The Office of Public works are carrying out a strategic review of the Phoenix Park with regard to the visitor experience. Details are here:

I have made a submission to them this evening, broadly similar to my post from last July on A park for people, not a shortcut for motorists and taking some of your comments and twitter posts into consideration. I have recreated that submission here:

I am a resident of Inchicore, living close to the War Memorial park (where my children are in school.). I also cycle through the park on a daily basis, and have always brought visitors to Ireland/Dublin to the park, as part of a package of things to do in the city, including the very enjoyable tours of Aras an Uachtarán when possible. My great uncle was also a resident in the park from 1974-1976. In addition, we are considering a secondary school for my daughter, which is in Cabra, which would mean her crossing the park daily.

I very much welcome the Visitor Experience Strategic Review, although I only had the opportunity to read the draft summary and review on the internet this evening.  The park is important to the city for a number of reasons.  Having such a great park gives us a great opportunity to improve our physical exercise and so improve our physical and mental health. We can make it easier for people by treating the park better. Here are some ideas that complement and support some of those in the draft review and as to how we can put nature and people first in the park, and encourage more people to use it to better effect without overcrowding:

  • Reduce the speed limit to 30km/h on all roads in the park, or consider changing the overall permeability. (Limiting vehicular traffic speed is do-able with number plate recognition cameras on each gate. anyone who makes it from entrance to exit in a time which indicates a speed of more than 30km/h can be detected)
  • Develop car parking outside the park, and make it easier to get into the park from the Heuston Station car park (which is quieter at weekends when the park is busier) perhaps by building an additional bridge across the Liffey through CIÉ lands at Conyngham Road depot.
  • Consider an underground railway station close to the zoo on the Existing Phoenix Park Tunnel line: this would facilitate moving large numbers of people into the park with connections from Heuston and Connolly to the whole railway network.
  • Have a Dublin bus route serve inside the park: these could be through routes, including some of the proposed new orbital routes, which would mean that they would be sustainable even at times the park did not expect a large number of visitors. 
  • Enforce rules on not parking cars on grass within the park
  •  Extend the Dublin Bike scheme to include a station at every entrance gate to the Park.
  • Restricting parking to 1-2 hours maximum in smaller car parks and parking spaces within OPW parks.
  • Raised Zebra crossings for pedestrians crossing Chesterfield Avenue and other pinch points such as outside Farmleigh.
  • Change the priority of where cycle lanes cross roads: pedestrians and cyclists should have priority over motor traffic.
  • More cycle paths, including bidirectional paths circling the park to encourage younger people.
  • Could the park be part of a link between the Grand Canal and Royal Canal Green ways?  At present there is no obvious link from the Royal Canal greenway to the park (I note plans to link with the Tolka Valley Park – this should help)
  • Change the access to the car parking at Farmleigh to outside of the park, I.e. from Tower Road.  Ceremonial access to the park could continue to be from within, but people could be encouraged to park their vehicles and enjoy the park on foot.
  • Provide relief solutions to access zoo/pitches etc when very busy 
  • proper bicycle racks needed at all attractions.
  • Walking-cycling-bus should be prioritised to access large events