Al fresco dining provision for 1,000 people as well as 14 new people friendly streets are just some of the measures announced in Cork City Council’s ‘Reimagining Cork City’ programme.
It was developed to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic in Cork city, enabling additional social distancing measures.
Some of the measures have already been put in place, while others are still to come.
In addition to significant pedestrianisation of the city centre, €1.5 million has been set aside to resurface nearly 6 kilometres of existing cycling lanes and bus lanes.
Resurfacing of cycling infrastructure will take place in October in the city centre, Gillabbey Street, Proby’s Quay, Rossa Avenue, in Mahon Point, Ballincollig and Mulgrave Street.
Bollards will be installed on 4km of key cycling routes including Alfred Street, South Main Street, Washington Street, Mahon Link, Western Road, Rossa Avenue and in Ballincollig.
Some 4.1km of new cycle lanes will be developed at Centre Park and Monahan Roads, Terence MacSwiney Quay, Horgan’s Quay and Victoria Road and South Mall, and 43 bike racks to accommodate 500 bikes will be constructed.
Cork City Council Chief Executive, Ann Doherty said the economic and social recovery against the backdrop of Covid-19 presents unprecedented challenges for communities and businesses in Cork.
"We need a shift in perspectives, a “re-imagining” of Cork and high levels of partnership and collaboration if we are to mitigate the impact of the pandemic”.
“The programme published today, and achieved with the support of city councillors, is the first step towards a more comprehensive re-drawing of the city as we know it with intensified focus on more sustainable transport and a reduction in through–traffic,” she added.
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Joe Kavanagh said: “An immediate sense of the re-imagined city can be seen in the expanded city centre pedestrianisation achieved by Cork City Council and local businesses. The changes mean that up to 1,000 residents and visitors to the city can eat and drink alfresco - thereby supporting social distancing and local business”.
Cork City Council Chief Executive Ann Doherty added: “The creation of a safer and more pleasant environment is important to support the re-opening of the city but we need to engage further with the process of change. The City Council has commenced a consultation process for the preparation of the City Development Plan. As never before, the Plan offers a unique opportunity to re-imagine and re-position the City. I would encourage everyone to help shape a new policy framework that can invigorate local communities and businesses, originate creative, life-enhancing strategies and be a key positive influence on FDI and indigenous investment decisions.
"We have just launched a survey that will inform the consultation process at https://www.corkcity.ie/en/cork-city-development-plan/proposed-cork-city-development-plan-2022-2028/.
"We have also prepared an issues paper ‘Our City – Our Future’ to stimulate debate on strategic issues and this can be accessed at www.corkcitydevelopmentplan.ie. Submissions on the proposed development plan can be made at our consultation portal: https://consult.corkcity.ie/”.
Consultation is also expected to begin shortly to extend Oliver Plunkett Street pedestrianisation after 5pm, potentially to late night in line with neighbouring streets.