"We aim to highlight the need for safe, segregated, connected infrastructure for cyclists of all ages in Limerick."
I was part of the group that looked at low-carbon transport. I linked in with six primary schools in the city and asked families to plot the hazards and safety measures that they encountered on their journey to school - either walking or cycling. I used the crowd source mapping tool and opened it up to the schools (and members of the public) for two weeks in July. It was aimed at families that use active travel means to get to school and families that don't - because of the identified hazards.
As well as the six schools, I spread the word on social media and encouraged families across the city to take part and we received 97 submissions.
Once the two week window closed, I analysed the data under five overarching themes; cycle safety, pedestrian safety, school safety, road safety and monitoring. These themes were further broken into 9 sub-themes; cycle lane required, pedestrian crossing required, unsafe footpaths, unsafe front of school, unsafe junctions, unsafe pedestrian crossings, unsafe road features, unsafe roundabout, illegal parking.
The overall ambition of the project is that this analysis will constitute a submission to the NTA on the newest version of the Limerick Transport Strategy (LSMATS) released to the public early in 2022 - on behalf of children and families in Limerick.
The use of the mapping tool to demonstrate gaps and barriers to families and children actively wanting to walk and cycle to school was key to the success of this project as was the engagement with the school principals.
Hopefully the final report will add value to the upcoming second phase of the transport strategy and demonstrate that Limerick families do expect better infrastructure to support their low-carbon transport needs and their desire to use active travel means to get to school/ work/ sports/ etc.
Next I will work with the local authority and the NTA to ensure that the barriers and hazards as identified in this report are remedied and safer routes to school are introduced without delay.