I live in Limerick City but I stay in Killaloe a number of times a month.
Killaloe and Ballina are not pleasant places to walk and cycle. There seems to be a lot of SUVs in the town and a lot of parking on footpaths.
The construction of the new bridge and bypass of Killaloe offers a really good opportunity to transform both Ballina and Killaloe for the better. A great aim would be to make it possible for people of all ages to independently travel between and within Killaloe and Ballina.
The old bridge should definitely be closed to motor traffic after the new bridge opens. To have cars still on it at any time of day would represent a significant failure.
Serious consideration should also be made to close the current R463 in Killaloe between the old bridge and the link road from New St to where the public toilet block is by the canal – it was built itself as a bypass and it should be converted to pedestrian and cycle use after the new bypass is completed.
After the bypass is built, streets in Killaloe and Ballina need to be transformed. Most streets, especially on the Killaloe side, should be made one-way to make room for segregated cycle tracks at least 2m wide to allow people of all ages to cycle safely.
Main Street should have all parking removed and the only traffic should be deliveries before 10am. The current situation where cars mount the footpath as they drive down Main Street is unacceptable.
In the context of the climate crisis and the need to make Killaloe and Ballina a great place to live and to visit whether or not you own a car, I urge you to take the opportunity to direct all traffic on to the new bypass, retaining access for cars but reorienting the roads and streets of Killaloe and Ballina towards people.