Pedestrian counters are to be installed across Kilkenny City in the coming weeks with plans to pedestrianise High Street for certain events going to be done in “baby steps”.
At a recent meeting of the Municipal District of Kilkenny City, local representatives heard details of the council’s project for a Mobility Management Plan 2018-2023 which will deal with how people move around the city.
It will involve initiatives to improve the attractiveness of walking, cycling, driving and using public transport in Kilkenny City and includes examining the pedestrianisation of High Street.
Council engineer, Seamus Kavanagh, told the meeting that a design brief for consultants is being developed and this will be followed by a work shop with the councillors.
Then the local authority will have a public consultation process with a final report expected by mid-2018 with targets and aims outlined in the plan and “hopefully” projects as well.
Mayor of Kilkenny City, Michael Doyle, says pedestrian traffic on High Street can be “uncomfortably heavy”.
Cllr David Kennedy says he would be against the pedestrianisation of High Street and said: “If we take the traffic out it leaves it fairly dead looking. I would be in favour of a one-way system rather than taking all the cars off of it.”
Cllr Malcolm Noonan says the council needs to start giving consideration to pedestrianizing High Street and there will be “mixed views, no doubt about it”.
Cllr Patrick O’Neill says businesses are more open to pedestrianisation “than they were in the past”.
Meanwhile Cllr David Fitzgerald said people were “furious” and “seething” at attempts to introduce a one-way system and he warmly welcomed the proposal for a full public consultation on pedestrianisation.
He told the meeting that it would be “foolish to rush” the scheme and that it would better to get tests done and get people’s reaction to that.
Mr Kavanagh said: “It is baby-steps on this as regards pedestrianisation. We’re looking at St Patrick’s weekend and Arts weekend [as trial dates]. It’ll be a baby-step plan and there’ll probably be a plan B&C going forward.”
He told members High Street up to James Street would likely be kept free so that cars can still come up a little bit.
Mr Kavanagh also said that pedestrian counters will be installed to record the numbers making their way around the town to help develop the plan.
Traffic surveys/counts will also be used as well potential traffic/pedestrians moving around the City with the development of the Diaego site.
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