Municipal District meeting: 19th June 2020

Motion: Given the ongoing need for social distancing, as well as the opportunity of additional government funding for making towns more cycle and pedestrian friendly, that Kildare County Council prepare a range of options as soon as practical on how this can be achieved for Celbridge and Leixlip in the context of a county-wide approach. 

Report from Council

The National Transport Authority (NTA) have identified that in many cities and towns across Ireland, there is likely to be a need to review current street arrangements in order to address the new circumstances arising from social distancing requirements and altered travel patterns. Types of changes that may have to be considered include: 

• Widening of footpaths to facilitate queuing outside shops and enable social distancing; 

• Potential pedestrianisation of some streets where necessary and feasible to accommodate social distancing, particularly where this supports business activities; 

• Potential one-way systems to create space for footpath widening; 

• Altering traffic signal times to reduce pedestrian waiting/crowding plus the automatic activation of some pedestrian phases in order to aid pedestrian movement and to minimise contact with signal push buttons; 

• Providing additional temporary facilities for cyclists. 

The NTA propose that the council take some road space from vehicles and give it to cyclists. This is not a problem provided the council do not increase congestion in the towns. 

In general there are two aspects to the motion: – 

  1. (i) Identify, through the Strategic Policy Committee (SPC), potential policy issues re reduction of traffic movements (as noted in the motion in the context of a county wide approach) 
  2. (ii) Specific proposals for identified locations – members should identify proposals to the Municipal District Engineer 

It is understood that the NTA and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTaS) intend to issue a draft policy document in this regard in the near future. 

Finally, the public will require to be consulted with respect advancing any proposal. 

Update October 2020

The Roads Dept put in an application and was awarded funding for a number of street improvement projects to enhance walking and cycling.