Client: Gzira Lido Developers
Start / Finish Dates: June 2011 - June 2013
The purpose of the Scheme is primarily to introduce opportunities for swimming (a lido) in Gżira; an area where the potential for swimming is currently restricted. It will also serve to improve the overall public amenity of the Gżira Strand, through the upgrading of the promenade and provision of new facilities. The lido will predominantly serve the hotels in the Gżira area but will also be accessible to non-residents.
A Project Description Statement was prepared in June 2011. The project initially covered an area of 17,500m2, of which 11,00m2 was reclaimed land. It included a couple of small restaurants, a public garden with kiosks and gazebos, and berthing facilities for a number of small boats in Sliema Creek. However, the development was later scaled down to 3,600m2 involving the reclamation of a small part of inner Sliema Creek and the construction of a lido with swimming and sun-bathing facilities, a small restaurant and some minor landscaping.
Following the submission of the PDS, MEPA required the preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment. The EIA addresses geo-environment, marine environment (including ecology), archaeology, landscape and visual amenity, and social impacts. The EPS contains an assessment of the significance of predicted impacts and, following the proposed mitigation measures, the significance of any residual impacts.
A limited number of potentially major impacts were identified during the assessment. These relate to reclamation, the release of pollutants from the seabed sediments, impacts on protected marine species, landscape and visual amenity impacts and the provision of a swimming facility. A number of measures to reduce the impact of the Scheme were incorporated into the siting and design of the Scheme components, through the iterations of the EIA process. Other mitigation measures, such as the formulation of an Environmental Management Plan and a Construction Management Plan, and monitoring of construction works were proposed.
A Traffic Impact Statement was request by Transport Malta. It was carried out in accordance with the Method Statement prepared by Adi Associates and the Terms of Reference (ToR) provided by TM. The Method Statement scoped out the modelling and assessment of Scheme-generated traffic, and proposed a method on how to assess the impacts (from construction and operation) that the Scheme might have on Triq ix-Xatt.
Access to the Scheme will be exclusively pedestrian and no vehicular access whatsoever will be provided to any part of the Scheme.
The study involved manual pedestrian crossing counts and automatic traffic counts along Triq ix-Xatt, Gżira. A safety audit was also carried out; it identified a number of hazards along the key link and at the pedestrian crossings.
The assessment was based on future traffic levels which included that from nearby approved developments. The TRANSYT (TRAffic Network Study Tool) traffic model was used to analyse the effects of the pelican crossings on the capacity of Triq ix-Xatt. The model was also used to determine whether the current timings can be optimised in order to reduce queues and delays on the key link.
The study concluded that measures are required to improve road safety, independent of the Scheme. These include traffic calming measures, kerb maintenance / upgrades and regular pruning of vegetation. TRANSYT modelling suggested that modifications to the signal timings are required to improve the traffic flow. Synchronisation of the pelican crossings was also suggested.
Keywords: Traffic Impact Assessment, Project Description Statement, Environmental Impact Assessment, lido, land reclamation, traffic survey, pedestrian survey, safety audit.