herald

Sunday 23 July 2017

'New 30kph speed limits will keep kids safer', say residents in go-slow zone

Ciaran Cuffe with a yet to be unveiled 30kmh sign
Ciaran Cuffe with a yet to be unveiled 30kmh sign

Dubliners are throwing their support behind new 'go slow' 30kmh speed limits which will be introduced for many areas from tomorrow.

Non-major roads in the Smithfield and Stoneybatter areas of the north city centre, and in areas surrounding Kilmainham and Dolphin's Barn on the southside are among those lined up for new limits.

However, AA spokesman Conor Faughnan said putting up new speed signs without altering the layout of some faster roads would only result in drivers breaking the new limits.

Dramatic

While quiet residential roads may not see much difference in motorist behaviour, people living and working along a busy section of North King Street said the new limit could have a dramatic effect.

"This road has always been a place where traffic has been absolutely flying past," said father-of-four Karl Dempsey (37), whose front door is just two metres away from vehicles whizzing along North King Street.

As he spoke, vehicles driving two abreast passed the family's home at speeds that appeared to exceed the 50kmh limit which will be cut to 30kmh tomorrow.

His mother, Breda Dempsey (73), who has lived in the family home for 39 years, said it was the right decision.

"The council is right. Traffic has always been speeding past our home and there are a lot of children living around here. Brunswick Street school is nearby," she said.

"I brought up six boys in this house and I used to walk into the middle of the road to stop the traffic to get the children across the street to school.

"It's about time something was done about the speeding."

Breda Dempsey with her sons Karl and Wayne and grandchildren Esme and Sean
Breda Dempsey with her sons Karl and Wayne and grandchildren Esme and Sean

Pharmacist Sylvia Wojtczak (37), who has a chemist shop on North King Street, said it was great news.

"Traffic passes so fast I worry about children leaving the shop," she said.

"I've also seen drug addicts walking across the street without looking so reducing the speed will make this area much safer."

Ciaran Cuffe, chairperson of Dublin City Council's transport committee, said a council survey had showed overwhelming support for slowing traffic in residential areas.

"Around 80pc of people want lower limits and calmer communities," he said.

"London, Rome and Edinburgh are among the cities doing the same thing.

Lowered

"The new limits in the city centre have lowered the numbers of road deaths among cyclists and pedestrians.

"I know gardai are stretched tackling gangland crime in the city so I hope all drivers will lead by good example.

"The new signs are costing around €300,000 but Dublin Fire Brigade will tell you a serious collision costs €1.5m."

Cindy Kinsella, who works in the Mascot grocery shop on Oxmantown Road, said she was delighted it would have a lower speed limit.

"It will make the area much safer for children and the elderly," she said.

"A little lad was knocked down near here recently and thankfully he survived.

"Oxmantown Road is not a major thoroughfare but there are a lot of children living around here."

Valerie Moore (65), of Linenhall Street, said the traffic could be "like a circus" in the area with drivers "acting like they're in bumper cars".

However, mother-of-one Karen Fleming (39), of Capel Street, said she feared little would change.

"A taxi passed me just now doing about 70kmh. I hope the limit works," she said.

The AA's Conor Faughnan said "sticking a new sign on a pole" was not enough.

"It will only undermine road safety if the council does not redesign roads with street furniture and chicanes to make drivers want to slow down," he said. "Otherwise, drivers will break the limits and watch out for gardai.

More areas will be changed to lower speed limits from May 31, including Sandymount, Drimnagh and Crumlin on the south side of the city, before extending to north Dublin and areas covering parts of Glasnevin and Cabra.

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