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Galway City to receive €25 million investment in transport over the next 5 years

  • 03-02-2012 10:47pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    So Galway City Council's attempt to snare half the entire national Smarter Travel fund has failed.

    However, there is supposedly another pot of "up to €25 million" to be provided, as part of the NRA's "Regional Cities Programme". Curiously, this is a much larger sum than that won by Limerick for their Smarter Travel plan.

    I can't find any specific reference to such a programme on the NRA's website, but here's the report on Galway News:


    €25m boost to sort out Galway’s traffic woes

    February 3, 2012 - 7:20am
    New pedestrian areas and revamped Salmon Weir Bridge also in pipeline
    BY FRANK FARRAGHER

    The city is to receive a Government investment in transport worth up to €25 million over the next five years that will fund increased pedestrianisation, more bus lanes, a state-of-the-art traffic control centre and possibly a new Salmon Weir bridge.

    Although the city just missed out on the competition for the Smarter Travel funding, Transport Minister of State, Alan Kelly, this week confirmed investment of ‘between €20m and €25m’ for the city, under the National Roads Authority’s, Regional Cities Programme.

    He said that this money would be spent over the next five years with the city being treated as ‘a major priority for transport investment’.

    The ‘consolation prize’ for the city looks certain to turn out far more valuable than coming out tops in the Smarter Travel competition – here the winners were Limerick who will receive a total of €9m for various transport initiatives.

    Galway was ranked second in that Smarter Travel bid for the larger cities but the scale of their €22m submission probably weighed against them, as this would have ‘gobbled up’ the entire national fund.

    Yesterday, Labour Party Galway West TD, Derek Nolan, told the Galway City Tribune, that while the city might have just lost out on the Smarter Travel competition, the scale of the Government investment for Galway in the Regional Cities Programme was fantastic news for the city.

    “At a time when funding is so tight nationally, this is really great news for Galway,” said Deputy Nolan.

    City Council Director of Services, Ciarán Hayes, told the Galway City Tribune, that the funding announced this week in the Regional Cities Programme was very exciting news for Galway and would represent a highly significant investment in the transport infrastructure of the urban area.

    “This funding will enable us to carry out a number of projects in the city that will have major long-term positive results for the people of Galway,” he said.


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Comments

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,913 ✭✭✭ galwaycyclist


    I suspect its NTA not NRA eg National Transport Authority aka the people who say the Seamus Quirke redesign is "worthy of emulation".


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,892 Head The Wall


    Considering they are supposed to spend 12-14 million on the Seamus Quirke road 25 million wont go very far.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    I wonder whether the reported €20-25 million over five years is additional funding targeted at sustainable transport. Or is it just general funding dressed up a bit? Which might mean that overspend in other areas could reduce its impact.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,830 ✭✭✭ _Whimsical_


    Fantastic news... now we can get down to work plonking obstacles such as shopping centres etc in the path of any potential traffic free flow that might arise. Good to get an early heads up.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,956 Doc Ruby


    Galway is probably the only city on earth where such news as this fills me with blind terror.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 445 ✭✭ ladhrann


    Doc Ruby wrote: »
    Galway is probably the only city on earth where such news as this fills me with blind terror.

    Non-eejits of the world unite! You have nothing to lose but Terminator road engineers.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators, Regional North Mods, Regional West Moderators Posts: 81,470 Mod ✭✭✭✭ biko


    From Galway. Until work has actually started I prefer if infrastructure discussion are held in Infrastructure.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    No evidence there is any money apart from the ravings of some government backbenchers. :(


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    biko wrote: »
    From Galway. Until work has actually started I prefer if infrastructure discussion are held in Infrastructure.



    There's more to the plan (if it can be called that) than infrastructure, eg 30 km/h zones.

    However, now that we're here in the Infrastructure forum, may I suggest referring to Galway City in the thread title?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    There's more to the plan (if it can be called that) than infrastructure, eg 30 km/h zones.

    However, now that we're here in the Infrastructure forum, may I suggest referring to Galway City in the thread title?

    Fixed that for ye


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    Thanks.

    At least the title will make sense, as the thread slides into obscurity... :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    The Salmon Weir project has been on the cards for several years. I remember seeing plans for a new bridge in parallel (on downstream) several years ago (could it be 10 years!?), in which case each bridge would have one lane of traffic and there would be considerably wider footpaths+ cycle lanes etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    So Galway City Council's attempt to snare half the entire national Smarter Travel fund has failed.
    Having read the supporting documentation in its entirety, for the betterment of the smarter travel initiative it's a good job that Galway's bid failed.

    The Galway plan had several major flaws - it was premised on the availability of the GCOB & Gluas - one which is being held up by the usual shower of serial complainers, the other being just plain pie in the sky, as well as having a rail hub in the Ardaun-Gurrane-Ornamore strech of track (which has about as much chance be being seen in the next 10 year as WRC part 2).

    Throw in the fact that there was 0 traffic growth forecast for a city that is the center of an area with p*ss poor pt.

    I hope they put some money into a study a 1-way system involving College Rd/Lough Atalia & Bohermore (e.g in College Rd, out Bohermore) - and other things that be done to reconfigure traffic flow without spending millions.

    And bring back the zebra crossings in Eyre Square.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    The usual "usual shower of serial complainers" jibe is uncalled for.

    I hesitate to get involved in a discussion about one-way systems (my satire detectors being below par currently ;) ) except to say that any mention of them in Galway City makes me nervous. In the City Council's hands such measures are are a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

    The Smarter Travel bid was unrealistic from the outset, and the Council's attempt to win almost the entire national fund was obvious hubris.

    A fund reportedly in the region of €25 million over five years requires a coherent and comprehensive plan to match, rather than a series of individual projects.

    Does such a strategic plan exist?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    The usual "usual shower of serial complainers" jibe is uncalled for.

    Peter Sweetman - jibe not just called for, but very accurate I (whether or not you like it).
    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    I hesitate to get involved in a discussion about one-way systems (my satire detectors being below par currently ;) ) except to say that any mention of them in Galway City makes me nervous. In the City Council's hands such measures are are a sledgehammer to crack a nut.

    It's the kind of thing you should love given that it doesn't affect pedestrians and cyclists will just ignore it.
    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    The Smarter Travel bid was unrealistic from the outset, and the Council's attempt to win almost the entire national fund was obvious hubris.

    Considering you were pushing it as an alternative to the bypass that's a bit rich.
    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    A fund reportedly in the region of €25 million over five years requires a coherent and comprehensive plan to match, rather than a series of individual projects.

    Does such a strategic plan exist?
    God I hope so.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    antoobrien wrote: »
    It's the kind of thing you should love given that it doesn't affect pedestrians and cyclists will just ignore it.

    Considering you were pushing it as an alternative to the bypass that's a bit rich.



    1. One-way street systems tend to speed up motorised traffic generally -- in fact that is their broad purpose -- and therefore they are not necessarily pedestrian friendly. Cyclists often ignore one-way streets because the "planners" who made the streets one-way just ignored cyclists. My impression is that in Galway City the "planners" and engineers put in the one-way systems with motorised traffic solely in mind, and then are happy to ignore the cyclists ignoring the law, as are the law enforcers. They seem to be allergic to contra-flow cycle lanes (and to the related removal of car parking spaces incidentally, unlike the burghers of Dungarvan who were among the successful Smarter Travel bidders).

    2. Touché re Smarter Travel as a GCOB alternative. However, what I was really thinking of when I used the word "unrealistic" was the Council's attempt to collar a vast chunk (more than half?) of a national fund. I still think a coherent and sustainable traffic and transportation plan is needed absent a bypass. Smarter Travel was the only game in town for a while. Now it's gone and we have this nebulous €25 million. I'll bet chunks of the city's Smarter Travel proposal will be used in a cut & paste fashion. Having paid handsomely for consultancy and a Walking & Cycling Strategy I doubt they'll just bin the findings. Whether or not the surviving plans are workable and will be properly implemented remains to be seen.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,278 ✭✭✭ dubhthach


    Folks I prefer the thread didn't descend into a "Cyclists are from Mars, Motorists are from Venus" (or vice-versa) thread. I'm more curious about what's actually proposed in this supposed €25m investment plan. So can we keep the jibing to the minimum.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    dubhthach wrote: »
    I'm more curious about what's actually proposed in this supposed €25m investment plan. So can we keep the jibing to the minimum.

    AFAIK there's been no "plan" per say, just rumors for the past few weeks that the smarter travel bid will be rejected (which turned out to be true).

    What'll probably happen is they'll take the bits of the smarter travel plan that they can do - cycle lanes & routes and no car zones bus lanes and remove the rather unrealistic targets for traffic reduction (current counts are already 10% higher than the projection for 2020 total traffic).


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    1. One-way street systems tend to speed up motorised traffic generally

    Try to think outside your own box for a change, all you see when a roads initiative is suggested is an attempt to make life easier for motorists with no regard for PT, pedestrians or cyclists.

    In my experiences around Galway & Dublin, things that made it easier for cars to get around generally make it easier for cyclists to get around (and the converse is also true) e.g. the lights and narrowing of the Tuam Rd at Liosban. When traffic flows, cars tend to stay a small bit further away from the kerb, whereas since these lights have been introduced (the 2 sets is madness, there should only be one set at Riverside) cars tend to closer to the kerbs. The result is that cyclists get squeezed, slowing us down.

    One benefit you're overlooking of the system that I've outlined is that it'd make it easier to provide a bus lane on those roads, while limiting the impact on existing traffic. Seeing as almost all the bus routes going east use Bohermore & College Rd this has the potential to make the bus services better.

    It'll also make it easier to implement the "residents only" suggestions for certain areas that was included in the smarter travel plans, though I'm not sure how realistic they can be without GCOB & more complete PT (which were not going to get any time soon, given budgetary and other constraints).


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 10,577 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Robbo


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    The usual "usual shower of serial complainers" jibe is uncalled for.
    Last time I checked, Sweetman was listed as plaintiff in 12 sets of "live" proceedings. I doubt that Mr Wunder himself was that prolific.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,839 ✭✭✭✭ galwayrush


    Robbo wrote: »
    Last time I checked, Sweetman was listed as plaintiff in 12 sets of "live" proceedings. I doubt that Mr Wunder himself was that prolific.

    :eek:
    Serial objector is too kind a term for him...


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,913 ✭✭✭ galwaycyclist


    antoobrien wrote: »
    Having read the supporting documentation in its entirety, for the betterment of the smarter travel initiative it's a good job that Galway's bid failed.

    The Galway plan had several major flaws - it was premised on the availability of the GCOB & Gluas - one which is being held up by the usual shower of serial complainers, the other being just plain pie in the sky, as well as having a rail hub in the Ardaun-Gurrane-Ornamore strech of track (which has about as much chance be being seen in the next 10 year as WRC part 2).

    It had way more flaws than that and it would have been a travesty if Galway had won over the Limerick bid. In mid January the Labour party started putting it about that the competition had been scrapped. On the 17th of January, the Cycling Campaign put out this press release in response although none of the media picked it up.

    Smarter Travel Fund scrappage a victory for common sense say cyclists

    The Galway Cycling Campaign has warmly welcomed the announcement that the Government is to scrap the controversial “Smarter Travel Areas Fund” and the associated competition. The Cycle Campaign, who represent transportation cyclists in Galway City and County have hailed the decision, as announced by Derek Nolan TD (Labour) this week, as a “victory for common sense”. Since the €50 million fund had been announced in 2009, there had been serious concern among the cycling community nationally that it was poorly conceived and potentially a highly questionable use of public money.

    The Galway Cycling Campaign had been making repeated efforts to raise their concerns with the new Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sports Mr. Leo Varadkar TD. The Cycling Campaign say that what is needed to improve cycling conditions is an initial focus on targeted low-cost interventions designed to solve real problems for cyclists and pedestrians. A focus on Celtic-tiger style “flagship” schemes as typified by the Galway City and Environs bid is exactly the wrong approach. According to campaign chair Mr. Shane Foran: “The department’s conduct of the Areas Fund Competition has highlighted systemic weaknesses at national level. There is cause for particular concern that the “Smarter Travel Unit” does not have the necessary understanding of the field to exercise proper oversight over the schemes and projects that it funds. An independent review of the unit
    may now be necessary


    Initial concerns about the competition were confirmed when the details of the Galway bid, for a €20 million portion of the funding, were revealed. According to the Cycling Campaign, within the their bid and the associated draft strategy document, the council executive failed to address or tackle serious infrastructural defects that are identified in Government policy as requiring remedial action. In the Galway bid, several fundamental infrastructural issues were neglected to the point that it seemed that Galway City and County Councils were actively trying to avoid national policy. Explained Campaign PRO Oisín Ó Nidh: “The original bid included a welcome proposal for 30kph zones. It then turned out that the officials were planning to achieve this by using road narrowings and pinch points that force cyclists into close proximity with moving cars. These are specifically rejected by state policy as inappropriate and creating hostile conditions for cyclists. The unacceptable side effect is to force less confident cyclists onto footpaths

    Instead of following National Policy, the Galway bid has a focus on recreational routes following the coast and the River Corrib to the demonstrable neglect of cycling conditions on key commuter routes into the city. Some of the proposals such as those for the Tuam Road, Monivea Rd, the Coast road from Oranmore and the Western Distributor Rd could in fact result in conditions for cyclists deteriorating as the published proposals show clearly inappropriate road layouts

    Of course it then transpired that it hadn't been scrapped. However, there is still an outstanding question over the manner in which Galway City and County councils spent the funds that they were allocated to put together their Stage 2 bid. (The contestants got significant funding to employ consultants for that phase of the competition.) Interestingly, the Department of Transport has failed to acknowledge repeated requests for a meeting on the matter since May 2011.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    It had way more flaws than that and it would have been a travesty if Galway had won over the Limerick bid.

    I know there were more flaws, the ones I picked up on were very easy to illustrate. Even if they weren't portrayed as such they were pretty fundamental underpinnings to the plan as it was assumed that they would be present.

    You could also pick up on the next line from that post to illustrate the folly of the councils plan.
    Throw in the fact that there was 0 traffic growth forecast for a city that is the center of an area with p*ss poor pt.

    Combined with the two/three prices of major infrastructure they are assuming will be present, there's already a higher level of level than the levels that they were using, so their metrics are already underwater.

    If they'd have put in a case without GCOB, Gurrane or Glaus the plan would have looked more cohesive (not to say much better). As it is it looks like a plan that was drawn up to use a budget, not one design to come up with a solution.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    antoobrien wrote: »
    Try to think outside your own box for a change




    What box is that exactly?

    The context was your comment that I should love things like one-way street systems.

    In my metal box (private car) I am generally indifferent to one-way streets.

    As a pedestrian, cyclist and bus user I am opposed to the widespread unqualified use of such measures as they are in the main aimed at keeping motorised traffic flowing, with other modes of travel (which not only do not contribute to traffic congestion but alleviate it) being treated as also-rans.

    That is certainly the case to date in Galway City, where TTBOMK there isn't a single one-way street (among a large number of such roads) that exempts cyclists. Incidentally, Galway City Council has been steadfastly ignoring policy recommendations from as long ago as 1979 to exempt cyclists in this way.

    'Contraflow' bus lanes in such situations would be good, I imagine, not least because cyclists can also use bus lanes.

    What generally works for one sustainable mode of travel is often good for another. 30 km/h zones are another proven example.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    Robbo wrote: »
    Last time I checked, Sweetman was listed as plaintiff in 12 sets of "live" proceedings. I doubt that Mr Wunder himself was that prolific.




    One prolific plaintiff does not a shower make.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,106 antoobrien


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    Incidentally, Galway City Council has been steadfastly ignoring policy recommendations from as long ago as 1979 to exempt cyclists in this way.

    As a cyclist I'm glad they have because I detest the idea of cycling against the flow of traffic, which sounds to me like a perfect recipe for a darwin award and I'm not in the habit of giving away freebies.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 13,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭ monument


    antoobrien wrote: »
    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    Incidentally, Galway City Council has been steadfastly ignoring policy recommendations from as long ago as 1979 to exempt cyclists in this way.

    As a cyclist I'm glad they have because I detest the idea of cycling against the flow of traffic, which sounds to me like a perfect recipe for a darwin award and I'm not in the habit of giving away freebies.

    Yet it has worked for years in France, Germany, on a small scale in Dublin, and more recently in US cities.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,913 ✭✭✭ galwaycyclist


    Iwannahurl wrote: »
    . Incidentally, Galway City Council has been steadfastly ignoring policy recommendations from as long ago as 1979 to exempt cyclists in this way.

    Just to clarify this point, it is the Council Roads Department/GTU that have steadfastly ignored this proven measure to facilitate cyclists and make their journeys safer. The elected City Council voted to include this measure in the 2004 - 2011 city development plan.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,156 Iwannahurl


    An important distinction.

    I believe the measure may also have been voted into the current CDP, but now that I think of it I have no idea what stage that policy document has reached.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 2,913 ✭✭✭ galwaycyclist


    antoobrien wrote: »

    And bring back the zebra crossings in Eyre Square.

    At the moment the Galway Transportation Unit are fighting to keep any mention of zebra crossings out of the draft Walking and Cycling strategy. The latest reason is that it would be discriminatory against disabled people to use zebra crossings in the city.

    So they were looking for EU20million in state funds for "Smarter Travel" on the default basis that they are not going to use pedestrian crossings that give pedestrians priority.

    What could be wrong with this picture?


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