CORK’S first pedestrian network, which aims to highlight issues facing pedestrians, has formed a steering group.
Orla Burke, one of the group’s founders, said the first meeting of the network was a huge success.
“A few city and county councillors attended. Lots of other people spoke of their experiences.
“It’s good to know that what we are doing is relevant. Sometimes you can be barking up the wrong tree.”
The group have now developed a planning submission template, for members of the public to use if they want to lodge a submission to a public consultation.
“People think ‘I’m only a mam’, or ‘I’m only a pensioner’ and that their voice doesn’t matter. Others might not even know how to make a submission. This is why we have a planning submission template for people to use.”
Orla says that Pedestrian Network Cork’s first official submission will be to the Department of Transport’s Public Consultation on a Review of Sustainable Mobility Policy.
“It’s important for people’s voices to be heard. With a lot of these consultations, we don’t hear from a wide variety of people. Either they don’t hear about the plans, or they feel like they have nothing valuable to contribute. But they have.
“We want to break barriers and give pedestrians the power to make their own submissions. This is the only way the planners or council will know how to make an area more pedestrian-friendly.
“People need to highlight how their children’s walk to school can be made easier, elderly people should be able to voice how the walk to their community centre can improve. They can have a voice in how their locality is shaped.”
Cork Pedestrian Network is also in the early stages of launching a walkability survey for Cork.
“We hope to launch this in January.
“We’ll use international recognised markers of walkability in the survey, and we will also ask people how their pedestrian experience has been.
“We will have space for people to tell their own story of walking in Cork.”
Orla says conducting a survey means the group will have hard statistics but also personal accounts from pedestrians in Cork.