Residents in the historic village of Blackrock, an eastern suburb of Cork city, have called for urgent action to prevent motorists from parking randomly on the new plaza area built at the village’s scenic harbour.
The plaza was built as part of the long-awaited €2m regeneration of the village centre and waterfront.
It includes a large pedestrian plaza, the exposure of historic tram lines and associated cobbles, the widening and realignment of Convent Rd and the adjoining section of Blackrock Rd, as well as opening up the vista between the village and the 18th-century Ursuline Convent.
The works, completed in two phases over two years, were unveiled earlier this month but motorists are already parking on the pedestrian plaza and on footpaths on the narrow streets nearby.
Residents said it is a shame to see the plaza being used as a car park, and they called for tighter restrictions to prevent the unauthorised parking becoming the norm.
A spokesman for City Hall’s roads and traffic department said they have been monitoring the area since the official unveiling and that during these inspections, the area was completely free of all irregular parking.
“That is not to say that there are not incidents of parking cars or other vehicles as has been indicated in reports to the contrary,” he said.
“The location will be monitored over coming weeks by Cork City Council. Our experience in relation to the establishment of public spaces such as Blackrock village, is that the proper use needs to be established from the outset.
“Given the layout of the plaza and the provision of additional parking on the avenue giving access to Blackrock House, it is not anticipated that there will be any significant encroachment onto the ‘Village Plaza’ area but physical measures are always an option as a means of enforcement.”
The contractor is still working on site to complete the section close to the Marina and to complete the installation of a decorative lighting scheme.
A similar parking problem occurred following the regeneration works in the Coal Quay and Cornmarket St area of the city centre.
Last year, the council installed removable bollards, new bike racks, street furniture, and large planters in a bid to restrict and prevent the unauthorised parking in the city centre.