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Cycle route plan passed

Updated: Nov 16

Grand Canal Loop Project remains excellent plan overall - but many key deliverable requests in public submissions ignored by management and Councillors.


On Monday 14th November, Councillors voted on the "Part 8" plan for South Dublin to approve a cycleway from the Grand Canal to the village, the ultimate aim being to eventually create a greenway linking with the Royal Canal. This major tourism and recreational scheme also included a number of spurs to facilitate better cycling access to local schools.


More information on scheme in this earlier article: https://www.paulgogarty.com/post/grand-canal-to-lucan-urban-greenway-update


On the day the following presentation was given to the elected members:

Canal Route Presentation 14th November
.pptx
Download PPTX • 13.90MB

There were approximately 70 submissions on the plan, all of which were responded to in the Chief Executive's Report here:

CE report canal route project plan (1)
.pdf
Download PDF • 1.81MB

This report was only made available to Councillors last week and was not available for members of the public to see. So, in essence, the vast majority of people or groups who made submissions could not respond to the CE recommendations and inform their local Councillors about their views on same.


This did not seem to bother some of our elected reps, who seemed to view the 37 motions I tabled yesterday as a time-consuming burden and, seemed to believe that there "was plenty of consultation" over the last few years. People gave their views, yes, but in many cases attempts to improve the scheme were ignored. Some for cost reasons or because they would change the plan massively, others for very debatable reasons.


The discussion on the whole project is available at this link, with my motions debate and some of the comments from colleagues best viewed from approximately 2hrs:26mins in:

https://sdcc.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/712333 . I leave it for you to decide.





At the outset, both myself and Cllr Liona O'Toole attempted to defer the project and I make no apologies for this fact. Under planning legislation, Councillors have SIX WEEKS to decide a Part 8 after the CE gives a report. So this could have been taken in December, rather than SIX days later. Councillors could have been briefed and we could have teased things out to a greater extent and ultimately improved the plan. However this did not happen. Most Councillors were happy to pass the plan with minimal changes.


Two motions by Cllrs Casserly and Moynihan, who did not seek a deferral, were submitted before our deferral requests, meaning that the meeting had to proceed, with the deferral motions falling automatically. These initial first motions requested that "Council management provide an options paper to the Area Committee by Summer 2023 for the next phase of the Canal Loop, which includes the Vesey Park link in the analysis with commitment to secure funding and develop this in the next phase". This received unanimous support, myself included, as the Vesey Park link was the subject of many submissions. However it also meant that there was no opportunity defer and to set time aside to get a more binding wording on this and also push other additions to the plan sought in so many submissions.


As such it was down to discussion on individual motions seeking to amend the plan, and of my remaining 34 motions, some were ruled out of order because they represented a "material alteration", some were opposed by management and subsequently voted down by Councillors and some were taken on board without going to a vote.


Apparently a material change is something that could cost in the region of €127k although this is not written in stone. Some decisions I took on board; others deserved more discussion. This material change argument was put to good use by management and because the meeting was constrained there was no time and even less willingness to forensically query each decision in terms of its merits and also in terms of what could be done in the future.


Some examples:


- Trying to get separate walking and cycling paths was a "material alteration", although this was something supported by many submissions


- The link to Vesey Park was deemed too major, but even putting in a slipway link from Adamstown Road up onto Griffeen Park or from the Cherbury Bridge down to the N4 cycleway was a "material alteration".


- Making the route downhill at the steps towards Lucan BNS a proper cycle-friendly route was a "material alteration"


- And lastly, asking for the CE to even recommend future works in future plans like Vesey Park, like a link to Lucan Demesne to Lucan Community College, to other schools, to Hillcrest, Adamstown and the Old Celbridge Road was deemed to be a "material alteration"


I would have queried some of these in detail had this been a briefing meeting and we could made progress or agreed a wording on some, no doubt. But the Mayor, who was trying to meet a 7pm deadline and most Councillors would not have tolerated all these matters being called out. If only the matter was voluntarily deferred by managers or if only Councillors sought to postpone.


The reality also is, that if you put in something that is deemed a "material alteration" and it actually is a substantive material change, it could lead to the plan having to go back on public display, thus delaying the process massively.


Fair enough, so, but it does raise the question as to how a so-called consultation process can ever lead to serious changes being permitted. You can take stuff out apparently, but you can't put stuff back in.


Even the issues that were deemed in order seemed to offend the sensibilities of some. Other issues were a matter of opinion. Personally I think putting in a massive boardwalk beside Sarsfield Park and cutting down a load of trees to bring cyclists to a dead end in Dispensary Lane is premature when we don't know where the Fingal link will come in, eg it could be St Catherine's Park to Lucan Demesne. Councillors disagreed and fair enough here. Something more modest and cost-effective may have sufficed.


Further issues like a motion trying to slow down cyclists on a slope coming towards Cherbury and the entrance to the new Esker Lawn Cemetery were dismissed with much passion. One Councillor said "it doesn't happen", when I've been contacted by multiple residents about this. They also rejected making this area segregated. Again the debate is worth watching from a human interaction perspective, but it gets confusing to understand because management accepted a lot of motions, which again were not allowed to be discussed or even mentioned individually. These are listed below to help anyone who has the inclination to try and make sense of the process.


On a positive note, the CE report did agree to move the Toucan crossing near Lucan BNS, as raised by the school and a local resident. There was also an undertaking to consider some requests in future projects. Worth going through this report and the link is near the top of the page.


Looking at the big picture, this is a major, ambitious plan that has involved a huge amount of work from all the designers and engineers involved. They deserve credit for bringing it forward. It could have been even better, in my view, with a few tweaks, but overall it will be a great and positive addition to our community.


Notwithstanding this, the flaws in the consultation process and the challenges facing representative democracy are clear to see. I can't put my hand on my heart and say this scheme is truly representative of the positive inputs designed to make it better. I can only say that on a personal level I did my best to represent my community and was happy to vote for the final plan at the end of the day, because a really good plan is better than no plan at all.


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ADDENDUM - FYI HERE IS A LIST OF ALL MY MOTIONS AND WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM DURING THE MEETING


Motions in relation to Greenway


MOTIONS NOT TAKEN AS OTHER MOTIONS SUBMITTED EARLIER STARTED DISCUSSION

DEFERRAL MOTIONS

1. Motion Cllr P Gogarty: That this item H-I (10) be deferred until the December Council meeting.

2. Motion Cllr P Gogarty: That this item H-I (10) not be taken today and instead be presented, discussed and a vote taken at the December Council meeting.

Rationale: There were a significant number of submissions. As the CE responses have not been published or sent to those who made submissions, most people will not have had a chance to review and respond to the CE recommendations and communicate this with their elected representatives. In addition, this being a complex scheme, a full briefing with Councillors would be preferable in advance of taking up valuable meeting time as no doubt some issues could be dealt with through an engagement process. Finally, under the planning acts, Councillors have SIX weeks to pass a Part 8 following publication of the CE report. The December Council meeting falls within this period.

3. Motion Cllr P Gogarty: That the agenda for this meeting be varied so that other business can be concluded and item H-I (10) be taken at the end of Council business following item H-I (15).


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AGREED BY MANAGEMENT

4. Motion Cllr P Gogarty: That the Chief Executive's recommendation in section 5.1.2 be amended to read: "The surface of the Grand Canal Bridge will be upgraded as part of the scheme".


Rationale - As per motion 6 passed at June ACT, a commitment was given that renewing the bridge surface would be included by the Active Travel Team as part of the scheme. This is not a matter for "consideration", this is a fundamental safety issue in terms of increased pedestrian and cycle traffic on what is a very slippery surface.


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5. Motion Cllr P Gogarty: That the Chief Executive's Recommendation in 5.4.2 be amended to add a link between the North side of Adamstown Avenue (Adamstown Link Road) to join with the bridge adjacent to Griffeen Valley Park on Map 3, the precise layout to be explored during detailed design.


Rationale: The addition of a low incline ramp from the cycleway along this road up to the Lucan Urban Greenway is an integral and cost-effective way of linking Adamstown with the scheme. It should not be put on the long finger as it is within the mapped area and should not delay the scheme.

NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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6. Motion Cllr P Gogarty: That all of the route through Griffeen Valley Park (as marked on the maps) be separated between cyclists and pedestrians.


Rationale: This is in the interests of safety for young children, who are liable to move around more, dog walkers whose animals may jump suddenly, people with buggies and wheelchair users who will not be able to manoeuvre quickly and so as to avoid confusion among non-local cyclists heading towards the Royal Canal ultimately, who may not be familiar with this part of South Dublin.

I note the Chief Executives response which highlights input from the design team and auditors that a shared pathway is "to avoid confusion where the route of the proposed scheme intersects with these other paths". However bikes are likely to be going at some speed, including electric bikes and weaving and slowing and braking leaves too many risks.

NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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AGREED BY MANAGEMENT

7. Motion Cllr P Gogarty: That this Council welcomes 5.7.2 Chief Executive Recommendation 1 that an alternative option for the zebra crossing approximately 40m West of the proposed location will be explored during detailed design and that this be sent to St Mary's BNS and the resident next to the original proposed location for final tweaking in advance.


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8. Motion Cllr P Gogarty: That the Chief Executive recommendation 5.8.2 1 be amended to add the following recommendation:


The cycleway across the bridge and towards the junction with Cherbury Park Road shall be physically segregated from the footpath and located on the side nearest the proposed Vesey Park greenway.


Rationale: There will be an element of speed on this sloped area and cyclists need to be kept away from pedestrians and other users and also prevented from taking a short cut via the footpath.

NOT AGREED BY MANAGEMENT OR SUPPORTED BY COUNCILLORS

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9. Motion Cllr P Gogarty: That the Chief Executive recommendation 5.8.2 1 be amended to add the following recommendation: Cycle traffic shall be slowed down at this location towards the junction with Cherbury Park through appropriate road marking and signage, a horizontal deflection such as a chicane, as well as nudge-tested flat rumble strips purposed for cyclists as per best practice.


Rationale: This is a slope, cyclists will come down this slope at speed and need to be slowed down. As per my submission on the scheme I recommend nudge-tested flat strips that gradually get closer together: https://www.mebesafe.eu/cyclist-nudge/

NOT AGREED BY MANAGEMENT OR SUPPORTED BY COUNCILLORS


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


10. That the Chief Executive recommendation 5.15.2 be amended to read:


That the bridge as referenced in submission SD-C254-18 be widened to facilitate increased cycle traffic as part of the scheme, layout to be explored at detailed design stage.

AGREED BY MANAGEMENT


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


11. That the Chief Executive recommendation 5.16.2 be amended to read:


That a safe through-way for cyclists be provided at chicanes along the Lucan Newlands Road, designed so as to minimise conflict with oncoming vehicles, layout to be explored at detailed design stage.


Rationale: This route will include a lot of school cyclists and inexperienced recreational cyclists as well as those travelling at faster speeds, particularly electric bikes and scooters. While the concept of shared space to slow down traffic is acknowledged, this route will include a lot of non-local vehicular traffic, not familiar with the road. It is not safe for cyclists to weave in and out of chicanes with cars behind them. In this context a design that allows them to continue through should be possible to facilitate as the chicane in itself will bring vehicles further towards the middle of the road, minimising the risk of collisions.

AGREED BY MANAGEMENT


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


12. That all seating areas in this scheme be of a high quality, vandal proof design.


AGREED BY MANAGEMENT


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


13. That lockable bike spaces, bins and seating areas be provided adjacent to one another and adjacent to lighting where space exists so as improve passive surveillance"


AGREED BY MANAGEMENT


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


14. That Bicycle parking will be specifically included adjacent to all sports pitches in Griffeen Valley Park as part of this scheme to encourage cycling to matches and training.


AGREED BY MANAGEMENT


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


15. That proposed measures at the junction of Lucan Heights/Esker Lawns and in the vicinity of the new entrance to St Joseph's College be tied in closely with construction works and services provision at this location so as to avoid works having to be re-installed or repainted unnecessarily.


AGREED BY MANAGEMENT


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


16. That in line with this scheme, and to ensure safety for school cyclists, no on-street parking be permitted on either side of the hill from Lucan Road to Lucan Heights, with the exception of a designated disability drop-off space adjacent to the entrance to St Joseph's College.


Rationale: I welcome the reorientation at the lay-by, however this is a slope uphill on a pathway that gets slippery in winter and as such provision should be made for one drop-off space to enable any students requiring easier access to the school to be facilitated.

AGREED BY MANAGEMENT


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


17. That provision be made to include cycling access from Lucan Main Road to the St Mary's boys' school, in the vicinity of the steps opposite St Mary's GNS in the area outlined in red on map 16, in a design similar to that at Brookvale, using the slope in situ and with the emphasis on retaining existing trees and making these a feature of any plan. This to be examined at detailed design stage, or subject to a future proposal if it needs to be assessed separately.


Rationale: A lot of students of Scoil Mhuire have siblings that attend Lucan BNS and vice-versa. While the current slide format is better than nothing, it will not in itself encourage further cycling.

NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


18. That the Council ensures that measures are put in place to support its stated intention of not diverting recreational cyclists through Sarsfield Park main entrance road and instead lead them towards the village area by ensuring that any signage towards a 'route end' or 'refreshments' or any features be directed towards Lucan village.

AGREED BY MANAGEMENT


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


19. That the Council ensures any students cycling towards St Mary's BNS through Sarsfield Park do not go towards the main entrance and roundabout and instead are directed towards the revised pathway to a safe crossing area, this to be done through school signage, route marking and other measures.


AGREED BY MANAGEMENT


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty

20. That measures to slow down cyclists going downhill be provided near the exit to the zig-zag route at "Brookvale Park" as per Sheet 10.


AGREED BY MANAGEMENT


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


21. That the proposed boardwalk on Sheet 10 not be proceeded with.


Rationale: This is a costly and unnecessary measure that also cuts down mature trees for no meaningful purpose. The boardwalk brings cyclists to a dead end as opposed to a meaningful scheme through the village and so, even if it had merits, it is premature.


I had suggested a comprehensive consultation process was required to see how cyclists could access the heart of the village through a limited one-way system. The village parking scheme did not do this and as pointed out something more ambitious is required.


It is also unclear what Fingal's proposals are going to be. If we need to meet up at Lucan bridge, then a scheme through the village is desirable. If the route is going to be via St Catherine's Park, then a link up with the Lucan Demesne entrance is desirable.


NOT AGREED BY MANAGEMENT OR SUPPORTED BY COUNCILLORS

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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


22. That the pathway be widened on the north side of the raised toucan crossing on sheet 10 to facilitate reduced speed rumble strip cycle access towards Dispensary Lane with a dedicated cycle entrance being provided behind or near the bus shelter towards a dismount point after the bollards and bike parking on the recessed area opposite the side of Lucan Methodist church.


AGREED BY MANAGEMENT

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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


23. That a link be provided from the end of the greenway beside Esker Lawn Cemetery to the N4 cycleway and that a slip be continued adjacent to the wall to allow access back into Vesey Park, this to be looked at during detailed design stage.


NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


Motion: Cllr P Gogarty

24. That a link be provided from the end of the greenway beside Esker Lawn Cemetery to the N4 cycleway adjacent.


Rationale: The first proposal is a minor scheme that does not propose to create a bridge to Vesey park, but uses the existing infrastructure so that there should not be additional significant works, outside the original scope of this project.


However in the interim, if it is deemed that the project is too large, a simple link to the N4 would suffice for now, as this is a requirement in any event, would not require massive works or impinge on flora and fauna.

NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


25. That this Part 8 be accepted with the condition that the green link to Vesey Park will have a separate Part 8 consultation commencing within 12 months of commencement of work on this current part 8.


Rationale:


1. It gives extensive connectivity of Vesey and Ardeevin estates as well as Hillcrest, Dodsboro, Airlie Heights, Shackleton, Somerton and Adamstown to Grand Canal to Lucan Link


2. It is a permeable route connecting Vesey Park to Griffeen Valley complex .


3, It satisfies the 5 criteria in the National Cycling Manual which are Attractiveness, Directness, Safety ,Comfort and coherence.

4..SCR47 Green Routes Network. It is the policy of the Council to continue the green routes programme and to achieve the creation of a network of cycling and walking routes throughout the county, as detailed in Green Routes in SDCC’s ”A proposal for connected walking and Cycling routes through the parks .open spaces, and roads of SDC (2006)” ,by utilizing links through parks, open spaces and roads. Vesey Park is a stepping stone to such a route through the Green Link. Connectivity and permeability are supported by SDCC development plan2022-2028..

5. In 2011 SDCC Planning Dept made the creation of the green link into Vesey Park a condition of planning for the New Cemetery.

6. An Bord Pleanala upheld this planning condition in 2012.

7 SDCC in granting a 5 year extension of planning permission for the new cemetery also upheld this condition of planning.

8 This link will end the 35 year isolation of Vesey park

9. Dublin Cycling, Lucan Cycling,Lucan Active Travel, Lucan Tidy Towns, Lucan Planning Council, several local Councillors, 1 TD and several private individuals support the Green Link completion.

10 This link is complimentary and indeed fundamental to the Grand Canal to Lucan Link vis a vis its links to Lucan Demesne.


NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME

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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


26. That a specific Chief Executive Recommendation be made in this final report for the early implementation of the next phase of this scheme or similar to provide for a route linking the greenway adjacent to Esker Lawn Cemetery to Vesey Park.

NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


27. That a specific Chief Executive Recommendation be made in this final report for the early implementation of the next phase of this scheme or similar to provide for a route through Vesey Park to a bike park/dismount area at the entrance gates at The Hollow beside the apiary.


NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME







Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


28. That a specific Chief Executive Recommendation be made in this final report for the early implementation of the next phase of this scheme or similar to provide for a dedicated link to the N4 cycleway on the north side of the pedestrian and cycle footbridge beside Cherbury Park.


NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


29. That a specific Chief Executive Recommendation be made in this final report for the early implementation of the next phase of this scheme or similar to provide for a dedicated link from the junction of Vesey Park to Tandy's Lane


NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


30. That a specific Chief Executive Recommendation be made in this final report for the early implementation of the next phase of this scheme or similar to provide for a dedicated link from Tandy's Lane South across the pedestrian footbridge at Tesco, linking Hillcrest, Woodview, Woodview Heights/Airlie Heights/Scoil Mhuire/Adamstown Boulevard and Adamstown Avenue, therefore creating a circular link that will facilitate access to the Canal Loop further off Adamstown Avenue.


NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


31. That a specific Chief Executive Recommendation be made in this final report for the early implementation of the next phase of this scheme or similar to provide for a dedicated link from Tandy's Lane South to the new entrance to Lucan Demesne and onwards towards St Catherine's Park.


NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


32. That a specific Chief Executive Recommendation be made in this final report for the early implementation of the next phase of this scheme or similar to provide for a dedicated link from Lucan village towards Lucan Demesne and onwards towards St Catherine's Park.


NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


33. That a specific Chief Executive Recommendation be made in this final report for the early implementation of the next phase of this scheme or similar to provide for a dedicated link to Lucan Demesne via the Old Celbridge Road, Tubber Lane and the Celbridge Link Road towards Adamstown Avenue, therefore creating a circular link that will facilitate access to the Canal Loop further off Adamstown Avenue.


NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME

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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


34. (if not already passed earlier to put into current scheme) - That a specific Chief Executive Recommendation be made in this final report for the early implementation of the next phase of this scheme or similar to add a link between the North side of Adamstown Avenue (Adamstown Link Road) to join with the bridge adjacent to Griffeen Valley Park on Map 3, the precise layout to be explored during detailed design.


NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


35. That a specific Chief Executive Recommendation be made in this final report for the early implementation of the next phase of this scheme or similar to provide for a dedicated link from Griffeen Park to Lucan Community College.



NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


36. That a specific Chief Executive Recommendation be made in this final report for the early implementation of the next phase of this scheme or similar to join up with measures proposed in the Lucan to City Centre Core Corridor to create a dedicated cycleway along the Lucan Road with a spur through Esker Lane includes specific safe access measures to Colaiste Phadraig and St Andrews NS.


NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


37. That a specific Chief Executive Recommendation be made in this final report for the early implementation of the next phase of this scheme or similar to upgrade the roundabout at the entrance to Lucan East Educate Together to facilitate safer access to the school and to prevent cars wrongly entering the right lane to then turn left.


NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME


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Motion: Cllr P Gogarty


38. That a specific Chief Executive Recommendation be made in this final report for the early implementation of a route linking the roundabout at Lucan East Educate Together, Griffeen Road and the Outer Ring Road with Kishoge Community College at Thomas Omer Way and the new site for Griffeen Community College, linking further into Adamstown Avenue (Link Road) so as to create a circular route that accesses the Greenway from multiple locations, including the area previously referenced on Sheet 3.


NOT PERMITTED – DEEMED TO BE A “MATERIAL ALTERATION” OUTSIDE SCOPE OF CURRENT SCHEME