CITY councillor Tim Brosnan is calling for a safety plan to be put in place to deal with the many students arriving at various schools and colleges in the St Patrick’s Hill/MacCurtain Street area, particularly in light of planned traffic changes.
Mr Brosnan says the quantity of young people being dropped off for St Angela’s Secondary School, Bruce College, Christian Brothers College Secondary and Primary Schools, Scoil Mhuire Secondary and Junior Schools, and Hewitt College will cause enormous problems when the next phase of the City Centre Movement Strategy (CCMS) comes into play on Bridge Street and MacCurtain Street.
He said the area is already congested at peak times.
“Every day, you have huge numbers of schoolchildren in the area,” he said. “Naturally, parents want to drop smaller children to school, but for secondary and third-level, there should be no cars driving them there.”
He believes the situation will become unmanageable when the latest round of changes come in.
Phase four of the CCMS focuses largely on the quays area, and includes the proposed reintroduction of two-way traffic on MacCurtain Street as well as street upgrades, such as wider footpaths and cycling facilities to encourage more pedestrian activity.
“If they put in two-lane traffic there, it is going to eliminate all parking for picking up school- children and every day you have huge numbers parking to pick,” he said.
“There is going to be a major knock-on effect.”
Mr Brosnan also believes his plan for designated drop-off points will benefit both students and their parents.
“I remember when I drove my children to school, I’d be stuck in a traffic jam and they were playing on their mobiles, all they are doing for the last 20 minutes is sending off messages. They should be walking the last kilometre,” he said.
“There is such a concentration of schools there, it is big enough to facilitate dropping kids somewhere. They should create points where the children can be dropped off, maybe 500m metres or a kilometre from school, and walk the last bit of the journey.
“These schools are big enough to arrange volunteers or someone to stand along the route and supervise them getting to school.”
He has written to some of the schools about the need for a safety plan, and has a motion before next week’s City Council meeting asking the local authority to engage with schools on the issue.
A Council official added: “To be successful, this will require buy-in from schools, parents and students.”