Parking spaces

Phoenix Park: Investigation launched amid concerns over loss of parking spaces

An online survey has been launched as part of a parking strategy being developed for Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

The move follows concerns about a significant loss of parking spaces on both sides of Chesterfield Avenue to make way for permanent cycling facilities in the park.

The Office of Public Works (OPW) appointed Systra consultants to develop a parking strategy for the park, which attracts 10 million visitors a year. The first phase will include an online survey of park users to help inform future parking decisions.

In a statement, the OPW said it was seeking opinions on how to encourage people to choose more sustainable travel options, such as cycling and walking, when visiting the park.

“We understand that to make the park more inclusive for everyone, some visitors will need to drive,” they said. “We need to ensure that our parking offer can facilitate all visitors.”

The inquiry will remain open until July 8, with a draft parking strategy expected to be released in the fall. The OPW said this would be followed by further non-statutory public consultation.

“This strategy will identify key parking issues, challenges and opportunities in and around Phoenix Park,” they said. “There will also be a dialogue with key stakeholders located in and around Phoenix Park to understand their perspectives regarding bicycle and car parking and any associated issues and opportunities.

“It is expected that the parking strategy will focus primarily on measures related to bicycle and car parking, especially for visitors with reduced mobility to ensure that they can visit the park,” they added. .

The Minister of State responsible for OPW, Patrick O’Donovan, urged local communities and park visitors to submit feedback during the next three weeks of the inquiry.

“The more information we get directly from our visitors, the better our parking strategy will reflect and meet their needs,” he said.

Sen. Emer Currie (FG) said a new parking strategy for Phoenix Park must reflect the transportation needs of residents and visitors, as well as identifying connectivity issues.

“It’s really important that people let the OPW know about their experiences with Phoenix Park, especially over the past two years when so many people have used it during the Covid restrictions,” she said.

“We need to strike the right balance to make the park accessible to people of all ages and stages, while protecting its environment and wildlife.

“The park should be inclusive for all visitors, including those who must drive to get there.”

Senator Currie also called for progress on the overdue pilot bus service for the park.

Earlier this year, plans for the new route were turned upside down after it was discovered that Cabra’s entrance gate was too narrow for a standard bus to pass.

The proposed service will link Heuston and Broombridge stations, with stops at Dublin Zoo and the Phoenix Park Visitor Centre.

Deena S. Hawkins

The author Deena S. Hawkins