As part of initiatives to guide Limerick through Covid-19, Limerick City and County Council provided two parklet plazas for use by the people of Limerick, one on O’Connell Street and the other on Catherine Street. They have been well received and are a hugely welcome and successful addition to the streetscape of the city. Indeed, they are constantly in use, even during the cold winter weather.
Procurement for the construction of the parklets was facilitated through the Limerick Northern Division - Road and Footpath Repairs Framework through eTenders, the government’s approved procurement portal.
The cost of the parklets has been the subject of discussion in recent days when compared to the cost of parklets in another part of the country.
Limerick City and County Council believes comparing these costs is misleading and comments which do so are disingenuous.
In this case, like is not being compared with like.
While a standard parklet is around six metres long, the size of a standard parking space, our installation on O’Connell Street is more than five times this size.
Typical parklet installations used in other locations are smaller and more temporary in nature and usually based on minimal planters and seating.
Ours were developed as a more medium to long term amenity and involved reconstructing and building up the road the surface with provision of robust windbreaks and furniture to such a standard that it could not easily be damaged or fall.
The O’Connell Street installation is so proximate to busy live traffic lanes that durable high quality windbreaks were chosen. The expenditure on windbreaks and furniture are of a particularly high standard and are re-usable.
Limerick’s parklets are by far larger in scale, they are much more durable due to the materials used in their construction and have a much more resilient structure than those they are being compared to.
The Catherine Street parklet is 9 metres long and has a width of 1.8 metres, while the O’Connell Street parklet is even larger – 32 metres long and 3 metres wide.
The associated costs also includes the engineering works to ensure that the drainage on the adjacent road and footpath are not affected.
The design and construction of the parklets have also taken their location on two of the busiest streets in the City Centre into account.
More than 10,000 vehicles ranging from articulated lorries to double decker bus and cars pass by the O’Connell Street location each day.
Mitigation measures to protect users against the large volumes of traffic are central elements to the Limerick parklets meaning the parklets are more durable structures.
Limerick City and County Council stands over the costs of the parklets, as good value for money when you take all aspects of construction, health and safety and public liability into account.
Limerick City and County Council remains open to working with stakeholders in examining other possible locations for parklets as we continue to re-imagine what our city is to become in light of climate change, demographic changes and the outcome from the Covid-19 pandemic.