Bathing water identification

Six submissions were received from the public in relation to identifying bathing waters in Fingal. The Council evaluated all of them and decided none of the waters qualified. I had proposed Balscadden Beach and the Broadmeadow Estuary.

In it’s evaluation, Balscadden Beach scored 64 points with a score of 65 required to qualify. Friends of Balscadden Beach will be appealing this ruling.

In relation to Broadmeadow Estuary, there is apparently a legal flaw in the Directive. The evaluation advises:

“The Bathing Water Directive does not recognise inland or coastal waters used for recreational purposes other than contact bathing. Water sports such as surfing, kayaking, or other recreational uses do not in themselves provide reason for identification as ‘bathing water’ unless supported by evidence of bathing within its normal context such as paddling, swimming, or similar water contact.”

I checked with the European Commission who agree with this interpretation. Even if not technically a bathing water it is essential that water quality here is monitored to protect public health and I will follow up.

Design problems on Kilbarrack to Sutton coastal promenade

In May 2015 I proposed this motion:

“That the Chief Executive and Council remove all obstacles on the Coastal cycle route from Sutton to the Kilbarrack Road and bring forward a senstive design for providing lighting to the shadowed area of the cycle track and to remove the hazard posed by steps which cut into the track.”

Since then I have heard of collisions on the route due in particular to the lighting problem. Last month, April 2017, i raised the issue again:

Councillor D. Healy – Kilbarrack to Sutton Cycle Route. AI036623
“That the Chief Executive report on progress in relation to addressing the design flaws in the cycle route from Kilbarrack Road to Sutton including lighting, obstacles and steps as discussed at this Committee in May 2015 and October 2016.”

Report:
The cycletrack is due to be widened in the coming months by altering the lining. The bins will be moved out of the cycletrack and on to the footpath. The lining will be designed around the larger poles and the steps to guide bicycles around them.

Minute:
Following discussion Mr. Stephen Peppard, Senior Executive Officer agreed to have the potential issues around the lighting examined by the Public Lighting Section and that further discussions would take place with the Traffic Engineers regarding the steps.
If you have direct or indirect experience of the difficulties caused by the current design, please let me know.

Moyne River greenway; Hole in the Wall junction

The design for the Hole in the Wall junction proposal came before the Area Committee and full Council this month. See the details of the proposal and my submission for more information.

The significant change in the design is the provision for a wide underpass to facilitate a separate greenway along the Moyne River (linking eastwards to the route under the Red Arches which is being progressed with the Coastal cycleway and westwards to new neighbourhoods and schools in Belmayne as well as future developments in Belcamp.) The design is also being adjusted to ensure the streamflow is maintained and that wildlife can use the underpass to move along the river. These are very welcome changes.

In relation to the specific design of the junction, the indication was that the NTA were happy with the design as proposed. Nonetheless I think this would be a good location to trial a Dutch junction design and will continue to follow up.

Fingal County Council agrees to produce guidance on cyclists at roadworks

The issue of roadworks being carried out in a way that increases risks for cyclists is a recurring problem, often resulting from a failure of those carrying out the works to consider the needs and safety of cyclists. It’s not always done badly, and this article from Irishcycle.com gives examples of both good and bad practice.

I was aware of the draft guidance produced by Transport for London (but apparently not yet finally adopted) and I pointed to this in the preparation of the Plan. Unfortunately it wasn’t included in the draft plan.

At this evening’s meeting, the Council agreed to my motion to include the production of guidance for those planning and carrying out roadworks in the Road Safety Plan 2017-2020. (The text of the plan should be online soon at item 20 on this page.)

I hope that the fact that there’s already a draft by Transport for London might help Fingal to finalise guidance soon and that in turn other Irish local authorities might follow Fingal’s example.

Progress on link from Claremont Beach Promenade to Claremont Road

Subsequent to agreement at the Area Committee in 2015, the Council is now working on a design to link the promenade at Claremont Beach to Claremont Road, including renovating the public toilets at the beach.

This was the report to today’s meeting:

Howth Malahide Area Committee (Services A – Operational Matters)

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Councillor D. Healy – Fingal Coastal Way- Howth to Baldoyle. AI036624

“That the Chief Executive report on progress in relation to the following motion agreed at this Area Committee in April 2015:

“That the Chief Executive, as part of the Fingal Coastal Way, bring forward a plan for a pedestrian and cycle route from the West Pier along Claremont Beach promenade then by means of a boardwalk or other structure to join Claremont Road at the level crossing, continue along the right-of-way between the two sections of Claremont Road, follow Burrow Road to the level crossing and go down the right-of-way between Lauder’s Lane and also go behind Sutton railway station to link up with Baldoyle Promenade (thereby avoiding two level crossings), and that the possibilities for related improvements to the amenity of Claremont Beach including renovation/replacement of the public toilets provision of improved lifeguard facilities be included in this plan.”

Report:

Operations Department has employed a Consulting Engineering firm to carry out the following at Claremont Beach:

• A preliminary design and visualisation, with costs, for a boardwalk from the public toilet west, as far as Claremont Road.

• Outline design and costs for the foul water drainage of the public toilet. At present there is no foul drainage for the public toilet; tunnelling under the railway may be feasible.

• Advise on the rehabilitation of the public toilet (it is currently in a poor state of repair).

The Consulting Engineer’s Report is expected shortly and when to hand can be discussed with Committee members.

 

Arising from the report, the Committee agreed to my motion that the funding for this work be included in the Capital Programme.

Letter to Fingal County Council in relation to Dublin Airport Third Runway

The Austrian Federal Administrative Court recently rejected plans for a third runway at Vienna Airport because it would have a negative impact on greenhouse gas emissions and would be contrary to Austria’s international obligations to tackle climate change.

I wrote to Fingal County Council drawing their attention

a) to the conflict between building a third runway at Dublin Airport and Ireland’s climate change obligations, and the Council’s duties under the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act 2017; and

b) to the fact that Dublin Airport Authority are applying to extend a permission they are simultaneously trying to alter, which I and many local residents suffering and expected to suffer from nighttime noise from the airport consider to be acting in bad faith.

My letter and attachments 1  and 2.

aviation-climate-change

Clontarf to City Centre Cycle Route – contact Dublin City Council

Dublin City Council has published a proposal to redesign the cycle route from Clontarf to Amiens St. This is the main route to the city centre for residents of the Howth/Malahide ward. The previous time they did a redesign in this area for a quality bus corridor in 2006 they failed to design safely for cyclists. Unfortunately they have come up with another unsafe design.

My concerns are as follows:

BICYCLES AND BUSES SHOULD NOT BE MIXED.
This is the busiest arterial cycle route in Dublin, with over 1400 cyclists and over 200 buses crossing Newcomen bridge southwards in the morning peak. The proposed design means buses would continue to pull across the cycle lane to reach the bus stops. This is bad news for both cyclists and bus passengers. We believe the design should be suitable for cyclists of all ages and abilities. This means `island` bus stops.

FAIRVIEW’S STREET TREES SHOULD BE SAVED.

The proposed design involves the removal of all of the footpath trees in front of Fairview Park, over 50 mostly mature trees. There is plenty of space in Fairview for a good design without felling these valuable trees.
SPACE SHOULD BE TAKEN FROM THE ROAD NOT THE FOOTPATH.

Because of a decision to maintain multiple traffic lanes, space will be taken from footpaths for the design. This makes no sense when there is less space for cars in the City Centre and the official goal is to favour walking and cycling. The design should prioritise walking, cycling and public transport because these move the most people along the route.

JUNCTIONS MUST BE SAFE FOR WALKING AND CYCLING.

The design proposes some real improvements to junctions. However other pedestrian crossings and cycle facilities have been ruled out because the required traffic signal timings would reduce capacity for cars through the junctions. Designing for pedestrians’ and cyclists’ safety should be the first priority.

Further information on the proposal is here. If you agree with these points, please make your views known to Dublin City Council, Block 4, Floor 3, Civic Offices, Wood Quay, Dublin 8 traffic@dublincity.ie before 16:30 on 9th March 2017.

img_6241
Current and future mixing of bicycles and buses

london-photo-05
Approach to cycleways being taken in London in recent years

Fingal County Council has agreed to make a submission following a motion I raised at the Howth/Malahide Area Committee.

Submission in relation to redesign of Mayne Road/ Hole in the Wall Road junction

A proposal for a new junction at Hole in the Wall Road / Mayne Road is on public display until 9th March.

I have made the following submission:

As discussed at the Area Committee, i would like to see alternative options for junction design being considered at this location. In particular, the design set out in this video has a lot to recommend it in terms of safety. I have used junctions like this and found them much better than the design proposed.

It’s quite a simple proposal but I particularly urge anyone who cycles or walks on these roads to have a look at contribute their comments.