Dublin City Council has announced plans to pedestrianise parts of the city centre to allow for social distancing measures to be implemented as the country begins to ease lockdown restrictions. The move comes as businesses prepare to reopen and the public are encouraged to return to work.
The pedestrianisation plans will see a number of streets closed to traffic, including sections of Grafton Street, South William Street, and Capel Street. The measures will also include the installation of temporary cycle lanes and widened footpaths to allow for increased pedestrian traffic.
The council has said that the pedestrianisation plans are part of a wider strategy to create a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly city centre. The move has been welcomed by environmental groups, who have long campaigned for the reduction of car usage in the city.
However, the plans have also been met with criticism from some business owners who are concerned about the impact on their trade. The Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) has called on the council to ensure that the pedestrianisation measures do not adversely affect businesses in the area.
The council has said that it will work with businesses to mitigate any negative impact, and has promised to monitor the situation closely.
The pedestrianisation plans are just one of a number of measures being implemented by the council to help the city recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Other measures include the expansion of outdoor seating areas for cafes and restaurants, and the introduction of a new park and ride scheme to encourage people to use public transport.
The council has also said that it will be working closely with the National Transport Authority to ensure that public transport services are able to cope with the increased demand as more people return to work.
The pedestrianisation plans have been welcomed by many members of the public, who are eager to see the city become more pedestrian-friendly. However, there are concerns that the measures may not be enough to ensure social distancing, particularly during peak times.
The council has said that it will be closely monitoring the situation and will make adjustments to the pedestrianisation plans if necessary. The success of the measures will depend on the cooperation of the public, who will need to adhere to social distancing guidelines while using the newly-pedestrianised areas.
Overall, the pedestrianisation plans represent a positive step towards creating a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly city centre. While there may be some initial challenges, the benefits of reducing car usage in the city are clear, and the council’s commitment to working with businesses to mitigate any negative impact is encouraging.