Carolyn Moore

Green Party Councillor for Kimmage Rathmines

Active Travel: My Dublin Inquirer Voter Guide Response

Q: What should be done to make it nicer and safer for people to get around the city on foot and by bike?

The ongoing delivery and completion of Dublin City Council’s ‘Walk, wheel cycle’ Active Travel Network is absolutely paramount if we are to make it safer for people to get around on foot, wheeling or by bike. Kimmage Rathmines is home to Dublin’s cycling hotspot – the electoral division of Terenure A, where 20% of people chose to cycle daily to work, school, college or childcare. In this area alone we are looking at the delivery of seven active travel projects in the next five year term – our slice of a 310km safe, connected, city-wide active travel network. If people want to see those routes delivered, in spite of any opposition that may arise, they need to vote for councilors who will support active travel.

Making cycling a safe transport option for everyone from young children to pensioners means reallocating road space to provide for a connected network of bike lanes, segregated from motor traffic by a small kerb at the very least and not just a white line. 

That becomes especially important near schools, and if we empower children to travel to school by active means (independently or otherwise) we can create the habit of a lifetime, have healthier, more independent kids, and take so much of the dreaded school commute traffic off our roads. Studies and lived experience show that active travel infrastructure brings untold benefits to communities (not least cleaner air, quieter streets and the passive surveillance mentioned earlier) but the work of delivering it is politically difficult – in the next council term, as we take the bulk of the active travel network from proposal through design stage to completion, it will need the backing of councillors who strongly believe in the cycling and walking agenda, as I do.

Additionally, I will continue to prioritise making our roads safer with lower speed limits, including a move to a default 30km/h. This is a measure most communities support, yet it failed to get the support of a majority of Dublin City Councillors in 2021. As well as a default 30km/h I will continue to push for the infrastructural improvements that reduce speeds and ensure our roads are designed to prioritise road safety, particularly that of children and other vulnerable road users. The pedestrian should always be at the top of the hierarchy of road users and it will require significant reconfiguring of existing road layouts to achieve that, along with the reintroduction of zebra crossings with raised tables at minor junctions to provide for pedestrian priority, and increased investment in pedestrian crossings generally.  

I sat on a working group that devised a pilot programme to deliver new zebra crossings and reduce the cost so we can get more of them, and that –  combined with improved and widened footpaths, and tightened corners to slow down turning traffic – would really improve things for pedestrians, especially those who need extra time or space to complete a crossing or navigate a footpath. Benches are also key to ensure that people who are walking can get a rest, but in many of our urban villages the footpaths are so narrow that there isn’t even room to put a bench. I’m a firm believer in the idea that if you design for people, you get people. For Dublin to be a city that everyone can enjoy, we need to unpick decades of car-centric design and make space for people on our streets.