Myths that businesses are closing because of the loss of some parking spaces are creating opposition to bike lanes, a senior transport official said.
ugh Creegan said reallocating road space from cars to other modes of transport is becoming increasingly difficult and more public education is needed to garner support.
“It has become more controversial, more difficult and more challenging,” he said.
“We have many places across the country where street reallocation is being proposed and there is tremendous opposition to it.
“We need to collectively do more to educate people about the benefits of reallocating street space, particularly in urban areas, and debunk some of the myths that have been raised, ‘my business will be ruined if you take away those three parking spaces’. , which is the case in various places.
“It’s an awareness and communication campaign that we’ve done a lot for but still need to do more.”
Mr Creegan, Deputy Chief Executive of the National Transport Authority (NTA), was before the Joint Transport Committee to discuss a draft transport strategy for Greater Dublin.
Greens TD Brian Leddin questioned the progress being made in creating a cohesive network of cycle lanes as opposed to the individual sections that have popped up here and there.
Mr Creegan said integration is what the NTA is striving for and they are working with local authorities on the matter.
Steven Matthews, another Greens TD, asked what else could be done to win the objections.
“These campaigns can spiral and take off, and it can seem like everyone is against it when the silent majority supports them,” he said.
He cited Lucan, Salthill and his own town of Bray as examples where opposition has been very vocal.
Feljin Jose, chair of the Dublin Commuter Coalition, said the real reason the coalition was formed was to give a bigger voice to people who advocate for change.
“Most people don’t talk about things that they approve of,” he said.
Fine Gael TD Emer Higgins criticized the reference to Lucan, which she represents and where she backed a successful opposition campaign against removing parking spaces from the village centre.
“It will be rehabilitated in an appropriate manner that will not impact businesses or people driving into the village,” she said.
Senator Mary Seery-Kearney, also from Fine Gael, said she feared the meeting could send “the wrong message” about holdouts.
“People have the right to fight for their own quality of life,” she said.
Earlier in the meeting, she had criticized the NTA for failing to inform Terenure residents that the proposed changes would prioritize road space for buses and reduce space for cars, before being told that the proposal was not actually in the Draft strategy was included because he had been excluded after preparatory studies.
The meeting also heard updates from Dublin Bus on a range of planned improvements.
Chief Executive Ray Coyne said the planned 20 percent reduction in city rates is imminent.
He said the company’s IT systems were ready and it would happen overnight once the government gave the go-ahead.
https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/bike-lanes-damaging-business-is-a-myth-says-transport-chief-41615332.html Bike lanes that hurt business are a “myth,” says Transportchef