Freeflow Fairview 4 All
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On the 2nd October City Councillors voted to remove one lane of traffic from a two lane car carriageway between the junction of Malahide Road (Fairview Park) and the Pedestrian Footbridge a distance of 300 meters. This was carried out under what is known as a Part 8 : cycleway from Fairview to Amiens St and was first muted as far back as Nov 2013. A Part 8 proposal occurs when a local authority wishes to develop a plan and in order for them to get planning permission they must put their proposal out for public consultation and the matter is finally voted through by City Councillors. This cycleway proposal went out to public consultation earlier this year and I made an extensive joint submission with Finian McGrath TD along with another 191 members of the public. The main point in our own submission was that the cycleway be located just inside the perimeter fence of Fairview Park therefore providing a much needed cycleway into the city and allowing the traffic lanes to remain in place as well as leaving the trees be. We are not traffic engineers and can accept arguments for segregated or one way cycle ways but what we cannot accept is that placing the cycleway inside the park wasn’t seriously considered and there is no mention of it in the Part 8 final report.
DCC management made two very significant decisions without any consultation with Councillors or the 192 members of the public who made a submission.
- At the beginning of September and as a result of Dublin City Council’s (DCC) correct decision not to fell trees and save local parking spaces for businesses, DCC management made a unilateral decision without consultation with Councillors to propose the removal of one traffic lane in their report. This decision was never discussed at any local area statutory meeting as is the custom and practice.
- Part 8 legislation requires that once a report is laid before Councillors (Sept Meeting) the report must be voted through within 6 weeks or it falls and the opportunity for the complete cycleway to Amien St would be gone. Again DCC management made a unilateral decision without consultation to start this 6 week time phase. This is very significant as once this 6 week clock commenced (gun to head) there was effectively no opportunity to realistically place the cycleway in the park without placing the whole Fairview to Amiens St Cycleway at risk as there is no evidence contained within DCC's report that they ever considered the park option seriously and it therefore not an option and off the table for Councillors.
At the subsequent October meeting the proposal was voted through with Councillors voting not even to allow a debate or discussion even though the traffic lane removal was never previous discussed by Councillors. The report that was laid before Councillors and signed by the CEO contained no mention of the ‘commuter cycleway inside the park option’ and in the traffic report there was little mention of the consequences of the removal of the car lane and I find these omissions extraordinary and in my opinion certainly question the integrity of the process. Also the 192 people who made a submission as part of the public consultation process were not given any opportunity to comment on what was a significant change.
Since then a number of Councillors including myself, Cllr Sean Paul Mahon, Cllr Tom Brabazon, Cllr Nial Ring and Cllr Mannix Flynn have joined together to try and stop this crazy solution. We have had a small success in that the CEO of DCC agreed not to sign any contracts until he had fully answered a series of questions we put to him. We believe that when DCC entered into public consultation they entered into a contract with the public and they have fallen far short of what we would expect.
Whatever about anything this matter needs to be rectified and I’m requesting your support for this petition please. Further action will follow if necessary including direct action.
Cllr Damian O'Farrell
Independent - Clontarf Ward
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