CORK City Council will tonight discuss a proposal by Green Party councillor Colette Finn to stick to the original plans for a continuous cycle lane in Bishopstown.
Ms Finn will argue that the removal of part of the cycle lane for car parking for several local businesses must be avoided.
A design for the Curraheen Rd pedestrian and cycle safety improvement scheme was published by Cork City Council for public consultation late last year and was to be a safe cycling route between Marymount and Cork University Hospital while linking up a number of local schools and Munster Technological University’s Bishopstown campus.
Ms Finn said in the original scheme that went for public consultation, the cycle lane went as far as Melbourn Rd. However, concerns were raised by a number of businesses along the route that it would impact them, with parking spots removed. The council then agreed to have the lane finish at Rossa Avenue.
“I’m proposing that the councillors vote on the original scheme and not just have the pared-back scheme presented to the meeting,” said Ms Finn.
Darren McAdam O’Connell, co-ordinator of Cork Transport and Mobility Forum, said the original plan was for safe, pleasant, and useful infrastructure to allow children to get to and from school safely and enable workers to get to Cork University Hospital faster and easier.
“When you insert a little gap in a cycle lane and fill it with parking, it means children swinging out into traffic at risk of being hit by doors flying open,” he said. “It no longer makes the road safer and more welcoming; it could be argued that it makes the road more dangerous and hostile. The idea that taking away parking line spaces to provide a cycle lane will cause any problems for businesses is a myth.”
Ms Finn said that part of the problem is that the scheme is being modified and this has not been referred to the public. “I think we should have a debate in public as to why it should be modified, and make our decisions based on the public consultation, and the majority of submissions were in favour of us,” she said.
Irish Doctors for the Environment supported the proposed Curraheen cycleway.
“The cycleway needs to be a complete, unbroken route to give confidence to less experienced cyclists to use it, and it should go directly to school gates. From a public health perspective, this has the potential to instigate a change for the better for the health of Cork residents.”