Many residential streets across Europe and the UK are designated a lower walking speed limit, called ‘Woonerf’ or ‘Home zones’, claims SD Fingal Cllr Paul Mulville.
“This is to allow for living streets where pedestrians and cyclists are prioritised and where the streets are shared spaces, allowing a return to social activities,” he said, “For example, where children play on the road, which used to be much more common in the past. Motor vehicles are still allowed of course, but their dominance is curtailed.”
According to the SD councillor for Rush-Lusk ward, which covers Portrane, Donabate, Rush, Lusk, Ballyboughal and, Garristown 30 km/ hour is the lowest speed currently allowed here, and he notes, this has been implemented across all housing estates and residential streets in Fingal.
“The council is however, allowed to use the 15 km/ hour limit in parks,” he said.
“At January’s local area meeting, I asked the County Manager to confirm if the elected members and council have the powers to reduce vehicle speeds on residential streets down to a walking pace, e.g., 15 km/hr max.
“The manager responded to say that according to most recent guidelines, the county and city councils have powers under the Road Traffic Act 2004 to make Bye-Laws to apply Special Speed Limits on public roads. The range of Special Speed Limit that maybe applied through Bye-Laws are: 120km/h, 100km/h, 80km/h, 60km/h, 50km/h, 40km/h and 30km/h.”
The reply went on to state that 15km/h speed limit is not included in the range, therefore not applicable for public roads.
Cllr Mulville continued: “I am calling on Minister Eamon Ryan to now empower elected councillors to introduce a “walking speed” limit so that local councillors can work, alongside council engineers and staff, with interested local resident groups to pilot woonerf /home zones at appropriate locations. Such pilots could also entail built interventions such as ramps, chicanes, bollards, signage, etc to compliment the “walking speed” limit.”
He concluded: “We must work together towards the provision of safer streets and more liveable neighbourhoods for our communities, as it is in everyone’s interest.”
Feature photo taken from Paul Mulville, FB
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