Responding to Limerick through Covid-19

PRESS RELEASE

Limerick May 27, 2020

In response to the Draft Proposals Guiding Limerick ThroughCovid-19 Transforming a challenge into an opportunity’, #LiveableLimerick has today issued the following statement:-

#Liveablelimerick welcome the proposals to change the uses of streets and public realm to help residents and businesses in our communities to get through these challenging months. 

We would, however, encourage that more ambitious street closuresand/or speed limit restrictions are considered not just for the retail part and riverbanks of the city centre but also in other residential parts of the city, including, Kings Island, other areas of Newtown Pery, John’s Square, Hyde Road and other areas in county towns particularly at weekends.  We believe other streets proximate to housing, especially apartment living, should be closed on weekends for safer pedestrian use or recreational family cycling.  

We also welcome the reduction of speed limits to 25km in the designated area but remind Councillors that 73% of pedestrians hit by a passenger car travelling at 21km-30km hour suffer critical injuries whereas at 11km – 20km only 13% of persons are so injured.  

As a result, we are today calling on our Councillors to put safety first and reduce new emergency speed limits from 25km to 15km to create a truly safe space where people, bikes and motorised vehicles can mix comfortably, more commonly known as a “Shared Space”.

“The key condition for the design of any shared surface is that drivers, upon entering the street, recognise that they are in a shared space and react by driving very slowly (i.e. 20km/h or less).”

(Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets 2019)

We remind Councillors that 15km was the speed limit they agreed forO’Connell Street. 

Safety is not just for the streets in Limerick city centre.  We would also propose a speed limit of 15km for areas of high pedestrian usage in the Towns and Villages throughout Co. Limerick to improve safety for people making journeys by walking or cycling during the Covid-19 restrictions.

Given the very short distances involved, a further reduction of 10km in speed would not even add 1 minute travel time inside the proposed 25km zone map in Limerick City but would protect of 98% of pedestrian and cyclists road users from the risk of fatal injuries.

#Liveablelimerick fully supports a public information campaign to make road users aware of changes, and enforcement of new speed limits to protect all road users.

We look to you, our politicians, and to our public officials to inspire and lead with yet another “first” for Limerick – not just shared spaces but safe shared spaces for Limerick City and County.

#LiveableLimerick Committee

#LiveableLimerick is a social movement of volunteers who love their city and want to bring about change to make it more liveable place to reside. We want to see Limerick city centre to become the most desirable, safe and fun place to live, work, shop and visit. Limerick deserves the best, let’s plan for the future by designing best-in-class public realm and urban mobility strategies for all who use our city.