Clár Soghluaisteachta Covid-19 Chathair Bhaile Átha Cliath
Rinne Covid-19 iompar inár gCathair a athrú ó bhonn. Tháinig laghdú 70% ar thrácht gluaisteán, tháinig laghdú 90% ar an úsáid a baineadh as seirbhísí bus na cathrach agus tháinig laghdú thart ar 97% ar an úsáid a baineadh as an iarnród fad a bhí na srianta ba mhó i bhfeidhm, nuair ba ghá do gach oibrí, seachas oibrithe bunriachtanacha, fanacht sa bhaile. D’imir leibhéil laghdaithe tráchta go leor tionchair dhearfacha - aer níos glaine, truailliú torainn níos lú agus méadú ar dhaoine a bhí ag siúl agus ag rothaíocht ina gcomharsanachtaí áitiúla san áireamh.
As restrictions are eased and workplaces, schools and shops begin to re-open, the levels of people travelling to and around Dublin City will gradually begin to rise. But the capacity of the public transport system will be reduced to about 20% of its normal levels. This is due to the need to ensure the physical separation of passengers. As social distancing requirements are likely to be with use for some time, we expect overall travel patterns, over the coming months, to be significantly different from those that existed pre-Covid.
What does this mean?
What this means is that less people will be travelling on public transport and more people will need to be accommodated on other modes. Consequently, there will be many more people cycling each day, there will be an increase in the number of people walking and more people will wish to travel by car.
What we are doing?
The programme initially looks at the links from the nearer urban villages to the city centre and within the city centre it looks at how a more pedestrian, cycling and public transport friendly centre can be set out. This is very much a “live” programme and over the next number of weeks, additional areas of the city and proposals will be added. The gradual reopening of the economy and society as set out by the Government strategy will present new challenges as it unfolds, so this must, of necessity, be a live programme, the implementation of which will be clearly evident on the ground across Dublin City over the coming months.
The goal of this programme, in essence, is to allow the city to function under the new arrangements arising from the Covid-19 public health emergency, both in terms of providing space for safe movement plus business activities, and in accommodating the changed transport patterns. At the heart of this progamme are the following high-level aims:
- To ensure safe access to and movement within Dublin City for all users;
- To provide sufficient movement capacity to cater for the changed travel patterns; and
- To support the economic recovery of the City and the region.
These high-level aims have been translated into transport-specific objectives as follows:
- To improve pedestrian safety through the provision of additional space for movement and enhanced pedestrian areas;
- To enable more people to cycle by providing safer cycling facilities;
- To provide additional space at many bus stops in order to facilitate social distancing while waiting;
- To accommodate a certain level of car use, calibrated with other transport needs, including possible additional parking provision on the periphery of the city core area; and
- To implement various bus route changes required to enable the roll-out of cycling and walking measures while still maintaining a strong public transport network
The measures developed in response to these objectives are being introduced to respond to a new and unprecedented emergency caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. They are being implemented on a temporary basis to respond to the urgent and immediate needs of the city. They will be reviewed periodically to assess their effectiveness and, because of their nature and type of implementation, can be modified as needed to respond to changing needs and requirements.
Priority is being given to identified routes into and locations within the city with the highest levels of walking and cycling. These include key commuter routes, the north and south quays, the “civic spine” from Parnell Square to Christchurch (extending to include Thomas Street and James’s Street), the Grand Canal, and a number of other key city centre streets, such as Winetavern Street, Tara Street and South William Street.
Please see below for further information on specific measures.
In order to create more space for pedestrians required to facilitate social distancing, it is proposed to expand pedestrian areas where possible, and to do so in a safe and clear manner. The priority locations for such measures will be in the city core and in the urban villages, where there is both a high pedestrian footfall and where footpath widths are constrained. Such temporary measures would require a review of the use of the existing road space adjacent to the footpath. For example, depending on the location, where there is queueing outside shops and cafés, pedestrian areas may be expanded into loading bays by using protective bollards
The Council is open to the idea, and willing to explore the potential of, increasing the number and extent of pedestrian areas in the city core. Options that may be considered include restricting deliveries to certain times at different locations. This may facilitate the pedestrianisation of some city streets, and free up some additional space for businesses to operate while complying with Covid-19 restriction requirements.
The Council will work with relevant stakeholder to develop a potential list of locations and options with the focus on facilitating businesses returning to commercial activity.
Pedestrian Signal Crossings and Waiting Times
In order to reduce the time that people are waiting for pedestrian crossings to turn green, the maximum amount of time allocated to a complete traffic cycle, (allowing all movements in the junction operate, if demanded) has been reduced from 120 seconds to 80 seconds throughout the city. As the amount of time for the pedestrian green and amber man is based on the time taken to safely cross the road, and therefore remains the same, the additional time has been taken from that allocated to vehicles.
This has resulted in shorter green times at all junctions and an expected reduction in traffic capacity of up to 30%. As traffic volumes increase, following advancement through the different phases of the government roadmap for easing of restrictions, and while the requirement for social distancing remains in place, the cycle length will remain capped at 80 seconds. This will result in major reduction in capacity for motorised vehicles going forward. The impact of this on public transport journey times and reliability will also require careful monitoring.
In addition to reducing the wait times for all junctions, a number of pedestrian crossings in the city centre and key locations in urban villages have been set to automatically operate from 7am-7pm to reduce vehicular speed, to aid pedestrian movement and to minimise contact with signal push buttons.
It is of vital importance that the city centre is not used by through traffic which has no requirements to be in the city centre and which can use alternative routes. The orbital routing system, which was recently updated on street, will assist with this.
Consideration will be given to the location of bus stops on footpaths to ensure there is sufficient space for people to pass bus passengers waiting at the stops and, similarly, in relation to people in outdoor seating for restaurants/Cafés/Bar.
Temporary buildout platforms of various types have been pioneered in other cities and we will be also in the next number of weeks begin a pilot installation at a trial location. If this is successful, this technique will be considered in locations where there are high numbers of people queuing and the footpath is very narrow. In some cases bus stops may be temporarily suspended or moved if social distancing cannot be maintained.
To facilitate a much higher number of cyclists, it is proposed to provide safer cycling infrastructure through the implementation of protected cycle lanes. This may involve reusing existing road space by removing on-street parking and protecting that road space for cycling via protection bollards and other cyclist protection measures. An example of this is the recently reallocation of the North Quays on-street parking for a wider pedestrian area and a cycle lane.
Other locations may involve reducing the number of traffic lanes to accommodate protected cycling facilities on both sides of the road, while maintaining a balance for other required services in that area.
It is also intended to provide safe contra-flow cycle facilities on streets where demand for such movement has been identified.
Despite the suspension of the installation works due to lockdown, cycle parking design works have continued over the last few months. With the resumption of installation works and the easing of restrictions, we are targeting the installation of at least 1000 new stands this year. In addition, we will seek to install new cycle parking in key locations to compliment the overall Covid-19 mobility strategy.
Continuous Bus Lanes and Bus Priority Measures
As traffic volumes are expected to increase over the coming weeks and months, it is important, insofar as is practicable, to maintain the reliable and consistent bus journey times that have been experienced during the period of restrictions. Such measures would include the provision of contra-flow bus lanes, extending existing bus lanes to the stop line, providing early starts for buses at traffic signals and providing traffic signal priority for buses. In some locations, the provision of an additional bus lane to allow passing buses to overtake stopping buses without undue delay may be required.
Providing contra-flow bus lanes on selected approaches to the Quays will provide improved connectivity for cross-city bus services, while facilitating pedestrian and cycle measures in the core. One such proposal is to provide a southbound contra-flow bus lane on Winetavern Street, thus reducing the requirement for buses to travel into College Green and so reduce pressure on the pedestrian space in this area.
In line with other European cities consideration is been given to temporarily reducing vehicular speed limits on many of the routes to 30km per hour, in order to protect the larger numbers of pedestrians, cyclists and vulnerable road users moving around in these areas and on the road carriageway due to Covid-19 travel restrictions and social distancing requirements. This measure will require the consent of the elected Councillors and a proposal in this regard will be brought to them shortly.
In some locations, on-street car parking and loading bays may have to be removed or relocated to allow for greater provision for pedestrians. Where possible alternative delivery locations will be provided. The option of identifying specific delivery times off-peak for goods deliveries is also to be considered.
Off-street car parks
As people return to work, alternative locations for car parking may need to be identified. For example, allowances for driving partially into the periphery of the city, parking and completing the remainder of the journey by foot or by bicycle. While existing city centre car parks will remain accessible, alternatives to driving into the core of the city will be encouraged.
Working with retailers/businesses to optimise deliveries
The Covid-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions have understandably created numerous challenges for Dublin city’s retailers and businesses, and the City Council and the National Transport Authority are acutely aware of the needs of the city’s retailers, cafés, restaurants and bars, etc.
The overall aim of the proposed mobility measures is to enable the city to return to work, including enabling retail and leisure activities to restart and businesses to reopen, all in line with Government guidelines.
In order to achieve this, a reallocation of road space may be needed in a number of different areas to meet the new requirements to maintain social distancing and to enable the safe movement of people within the city. This may require flexibility and changes to how retailers and businesses operate their deliveries from what has been done before.
In some locations, on-street car parking and loading bays may have to be removed or relocated to allow for greater provision for pedestrians, etc. Where possible, alternative delivery locations will be provided. The option of identifying specific off-peak delivery times for goods deliveries is also to be considered. We may therefore need to look at different solutions and develop new ways to facilitate deliveries for retailers and businesses across the city.
In order to help businesses function within the Covid-19 restrictions, businesses may require space outside their premises either for waiting areas or some form of outdoor use. The Council is open to considering these requests where the existing space is adequate or where additional space can be provided, subject to the suitability of the location. Of necessity, these will be considered on a street by street basis as requests are made.
For all requests relating to deliveries or new outdoor seating, please email [email protected]
Alternatively, please complete the Covid-19 Mobility Measure Request Form.
Because of the urgent need to quickly introduce these measures to accommodate the revised travel patterns, the interventions have been identified and developed on an accelerated basis, largely based on desktop work, camera surveys and limited on-street visual analysis. Accordingly, the planned measures may have to be modified in advance of, or during, implementation to address site-specific issues and additional constraints that may be identified.
The 14 route maps detailing the interventions are included in the Appendix in the following sequence:
Rathmines – Richmond Street South – George’s Street – Dame Street
The Rathmines to Dame Street routes is the busiest artery on the southside of the city in terms of pedestrians and cyclists. In addition it has a large number of retail outlets, cafés and restaurants along its route.
Fairview – North Strand – Newcomen Bridge – Amiens Street – Beresford Place
This route collects all of the demand from the north-eastern suburbs of Dublin via the Clontarf Road, Howth Road and Malahide Road. It also contains Connolly Station and Busáras. The presence of two major national transport facilities here reinforces the requirement for an improved pedestrian environment.
Harold’s Cross – Clanbrassil Street – Dame Street
Harold’s Cross collects travel demand from a number of suburbs from the south and south west, as Kimmage Road Lower and Harold’s Cross Road converge close to the canal. Clanbrassil Street is a wide dual-carriageway further in with potential for road space reallocation.
Donnybrook – Leeson Street – College Green
This is a major arterial link for the city, taking in demand from Bray through multiple suburbs and connecting with the major trip attractor of UCD along the route. It feeds directly into the office core of the southeast city centre and the retail core at Grafton Street.
Drumcondra – Dorset Street – O’Connell Street
The Drumcondra route is an extremely busylink , taking in demand from major suburbs such as Swords and Santry. Drumcondra and Dorset Street comprise very important local centres with extensive economic activity along the routes.
Grand Canal Street – Pearse Street
This route is a vital link from the southside suburbs into Grand Canal Docks and onwards into the north Docklands. Both Grand Canal Dock and Pearse rail stations feed out onto this crossing point, requiring measures to cater for increased pedestrian and cycle movement.
Ranelagh – Charlemont Street
Ranelagh village is a major centre of activity and a significant generator of walking and cycling trips over the canal towards Charlemont street and onward towards Camden Street to the west, and the southeast office core to the east.
Baggot Street Lower – Merrion Row
This route is at the heart of the south city business district and contains a significant number of local retail outlets, cafés and restaurants catering for workers and residents in the area. It also connects the southeast retail core at St. Stephen’s Green directly to Ballsbridge.
Ballsbridge – Mount Street – College Green
Ballsbridge comprises an extension of the southeast business district and its connection to the city centre will be vital during this period. There is considerable office and local retail activity along this route and it contains the National Maternity Hospital and Merrion Square park.
Phibsborough – Church Street – North Quays
The Phibsborough route is an important one for bus movements from the northside of the city. It also carries a high number of cyclists and pedestrians into the city. It is highly constrained in terms of width in certain locations closer to the city centre.
Ballybough – Summerhill Parade
This link connects directly to O’Connell Street via Parnell Street, providing an alternative route for all modes to the much busier Amiens Streetlink, and as such carries a significant number of pedestrians and cyclists. This is a generally wide roadway, incorporating dual-carriageways in parts.
Docklands – North Wall Quay
Docklands is one of the most important generators and attractors of trips in the city and as the economy reactivates, it will be important to ensure that travel demand to and from this area can be accommodated.
Crumlin – Cork Street – Kevin Street – St. Stephen’s Green
Much of the demand from the southwest suburbs of Dublin converges onto the Crumlin Roadradial route. As it approaches the city, it picks up further significant demand from the inner city residential areas of Dublin 8.
The Grand Canal greenway runs from the Docklands as far as Portobello. From there westwards, there is no segregated provision for cyclists, despite the link catering for a significant number of cycle trips along its entire length.
We are also offering the following supports:
If you wish to make a request for specific measures to support the Interim Mobility Intervention Programme for Dublin City, please visit Covid Mobility Measure Request Form
For all other queries in relation to the Covid-19 Interim Mobility Intervention Programme for Dublin City, please email [email protected]