Blackrock walkway to be widened amid arguments between walkers and cyclists

Blackrock walkway to be widened amid arguments between walkers and cyclists
The popular Blackrock/Mahon walkway will be widened to five metres. Picture: Denis Minihane.

BLACKROCK Railway Walkway is set to be widened from three metres to five metres after complaints that walkers were ignoring signs and cyclists were using it as a “speedway”.

The walkway links the estuary walk to Blackrock Castle and is a popular local amenity.

Councillor Paudie Dineen raised the issue with City Hall officials after receiving reports of what he described as “aggressive verbal incidents” between walkers and cyclists.

“It has come to light that individuals who use the amenity do not adhere to walking on the left-hand side so that others such as cyclists and joggers can pass on the right-hand side," he said.

“This can lead to aggressive verbal incidents which could be avoided if everyone had a clear understanding as to which side of the pathway/cycleway in which to walk, cycle and jog. There is currently only one small sign at the start of the walk that gives direction on the priority.

“It’s good to see that [the walkway] is going to be widened to five metres in length. This will certainly help. I would ask in the interim that signs be put in to indicate the particular sides people should use. We should also emphasise and put the message out there that it is not a race track and we should deter cyclists from using it as a speedway,” he added.

Head of the city council’s roads and transport directorate Gerry O’Beirne said the area will be included in the wider Passage to city centre greenway plan.

“This matter will be addressed as part of the upcoming Passage to City Centre Widening and Enhancement Project which will be going to part 8 planning in the second quarter of the year.

“The project aims to widen the greenway from three metres to five metres which will facilitate the safe movement of pedestrians and cyclists. It also includes proposals for new access ramps and public lighting,” he added.

The National Transport Authority recently updated its specification for greenways in metropolitan areas, recommending that a minimum width of 4m should be used to allow for the safety of walkers and cyclists.

A greenway to the city is planned as part of an upgrade to Ballincollig Regional Park, while a number of other greenways are in the works across the county.

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