Ennis pedestrianization request leads to calls for in-depth public consultation
A period of in-depth public consultation should be organized regarding the potential introduction of full-time pedestrianization measures at Ennis.
By the end of September, all pedestrianization measures in the town of Ennis that were introduced in response to COVID-19 to enable social distancing must be lifted with the conclusion of the Covid-19 Ennis Town Center temporary mobility plan .
The alfresco dining at Ennis was hailed as a success by Cllr Paul Murphy (FG) as he called for an “extensive period of public consultation on resuming a similar project on a permanent basis” to be organized as soon as possible . He explained that this would summarize the views of residents of the affected areas, local traders, affected stakeholders and the public “with a view to concluding with a proposal that would satisfy the majority and allow Ennis to continue to prosper as we continue to emerge from the covid pandemic19 “.
The Mayor of Ennis, Cllr Ann Norton (IND) called to assess the interest of different groups of Ennis to develop a new plan for the city “because it is possible to look at a mobility plan for the improvement of our city. ”.
In response to their motions to the Ennis municipal district, senior executive Leonore O’Neill detailed that the mobility plan “was not intended as a permanent measure. Clare County Council made a commitment from the outset that any proposal for permanent pedestrianization of all streets in the city would go to full public consultation ”.
She added: “We will separately undertake a broader public consultation through the development of the Ennis Mobility Plan, which is a requirement of the National Development Plan and will consider all modes of transport for the sustainable movement of people to Ennis and its surroundings. . This process should begin shortly. A full public consultation will be undertaken, either through the Ennis mobility plan process or otherwise ”.
Numerous representations have been received by Ennis’ advisers on the subject, Cllr Murphy said. “The last few months we’ve had a good summer mainly with the weather, it’s important that we don’t take this as a complete answer to alfresco dining. I look forward to the response. I would love to think that we would have something, no matter how this consultation goes, we could look to spring or next summer and have something firm in place to make that happen forever, the appetite seems to be there to keep this going. The main feedback was that the internal trade was excellent, most of them seem to agree ”.
Accessibility is improving in Ennis, according to Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG), “Ennis is unique in the whole state, the census shows that 15% of people walk to work, in Ennis 35% on foot for go to work “. He added, “We have all seen the benefits of pedestrian-friendly upgrades, we need to have an open and frank discussion about it, the majority of people want it. 81% of businesses on O’Connell Street don’t have a back door for deliveries, deliveries from Dublin will only arrive after lunch, so how do we deal with that. We are missing around 2,500 parking spaces in the city according to my analysis ”.
Tough decisions were made during the pandemic, admitted Cllr Mary Howard (FG). She described the current situation with the gradual reduction in pedestrianization as “a mess”. She recalled a near mess in the city center where a woman cried out in fear for her child’s life when a car pulled up behind them. “We have to make a call, the streets are open or they are not. Really, people didn’t know the streets reopened at 2 p.m. The last thing I want to hear is that a kid has been run over in town or someone has been run over. The sooner we start this conversation, the better. People felt safer in the city ”.
People have enjoyed their freedom since receiving the vaccine, noted Cllr Pat Daly (FF). “The pedestrianization has been a great success. We have to listen to the people of Ennis and especially the business people. For the future, we have to listen to the people, this is important. As history will tell you, there are people for and against pedestrianization, the majority are for it. Until we have adequate parking in this city, we will not have full-time pedestrianization. We have a former national school which I would like to see as full time parking, ”he said.
There is a demand for pedestrianization, said Cllr Clare Colleran Molloy (FF), “people are almost besieging us to introduce pedestrianization”.
Service manager Carmel Kirby said an Ennis mobility plan would be completed next year and would include aspects such as parking, biking and a pedestrian-friendly city.
Large volumes of correspondence have been received on this subject, acknowledged Ms. O’Neill. “As CEO, it behooves us to fully understand what all parties want the city of our future to look like. The mobility plan envisages a much broader aspect, it is imperative to collect opinions on pedestrianization upstream of this plan ”.
She informed the meeting that a large investigation was likely to be completed by the middle of next month, which would have a two-week window for submissions.