Car Parking Restrictions And 30km Speed Limit To Be Introduced In Phoenix Park

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Dublin's Phoenix Park is undergoing a major high-visibility Garda campaign to combat traffic misuse and taking drivers advantage of parking.

Dublin’s Phoenix Park will undergo a high-visibility Garda campaign today as a new 30km/h speed limit and traffic restrictions are implemented. According to reports, park traffic is being targeted with a reduction of the 50km/hr, amid other regulations, in the most significant curbs to date.

As well as a top speed reduction, vehicles will no longer be permitted to use the park’s main southern road as a throughway. Going forward, the northern entrance will become one way only, in addition to temporary cycle lanes on Chesterfield Avenue made permanent.

Ahead of the new changes, Patrick O’Donovan said introducing these measures will save lives. The Minister of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW) said their ambition is “to protect life. We don’t want to have a situation where there’s a young child, or any park user killed because of excessive speed, and we have gotten a lot of complaints in relation to motorists’ speed in the Phoenix Park.”

Giving his strongest indications toward the implementing of park changes to date, Mr O’Donovan said “difficult decisions” would have to be made about parking. With a strategy on the future car parking set to publish later in the year, Mr O’Donovan said, “we cannot continue to have the number of cars going into the Phoenix Park to park at the rate they are. Everything is free, gratis and for nothing up there at the moment.”

O’Donovan revealed that Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council would have to work with the OPW to devise parking solutions. “Two local authorities” would be needed to come up with “solutions short term and medium term to help us manage parking into the future. What is not sustainable into the future is that it becomes something of a quasi-dumping ground for parking.

Sustainability has to become a factor in this. A lot of the other tourist attractions are not providing car parking, but somehow [it] seems to have become our responsibility to find car parking on our site just for our visitors alone.”

O’Donovan feels they can focus on finding a solution to the problem of illegal parking via the new parking strategy. “We can’t continue to have the amenity being destroyed by people driving up on the grass, parking under signs saying ‘don’t park on the grass’ and just showing wanton disregard for what we’re trying to do. It is an appalling example to be showing to people.”

When quizzed on if an introduction to more clamping is necessary, O’Donovan said he does not wish to anticipate the parking strategy. Expecting the strategy to be published in September, the OPW said he continues to “have an open mind on everything. I’m not saying that anything is off the table, what I can say is nothing will remain the same.”

Beginning this Monday, Irish Times report that just under 1km on Upper Glen Road (southern road) will convert to a car-free lane. While North Road will convert to a one-way system from Cabra Gate to Dublin Zoo, with one lane of traffic in the centre of the road, flanked by parking spaces and a two-way cycle lane.

O’Donovan said those in the area will experience a strong Garda presence in the park, which is due to continue on an ongoing basis. “We are asking people to obey the changes but to remind people that Gardaí have powers of enforcement. There will be Garda presence in the park to enforce that throughout.

We have already got some feedback of people not being overly happy in terms of commuting times but remember this is a park. It is in the first instance a place for people to enjoy in terms of amenity.”

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