Implementation of the COVID Mobility Programme for the City Council area continues with a continued emphasis on schools and safe zones. The recent restrictions emphasise the need to continue to respond to this health crisis with a range of appropriate interventions.
1.1 Pedestrian Volumes
The footfall counters 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.
Comparing the monthly totals of 2019 to 2020 it can be seen that footfall levels have been pretty steady over the summer, dropping slightly in September.
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.
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) 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
Since the introduction of level 3 restrictions in Dublin, there has been a clear drop in outbound traffic volumes. Changes to inbound traffic volumes are not as obvious.
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 footfall has remained relatively static. (The gap in data for Henry St was due to building works obstructing the counter.)
2.2 Protected Cycle Facilities, Contra-Flow Facilities, Cycle Parking and ‘Filtered Permeability’
Early start for cyclists
New signals giving cyclists an early start ahead of vehicular traffic have been installed on Thomas Street at Bridgefoot Street and Francis Street. A wraparound pedestrian phase has also been added at both sites.
Interim Fitzwilliam Cycle Way
New road markings were installed on Merrion Square East as part of the Interim Fitzwilliam Cycle Way.
Strand Road Cycle Route Trial
During the consultation we received almost 3,000 submissions. After the consultation ended on 5 October we received an Alternative Proposal to provide cycle facilities on Strand Road from the STC Community Group. As part of its ongoing engagement with interested groups DCC officials met with this Group on 9 October. At the South East Area Committee meeting on 12October it was agreed that we would assess the STC alternative proposal.
Due to the level of interest in the proposal and with the consent of the STC Community Group the alternative proposal is being made available to the public on the Consultation Hub. The DCC assessment report will also be made available once complete.
Griffith Avenue Cycle Route
An information leaflet giving an overview, key design features and progress of the Griffith Avenue Cycle Track was delivered to residents and businesses along Griffith Ave between St Mobhi Road and the Malahide Road this week. Information on the scheme plus drawings remain on the Consultation Hub. Please note that the bollards are intended to be temporary to initially protect the scheme, with a more suitable longer term protection being installed once the scheme has bedded in.
Grangegorman Filtered Permeability Trial
At the September 2020 Central Area Committee meeting, the Elected Members agreed that the trial should be extended until 31 January 2021. A letter drop has been carried out to all residents and businesses in the area inviting feedback on the trial. Details have also been placed on the Consultation Hub.
All submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title ‘Grangegorman Trial Feedback’ preferably in the subject box. Alternatively, feedback can also be submitted via post to the COVID Mobility Team, Block 2, Floor 7, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8, Ireland, D08 RF3F.
Batch 13: A total of 294 stands have been installed. All installations are now complete.
Batch 14: 169 stands have been installed, installations are ongoing.
Batch 15: 24 stands have been installed, installations are ongoing.
Batch 16: Tenders are currently being assessed. It is expected that the installations will commence at the start of November 2020.
Batch 17: Design work is ongoing. Due to go to tender in January 2021.
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 being installed this week at
- 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
Designs are currently being finalised for the following four Schools:
- St. Audoens National School, Cook St., D8
- Bunscoil Sancta Maria (ERST) Primary School National School, Synge St., D8
- Scoil Bharra, Fassaugh Avenue, Cabra, D7
- St. Vincents Boys & Girls National School, North William Street, D1
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:
Grangegorman Filtered Permeability Trial, https://consultation.dublincity.ie/traffic-and-transport/grangegorman-filtered-permeability-trial/
Strand Road Cycle Route Trial,https://consultation.dublincity.ie/traffic-and-transport/strand-road-trial-cycle-route/
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 257 new requests for COVID Mobility Measures. This brings the total number of COVID Mobility requests to 4,753. 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, Grangegorman, Markets, Montpelier, North Circular Road, North Strand, North Wall, Phibsborough, 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