Some of the plans to transform movement within and access to Phoenix Park include the steady reduction of private vehicles, setting the park-wide speed limit to 30Km/h, increasing the cycling routes to double the current number and the creation of a bus service.
According to the plans, Knockmaroon Gate will lead to a dead end, Ashtown Gate will only be used as an entrance to the park, and Cabra Gate will only be used by walkers, cyclists on bikes and ebikes and buses; with only one permanent gate closure being proposed.
To make it easier for park users to get to various amenities, while still preventing through-traffic, a few more dead-end roads will also be introduced.
Bus services, which will be linked to other north city bus lines as well as the Luas Green Line, Broombridge and Heuston train stations, will facilitate the transportation of the 2,800 park workers to and from the park, in addition to providing convenient access to nearby attractions, such as the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre and Dublin Zoo among others.
While traffic will be reduced along 13.5 kilometers of roads within the park, a total of 3 kilometers will be completely free of traffic.
The current cycle lanes, which stretch over 17kilometers, are to be improved; and another 14 kilometers added.
All over the park, new crossings for pedestrians will be set up and the current stretch of walking routes, covering a distance of 7.2 kilometers will be upgraded.
The Fingal County Council, Office of Public Works, Dublin City Council and National Transport Authority worked together on the study that contains all of these proposals.
Calls to permanently keep cars out of the park, after a temporary ban was instituted last spring and summer, during the initial Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, led to the ordering of the study by Office of Public Works Minister Patrick O’Donovan.
Before reaching their favored approach, set to be gazette on Tuesday, the group evaluated 3 public transportation proposals and 10 individual road and traffic packages.
To keep private cars from driving through the park unnecessarily, the members of the group recommended the need for new by-laws and traffic guidelines, for additional support.
Starting within months, with a provisional bus route and the set up of dead-end roads at the Upper Glen Road car park, Upper Glen Road and North Road, it was recommended that implementation was to be done in phases.
The strategy would be re-evaluated and updated in 5 years; at which point, other changes would be implemented.
To establish whether the new changes were effective and leading to the outcome they had anticipated, the group said the tracking of data, from the beginning, would be vital.
While the use of private cars within the park would be discouraged as much as possible, extreme measures, like permanent gate closures were not recommended as the members of the group agreed that these vehicles still had a part to play in facilitating access to the park and the amenities therein.