Submission on Sallins Traffic Management

The council is currently holding a public consultation on traffic movements and proposed changes to flows within Sallins village.  The details can be seen on council website here and here. I attach the text of my submission below.

Traffic Management in Sallins

Submitted: James Lawless

Date: 29th July, 2011

1.           Introduction

This document is submitted as feedback on the current public consultation re traffic management / pedestrianisation initiatives in Sallins village. It draws on content from other previously submitted documents which dealt with overlapping issues. As such it may sketch a slightly wider scope than the immediate focus of the consultation.

2.           Background

Sallins village has grown rapidly in recent years and the village infrastructure has been under strain for some time. Traffic flows in and around the village currently struggle to cope with the volume of demand. Parking issues also continue to cause exacerbation.

This document highlights current issues with suggestions for improvement where practicable. It is expected the relevant planners can enhance these proposals with solutions based upon their professional knowledge and experience of simliar situations.

3.           Kerdiffstown Road and Canal View

Canal view and the Kerdiffstown road in particular come under strain as traffic to school, church and N7 motorway must use the same narrow egress.

Current difficulties are illustrated in the below diagram.

Traffic flows in the diagram are illustrated with block arrows. The area covered is the block between the canal, church and railway station.

These routes are heavily used by traffic for school, church and access to N7 motorway. A one-way system is currently in force around the canal bridge area.

Whilst the streets were always busy and occasionally congested, the situation was worsened a while back by creation of parking spaces along the street shown in diagram as purple boxes. Whilst being sympathetic to the need for extra parking in the village centre, at points 3 & 4 in above diagram, the parking spaces resulted in narrowing the carriageway to the point where only one car can pass at a time. This had the unintentional effect of creating a de facto one way street.

This in turn means that traffic wishing to turn right along the canal from the main street sometimes must travel up onto the canal bridge and take a right turn across a lane of oncoming traffic and down the ramp off canal bridge (point 1 in above diagram). Due to the humpback bridge this is effectively a blind turn and in my view is highly dangerous.

Much of this is school traffic with young children being brought to school. Also commuters use this path to access the motorway in mornings.

 

Traffic coming from the Kerdiffstown road into the village theoretically has the option of joining the main street at point 2 however this is a very narrow corner junction and is in no way suitable as a primary traffic corridor.

The corner parking space was removed and subsequently double yellow lines were introduced onto the road along by point 4 in diagram (Church Avenue). Whilst excessive parking certainly created issues for such a busy but narrow carriage way the double yellow lines have not proved an effective solution and have negatively impacted the ability of local residents and businessse to park outside their own premises.

The ultimate solution must take into account practicalies such as the need for local parking and “seasonal“ peaks (such as mass times and school run) whilst ensuring a constant smooth flow of traffic to avoid excessive hold ups and knock-on safety issues.

 

4.           Parking Constraints

There are a number of traffic & parking constraints currently applicable within the village area bordering the canal (as descibed above). Spill-over parking from the Railway station negatively impacts upon residents and business owners in the immediate vicinity i.e. on the streets canal view, church avenue etc. It is also problematic that this small road takes a large volume of traffic from the village to the school and out onto the M7 motorway.

These issues can be summarised by the following goals:

  • Ensure available parking exists for residents and commercial users of the location.
  • Address inappropriate all day parking which deprives residents of spaces and clogs road.
  • Ensure roadway is clear especially at peak times and ensure appropriate access for traffic volume.

A suggestion would be that available spaces be allocated to residents on a permit basis and that a short-term parking window be granted for customers and casual users. Excessive / All day parking should be prohibited at all street parking locations in village. Parking regulation should take into account traffic patterns also, e.g. more parking required at mass times but less through traffic.

  • Target available parking at residents and businesses through a permit system
  • Prohibit excessive / all day parking at all on street locations
  • Ensure roadway clear and appropriate for traffic volumes
  • Account for patterns such as school run, motorway commute, church times
  • Single yellow line to enable flexibility outside core hours e.g. weekend mass times
  • Address safety issues by providing smooth, managed flow of traffic

5.           New Junctions

The new traffic junction should consider flows from Osberstown estates, railway station and church avenue as well as existing (and essential for school) pedestrian crossing facility. It is suggested to relocate this crossing just slightly to come in line with the existing junction, to regulate access for motorists entering the Main street from either side and also to enable pedestrian traffic cross to the school, church and train station in safety from the other side. I understand detailed consultation on this will occur at a later date.

Another junction requiring control measures is also required from Osberstown cottages onto R407 where a set of lights have been erected but not enabled and then removed. This junction should be incorporated into the overall traffic management scheme with alacirty to enable residents here access the main road and avoid an accident.

6.           Main Street and Canal Bridge

Traffic volumes along the main street are magnified by vehicles using the village as a rat run between the N7 and N4 motorways.

The current canal bridge can also be hazardous for pedestrians due to narrow footpath on one side and no footpath on other.

Pedestrian traffic from the Osberstown side of the village has no footpath to cross the bridge on that side. Whilst it is possible to cross at the traffic lights, it is necessary then to recross the main road further down the village in order to cross back onto that side. Access to the canal is thereby impaired for walkers, people with buggies or in wheelchairs.

Provision of a pedestrian foot bridge on one or both sides of canal bridge could address this hazard whilst enhancing the aesthetic character of the bridge (ala Newbridge footbridge across Liffey) .

7.           Longer Term Solutions

It is appreciated the current consultation is a short-term initiative with a particular focus. Nonetheless the following suggestions are propsed with an eye to the longer term view.

It is hoped the Sallins bypass will take a major volume of traffic off the village streets and address some of the current difficulties. However internal village traffic accessing school, train station, church and motorways will still intersect and conflict at key points.

One way system with new canal bridge

One longer term solution to manage traffic flows around the village is the creation of a one way system as illustrated in below diagram:

sallins_traffic_oneway

The solution above would require construction of an extra bridge across canal and is understood to be a longer term solution. However it may be the best long term approach.

Traffic flows in above diagram are indicative as is exact location of new bridge, many permutations on above theme would probably work in practice.

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