I spent Monday morning, in East Wall, examining the potential consequences of the suggestions made by the City Council’s Transportation Department with regards the tackling of traffic congestion, rat-running, illegal parking in the area.
After much pestering by me on your behalf, the Council has now circulated to Councillors a proposed roadmap for the delivery of tackling these problems. Engineers visited East Wall in recent weeks to assess the situation further prior to circulating their update to Councillors.
Essentially what they are now proposing is the implementation of Pay & Display and Permit Parking across East Wall. Beyond that, they suggest preparing a plan to tackle rat-running once the pay and display has been implemented. It is essential to note, however, that pay & display and permit parking can only be introduced following a vote of households on individual streets.
Finally, the Council suggest that build-outs, the planting of trees, installation of ramps and the introduction of filtered schemes at particular locations could be rolled out. They are examining the Abercorn Road area as an example of where such a scheme would be implemented.
Before moving forward with any measure, I want to hear from you. I have posted below details of what Councillors received from the Transportation Department at the weekend. Tell me what you think of what’s proposed and let me know what you would like to see included in the East Wall traffic plan. Email me your ideas to RayMcAdam@gmail.com and let’s ensure we can develop a plan that’s effective but one that is community led. I look forward to hearing from you.
Finally, I can confirm that works as part of the East Wall Neighbourhood Transport Scheme are due to start on Ossory Road. These works will improve pedestrian facilities for those walking from East Wall towards the North Strand. I’ll update you when an exact start date has been confirmed.
East Wall Neighbourhood Traffic Scheme
As you are aware, a Neighbourhood Transport Scheme Preliminary Phase 3 report for the East Wall Area was sent to all Central Area Councillors on the 17th February 2020. (https://dublincity.sharefile.eu/d-s6052ba13da864fdba3bdf1dcbd8fcea2). This report clearly identified the transport issues in the East Wall Area and outlined the potential solutions available to alleviate these issues. As proposed in this report, we also held a workshop in December 2020 to gather feedback on the Preliminary Phase 3 Report and for Councillors to advise which avenues they wish to pursue in terms of providing a solution to local residents and businesses.
As highlighted in this report, it is our view that uncontrolled free parking on all streets in the area is the primary issue which is resulting in commuters driving into the area to take advantage of free parking in close proximity to the city centre. This is leading to other issues such as congestion, lack of space for residential parking, illegal parking on footpaths and a perceived rat-running issue as commuters drive in search of a parking space. We believe that the introduction of Residential Pay & Display And Permit Parking Schemes on streets would offer the most effective solution to alleviate these issues.
The other issue identified is drivers rat-running through the area in order to avoid the nearby arterial streets (e.g. East Wall Road), which are heavily congested at peak times. Our recommended solution for this issue is Traffic Rerouting Measures such as Filtered Permeability Measures and Turning Restrictions. We believe that this solution would be most effective when implemented in tandem with the above residential parking schemes – otherwise it is likely that many commuters will still drive into the area for the purposes of free parking, albeit along a more circuitous route.
In early 2021, follow-up site visits were conducted to assess how the Covid-19 Pandemic may have impacted transport in the East Wall Area. During this assessment, it was observed that the transport issues described above seemed to have been alleviated by some extent, compared to the pre-Covid-19 situation. It appears that significantly fewer cars are driving into the area to avail of free parking which is freeing up parking spaces for residents and reducing congestion. This is likely as a result of people working from home, many of whom may continue to do so for the foreseeable future. However, the issue of illegal parking is still prevalent, with many cars observed to be parked in an illegal manner with two wheels on the footpath. Therefore, the current emphasis lies with formalising and controlling parking by implementing Residential Pay & Display And Permit Parking Schemes on streets in the East Wall Area.
Accordingly, we propose that the East Wall Neighbourhood Transport Scheme is delivered in the following two stages:
- Councillors seek the support of residents to implement Residential Pay & Display And Permit Parking Schemes on streets in the East Wall Area. If Councillors / Residents wish to pursue this solution, firstly we would require Councillors / Residents to generate a petition which seeks a vote on the introduction of a new P&D scheme with signatures from at least 25% of residents who live on each road. Following the receipt of the above, we will then commence design of detailed P&D maps for each street as they are received. The P&D maps will then be sent to ballot the residents of each street to gauge their support for the scheme. A majority vote will determine whether or not a particular P&D scheme gets implemented. In the case of East Wall it would not be possible to view the area as a whole in terms of running a ballot efficiently. It may be possible, if the roads are small to ballot two or three in one go to be determined by the Parking Policy and Enforcement unit.
- Following the introduction of Residential Pay & Display And Permit Parking Schemes, we will arrange a further workshop with councillors to determine which solution(s) to alleviate rat-running the councillors would like us to explore further. The Traffic Department will then engage with consultants to work with Councillors and ourselves to develop a plan. Following this workshop, and depending on the agreed solution(s), a consultation process with the residents of East Wall can then be carried out when detailed designs of the solution(s) have been developed.
- In tandem with the above, we would be happy to accept and review proposals from Councillors to introduce traffic calming measures such as build outs, trees, ramps or filtered permeability at specific locations, where Councillors believe residents would support the introduction of these measures. For instance, we reference the fact that Abercorn Road / Church Street East might be suitable for the implementation of a filtered permeability scheme if there was a clear desire from the residents for such a scheme.
Notwithstanding the above, improvement works as part of the East Wall Neighbourhood Transport Scheme, are due to commence on Ossory Road (near West Road) in Q2/Q3 2021 to improve pedestrian facilities for pedestrians travelling from East Wall towards North Strand Road and vice versa. Furthermore, a two way cycle lane is being considered, as part of the Covid Mobility Programme, along East Wall Road from Alfie Byrne Road to East Road. In addition, enhanced pedestrian safety will be examined as part of the scheme, to upgrade the crossing at East Road / East Wall road to a full toucan crossing. This project is currently at preliminary design stage and the project team is ascertaining the feasibility of installing a temporary scheme.
Neighbourhood Engineer (North City)
Parking Policy & Enforcement Section
Fine Gael Councillor - North Inner City
Leader, Fine Gael, Dublin City Council
Chair, Urban Form & Planning Strategic Policy Committee