This is my submission as part of the Sandymount Merrion to Blackrock Corridor project.
My name is Marie Baker and I am an elected councillor for the Blackrock electoral ward on Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. I have been a councillor for this area for 12 years and I live locally.
My observations in relation to this proposal are confined to the area within Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. Firstly I would like to make the point that I heard about this proposal from a constituent rather than from the NTA. I would have liked to have received a copy of the document produced directly from the NTA before the public consultation was announced.
I attended the two public consultation evenings held in the Tara Towers Hotel. Both were very busy evenings with high attendances. Those who attended engaged with the personnel present. The display of the maps was welcome as the maps contained in the document issued were too small and very difficult to read. I spoke to many of the people who attended both evenings. Many were shocked by elements of the proposal, in particular the changes to traffic flow around Seapoint Avenue.
The following are my observations in relation to the Sandymount Merrion to Blackrock Corridor project
- I believe it would be regrettable if the railing at Blackrock College had to be moved to facilitate a cycle lane. These railing are of historical importance.
- I welcome the inclusion of the suggestion that the pathway connecting Blackrock Park with the DART station in Blackrock would be widened. However this will require a compulsory purchase of some of the rear garden of the house known as Deepwell. No costing has been included for this.
- I could not find any mention of how the current dangerous situation of cyclists and pedestrians cutting across one another in front of the DART station in Blackrock is to be remedied. Cyclists descend downhill from Idrone Terrace/Bath Place as such a pace that it is very surprising that no serious incidents have occurred between pedestrians and cyclists as the pedestrians try to cross over to the station.
- The inclusion of a coastal pathway between Blackrock and Brighton Vale sounds lovely on paper, but it cuts right across private property at the rear of Maretimo Gardens East.
- The proposed changes to Seapoint Avenue are unworkable, impractical and will adversely affect all local residents.
- The proposed alternating one way system on Seapoint Avenue is crazy. Alma Road is not capable of taking the volume of traffic that would be forced up from Seapoint Avenue.
- Traffic trying to exit at the top of Alma Road unto Monkstown Road would be face with the difficulty of the steepness of the road combined with poor sight lines.
- Alma Road has traditionally been used by parents whose children attend Scoil Lorcáin as a drop off and collection point. Given the pedestrian laneway that exists between Alma and Eaton Square where the school is located, this is a much used route, not suited to a significant increase in traffic volumes.
- Seapoint Avenue residents who have no off street parking will be offered fewer parking spaces in the middle of the road. They would have to avoid cyclists coming from both directions.
- Seapoint Avenue is part of the N31 – a national primary road. How can a primary route be turned in to a two way cycle lane and a single carriage road running in two opposing directions along a section of Seapoint Avenue?
- The 29th Dublin Blackrock Scouts are based off Seapoint Avenue on Tobernea Terrace – a very narrow roadway. This group has been at this location for 61 years and caters for over 200 children each week. Given the narrowness of Tobernea Terrace, parents are encouraged to drop off their children on Seapoint Avenue. So currently they park or pull in, depending on the age of their child, along Seapoint Avenue on the side where the proposed two way cycle track is to be placed. If this proposal was implemented there would be no drop off zone available and given that there is currently no available parking on adjoining roads, parents would have no safe way of dropping of their child. This could lead to numbers dropping in the scout group and ultimately its demise.
- The scout group also rent out their den to other scouting groups from both Ireland and abroad. These groups would also have similar access issues. Sometimes these groups arrive by coach and there would be no possibility for parking a coach anywhere nearby.
- Residents exiting onto Seapoint Avenue from Tobernea Terrace, Ardenza Park and Ardenza Terrace would face a difficult crossing point over the two way cycle track in order to enter the driving lane
- Traffic patterns in the area may cause additional movement of vehicles through Belgrave Square and Belgrave Place. These streets are part of an Architectural Conservation Area. This beautiful square could potentially become a rat run between Seapoint Avenue and Monkstown Road.
- Belgrave Place is very narrow and I believe that serious safety concerns would be raised if more traffic was forced through this street.
- Seapoint Avenue is used by coach traffic accessing the port of Dun Laoghaire where cruise ships are berthed.
- The enjoyment of many who use Seapoint Avenue to drive the coastal route between Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire would be destroyed by the proposal.
- Monkstown Avenue would not be able to cope with all the additional traffic movements if this proposal were to go ahead.
- Cyclists coming from Dun Laoghaire would have to cut across the traffic flow from Dun Laoghaire to enter the cycle track on Seapoint Avenue which would not be safe.
- No traffic management plan has been included in the documents put on public display.
I believe that the proposed changes to traffic on Seapoint Avenue would be detrimental to the lives of those living in the immediate area and for this reason I request that this proposal be abandoned.