Kerry Cycling Campaign calls on Kerry County Council and councillors to urgently ‘Change Our Streets’ by reallocating road space to people walking and cycling. We need to reduce hazards to help people maintain social or physical distancing measures during the Covid-19 emergency.
Communication has been made to all Kerry County Councillors and the Chief Executive of Kerry County Council Moira Murrell.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has led to a huge increase in people cycling and walking. A growing number of countries around the world are temporarily reallocating road space from motor vehicles to people on foot and on bikes. Both to keep essential workers moving and to enable residents in lockdown to stay healthy and active while socially distancing.
“We need to ensure our county is safe for people walking or cycling to shops or work, for people exercising with 2 km of their homes and especially people with prams or wheelchairs. Cities and towns all over the world are trialing changes to roads and streets, some of which may be useful after the pandemic. We can Change Our Streets in Kerry with low-cost quick-wins.”
Keith Phelan, Kerry Cycling Campaign
Kerry Cycling Campaign has written to Kerry County Council and councillors to request the following changes:
Cones to widen footpaths in town/village centres or outside shops/queue areas
Temporary use of cones or bollards to create quietways to stop through traffic in housing estates and make roads for play/exercise
Repurposing of full lanes to cycle lanes
Temporary road pedestrianisation
Signs indicating improved pedestrian priority at junctions, reducing risk of transmission via crossing buttons.
“We need to put in place emergency measures to help people safely travel by foot or by bike for essential errands, to travel to work or for exercise. More people than ever are walking and cycling during this coronavirus pandemic. To Change Our Streets is to make our streets safer now, and the future. We have contacted our public representatives and KCC Chief Executive Moira Murrell to ask them to act”
Anluan Dunne, Kerry Cycling Campaign
Given recent statements by Minister for Health, Simon Harris, we know that movement restrictions and social distancing measures will remain in place until a vaccine is developed. As such, it must be easy and tolerable for people to comply. If we Change Our Streets, the environment of our cities, towns and villages will help compliance to public health measures. As Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme, says: “Move quickly; speed trumps perfection.
Martina Callanan, board member of Cyclist.ie – the Irish Cycling Advocacy Network
Dublin City Council is implementing measures in Ranelagh, Rathmines, Stonybatter, Dorset St and Capel St by removing loading bays and parking spaces by placing orcas and bollards. It is time to see the same positive action taken in the towns and villages of Co Kerry.
So the rumors were true it was announced today that 2 greenways in Kerry are to share €6.5m in funding under the Project Ireland 2040 plan. €3 million is being allocated for the Tralee-Fenit greenway, while €3.5 million will go towards the North Kerry project from Listowel to Kilmorna.
Minister Griffin says this funding will ensure both projects will be fully completed and as both projects are “shovel ready”, and says it will only be a matter of months before work on the projects gets underway.
There are a worrying number of “ists” in society today – racists, sexists, and even fascists – who’d have thought they’d make such a comeback?! For her debut one-woman show, Elaine Gallagher has decided to focus on a positive “ist” in society – the cyclist!
The Freedom Machine is a hilarious audio-visual stand up show, which celebrates 100 years of women’s suffrage by exploring the revolutionary bicycle. Co-Director of “The Comeback” feature film (Filmbase). Writer for “The Mario Rosenstock Show” (RTÉ). This work premiered at Smock Allies: Scene + Heard 2018.
As part of National Bike Week Kerry Cycling Campaign presents The Freedom Machine a new show from Elaine Gallagher which explores the parallels between cycling and feminism using a mix of stand up comedy and audio-visual inserts.
The history of cycling mirrors the history of feminism in a fascinating way. As the call for women’s suffrage grew towards the end of the 1800’s, so did women’s use of the bicycle, and both were seen as threats to the established social order. The notion of women traveling around unchaperoned was at best challenging, and for many unacceptable and dangerous. Is it any wonder when bicycles were a source of unprecedented liberty for so many women, or as Susan B. Anthony called it, “a freedom machine”.
Elaine’s show will chart the origins of the bicycle and its role in granting freedoms to women, including its significant role in female suffrage. It will also explore the parallels between cyclists and women, and motorists and men, i.e. motorist/male entitlement, being subject to abuse and potential violence, lacking the safe facilities that we need in this day and age, and so on.
This is a free event (limited spaces) and will take place at O’Donnells, Mounthawk, Tralee, Co. Kerry on Friday the 29th of June at 8pm.
For those interested in cycling to this event a group will be meeting at 7.15 in Tralee town square for a leisurely spin out along the Tralee-Fenit Greenway.
Things finally seem to be moving along on the development of the Kerry section of the Great Southern Trail the Tralee to Fenit Greenway as Kerry County Council announce that they are to hold a public consultation day regarding each projects in Fenit and Listowel respectively.
Maps of the route of the proposed greenway will be on display for inspection throughout the day. Kerry County Council officials will be available to discuss any aspect of the projects on a one-to-one basis with landowners and interested parties during the hours specified above. In the event that a person cannot attend, an appointment can be made on an alternative date in their office in Tralee or at their landholding if preferred.
Public consultation day regarding the proposed Tralee to Fenit Greenway
Venue: Fenit Parish Centre
Date: Wednesday 23rd May 2018
Time: 11am – 8pm
Public consultation day regarding the proposed North Kerry Greenway – Listowel to Limerick County Bounds (Sluicequarter).
Venue: Listowel Arms Hotel (Greenville Room)
Date: Thursday 24th May 2018
Time: 11am – 8pm
There was sense of disbelief among followers and advocates of the three decade long Great Southern Trail saga while listening to Tuesday’s edition of the Kerry Today programme which featured former Councilor Din Stack (center above) extolling the benefits of the proposed greenway.
Mr. Stack a former Listowel Town Councilor was the sole member who opposed a proposal for the council to back the greenway project and was also a key member of the North Kerry Abandoned Railway Line Action Group (NKARLAG) who not only objected to the development of the greenway but also claimed ownership of the former railway land, a demand that was dropped in 2013 when CIE stated that they would fight any ownership claim.
As mentioned in the interview the change of heart came after a of a number of former objectors to the project paid a visit to the much lauded Waterford Greenway,
Following the transfer of the two North Kerry railways from CIE last year, Kerry County Council has this week begun the consultation process with interested parties along the proposed North Kerry Greenway.
Letters were delivered to residents and landowners adjoining the route which will run from the current Great Southern Trail head at the county bounds to Tralee where it will join with the Tralee to Fenit Greenway.
This is a long awaited development in a project which was originally initiated 30 years ago this year. In 1988 Sustrans was commissioned by Shannon Development to carry out a comprehensive feasibility study on the development of the Great Southern Trail.
The report outlined Ireland’s first planned greenway, over the intervening three decades the entirety of the Limerick section of the route has been converted. While Kerry has fallen behind there has been action on both ends over the last number of years with the opening of the urban section in Tralee and the ongoing clearance of the 10.5km section between Listowel and the Kerry border. A survey of this section is currently being carried out, and it’s expected the design of the greenway will be completed by the end of August then preparation of the necessary planning documentation can begin.
Last year Limerick Council took over the running of the Limerick section of the route from the volunteer led GST Ltd. and plans to invest significantly in the amenity allocating €1.2 million in their 2018 budget to the project. They are currently in the process of re-branding the route as The Southern Greenway, along with the installation of new signage there are also plans to rejoin the Barnagh tunnel to the route which was previous cut off due to road realignment as well as resurfacing the trail. Longer term plans include extending the route right into the heart of Limerick City.
In Kerry the route would not only provide a much needed boost to tourism in the area but would also serve to provide a safe off road link connecting the North Kerry towns of Tralee, Ardfert, Abbeydorney, Lixnaw and Listowel, as well as linking isolated rural communities.
The Great Southern Greenway which if fully developed would be almost 100km in length making it Ireland’s longest greenway. The route will also form part of Trans-European EuroVelo 1 and in time will link up with other greenways such as the Waterford and Mayo greenways in order to provide a dedicated cycle route from Wexford to Belfast along the Atlantic coast, much of the route would be in parallel with the Wild Atlantic Way.
At the July meeting of Kerry County Council Cllr. J. Sheahan proposed that
That Kerry County Council write to the Minister for Transport to negotiate with the TII and recommend that any future road developments along major routes within Kerry will have the inclusion of a cycle lane.
Cllr. J. Sheahan stated while he accepted it is all down to finance we as a Council must insist that the way forward is the inclusion of cycle lanes. We are encouraging people to leave their cars at home and avail of the cycle to work schemes but we can’t offer them safe passage the way our roads are currently designed.
Cllr. Sheahan added that he would like to see Kerry leading the way as pioneers of cycle lanes being in corporated on all major routes.
Kerry County Council have publish a newsletter on the South Kerry Greenway.
The purpose of this newsletter is to update the public and in particular the people of Reenard, Cahersiveen, Kells, Glenbeigh and the surrounding areas of the progress to date on the proposed 32km greenway from Reenard to Glenbeigh. The newsletter outlines the plans for 2016 and summarises the procedures involved in delivering the project.
One of the main complaints of the first phase of the Tralee to Fenit Greenway was the lack of route permeation and linkage with estates it passes, with only one intermediate access point along the whole route, this issue was observed by numerous individuals and groups as part of the planning process.
A prime example of this was at Gort Na Greine where the existing access point was blocked up with industrial palisade fencing despite the fact that at the time of the development this was a well trodden route.
Within a short period of the fencing being installed a few sections were removed and people were able to ‘unofficially’ use the link again , it was a common sight to see people lifting bikes and even children in pushchairs through the gap in the fence.
The ultimate irony here was the fact that the Gort Na Greine road had an existing cyclepath, the white line can be seen runnign down the center of the footpath in the picture above.
It was great to hear that this very issue was raised by Cllr. Pa Daly at the November Tralee Municipal District meeting, and that the fencing will be removed and access restored.
11. Cllr. P. Daly:
That this Council will construct an official gateway on to the Fenit Walkway from Gort Na Greine.
The existing palisade fence and gate will be removed and a new pedestrian access will be provided to facilitate connectivity between the local
estates and the Walkway
Cllr. P. Daly said that he welcomed this reply
Update April 2016
Kerry County Council have finally removed the fencing to allow ‘official’ access onto the greenway from Gort Na Greine and adjoining estates, this is great for linkages along the greenway.
It is surprising that the full fencing was not removed only the part bounding the roadway meaning that pedestrians have to depart the footpath and travel along the roadway, a situation not ideal especially for the elderly, people with pushchairs, and wheelchair users.