak was only at 20% of pre-COVID levels at the start of July. Further counts to assess how many pedestrians are commuting into the city centre commenced mid-August. The results show that pedestrian commuters had not increased at the end of August. There has been a slight increase in the first week of September with pedestrians at the highest level since before COVID but still only at 35% of pre-COVID numbers.

1.2 Cycling Volumes

Cycling volumes, which are continuously monitored by City Council’s counters located at Grove Road, North Strand Road, Charleville Mall and Guild Street, show overall cycling numbers at approximately 80% of pre-COVID numbers with this level holding steady since the start of June and beginning to increase again in September.

However, at the peak morning time, 7am to 10am, cycling numbers are at approx. 35% of pre-COVID levels. Comparing February to September of this year, to last year, we can see that themorning commuter cycling numbers remain significantly reduced although they have been climbing slowly since the start of September.

In contrast, the off peak cycling figures have exceeded the 2019 levels, most notably in the last few weeks.

1.3 Bus Passenger Numbers

The trend in bus passenger numbers (BAC and GAI) shows continuing gradual recovery. Weekday passenger numbers are close to 50% of pre-COVID levels with a stronger recovery in weekend numbers.

1.4 General Traffic Volumes

Traffic volumes are still flat and have not shown any growth over recent weeks even as schools returned. The early indications of volumes this week show a small drop in volumes probably due to the additional restrictions.

2. Implementation of Measures

2.1 Grafton Street Area – Weekend Pedestrian Friendly Trials

A report on the trials and lessons learned, as well as proposals for the future is being prepared. Footfall in both Henry Street and Grafton Street remains below pre-COVID levels but had been recovering steadily. Since the Level 3 restrictions commenced there has been a sharp drop in footfall figures on Henry Street but not Grafton Street.

One item highlighted by the trials was the need to improve the quality of road surface. Resurfacing works on Drury Street, South William Street and Dame Court are all scheduled over the coming weeks, as part of the Government stimulus package.

2.2 Temple Bar Area

Bollards have been installed around the Temple Bar area to protect the existing Pedestrian Zone. These are removed daily between 6am and 11am to allow access for deliveries.

2.3 Protected Cycle Facilities, Contra-Flow Facilities, Cycle Parking and ‘Filtered Permeability’

The Pigeon House Road filtered permeability measures continue to be monitored by City Council staff. All feedback on this trial should be sent to covidmobility@dublincity.ie with ‘Pigeon House Road’ in the subject bar. A report on the trial will be presented to the South East Area Committee in October.

A preliminary design is complete for two pedestrian crossings at the Mountjoy/Gardiner Streetjunction and are now on the DCC Consultation Hub.  For further information including drawings, please visit: https://consultation.dublincity.ie/traffic-and-transport/pedestrian-crossing-at-mountjoy-square/

Constitution Hill will be resurfaced by Road Maintenance over the coming weeks and once completed protected cycle tracks with extruded kerbs will be put in place along both sides withthe road layout adjusted accordingly.

The Government stimulus package is funding a number of road resurfacing contracts and work is on-going to design new road layouts, including protected cycle-ways where appropriate, once the resurfacing works are complete.

Works have been carried out to the section of the Harold’s Cross route northbound at Leonard’s Corner. The cycle lane is now protected and the parking has been relocated outside the cycle lane.

Seventy-seven cycle stands have now been installed in Batch 14.  For full list of locations, please see Appendix 1.

Bollards have been installed along Tyrconnell Road in Inchicore to prevent illegal parking and to aid social distancing.

Strand Road Trial Rapid Deployment Cycle Route

A report is currently being prepared on the consultation for the South East Area Committee on the 12 October. The design for the link between Merrion Gates and the border with DLRCC is progressed and when finished will be placed on the Consultation Hub.

Works at Sandymount Green including the installation of two controlled pedestrian crossings, one uncontrolled crossing and a ramp have gone out to tender. Finglas Village works for the installation of two uncontrolled crossings and the upgrade of the footpath have also gone out to tender. It is hoped that work will start on both of these schemes in late October/early November. 

Griffith Avenue Cycle Route

The final design of the next phase of this scheme is now on the Consultation Hub, following a period of consultation and some modifications in response to submissions. This section from MobhiRoad to Walnut Rise will be installed over the next two weeks and the next section up to Drumcondra Road will shortly be available on the Consultation Hub for comment. 

Pedestrian Crossings Contactless Technology

DCC has been trialing contactless pedestrian buttons at a number of locations in the city and as these have proved successful and the project has now moved to wider deployment. The aim of the project is to both modify existing buttons and install new ones to have contactless technology such that the button itself does not need to be pushed but rather the user can just hold their hand in front of it.

It should be noted that all the features of the button which are provided for audible and visually impaired users are still as before. The aim of this technology is to ensure that the only users touching the button are those users who need the additional facility. The roll out of the button is accompanied by a distinctive label above them so users can quickly identify which do not need pressing. The roll out across the city is funded under the Government stimulus package.

2.4 School Mobility Programme

We have received 59 School Zone requests from primary level schools.  The COVID Mobility Technical Team are assessing all submissions for suitability and schools will be contacted with timelines, if it is deemed an appropriate intervention at that location. The Team is also engaging with a number of schools to support the establishment of cycle buses. 

Dublin 7 Educate Together has reported an increase in the number of students cycling to school as a result of the filtered permeability trial ongoing on Grangegorman.

We continue to update our webpage, Make the School Gate Safe, Tips and Resources, to assist schools in creating a safer school gate environment and to promote and increase active travel to school.

The following schools are the next to have the School Zone interventions designed and implemented. 

Southside

(1) Star of the Sea B.N.S., Leahys Terrace.

(2) Canal Way Educate Together National School, Basin View, Dublin 8.

Northside

(1) St. Peters National School, St. Peters Road, Phibsboro.

2) Green lanes National School – Seafield Avenue – Clontarf. 

We have scheduled a roll out of between 2 and 4 per week for school interventions from next month.

2.5 Outdoor Areas/Business Liaison

On Friday evening (18 September) Dublin City Council announced new measures to increase its support to businesses at this very difficult time. In relation to restaurants, cafes and pubs that serve food, seeking to utilise the public footpath, designated car parking spaces, and other areas of the public domain under the control of the City Council, requests will be accommodated for the duration of Level 3 restrictions subject to the following conditions:

• The business must have public liability insurance in the amount of €6.4m in place for the use of street furniture in the public realm, specifically indemnifying Dublin City Council.

• The business must take full responsibility for the health and safety of its patrons and of members of the public and have particular regard to residential amenity and to the rights of the mobility impaired and disabled.

• Gas heaters are not permitted.

• A minimum circulation space of 2 metres must be maintained clear of obstruction on the public footpath.

• The outside area must not extend beyond the frontage of the premises or impinge on another business premises without that business’s consent. The area must also be clearly barriered and delineated.

• In the case of a premises taking a car parking space and/or loading bay only one space/bay may be used and the consent of surrounding businesses, who use the loading bay should be sought. Parking spaces/loading bays cannot be used on high traffic volume roads or where speeds regularly exceed 30kmph without the prior approval of the City Council. Street furniture must not impinge on the public carriageway in any other way. Disabled parking spaces cannot be used.

• The preference is for businesses to work together to make these interventions. The City Council will provide support and expertise if requested.

In an effort to support businesses these measures can be implemented immediately. Application forms will need to be completed and submitted to Dublin City Council’s Street Furniture Licensing Section at http://www.dublincity.ie/main-menu-services-business/apply-street-furniture-licence . However, this can be done retrospectively. Upon inspection a premises may be asked to amend their arrangement in the interest of the public safety.

3. Communications

3.1 Website

The COVID Mobility webpage, www.dublincity.ie/COVID-19mobilityprogramme is being updated regularly to keep the general public informed of COVID-19 mobility interventions. As previously advised we will be making more extensive use of the DCC consultation hub also in order to provide more information on measures.

3.2 DCC Consultation Hub/Citizen Space

Details of schemes on the consultation hub at present include:

Parnell Square East Contraflow cycle lane, https://consultation.dublincity.ie/traffic-and-transport/parnell-square-east-contraflow/

Griffith Avenue, https://consultation.dublincity.ie/traffic-and-transport/griffith-avenue-protected-cycle-track/

Mountjoy/Gardiner Street junction, https://consultation.dublincity.ie/traffic-and-transport/pedestrian-crossing-at-mountjoy-square/

Each week we will alert Members to any new proposals which are available to view on the Consultation Hub and aim to have a more dynamic process for ensuring that support for projects, suggestions on how to improve them and concerns and issues which may need to addressed can be better handled. Any feedback on this approach is welcome.

3.3 Dedicated COVID-19 Mobility Measure Request Form

In the past week, we have received 654 new requests for COVID Mobility Measures. This brings the total number of COVID Mobility requests to 4,368. A breakdown of these requests is given below:

3.4 COVID-19 Mobility E-mail

The dedicated e-mail address continues as the primary channel to contact the COVID Mobility Team. It is attracting huge volumes of queries and feedback. The intention is that the e-mail is for general queries and the COVID-19 Mobility Request Form should be used for specific requests at specific locations.

3.5 Councillor Updates

Updates on COVID-19 mobility measures are issued on a weekly basis to Elected Members. Updates via e-mail are also being issued to stakeholders via the Transport SPC and the NTA accessibility network.

3.6 Active Travel Promotion

We are continuing to utilise Dublin City Council Social Media Channels:

• to highlight COVID-19 mobility measures that have been implemented;

• to encourage the public to walk or cycle, where possible;

• to encourage social distancing as people move around the city and

• to encourage more respect for vulnerable road users

We also continue to evolve our Active Travel Campaign in collaboration with key strategic partners (e.g. NTA Smarter Travel, Healthy Ireland, Green- Schools and third level institutions).

3.7 Bike Week

A series of cycling promotion posters are displayed on bus shelters and digi-panels around the city. 

DCC presented at a number of webinars organised by Dublin Cycling Campaign during Bike week. Topics included:- Cities for People in a Pandemic- The Best Years of your Life by Bike- Active Travel, Public Health and Resilience- Inclusion & Mobility’s- Executive Panel Discussion: The Future of Cycling in Dublin

All Webinars were recorded and can be viewed at 

https://www.dublincycling.com/bikeweek2020

Aoife Kelly, the Junior Bicycle Mayor, launched our virtual cycles social media campaign with her video on 8 reasons to cycle in Dublin which was shared on social media platforms. DCC is sharing video footage of the improvements that have been made to cycling infrastructure throughout the week. We are encouraging Councillors and members of the public to share their Bike Week cycles with us on social media by using the #virtualcycles hashtag.

The new Dublin Cycling Buddy App was launched this week.  You can download the app at either: 

the iOS App store here

the Android Play store here

Due to Covid restrictions DCC did not run any open public events this year for Bike Week, however, the Sport & Wellbeing Partnership ran a number of closed activities with groups that they work with locally. 

Owen P Keegan

Chief Executive

raymcadam View All

Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee

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