"The only viable option to protect pedestrian and cyclists safety is for the complete overbridge option..."
Kilkenny needs three pedestrian and cyclist overbridges on the City’s Ring Road and a “bucket of white paint won’t do”, according to Green Party Councillor Malcolm Noonan.
Speaking following the December meeting of Kilkenny County Council where options were informally presented to members to deal with pedestrian and cyclist safety, Cllr Noonan said that he remains convinced that the only viable solution is to place three overbridges at key roundabouts on the Ring Road network and he questioned why these were not designed into the original Ring Road scheme.
He said: “Over five years ago I commissioned this feasibility study and costing for overbridges.
“At our monthly meeting we were presented with three options; a full pedestrian overbridge, overbridge with a lift (to reduce the need for land acquisition) and a road surface pedestrian crossing.
“It is my view that the only viable option to protect pedestrian and cyclists safety is for the complete overbridge option on the Botharnatounish Roundabout, old Dublin Road roundabout and the Hebron Road roundabout.
“A bucket of white paint to mark on advisory stopping points will not work as the speed limits up to the roundabouts is 100kph and many drivers simply plough through the roundabouts on a daily basis.”
Cllr Noonan said that the road engineering section were proposing option three based on cost and the need to purchase what is zoned land to construct the very lengthy gradient approaches to the overbridges.
He said that cost should not be a factor and that perhaps many of the businesses in the IDA Business Park and Danville Business Park might be willing to contribute to a scheme.
“The combined workforce of Statestreet, Taxback, Transfermate and the other businesses on the Ring Road combined with residents is significant.
“It is not in their interest to continuously expand flat surface car parking to accommodate expansion.
“We will soon have an expanded city bus service and many employees in these companies that I have spoken to would love to walk or cycle to work but they feel it is currently too dangerous to cross the Ring Road.”
He added: “The old Dublin road roundabout has many hundreds of residents on the opposite side of the Ring Road and these people are particularly disenfranchised by an ever increasing volume of traffic, particularly HGV traffic.”
He said: “I think we can make a strong case to Transport Infrastructure Ireland and to the multinational financial services and indigenous businesses operating along the Ring Road to fund such a project; all we need now is the political will to make it happen.”