The removal of the cycle kerb, trees and footpaths at Stapleton Place and the reconstruction of the lanes and widening of the road has been welcomed, but the question has been asked: why was so much money wasted by bureaucracy and bad communication in the first place?
Fine Gael town councilor Maria Doyle has said that councillors who are elected in next May’s elections will need to pay more heed as to how money is being spent by officials and if the planning process is being duly followed.
She believes that councillors need to concentrate on the bigger issues and not just the smaller things they want to get done.
She also said that what happened at Stapleton Place is a perfect example of how money can be thrown down the drain.
The Stapleton Place cycle lanes have caused a great deal of controversy since they were hurriedly constructed in 2012.
Residents claimed that they had not been adequately informed by the council about the planned changes.
The answer they got was that consultation was not necessary as the work was part of the town’s development plan.
Fianna Fail councillor Sean Bellew said at the time that “a fine great Victorian avenue has been butchered”.
Others councillors said the whole thing was “a great cock-up” and “an awful shame”.
“It should never have happened without proper consultation with the residents”. It is appalling how it came about,” they said.
Cllr Maria Doyle response was: “Let’s call a spade a spade. It is a bad job. Why not undo it?”
And that is exactly what has happened. The whole job has been pulled apart and is now being reconstructed after consultations with the local residents.
“The trees were causing problems,” Cllr Doyle said this week. “They hadn’t been maintained and the roots were breaking up the footpaths.
“They will be replaced and the residents have been consulted by the town engineers about what trees will be selected.
“The road area has been widened and the width of the cycle lanes reduced and this has made a huge difference and is in line with what they residents have been seeking.
“The kerbs were also causing difficulties for elderly people and people with buggies, so this will be a big improvement for all concerned as the footpath and cycleway will be on the same grade and level,” Cllr Doyle said.
At the time of the original construction, Cllr Doyle had spoken to the residents, the gardai, and Grammar School staff, and they were all criticised the work.
The main problem she said, was that there was a lack of consultation.
But the overall design of the cycle lane network is proving unworkable.
For instance, if Hill Street Bridge remains in place - and there is no money available to remove it - then the cycle lane at Stapleton Place cannot link up with the lane on the Avenue Road.
The cycle lane at Chapel Street has also proved to be controversial.
Cllr Doyle has pointed out that several of the poles there have been knocked out of place which means the lane itself is not safe.