The public's views are being sought, via a ‘virtual information room’, on plans for a high-quality pedestrian, cycle, and public transport corridor serving the entire Dublin Road.
The Dublin Road runs for 4km from the Moneenageisha Junction to the Martin Roundabout in Roscam, and is one of the most traffic heavy sections of the city road network. However, Social Democrats Galway City East councillor, Owen Hanley, has said the proposed BusConnects Galway-Dublin Road corridor "has the potential to transform transport solutions in Galway".
The Galway City Council is inviting the public, landowners, and other stakeholders to learn about the proposed scheme; to share feedback; raise issues of local concern, and raise questions through the virtual information room which can be accessed via www.bcgdublinroad.ie
The corridor, as proposed, includes bus journey time savings of up to nine minutes; 1.6km of new pedestrian footpaths; segregated cycle lanes; and alterations to reduce or eliminate rat-running in Renmore.
This non-statutory public consultation on the Emerging Preferred Option for BusConnects Galway-Dublin Road will be online for a minimum of six weeks. It is an initiative of the city council, in partnership with the National Transport Authority, and Transport Infrastructure Ireland.
According to Sarah O’Donnell, project architect for TII, the plan will take into account existing features of the Dublin Road, including the Meadows proposal, which will incorporate a two-way cycle path.
Cllr Hanley is encouraging the public to go to the information room and make their views known. "A proposal of this scale can only work with strong input from local residents and community groups," he said. "For some it will seem like a big change, but Galway needs big change if we are to tackle our transport issues.
'The current approach is not working'
While Cllr Hanley said there is "a lot to examine" in the BusConnects proposals, and that the works involved would "be a substantial intervention", he believes it has the "potential to be a massive step forward for transport" in the city, and will "get Galway moving".
"The Dublin Road is consistently backed up despite it being the main artery in and out of Galway as well as between communities in the Eastside. This road must work for residents, commuters, and growth," he said. "A common misconception you will hear is that our roads are at capacity, when in fact we are actually using our limited road space very inefficiently."
Links with other road projects
Cllr Hanley also believes the Dublin Road proposal is making the "right steps" by linking in with other projects, pointing out how the Kirwan and Martin roundabouts are due to be turned into junctions. "BusConnects will be developing alongside those developments to make them safer and more efficient," he said.
He also noted that there are five cycle lanes being progressed on the east side of the city, and that the segregated cycle lanes as part of the proposed new corridor "create a continuous loop" of cycling infrastructure between Renmore, Ballybane, Doughiska, and Roscam. "That holistic approach," he said, "will ensure comprehensive transport improvements for the long term."