The EPA have released a report showing the level of Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) in our air, and it shows another problem with the traffic we have to put up with. The report is available here at this link, but the map clearly shows the impact that the traffic which is choking Emmet Road, Grattan Crescent and Tyrconnell Road is having.Thankfully, only Kilmainham Cross is as bad as the worst areas in the city centre, but this is really no consolation. The levels shown in yellow and red on the map are above the EU recommended safe levels of 40 micrograms per cubic metre. This has real health implications for people with any breathing related illnesses (asthma, COPD, emphysema or bronchitis) but also for people with heart problems. There are even some studies linking high levels of pollution with memory problems.
There is some advice about what to do to protect your own health in the report, and notably the pollution is far worse if you are in a car sucking in the noxious gases. However, living in Inchicore, and the long term impact of having to breath in other peoples waste is worrying.
It is high time that we limit traffic in Inchicore. There is no need for many of the motorists who through the village to come this way, as the Chapelizod bypass can bring them around. Bus Connects and it’s extra buses is part of the answer, but I think we need to narrow Tyrconnell Road, put in cycle lanes and an additional pedestrian crossing at the Oblates. We could also make all the crossings zebra crossings and reduce the speed to 30kmh.
With Grattan Crescent we need less of the Ballyfermot traffic coming through. Stopping the right turn at Liffey Gaels, which will hopefully happen with bus Connects will help. The cycle lane on Inchicore Road needs to be extended and protected, and the whole road made a 30kmh route.
The village itself also needs to be 30kmh and a few more zebra crossings, one at Vincent Street and one outside Spar. The wider footpath should be on the north side of the road, as what little sun we get shines on that side, and some benches could be put in.
Only buses which serve the village (Dublin Bus & Bus Eireann 126 and 130) should come through. The expressways, Paddywagons, JJ Kavanagh’s and others should go around by the M50 and Chapelizod bypass. Having a 30kmh zone and raised zebra crossings would encourage this, as well as making Tyrconnell Road and the village much more pleasant for walking.
As well as all this, we all need to do more walking and cycling, and get out of our cars. Of course better infrastructure will help this, and I still think Inchicore should have a stop on the railway line getting people onto the Hazelhatch to Grand Canal route: this route has no stops between Parkwest and Drumcondra.