Why close off Gray’s Lane, it is a very handy and much used short-cut
TRAFFIC issues at Gray’s Lane were discussed at monthly meeting of Dundalk Municipal Area last week.
The lane, between the former Toolfix/ Rogers Garage building and Park Street, is a narrow two-way carriageway which shouldn’t work, as two cars cannot pass each other at the top of the lane.
It is for this very reason that many motorists avoid it, rather than risk having to reverse back down the lane.
Traffic emerging from the laneway often cuts across the road to access either Park Street or Anne Street.
By the strictest interpretation of the rules of the road, such a movement shouldn’t be allowed.
However closing the laneway would seriously impact on traffic flow around this part of town.
The laneway is close to this newspaper office, so it is an area that I am very familiar with and I use the lane quite regularly during the working week and I confess to criss-crossing the Dublin Street/Park Street junction to access Anne Street.
In virtually every aspect the laneway shouldn’t work, but it does work, very well.
The vast majority of motorists who use the lane, are locals and they know full well that it is a narrow passage and that they might have to reverse out of the lane if met head on by another car.
It is a short-cut that works very well and previous proposals to close the lane to vehicular traffic were defeated.
Councillors have expressed their concerns about the traffic situation and suggested that the traffic islands at the traffic lights be extended to stop vehicles cutting across the junction.
Why, what real harm are vehicles using Gray’s Lane doing?
They are not causing accidents. They are not speeding. They are not a danger to pedestrians.
Are there a spate of vehicular accidents at this junction that would justify the closing of the lane to traffic?
In all my years using Gray’s Lane, cycling through Dublin and Park Street on my way to school over three decades ago and ever since I have started driving shortly afterwards, I can barely remember an accident in the area.
There are several straight-forward T-junctions around the town where you see simple rear-ending collisions almost on a weekly basis.
All of those accidents are down to excessive speed approaching the junction, failing to stop in time or drivers not paying sufficient attention to the road.
No one is calling for modifications to those junctions and quite rightly so.
Motorists using Gray’s Lane approach with caution, they know the laneway is narrow and can be tricky to navigate but they still use it every single day, because it is a short-cut from one side of the town centre to the other without having to face the long tailbacks in River Lane or Stapleton Drive.
Leave Gray’s Lane as it is. The ad-hoc system works well as it is.
A van enters the narrow Gray’s Lane junction from Park Street.