THE idea of a multi-storey car park has not been ruled out for Killarney as the town grapples with a festering traffic gridlock situation with parking at an absolute premium, particularly during the busy tourist season.
Several members of Killarney Municipal District Council have spoken out in favour of a high-rise car park and senior officials with Kerry County Council have acknowledged that it is being considered.
Killarney Town Manager, Angela McAllen, said the council is currently seeking land for extra car parking and there will possibly be extra availability.
She added that the multi-storey option was being considered as part of the masterplan for the Lewis Road site, adjacent to the Aras Padraig, which has been identified as a suitable location for high-rise.
Cllr Michael Gleeson suggested that the New Street car park, off Beech Road, would be a more suitable location and he said consideration should also be given to developing a multi-storey in the Killarney Outlet Centre car park in a public-private partnership.
Cllr John Joe Culloty maintained, however, that because of the cost factor a multi-storey is not going to happen as a public-private partnership venture and the council would have to put its own finances into any such development.
Cllr Maura Healy-Rae said she has always insisted that a multi-storey car park was vital for Killarney though she acknowledged that a traffic management plan, for which the council paid €50,000, had concluded that multi-storey might add to the traffic congestion as it would cause a backlog at the entrance and exit points.
“A bit of common sense from qualified people is required every now and then. We waited a long time for that plan,” she said.
Cllr Brendan Cronin said it should be noted that Tralee has two high-rise car parks yet Killarney still has none.
“I have women at home and they like to go shopping to Tralee or to Cork where there is multi-storey car parks and I’m robbed from it,” he quipped.
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