Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Consultation on proposed uprade to the Mahon to Passage West Greenway - Jan 2021

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Consultation on proposed uprade to the Mahon to Passage West Greenway - Jan 2021


Cork City Council are now carrying out a public consultation about the upgrade of the Greenway from Mahon to Passage West. This is one of the most popular spots in Cork for running, walking and cycling.

In this post, we will look at what is being proposed in two parts...Parking and Routes.

* * *

Parking... Due to the popularity of the current Greenway in Rochestown, the car parks at Harty's Quay and Hop Island are often full and overflowing at the weekends.

a) They propose extending the current car park at Harty's Quay which should roughly double the capacity there. This area is currently an area of young trees so there may be some objections on that front.

b) The second area to the East will be next to the outdoor gym area and will probably be accessed from the existing Harty's Quay car park. I'd imagine that the Council will want to avoid another entrance/exit near such a busy road junction.

The car park which is currently grass will be hugely important for the new proposed café at the old stationmasters house which is just to the east.

c) The third area is located about 250m to the West on what is currently an area covered in grass.

There might be objections from some arguing that more parking just encourages more car ownership but there is going to be a huge demand for car parking for this Greenway in the years ahead.

d) The other new car park is the proposed extension to the existing one at the entrance to Hop Island which is about 500m east of Harty's Quay. Again, this is a car park which overflows at busy periods and any additional spaces are welcome.

Routes... There are five proposed routes for the Greenway in the area from Harty's Quay to Hop Island. Three of these are viable options and two make no sense at all.

Option 1... 

In the near future, the old stationmasters house shown on the map above will be turned into a café and this is likely to be hugely popular. The old railway platform is still there and is likely to be a feature on the improved Greenway.

Rochestown railway station with the old platform and the stationmasters house in the background

With option 1, the new Greenway will go north (left in the photo above) of the railway platform, the old stationmasters house and along the back of some houses. It will stay alongside the waters edge for about 250 metres before cutting through the Green area of an estate and out onto the existing Greenway.

View of the proposed Greenway running behind the houses


Option 2...

With option 2, the new Greenway will stay next to the water for 400m before emerging through what is now a vacant site and out onto the existing Greenway.

One of the features of any Greenway for many people is the ability to get away from cars, noise and pollution. This is the best option in those terms.

View across Douglas Estuary to Jacobs Island and Mahon

View of Hop Island and Little Island beyond

One might wonder why there isn't an option for the new Greenway to stay next to the water as far as Hop Island?

View of the shoreline from Hop Island towards Harty's Quay. Currently not an option.


Option 3...

With this option, the existing Greenway is widened and the road is moved slightly to the south. This is probably the option that causes the least disruption but is also one of the most boring in terms of the Greenway being beside a busy road.

There is also an issue with residents parking their cars on the footpath/Greenway at the western end and this is very likely to continue with option 3.

Option 4...

Options 4 & 5 are the brain dead options. They propose putting the Greenway at the southern side of the main road and users will have to cross the road twice to use it! 

Option 5...

Option 5 is similar except it crosses the road at a different point.

The obvious question is why would anyone bother crossing the road to use 250m / 400m of Greenway when they can just stay on the footpath on the northern side of the road???

Another big issue with options 4 & 5 is that from a safety point of view, it encourages users to cross a busy road twice when they really don't have to.

My understanding is that for funding purposes, a Greenway needs to meets certain specifications and this includes a 3-metre width. Options 4 & 5 look like a box ticking exercise in putting the new Greenway anywhere rather than where it might be most useful.

Hop Island to Passage West... For the rest of the Greenway, it's just a case of widening it to I presume 3-metres from the existing 2-metres or so.

"East of Hop Island Car Park, it is proposed to widen the Passage Railway Greenway up as far as the end of this phase of the works at the Cork City/Cork County Boundary. It is proposed to enhance this section of the Passage Railway Greenway as an avenue for biodiversity/wildlife, provide community recreational facilities and improve the vista of the adjacent foreshore. "

Engineers doing a survey on the Hop Island to Passage West Greenway - Jan 2021

Consultation Page... To make a submission, have a look at the Cork County Council website which also has some drawings...

In summary... This welcome improvement to the existing Greenway is expected to be completed sometime in 2022. Of the five route options, only 1, 2 or 3 look realistic with option 2 being the best.

If you are a user of the Greenway in this area then consider making a submission to support it.

Submissions close at 5pm on Friday 5th Feb 2021.

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