Unfortunately, social distancing is likely to be with us for the foreseeable future. Those of us who shop in Malahide village will have found that social distancing can be difficult to do when queuing outside shops, or attempting to pass queues that form on footpaths outside shops. Some people are stepping into the street which can put themselves in danger.
As you can see from the Google Street view image above, New Street currently has four road lanes, parking on both sides and a narrow footpath on each side.
On Saturday 26th April, Fingal county council published a plan to facilitate Social Distancing in the Public Realm across Fingal. New Street Malahide is one of eight initial locations identified across Fingal. New Street will be temporarily closed to traffic, with the exception of access for deliveries and emergency services. Parking will also be temporarily removed from the northern side of Main Street, from The Diamond to the junction with Townyard Lane – outside Bank of Ireland, Supervalu, Kerrigans etc.
While no date is indicated, it is likely that these temporary changes will be implemented quite quickly. The council will monitor the changes for effectiveness.
The Malahide forum has asked member residents associations for feedback which we will pass to Fingalcoco. Based on initial feedback, we will be asking Fingalcoco to facilitate social distancing:
- In the area of the Marina, which has been restricted and reduced by the hoarding erected around the Village Green
- On the northern side of Main Street, from junction with Old Street to The Diamond
The proposed temporary changes will pose challenges for retailers in the village. As a community, we can help by shopping local at every opportunity.
So what will a pedestrianised New Street be like?
In 1982, Grafton Street was fully pedestrianised after a prolonged trial period that started in 1971. (see RTE report). Traders in the area initially resisted the idea. Could New Street become the Grafton Street of Malahide? Only time will tell.