Monday 20 November 2017

Footpaths may be used for city car park space

The National Transport Authority (NTA) is examining the widening of roads and narrowing of footpaths to increase parking capacity in Dublin.

Dublin city councillors on the South East Area Committee (SEAC), which looks at issues in places like Ringsend, Sandymount and Rathmines, met with officials from the NTA last Wednesday.

The focus of the meeting was "to get a pilot scheme for footpath parking," in the south east area of the city, according to an email between councillors and seen by the Herald.

The content of the meeting was summarised in another email, also seen by the paper.

The email raised concerns about what was described as a "white line" idea - which refers to marking out parking spaces in white lines on roads and footpaths where parking is very limited.

"The NTA reps (representatives) did and do have reservations about the white line idea but are prepared to look at this, look at the implications/cost of road widening/footpath narrowing," read the email between councillors.

The NTA then asked for six weeks to "undertake" the examination of the various possibilities before returning to the committee with their findings.

Green Party councillor Patrick Costello is a member of the south east area committee and he says that the parking shortage dilemma in Dublin needs to be addressed by Dublin City Council (DCC).

"The most fundamental issue with parking and traffic in Dublin is that Dublin City Council doesn't have the powers to roll out local solutions to local problems and are relying on national bodies," he said.

Mr Costello also pointed out the origin of the parking shortage.

"There are real problems that need to be addressed, most streets in the south east area were built before every family had a car, now lots of families have two cars and there just isn't the room in some places," he explained.


Mr Costello also argued that any changes need to be balanced between the needs of all road-users, including pedestrians and especially vulnerable pedestrians like those in wheelchairs.

The Irish Wheelchair Association (IWA), when asked by the Herald, about the possible changes, said they would welcome any improvements to the accessibility of pathways, but also referred to their best practice guidelines.

"The surface of the pathway should be level, smooth and slip-resistant, with no obstacles located within the circulation route," states the IWA guidelines.

The NTA, when asked about the proposals, declined to comment.


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