Dublin City Council is pushing ahead with plans for a “Fitzwilliam Cycleway”, which would run between Leeson Street and Mount Street, just south-east from St Stephen’s Green, according to a council reply given to Fine Gael councillor Paddy Smyth last week.
These parking-protected cycle lanes would cost between €790,000 and €1.1 million, according to a 2016 feasibility study from engineering consultancy firm AECOM. Cyclists would be buffered from general traffic by rows of parked cars.
The council’s transport department invited tenders for the project, which was proposed by Fine Gael’s Smyth. The deadline was last Thursday.
The tender winner is expected to do a design study, project designs, apply for planning, supervise construction, and see the project through to completion, according to the reply.
The council didn’t break the rules in how it did its Part 8 for the Clontarf to Amiens Street cycle route, an independent local opinion says.
In November, independent Councillor Damian O’Farrell got councillors to vote for an independent legal opinion on how the council had done its public consultation (Part 8) for route. He wanted to know whether the council had followed the statutory process.
The proposed route, clontarf-cycle-route/">slowed by disagreements about one-way lanes, parking spaces, and saving trees, runs 2.7 km from Clontarf Road to Amiens Street in the city centre. The council sought public opinions about it in early 2017, and the plan was approved by councillors in October.
O’Farrell argued that a late design change last August should have been put to the public too. Councillors weren’t properly consulted on the changes, which would see the removal of part of a general traffic lane, he also said.
In particular, councillors of the local area committee, he said, were not provided with a report containing this late design change.
This, according to the legal opinion, “involved a departure from the process (…) of the council’s own non-statutory process for doing so.”
But there is no statutory requirement to provide a report in these circumstances to councillors, according to the legal opinion.
Whither the Liffey Cycle Route?
Consultants picked by the National Transport Authority’s (NTA’s) are reviewing options for the Liffey Cycle Route and should be done with the “preliminary assessment” by the end of June, says Dermot O’Gara, the NTA spokesperson.
Last September, the NTA pulled funding for the Liffey Cycle Route after councillors failed to settle on a final path for the lanes along the north quays.
The roadblocks had been multiple. Local residents said they were worried about traffic diversions. A new apartment building thwarted one route. Some cycling advocates objected to an off-the-quays diversion.
The NTA has a third party looking at the project and “will provide a preferred option for the Liffey Cycle Route”, said the spokesperson. “This will be presented for the consideration of Dublin City Council.” And “the authority intends to publish a final report in Q3 2018”.