To It, Not Through It: A Covid Mobility Plan for Inchicore
This proposal was created by Lauren Tuite in consultation with local stakeholders, architects, and mobility experts.
For more info, or to add your organisation to the list of supporters, please contact: Lauren@Tuite.Family
087 439 4183
July 15, 2020
Across Ireland, villages and towns are adapting to the significant limitations placed on people and businesses in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Social distancing rules mean we can no longer travel, shop, or visit pubs, cafes, and restaurants in the normal way. These public health measures will likely remain in place for years. Saving lives, creating jobs, and re-opening schools, will require bold interventions in the planning and design of our communities.
The “To It, Not Through It” Plan for Inchicore village implements the central aims of Dublin City Council’s Mobility Intervention Programme:
The village of Inchicore is 4km west of the city centre, the distance Dublin City Council recommends for commuting, where possible, by active travel (walking,cycling etc). The large volume of car traffic that funnels through the village makes it an unfriendly place to do anything but drive. Inchicore’s schools and healthcare facilities provide services to people living in the country’s most densely populated area--Dublin South Central, but even locals have difficulty accessing services in their own community. Families with buggies and kids on bikes are squeezed on to narrow paths. The majority of roadspace is given over to cars, turning the heart of Inchicore into a yellow box surrounded by gridlocked traffic.
The “To It, Not Through It” plan transforms the Yellow Box into a new civic space with an attractive South West aspect. We achieve this by placing a roundabout at the junction of Tyrconnell Road and the Mini Market. This will stop through-traffic but will help drivers park on Tyrconnell Road and access housing and services in the village. Car Traffic on Tyrconnell Road will be travelling “to Inchicore”, rather than “through Inchicore”.
People of all ages walking and cycling will have segregated infrastructure so they can travel in a safe and healthy environment. This is critically important for opening our schools in September.
Removing Through Traffic
The Left Turn general traffic lane outside the Black Lion Inn will be converted into segregated cycling and walking infrastructure using bollards. This will allow for outdoor seating on the Northern side of the Black Lion Pub and will give pedestrians the recommended 2m social distancing space. Drivers will turn left onto Emmet Road following the altered road layout, but will be prevented from driving through the new plaza area to Tyrconnell Road.
The Proposed Plaza
This Plan has consequences not only for private traffic, but for bus services. The 13 and 69 services will in effect terminate at their respective stops at Tyrconnell Road and Grattan Crescent. Passengers not ending their journey in Inchicore will have several options.
This interchange is a strength of the plan, as it will encourage able bodied passengers living significant distances from the city centre to give up their space on the bus and walk or cycle the rest of the journey. Local residents will have a better chance of getting a seat on a reduced capacity bus coming into service in Inchicore. In feedback to this plan a number of residents stated that buses regularly passed Inchicore without stopping pre-Covid, because they were full of passengers living outside the city centre. We expect this problem to worsen with the reduced capacity on buses due to public health restrictions.
Where will the Through Traffic go?
Increasing the attractiveness of active travel, and decreasing the convenience of driving, reduces the number of cars on the road. Traffic reduction, or “traffic evaporation”, is a recognised effect of traffic-management schemes. When executed well in cities with good policies, the traffic doesn’t divert onto nearby streets, it disappears or, indeed, evaporates (source Dublin Inquirer).
Inchicore village is wedged between two main routes into the city centre, the Chapelizod bypass/Con Colbert Road, and the Grand Canal route. It is not necessary to travel through Inchicore village to access the city centre from the M50. The below screenshots show how diverting away from the village through Ballyfermot adds two minutes and 1.4km to a journey from Red Cow Inn to Heuston Station. It is also possible to travel from the Naas road to the South Circular Road using Davitt Road. Alternatively, accessing the city centre via the N4 adds no time to the plotted journey, despite increasing the total distance travelled. This mapping was done on Tuesday at 3.30pm on July 14,2020.
This plan does not interfere with the proposals for Route 7.
These interventions will save lives. They will help prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the most densely populated constituency in the country.
While these interventions are proposed on a temporary basis, they will also help deliver the exemplary active transport infrastructure envisaged in Dublin City Council’s Development Plan 2016-2022 and the National Transport Authority’s Strategy for the Greater Dublin Area 2016-2035.
The support for this plan from local businesses and community organisations demonstrates the appetite for change and innovation in Inchicore. A village designed for people of all ages and abilities will help businesses flourish at a time of unparalleled economic uncertainty.
We urge Dublin City Council to implement these measures as soon as possible.