Tag Archive for 'pedestrian'

No progress on widening footpath at Castleknock Station (yet)

Roderic O'Gorman at narrow footpath outside Castleknock Train Station

Roderic O'Gorman at narrow footpath outside Castleknock Train Station

A few weeks ago I raised the issue of the narrow footpath on the humpback bridge linking Blanchardstown to Castleknock Train Station.

I was disappointment by the response from Fingal County Council that it has not current plans to wider the footpath at the humpback bridge over the rail line and the canal at Castleknock Station.

I regularly see pedestrians forced out onto the road when they meet someone else on the footpath. There they cause a real risk for motorists and cyclists whose visibility is severely restricted when they cross the crest of the bridge.

I had this issued raised at a meeting of Fingal County Council earlier this month but unfortunately the County Manager has responded by saying there are no plans to deal with the problem in this year’s Transportation Works budget. This strikes me as ridiculous I have found minutes of Fingal County Council meetings dating back to 2002 when this exact issue was being raised and still nothing has been done about it.

I will continue to highlight this issue and work to have remedial works included in the 2010 Transportation Budget. It is simply unacceptable that such a dangerous situation for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists alike is permitted to continue.

Footpath at Castleknock Station needs to be widened

Narrow Foothpath at Granard Bridge - Blanchardstown

Narrow Foothpath at Granard Bridge - Blanchardstown

As someone who lives in Blanchardstown and gets the train from Castleknock every day, I think the footpath leading from the junction of the Roselawn Road and the Castleknock Road up the humpback bridge to the station is far too narrow. Obviously this is an extremely busy area for pedestrians, with commuters from Blanchardstown going to and from Castleknock Station.

In reality, there is only enough space for one person to walk on this section of the footpath. When two people meet, one is forced out onto the road in order to pass. Obviously, this creates a major danger for pedestrians and also for passing cars and cyclists. Added to this, visibility at this point is limited due to extremely bad lighting and the fact that cars and bicycles often cross the crest of the humpback bridge quickly.

I think it’s really important that Fingal County Council investigate means of improving safety at what is a very busy stretch of footpath. I was looking up the minutes of old Fingal County Council meetings and this issue was raised as far back as 2002. It’s time the Council took action to remedy a dangerous situation.

Fingal CC needs to match Government measures to support cyclists

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has called on Fingal County Council to follow the Governments lead and implement more measures to encourage and support cycling. He was speaking after a number of announcements in the budget which were of benefit to cyclists.

In what was a very tough budget, one of the few positive points was the two new initiatives that the Government has brought forward to support cyclists. Firstly, a tax exemption on bicycles and bike safety equipment of up to €1,000 per person, for those who use it to cycle to work. This is to encourage employers help their employees meet the cost of switching to the bike.

Secondly, an investment of €5 million in upgrading cycling routes in Dublin City. This will be focused on improving safety for cyclists.

I’ve spoken to many people in Dublin 15 who have switched to cycling to work for a variety of reasons – it’s healthier, with the rise in fuel prices it’s cheaper and due to the traffic congestion in the area, its now often faster than the car! However, almost everyone I have spoken to have told me of some story regarding narrowly missed accidents.

In particular, many local cyclists have highlighted to me how dangerous it is to try and cycle toward Chapelizod and from there into town, with Tower Road near Castleknock College and the Knockmaroon Hill being particular blackspots. Some cyclists said they simply have to cycle on the footpath due to safety concerns.

The Government have made moves to make cycling more attractive and safer. Now it is up to Fingal County Council to play its part. There needs to be an examination of the volume and direction of cycle paths in the area. A look at the Dublin Transport Offices map of cycle lanes in Dublin 15 clearly shows that there is a big gap for cyclists between the Blanchardstown area and the new cycle lane along the N3 by the Phoenix Park racecourse development. Further, there are virtually no cycle lanes in and around Castleknock village.

Over the next two years, the Council needs to interact with cyclists in the area and learn what their specific needs are. Possibly, some consideration could be given to speaking to Waterways Ireland and arranging for a high quality cycle path to be developed alongside the Royal Canal.

Also, the Council should go further in developing the cycling/walking to school element of the Green Schools Programme, which has received extra funding from the Department of Transport over the year. Many parents would love to let their kids walk or cycle to school, but they are simply too scared to let them out on the roads in Dublin 15 because there are not enough cycle paths and pedestrian facilities are so poor.

In the run up to the local elections next June, I intend to focus strongly on the lack of cycling and pedestrian facilities across Castleknock, Carpenterstown and Blanchardstown. If I am elected to the Council next year, ensuring that those who wish to walk or cycle, be they young or old, will be able to do so will be a top priority for me.

Press Release – O’Gorman calls for traffic signs to be moved at Coolmine level crossing

Dangerous Signs at Coolmine level crossing

Dangerous Signs at Coolmine level crossing

27/08/08

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has called on Irish Rail to reposition the warning signs at Coolmine level crossing as he says they pose an obstacle for pedestrians.

“I have written to Irish Rail and asked them to consider moving the ‘large vehicle’ warning sign at the Coolmine level crossing. The signs are mounted in such a way as to block a significant part of the footpath and create an obstruction to pedestrians. The footpath is already very narrow at this particular point and I have seen parents with buggies forced out onto the road. I can only imagine it is difficult for wheelchair users to negotiate passing them also”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“I think everyone who uses Coolmine station welcomed the construction by Irish Rail of the pedestrian bridge crossing the canal. However, the positioning of these signs remains an obstacle to those crossing the tracks, at what is a very busy crossing, both with pedestrians and cars, at peak time”.

“While I understand that there is a legal obligation to have a warning sign, I have asked Irish Rail to examine the site and see if the signs could be moved to a safer and more appropriate location. Indeed, in their current location, drivers of large vehicles would have almost crossed the tracks by the time they could see the signs, so from the point of view of Irish Rails legal obligations, it’s probably a good idea to move the signs also”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

Ends

Further Information
Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777
rodericogorman@gmail.com