Ballina based Independent Cllr Mark Duffy has asked for the public to weigh in and have a discussion about potentially pedestrianising parts of Ballina town for a trial period.
The first time councillor outlined in a social media post the potential areas that could be trialed and asked for feedback and comments from the local community in relation to the suggestion.
In his post Cllr Duffy said: "I spoke with the head of the Ballina Municipal District Declan Turnbull along with Mags Downey of Ballina.ie and Ballina Chamber of Commerce about the possibility of pedestrianisation of Pearse street for a trial period.
"Given the current pandemic, a greater need has been placed on businesses and local authorities to allow for social distancing. Pearse Street is one of the main shopping streets of the town, and businesses on the street could be benefited with extra outdoor space during shopping hours.
"I think a proposal such as below may be something that could work: Pearse Street pedestrianised from Monday to Thursday: 10am to 5pm, Friday: 10am until midnight, Saturday: 10am until midnight and Sunday: all day.
"The benefits of the above would be: Additional space and capacity with outdoor seating for businesses on the street such as The Loft pub, Rouse’s pub, Moca Beams cafe, Costa Coffee and Supermacs for example. Additional space for social distancing. Safer and more accessible for the elderly and disabled. Encouragement for more music and entertainment during summer months, which will be needed after a long lockdown and most suitable outdoors. Minimum distribution to traffic as its outside peak times. Businesses deliveries can be carried out, outside of pedestrian times. Provision of parking exists with the street being served by Bank of Ireland Car Park x2, Loft Lane Car Park, Market Square Car Park, Military Barracks Car Park.
"If not the above, perhaps a trial period for Friday to Sunday should be implemented? Is it time that people were prioritised over cars? If nothing else, I think it’s worth considering given how suitable and well designed Pearse Street is. I’m interested in feedback from businesses and shoppers, join the conversation by letting me know your thoughts by commenting."
Cllr Duffy's post has got plenty of people talking in the area over the idea with more than 100 comments.