9 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’s Green 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, 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. Numbers had begun to increase again in September but they have decreased more recently.
However, during 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) was showing a steady recovery, however in recent weeks this has tailed off. Weekday passenger numbers are close to 50% of pre-COVID levels. Weekend passenger numbers declined after the initial announcement of the Level 3 restrictions in Dublin and have stayed down.
1.4 General Traffic Volumes
The trend shows a slight decrease in traffic volumes probably again due to the Level 3 restrictions.
Please note that these are the volumes up to 4 October 2020 and so will not pick up any decline due to the additional level 3 measures in surrounding counties.
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 Grafton Street has remained relatively static. The footfall counter on Henry St is currently being moved due to building works.
2.2 Protected Cycle Facilities, Contra-Flow Facilities, Cycle Parking and ‘Filtered Permeability’
Resurfacing works commenced on Constitution Hill on Monday 5 October 2020 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.
Inchicore cycle route
As part of the Government Stimulus Programme 2020 the red surfacing and bollards have been placed on the existing 2 way cycle facility on Inchicore Rd.
Strand Road Cycle Route Trial
A report on the public consultation and next steps has been circulated to Councilors and will be discussed at the SEAC meeting on 12 October. The report is also available on the consultation hub, https://consultation.dublincity.ie/traffic-and-transport/strand-road-trial-cycle-route/
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. Line markings were installed on part of the route this week.
Installation of the protection for the cycle track and additional sections will begin next week.
2.3 Urban Villages
The installation of two controlled pedestrian crossing (one near Borzas Takeaway on northern arm of Sandymount Green and one near Bennetts Auctioneers on the southern arm of Sandymount Green), one uncontrolled crossing (at the junction of Claremont Road and Sandymount Green) and a ramp on the eastern arm of Sandymount Green are planned for Sandymount Green. Tenders have been assessed and construction due to commence in late October 2020.
The installation of two uncontrolled crossings at the junction with Finglas Main St. and Jamestown Road and the upgrade of the footpath along Finglas Main St. from Mace to Iceland is planned for Finglas Village. Tenders are currently being assessed with construction due to commence in early November 2020.
2.4 School Mobility Programme
We have received 69 School Zone requests from primary level schools to date. 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.
School Zones are now implemented at the following schools:
Francis Street School, John Dillon Street, D8
Star of the Sea B.N.S., Leahy’s Terrace, Sandymount, D4
Canal Way Educate Together National School, Basin View, Dublin 8
Central Model School, Deverell Place, D1
Greenlanes National School, Seafield Avenue, Clontarf, D3
St. Peters National School, St. Peters Road, Phibsborough.
The following School Zones are due for completion in the next week:
St. Catherine’s National School, Donore Avenue, D8
Scoil Iosagain, Aughavannagh Road, Crumlin, D12
St Mary’s National School, Paradise Place, Phibsborough, D7
St Finian’s National School, Glenties Park, Finglas, D11
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.
2.5 Outdoor Areas/Business Liaison
The Business Liaison Team has been dealing with requests for interventions to facilitate street furniture (tables and chairs) and parklet applications across a variety of areas including the city centre, Sandymount, Cabra, Stoneybatter and Phibsborough. We have also been engaging with some schools as part of the Griffith Avenue Protected Cycle Track proposal.
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:
Strand Road Cycle Route Trial,https://consultation.dublincity.ie/traffic-and-transport/strand-road-trial-cycle-route/
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 be 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 29 new requests for COVID Mobility Measures. This brings the total number of COVID Mobility requests to 4,496. 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 beenimplemented;
- 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, Grangegorman, Markets, Montpelier, North Circular Road, North Strand, North Wall, Phibsborough, Planning, Quays, Rathdown Road, Smithfield, Stoneybatter, Transportation
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee