Togher public realm scheme to be voted on by City Hall

Togher public realm scheme to be voted on by City Hall
The Togher Public Realm Enhancement project's proposed design, showing a mixed facility space for cyclist and pedestrians.

CORK City Council is set to vote on the Togher Public Realm Enhancement Scheme at the next full council meeting, due to take place on Monday, March 9.

Elements of the scheme's design have been criticised, especially its use of "shared space", which sees pedestrians and cyclists sharing a path with no segregation.

Cork's Pedestrian Network and Cork Cycling Campaign both lodged objections to the current designs.

The Echo understands that a large number of submissions were made about the project.

At a meeting between the Council's Roads Department and Councillors in the South West ward on Monday, it seemed that many members of the public, as well as councillors, had objections to the "shared space" design.

Green Party councillor Colette Finn said that while the council would be voting on the part eight proposal in March, she wasn't certain what design changes would be made.

"There were a lot of submissions on the Togher scheme. The Roads Department met with the councillors from the South West ward to go through the submissions.

"The contentious issue was the 'shared space'. We had a good discussion... shared space is not good for cyclists or pedestrians. There are two people going at different speeds in the same area.

"In Togher, we were told there is no extra space. Essentially, they are digging up the road for flood relief, and when it is reinstated they want to lay it down in a better way.

"In fairness to the executive, I think they were trying to accommodate everyone, the cyclists and pedestrians. But it doesn't work unless there is segregation."

Her party colleague Lorna Bogue said that shared space was not in line with "good planning". "I don't know what we will end up with, as this was just a consultation review."

Cork Cycling Campaign's President, Conn Donovan, says that he believes there is room for cycle lanes. "There are some areas where the footpath is five and a half metres wide. That is very wide, you could put [segregation] there.

"Shared space creates unnecessary conflict between pedestrians and cyclists."

Mr Donovan says that this scheme also contravenes the Cork Cycle Network Plan.

Cork City Council were contacted for comment.

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