Children who cycle, walk or wheel to An Mhodhscoil in Limerick can now do so in a much safer environment following the completion of Limerick’s first ‘School Street’. The ‘School Street’ has been implemented on Roden Street and is designed to remove vehicle traffic from the area directly outside the school gates at the crucial drop-off and pick-up times.
The innovative project is part of the Safe Routes to School programme, an initiative by the National Transport Authority and Green Schools, with the works being delivered by Limerick City and County Council’s Active Travel team.
The works include:
- Roden Street has become a ‘School Street.’ This means that between the hours of 8am and 9am and 1.15pm and 2.45pm, vehicles are requested not to enter the street (except for crèche buses, residents and staff), allowing for a safer space for children.
- Footpaths on Roden Street have been widened for pedestrians and cyclists, and the road has been narrowed.
- Pencil-shaped bollards and planting have been added along Roden Street to enhance the pedestrian space outside the school.
Improvements have also been made to O’Connell Ave and Quin St and include:
- The pedestrian crossing on O’Connell Avenue, directly in front of the school, has been improved to provide a shorter crossing distance.
- Additional planting and rain gardens have been installed and will add to the attractiveness and enjoyment of the space.
- A new pedestrian crossing at Quin Street will prioritise pedestrians.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Francis Foley said, “I am delighted to see Limerick’s first Safe Routes to School ‘School Street’ project come to fruition. Creating safer environments for our children and grandchildren outside and near the school gates will enable many more children to choose active travel as a means of getting to and from class. An Mhodhscoil is the first school in Limerick to benefit from the Safe Routes to School Programme and I look forward to seeing more schools across our city and county benefiting from similar safety measures.”
Minister at the Department of Transport with special responsibility for Safe Routes to School, Hildegarde Naughton, said, “the works completed here at An Mhodhscoil is a fantastic exemplar of the type of projects that can be achieved under the Safe Routes to School Programme. My Department has provided over €220,000 towards the development of this new project. It is evident that the Modhscoil School Street will make such a real difference to the student population by making their journeys to and from school safer, more convenient and more enjoyable. I know that over half of the school’s 630 or so students already engage in active travel modes when travelling to school, and I hope to see that number increasing further now that this School Street is in place.”
“This year my Department has provided Limerick City and County Council with over €24 million in funding for walking and cycling projects across the county. As projects benefitting from this funding continue to progress I think it is safe to say that the future is bright for Limerick. It is an exciting time and I look forward to seeing more schools, communities and businesses across the county enjoy more active modes of travel in the future.”
Director of Service for Transportation and Mobility, Brian Kennedy said, “Limerick City and County Council is committed to delivering safer spaces for children to cycle, walk or scoot to and from school. The Safe Routes to School programme is one element of a much larger vision that we have for Limerick that will see the Active Travel team deliver a transformed network of safer cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.”
Source: Limerick City & County Council