Dublin City Development Plan 2016-2022
Dublin Cycling Campaign (www.dublincycling.ie), member of Cyclist.ie and the European Cyclists’ Federation, welcomes the opportunity to contribute to the realisation of the new Dublin City Development Plan. We are a voluntary group of active citizens, committed to a ‘Living City’, as epitomised in our Vision Statement of ‘Dublin as a Vibrant Living City where people can safely enjoy cycling and walking.
2 Priority Issues
We note the 3 Priority issues as outlined in the Introduction to the new Development Plan as:
- Sustainable Neighbourhoods
And while we recognise the importance of these priorities, we suggest that the Plan must ultimately recognise and develop the involvement of its Citizens, its People. Dublin has long been recognised for the friendliness of its citizenry, and the warmth of its welcomes. While the DRAFT Plan outlines the variety of services and plans for its Citizenry, we suggest that an increased commitment to the involvement and participation of its Citizens must also be at the core of the new Development Plan, in order to draw up a fully inclusive Plan. The City Council must do more to be an ‘Open Council’, by ensuring that information is available on all issues of importance to our citizens. We must encourage citizens to get involved, and for that reason we suggest that Priority Issue 4 should be
- Citizen’s Participation – the wealth of knowledge and goodwill of Dublin’s people will be harnessed throughout the life of this Plan, to ensure that the ‘knowledge bank’ that exists within our citizens is actively and productively shared and utilised.
3 Shaping the City
We are broadly in agreement with the thrust of this chapter. It is essential that we utilise and develop our existing assets, and recognise the vitality and potential vitality of so many of our ‘neighbourhoods and villages’. The further development of our waterways and public spaces will serve to enhance the enjoyment of our city for its people. We particularly need to see more pedestrian, cycling, and public transport access bridges being constructed to enable greater mobility.
We would particularly urge the implementation of the ‘Public Realm Strategy’ in a concerted manner to ensure that it does not occur on a piecemeal basis, as has tended to happen. The City Council, with the support of its citizenry must be brave and imaginative in its approach, and seek what is in the long term interests of ALL its citizens and not just the vocal minorities. A particular recent example of this was the proposal for the Grafton Street Quarter, which would have favoured increased walking and cycling, and ultimately increased business in the area. It was radically adjusted due to opposition from some business quarters.
Our city has to be made into a living city which will be an attractive, safe, healthy and desirable place to live in and where inward investment will not be put off by congested streets, degrading air quality from transport emissions and poor journey times for public transport users relying on road-transport modes. A measure of a liveable city is one where the age ranges of ‘8-80’ can walk and cycle around the city centre and neighbourhoods in comfort, and where women and children out on bikes are a significant proportion of the traffic modes. Currently too many younger and older citizens do not feel safe enough to cycle in the city, as a result of poor public realm.
4 Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation
Nitrogen dioxide levels in Dublin are unacceptably high and we are just barely meeting our targets as set out by the EPA. Nitrogen Dioxide is known to irritate the lungs and lowers resistance to respiratory infection, especially for those already suffering with breathing difficulties e.g. asthma, bronchitis. Although technological advances continue to lead to lower NOx emissions from individual cars, this is offset by the recent increase in the number of the vehicles on the road. It is important to effectively manage our traffic in urban areas and curtail further growth in road traffic. Introducing more 30kph speed limit, and general vehicle restrictions will encourage greater levels of cycling, and increased mobility for pedestrians, and help to reduce NO2 emissions.
5 City & Regional Economy
After a period of recession, which has seen economic activity declining, and vacant lots increasing, we are now entering a potential growth period. We commend Dublin City Council on its initiatives in building employment and in particular on its work in developing the ‘digital’ industry. A significant number of cycling businesses have also been developed, both in terms of Bike businesses, and in tourism services. These need to be encouraged and supported to continue to develop the wider economy,
In developing our economy we must also ensure that measures are in place to avoid an increase in congestion so that the numbers of people commuting to employment and moving around the city in the course of business can travel freely and ideally in a sustainable manner.
6 Movement & Transport
Dublin Cycling Campaign is fully supportive of the National Transport Authority’s (NTA’s) draft transport strategy 2011-2030, and its proposed GDA Cycle Network. We are hopeful that the measures proposed to be implemented will be included within this development plan. These measures, if implemented, will have a profound positive impact on the City.
There is an emphasis in the GDA Cycle Network plan on Dublin’s waterways as they define the city. There are plans in the pipeline to develop Greenways and linear parks along various waterways. These projects should be delivered as soon as possible so that citizens and visitors alike can make the most of these wonderful assets, and realise the potential of our city.
We believe that the Development Plan must include provisions that will encourage walking, cycling and greater use of public transport and will lead to a modal shift in transport away from the private car. We agree generally with the approach in the issues paper, especially the recognition that: “A key challenge for the next plan is to achieve significant gains in public transport use and further increases in numbers walking and cycling” . To do this we must facilitate improved coordination between land-use and transportation facilities in order to achieve more sustainable development.
While under the Section on ‘Green Infrastructure, Landscape, Open Space & Recreation’ there is reference to facilities for sport and recreation Dublin Cycling Campaign urges that the Development plan explicitly refers to the value of daily commuting by walking and cycling. This is a primary means to support a healthier population, and thus a more economically active population. The values of increased individual mobility through walking and cycling on a daily basis must be stressed and encouraged. We attach for information some documentation on these issues, which recognises the value to society of this increased daily physical activity
We recommend the implementation of a city wide 30kph speed limit, with 50kph or other limits being the alternative. This will lead to increased cycling and walking. Alternatively increased emphasis on design and development of 30kph zones as recommended by current DTTAS guidelines in the ‘Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets’ (DMURS) and lower speed limits in residential estates, around schools, throughout the City Centre and in the urban villages and other centres; In the UK lower speed limits (20mph) have been driven by community action – see http://www.20splentyforus.org.uk/
We would hope that the comment on page14 of the Issues paper, that ‘the design of new areas can also assist in minimising the need to travel by car’ will be realised. In turn we would also wish to see a clear statement in the Plan for improvements in permeability in existing areas to encourage walkers and cyclists. The extreme situation shown in the LINK below is an example of what can be achieved on a local level in many areas, by small interventions. https://www.google.ie/maps/dir/53.3739187,-6.2260366/53.3741843,-firstname.lastname@example.org,-6.2395277,15z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!4m1!3e2
Ensure that the appointment of a Dublin City Cycling & Pedestrian Officer takes place and is fully supported within the administration over the period of the Plan.
A real timeline for the development of a true ‘City Centre Plan’, must be laid out, and include a network of pedestrianized areas and safe and clear pedestrian linkages between South City and North City areas.
We welcome the issues paper’s commitment to improving residential densities, which can support greater use of public transport (and walking and cycling).
We fully support the challenge to keep suburban retail centres viable so that travelling to shops can be minimised, and ideally be done by walking or cycling
While some of the issues below may be seen as micro issues, we suggest it is important to emphasise the effect they could have on greater use of sustainable transport, and the safety of our citizens
- improved orbital routes for public transport;
- more favourable sequencing and reduced cycle times at traffic lights for cyclists and pedestrians;
- Greater permeability for cyclists and pedestrians through residential estates
- Increasing uptake of An Taisce Green Schools travel programme by actively supporting cycle training and walking to school in Dublin City
- All users of the City Centre should share the space effectively. Traffic calming helps to get the message across all users, including motorists, that the space is shared with others
- Existing car parking provision must be examined, and ideally curtailed.
- To improve cycling provision and use of public transport the time limits for bus lanes must be extended considerably, including night times and weekends.
- Retrofitting existing junctions and streetscapes urgently to accommodate greater and safer pedestrian and cycle usage
- Remove advisory cycle lanes from bus lanes and put large cycle logos in the space
- Cycle Parking for both on street and secure
- Plans for implementing the GDA Cycle Network
- Review taxi use of bus lanes given that the numbers of cyclists and taxis are the biggest increasing users of this space
- Review requirements for taxi drivers to undergo a driving ‘certificate of Professional Competence’ (CPC). At present taxis are the most dangerous vehicles on the road in relation to the safety of cyclist, particularly at night.
- New Bike Parking facilities must be secure because theft is a big disincentive for potential cyclists. There’s room for experimentation and to try designs that have worked in other cities of similar size. There is a particular need for secure bicycle parking at all DART stations, Luas stops, key bus stops, stops on the proposed Bus Rapid Transport (BRT), and at all desirable destinations – Theatres, Shopping Centres, Cinemas etc.
- Mobility management plans should be obligatory for all new businesses, and ideally be retrofitted to existing businesses.
- Dublin City Council needs to be more proactive in engaging with communities, businesses, schools, hospitals and other agencies etc., to promote more walking, cycling and public transport use. The role of Cycling and Pedestrian Officer could support this initiative.
- Look at traffic flows into, out of, and in car parks to make them safer for pedestrians and cyclists;
- There needs to be greater provision for park-and-ride
- Promote the use of cleaner, more environmentally-friendly vehicles?
- Implement large cycle logo painted in repeated locations similar to how BUS LANA is repeated. This is noted in the National Cycle Manual and has not been implemented for some reason.
- Remove advisory cycle lanes from bus lanes and replace them with large cycle logos in the space
Help us do more for cycling in Dublin by becoming a member!