Sunday, May 02, 2010

 

Access for Pedestrians on M3 Bridges

There was a lot of coverage during the week on the issue of pedestrian links across the new M3 in Dunshaughlin. Basically, there are six new roundabouts linking in to bridges crossing the M3 in the vicinity of Dunshaughlin. It turns out that the designers of the road have two different standards for roundabout design in Ireland depending on whether they are in an urban area or a rural area.

Urban roundabout designs allow for local pedestrians to cross the road. However, rural roundabout assume that there are no pedestrians crossing in the area. On the basis of this assumption roundabouts in rural areas do not come with pedestrian access, such as footpaths and pedestrian crossings.

The problem is of course that in Ireland many people live outside urban areas – In County Meath for instance the urban rural split is probably around 50% / 50%. So, although the M3 is outside the Dunshaughlin urban area, there are still lots of people living alongside it and lots of people who need to get from one side of the M3 to the other.

These people have now formed an action group to protest for footpaths to be added in advance of the M3 opening – scheduled for about 3 months time. On Monday night myself, Cllr Niamh McGowan and others attended a meeting in Dunshaughlin Community Centre organised by the action group.

The group showed a video of how parents and children have to battle their way around the roundabouts – this is before the M3 opens and before traffic levels increase significantly. They also distributed proposals for how the situation could be resolved – putting in new footpaths around the roundabouts.

I spoke from the floor to the meeting, as did others, paying tribute to the work the group has done to date and offering support to get the situation resolved. They are impressive as a lobbying force. Later that week they got the front page of the Daily Mail and the Pat Kenny Show also covered it. We’re all hopeful that a sensible and safe resolution can be achieved in the near future.

At the weekend I attended the Ashbourne Fare Day on Killegland Street. It was organised by the Chamber of Commerce and the intention was to attract as many people into the street as possible. Most of the businesses in the area put up stalls on the closed-off street.

Ashbourne

Dominic, Aine Lee of the Chamber and Cllr Niamh McGowan with Catherine and Charlie

It was great to see so many residents out on the streets. The weather wasn’t great – a lot of rain early on. But it did brighten up in the afternoon and I think everyone had some fun.

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