Hi, there! — Welcome to the eighteenth edition of my monthly newsletter to keep you up to date on my work for Cork City North East.
This month we have motions on traffic calming, planting on MacCurtain Street, and safer walking environments, as well as questions on naming places after American abolitionist and escaped slave, Frederick Douglass. I’ve also included updates on road safety, further investment in public transport, and the impact of dog fouling on people with disabilities.
Please remember to share this newsletter with your friends and neighbours in the ward. If there’s anything you want to get in touch about, or if you have thoughts and feedback on any issues in the ward, feel welcome to email me any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
p.s. You can use this link to easily share this newsletter with your friends and neighbours in the ward ... oliver.ie/newsletter
Motions and notions
Every month, each councillor can submit up to four motions to Cork City Council and ask two formal questions of the Chief Executive. One of these questions is asked at the Local Area Committee and must be about local operational matters.
Before the deadline each month, I meet with my local group, the Cork City North Greens, and we agree motions and questions for the month ahead. We call this our “motions and notions” meeting :-)
If you have ideas or suggestions for a motion, or have a question you want asked, just let me know!
Or join the Cork City North Greens ... my.greenparty.ie
“To ask the Chief Executive on progress to name a street or place after Frederick Douglass (20/253) and if this will be considered in the context of the city’s friendship agreement with Washington, DC?”
This question will be answered at the full meeting of Cork City Council on Monday. I will also submit a question to the Local Area Committee later in the month.
“That Cork City Council will report on options for traffic calming on the eastern section of Middle Glanmire Road, including converting the zebra crossing near the junction with Springfort to a raised table and/or creating a build-out and raised table near Crann Darach.”
“That Cork City Council will publish a revised planting scheme for the MacCurtain Street area, in light of the difficulty in achieving the original planting scheme discovered during the development of the MacCurtain Street Public Transport Improvement Scheme; and that this will integrate with the street furniture scheme being promoted by the VQ trader’s group, and the potential for a pocket park south of Clifton Terrace.”
“That Cork City Council will prepare an updated strategy for walking in the city, including improving the pedestrian infrastructure and environment of the city, that this is accessible, and ensuring footpaths are free of cyclists, e-scooters and parked motor vehicles.”
“That Cork City Council will fund the installation of a bike bunker for use by interested residents as an alternative to resident or on-street car parking at a suitable location, such as Glenmont in Silversprings, and will invite expressions of interest from residents groups, like was recently funded by Waterford Sports Partnership.”
Safer speed limits
In response to the tragic spate of road deaths in August, speed limits across the country are proposed to be lowered by 20km/h from early next year. The changes will mean that speed limits across the city, except on arterial and national roads, will be 30km/h.
This is something that has been demanded by parents, cyclists and residents groups across the city and it will be hugely welcomed. The roll-out of special 30km/h zones across the city has been painstaking. The bureaucratic process involved simply couldn’t keep up with demand from residents groups.
In March, Cork City Council agreed unanimously a motion I put forward to support the Road Safety Authority in 30km/h being the default speed limit on urban roads. It’s a crucial step to equalising the road for everyone in an urban environment. At 50km/h there is a 70% chance that a pedestrian hit by a car will die, that falls to 10% at 30km/h.
It means too that cyclists and motorist will be travelling at more-or-less the same speed, reducing one source of conflict between different users of the road. In reality, when traffic lights and junctions are taken into account, it makes little or no difference to motoring journey times in the city, but it means everyone being able to share the road more safely.
€80m investment in Cork rail
Last month, another €80m investment was announced for signalling infrastructure used by the Cork commuter rail network. This will be in addition to double tracking between Glounthaune and Midleton and providing a new “through-running” platform at Kent Station.
This is real evidence of delivering transformative public transport in Cork. Where all these engineering works are bringing us is towards new high-frequency commuter rail in Cork in the next short few years. It will allow 10-minute frequency trains serving stations between Mallow, Cork and Cobh/Midleton.
I know from speaking to Irish Rail they want to apply for planning permission for new stations at Blackpool and Blarney in the next 12 months.
It’s hard to believe after so many reports and promises but it is now all go in the next few years.
Looking further into the future, the proposed route for the Cork Luas is expected to be announced in the coming months, after being delayed over Summer. It is my expectation that this will propose a connection directly with the new commuter rail network.
That will mean an integrated metropolitan rail and tram network connecting stops across the city from Blackpool to Bishopstown and Mahon to Cobh and Midleton.
In addition, it was announced in the last few days that a third round of public consultation will happen on public transport priority measures for BusConnects Cork, which will improve the frequency and reliability of bus services across the city.
In August, the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) highlighted the huge issue that dog fouling presents for people who are blind or vision impaired. Not only is dog fouling a slip hazard, it can also be distressing for white cane users whose canes are dirtied by faeces.
Dog fouling continues to be a problem across the city. It’s absolutely correct for the NCBI to highlight it. Groups that are particularly affected by it are young children and people with disabilities, especially people with vision impairments and wheelchair users.
Unfortunately, the current system of relying on fines and signage are just not fit for purpose. Just one fine was issued by Cork City Council last year.
To issue fines, a person needs to be caught in the act by the litter warden or for a witness to be able to identify the person, including their name and address to issue the fine to. That’s not something people are able to do for something like this. More often than not, if you see someone leaving dog fouling on the street, you don’t know who they are to be able to report them.
There was a proposal to Cork City Council on making it a requirement for people to carry litter bags with them when walking dogs. That’s something that I would support but it was pushed back upon by the law officer as potentially being something else that couldn’t be enforced.
In the meantime, the most effective measure that I’ve come across is residents groups to mark dog fouling with special fluorescent paint. This serves to highlight the fouling and would appear to embarrass the people leaving it behind, leading to a reduction in incidents.
If there are community groups who want advice on how to go about using this technique in their own areas, they are welcome to get in touch with me directly about it and I will gladly assist in getting the correct permissions and paints necessary.
In the news…
National Transport Authority to hold a third round of consultation on BusConnects in Cork later this year
Oliver Moran said a third round of consultation will provide a further opportunity for residents and stakeholder groups to engage directly in the design process.
Echo, Tuesday, 1 August
Cork City Green Party Councillor, Oliver Moran, says, “It’s vital that libraries are safe and open spaces for everyone in our city to learn and read in private.”
96fm, Monday, 4 September
Green Oliver Moran will also feature in what is now an entirely changed dynamic.
Irish Independent, Thursday, 31 August
Keep in touch
Have a great month!
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