Thursday, 21 February 2019

Questions (82)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

82. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 185 of 10 July 2018, the date on which works will commence on the changeover; the details of the recommendations of the report; the progress made on implementing same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8870/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Given the comprehensive nature of this report and the significant engineering options presented, the Office of Public Works is considering the recommendations regarding the cycle and pedestrian paths along Chesterfield Avenue in the context of the Phoenix Park’s historic structure and natural amenities. It is important that regard is had to the wishes and requirements of all users of the Phoenix Park and that decisions taken are consistent with the Phoenix Park Conservation Management Plan. It is hoped that this analysis will not take too long.

The report recommended six concept options, a brief outline of which are as follows:

Option 1:

The existing carriageway would be narrowed to two 3m wide lanes, to slow vehicles down. A 2m wide raised cycle lane would be introduced on either side of the carriageway. 1.8m (minimum) - 4m wide (max) footpaths would be constructed for maximum pedestrian comfort. Existing gas lamps locations would be retained and incorporated into the proposed footpath. Existing parking would be removed (approximately 1245 spaces). Estimated cost, €5.4M.

Option 2:

The existing carriageway would be narrowed to two 3m wide lanes, to slow vehicles down. A 2m cycle track would be introduced either side of the carriageway protected by a 0.25m concrete buffer. 1.8m (minimum) - 4m wide (max) footpaths would be constructed for maximum pedestrian comfort; the footpath could be shared to accommodate leisure and inexperienced cyclists. Existing gas lamps locations would be retained and incorporated into the proposed footpath. Existing parking would be removed. Estimated cost, €5.4M.

Option 3:

The existing carriageway would be narrowed to two 3m wide lanes, to slow vehicles down. 4m wide raised verge would be introduced either side of the carriageway. A 2m wide footpath and a 2m cycle track would be constructed side by side on top of the sloped verge on both sides of the carriageway. Existing gas lamps locations would be retained and incorporated into the existing verge. Existing parking would beretained. Estimated cost, €3M.

Option 4:

The existing carriageway would be narrowed to two 3m wide lanes, to slow vehicles down. Parking areas would remain in place either side of the carriageway. A 1.8m (minimum) - 3m (maximum) footpath would be constructed on one side of the carriageway; the footpath could be shared to accommodate leisure and inexperienced cyclists. A 3m wide two-way cycle track would be constructed on the other side. Both thepedestrian and cycle facilities would be protected by a sloped verge.Existing gas lamps locations would be retained and incorporated into the existing verge. Existing parking would be retained. Estimated cost, €1.45M.

Option 5:

The existing carriageway would be narrowed to two 3m wide lanes. A 1.8m (minimum) - 4m (maximum) footpath would be constructed on both sides of the carriageway. A 2m wide raised cycle lane would be introduced on either side of the carriageway. Pedestrian facilities would be protected by a sloped verge. The pedestrian facilities would be protected by a sloped verge. Existing parking would be removed.Existing gas lamps locations would be retained and incorporated into the proposed verge. Estimated cost, €5.4M.

Option 6:

The existing carriageway would be narrowed to two 3m wide lanes. A 2.4m wide parking strip would be included on one side of the carriageway. A 3m wide two-way cycle track would be introduced on the opposite side of the carriageway to the parking. Two 1.8m (minimum) - 4m (maximum) wide footpaths would be constructed on either side of thecarriageway; the footpath could be shared to accommodate leisure and inexperienced cyclists. The pedestrian facilities would be protected by a sloped verge, which could comprise a permeable pavement on theparking side. Existing gas lamps locations would be retained and incorporated into the proposed verge. Estimated cost, €6M.

Given the recommendations, significant impact on the parks infrastructure, users of the park and the substantial costs involved, OPW is considering viable options to ensure the safety of all park users. In the interim, road marking will be improved along the cycle lane and the route is regularly patrolled by the Park rangers.