2 October 2020
To the Lord Mayor and Elected Members of the City Council
COVID-19 Mobility Measures Update
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 appropriate 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 now been a marked decrease especially since the Level 3 restrictions were imposed.
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.This had begun to increase again in September although has decreased again in the last week.
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 the morning 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, although again there has been a decline in the last week or so since Level 3 restrictions were imposed.
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. Although weekend passenger numbers declined after the initial announcement of the Level 3 restrictons in Dublin, there was a recovery last weekend.
1.4 General Traffic Volumes
The trend shows a slight decrease in traffic volumes probably again due to the Level 3 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 while Grafton Street has remained relatively static.
Additional Pedestrian Counters
Additional pedestrian footfall counters have been installed at a number of Canal cordon crossing points and are now operational. This will allow us to better analyse trends and see the impact of various measures and of different COVID restrictions. The locations are as follows;
- North Wall Quay
- Grand Canal
- Baggot Street
- Richmond Street
- Newcomen Bridge
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘Pigeon House Road’ in the subject bar. A report on the trial will be presented to the South East Area Committee in November.
Resurfacing works are due to commence on Constitution Hill on Monday 5 October and once complete a new road layout will be in place allowing cycle lanes either side of the road. These cycle lanes will have extruded kerb protection installed once all the resurfacing works are complete.
Strand Road Cycle Route Trial
A report on the public consultation and next steps is being finalised and will be discussed at the SEAC meeting on 12 October.
Griffith Avenue Cycle Route
The drawings for the section of the scheme between Walnut Rise and Drumcondra Road were published on the Consultation Hub on Monday 28 September. Pre-marking and preparation for installing the first section will commence shortly.
2.4 School Mobility Programme
We have received 65 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.
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.
Work on implementing School Zone interventions will take place in the following schools this week:
(1) Star of the Sea B.N.S., Leahy’s Terrace.
(2) Canal Way Educate Together National School, Basin View, Dublin 8.
(1) St. Peters National School, St. Peters Road, Phibsboro.
(2) Green lanes National School – Seafield Avenue – Clontarf.
We have scheduled a roll out of 4 schools per week for school interventions. Next week School Zones to be implemented are as follows:
St Mary’s Primary School,
St. Vincent’s Finglas
St Catherine’s National School, Donore Avenue
Scoil Iosagain, Crumlin.
2.5 Outdoor Areas/Business Liaison
The Business Liaison Team has been dealing with requests for interventions to facilitate ‘tables and chairs’, parklet applications and various other COVID mobility measures. We continue to work with the Street Furniture Unit as part of facilitating tables and chairs being placed by businesses in the public realm, including both paths and re-purposed carriageway.
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 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:
Mountjoy/Gardiner Street junction, https://consultation.dublincity.ie/traffic-and-transport/pedestrian-crossing-at-mountjoy-square/
The revised layout for Constitution Hill will shortly appear on the consultation hub for information.
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 99 new requests for COVID Mobility Measures. This brings the total number of COVID Mobility requests to 4,467. 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).
Owen P Keegan
Arbour Hill, Ballybough, Broadstone, Church Street, City Centre, Clonliffe Road, Constitution Hill, Drumcondra, Dublin City Council, East Wall, Fine Gael, Garda, Glasnevin, Grangegorman, Markets, Montpelier, North Circular Road, North Strand, North Wall, Phibsborough, Planning, Quays, Rathdown Road, Smithfield, Stoneybatter, Transportation
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee