Minister of State for the OPW, Patrick O’Donovan, said the decision over the gates was made after discussing issues like a growth of traffic in the surrounding areas over the past few weeks.
“The volume of traffic built up in adjoining areas has gone up a lot,” he said, adding that there have been an “awful lot of traffic jams” on the western side of the park in particular.
The decision is hoped to help “find out what impact the reopening was going to have” in relation to these recent bouts of traffic.
“Whether we like it or not, for an awful lot of people it’s a commuter route,” he said.
A public consultation on the matter will begin in “the coming weeks”, the Minister of State confirmed. I would love to see the traffic volume reduced in the park, I’m committed to trying to work to see how we do that.
“[The Phoenix Park] is the lungs of Dublin, but unfortunately it has also become an artery,” O’Donovan said.
Is it a park, or a road with some green bits? If it’s a road, it’s obviously not wide enough, if it’s a park, it’s got too many through-routes. It can’t do both, and now it does neither.