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Calls for NTA to temporarily pedestrianise streets for schoolchildren

By Sarah Finnan

June 17, 2020 at 1:06pm

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Organised by A Playful City, the letter has been signed by 24 organisations.

A Playful City is a not-for-profit group whose aim is to make the city a more fun and spirited place for all ages. Known for their creative exhibitions and events around Dublin, you might remember them as being the ones behind the Beat Seats at Hanover Quay last October.

Always with children's best interests at the heart of what they do, their latest initiative is proof of that. Writing an open letter to the National Transport Authority (NTA), they're asking officials to consider temporarily pedestrianising some of the city's streets - hoping to make the school commute that bit easier (and safer) for children.

Here's what the Playful City team had to say on the matter:

"School leaders and public representatives are going to great ends to facilitate the safe and secure reopening of schools in August. However, there is little to no discussion around facilitating safe, healthy and stress-free drop-offs/pickups for children.

Last August the RSA highlighted traffic congestion outside school gates as proving “incredibly dangerous” in relation to the safety of children, this is now further exacerbated by the current requirement on schools to ensure socially distant measures are in place in all areas being used by pupils."

Appealing to local authorities and the NTA, they're calling on authorities to assist schools by setting up a 'school streets' initiative that would temporarily close the street a school is located on to vehicular traffic, thereby allowing children to walk/scoot/cycle to school safely.

With the added advantage of enabling schools to ensure adequate social distancing measures are in place, according to organisers, the 'school streets' proposal also benefits the physical, emotional and mental well being of Ireland’s pupils - already faced with a daunting return to school in late August/early September and the challenges that itself will bring with it.
Written by A Playful City, the letter has been endorsed/signed by 24 other organisations, including the following:
  • The Irish Heart Foundation
  • Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI)
  • Climate & Health Alliance
  • Association of Health Promotion Ireland
  • Safe Food Ireland
  • School of Geography, UCD
  • Centre for Research into Atmospheric Chemistry, UCC
  • Cork Healthy Cities
  • Let's Play Cork
  • Transport and Mobility Forum
  • Irish Pedestrian Network
  • Leave No Trace Ireland
  • Cork Environmental Forum
  • Spatial Dynamics, College of Engineering, UCD
  • School of Public Health, UCC
  • Knocknacarra Cycling Bus
  • Better Ennis
  • Urban Mode Ltd
  • Dublin Commuter Coalition
  • Cyclist.ie
  • Dublin Cycling Campaign
  • Kerry Cycling Campaign
  • Love 30
  • Get Ireland Walking
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