O' Connell Street, Dublin

Postby GregF » Mon Jan 05, 2004 11:40 am

Trader John's is the pub on Moore Street......booking available now.
Bertie and Co (ie His glam daughter and hubby) all invited!
Westlifers to profide the entertainment as well as ''salt o de earth'' Brendan O' Carroll!
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O' Connell Street

Postby fjb » Wed Jan 07, 2004 7:31 pm

Interesting discussion.

When in Dublin over Christmas (I generally get there once a year to look remaining friends up), I was pleasantly surprised by not having to queue to get into pubs or clubs and to be able to drink alcohol until whatver time of the early morning I liked. Is that progress?

But anyway, the real point of this post: I discussed the obvious shortcomings of the infrastructure with a friend practising in Dublin.

The Germans have great infrastructure, and they expect it to be clean, efficient and reliable and get very annoyed if trains are late. There are individual bus timetables at every bus stop and you can normally set your watch by the buses. In Berlin there are even public clocks on poles at most major intersections, at least in the West part.

So, my friend agreed, as he'd spent some years here too, the Germans do do infrastructure, it's one of the things they do well.

We discussed the shortcomings in Dublin, the interminable LUAS saga, the lack of any urbanity in the new build sprawls etc.
His way of not dying young of apoplexy and blood-pressure related ailments is to lean back, buy a car for himself, his wife and, as they get older probably each kid (to ensure mobility and freedom from the less-than-perfect transport system), and just accept the fact "WE DON'T DO INFRASTRUCTURE" Full stop. Period.
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Postby niall murphy » Wed Jan 07, 2004 8:08 pm

Your statement that we dont do infrastructure is a bit vague. Who is "WE"? If the correct legislation existed and not so much corruption and arsing around in the initial stages then we would very much "do infrastructure". The engineers and construction workers are excellent here. Give them the money and let them away at it instead of spending the same money talking about things and see what happens. The Port tunnel has given problems to residents etc but look at the scale of it. Look at how the builders, engineers etc will have the whole thing built in about half the time people spent talking about it. If they'd been given the money wasted on so much bolloxing about at the start plus the money spent on the tunnel, they'd have it finished by now along with the airport metro.

Before anyone starts, I've been all over europe and know what the infrastructure is like. I'm pointing out that we are capable of doing it too if the initial planning/objections/consultancy etc stages were sorted out
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O'Connell St.

Postby fjb » Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:25 am

By "we" I meant the Irish. An saying "we" don't do infrastructure does not mean a critcism of the consultant services available but is a criticism of politics and also of society to a certain extent. "We" obviously do not really feel it is that important to have good infrastructure or otherwise "we" would have elected the politicians to get it done. There is no point in getting het up about the crap infrastructure, accept it, we don't do infrastructure ;-)
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Postby Peter Fitz » Thu Jan 08, 2004 11:52 am

the state has only had the finances required to build decent infrastructure since 1995 on, most of which was given back to the public in the form of much needed tax cuts ... you can't expect the infrastructure fairy to come along one night and sort everything. Most of the delays are down to objections from the moaning public themselves.
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Postby J. Seerski » Thu Jan 08, 2004 8:08 pm

Well I can't believe it - I am amazed - the IAP seems to be well... getting implemented!!

The footpaths between Clerys and Abbey St. are being finally widened and I have to say the sheer width is impressive! I thought the whole project would be never implemented but substantial changes are, at last, bearing fruit....
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Postby urbanisto » Fri Jan 09, 2004 3:14 pm

Its great isnt it and I would expect to see the whole section completed by the summer. It will look fab!

What is happening to all those old granite kerbs they are taking away though.... not into the builders waste skip I hope.
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Postby urbanisto » Fri Jan 09, 2004 3:15 pm

And ban telephone kiosks on the new O'Connell St
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Postby Niall » Mon Jan 12, 2004 10:59 am

Took the words right out of my mouth.........




O'Connell St revamp is a farce, says Brady
Irish Independent

DUBLIN'S first citizen Lord Mayor Royston Brady has labelled as "farcical" the lack of progress in the rejuvenation of O'Connell Street.

According to the Lord Mayor, seven years after the plans were first put together citizens and visitors to the capital are still waiting to see the finished product, which aims to be a Champs Elysees-style boulevard.

Mr Brady told the Irish Independent he would be seeking answers at a meeting of Dublin City Council tonight.

The Lord Mayor said O'Connell Street was an "absolute disgrace", particularly in a year when Ireland was hosting the EU Presidency.

A major street party was planned in the Capital on May 1, he said, the day when the 10 new accession states become fully fledged EU members.

"Only half the street will be ready by May. The pyramids in Egypt were built quicker. How long does it take?" asked Mr Brady.

"My ultimatum is that it better be ready by April. They have four months to get it right - it's not that big a street," he said.

A spokeswoman for the City Council said the plaza at the GPO was due to be finished in April, while works up to O'Connell Bridge would be complete by December.
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Postby notjim » Mon Jan 12, 2004 1:27 pm

its kind of amazing, they finally get going on this in a serious way and the lord mayor starts giving out. has he anything to say about the carlton site, or is he going to keep quite until the cranes are there.
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Postby GregF » Mon Jan 12, 2004 1:35 pm

I heard two old codgers on the bus one day saying that ''O'Connell Street is disgraceful ''and ''why did'nt they leave it as it was''.
Ye can't win with such people....You're damned if ye do and damned if ye don't.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Jan 12, 2004 1:35 pm

Ahhhhh Royston is electioneering....
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Postby PVC King » Mon Jan 12, 2004 1:35 pm

I agree,

A lot of this can be put down to silly season stuff namely that it is a local election year.

The IAP team deserve a lot of credit for their plan and it is Dublin's inability to work effectively on a multi-agency basis that is at the heart of this problem. Not to mention a lot of off the ball stuff regarding the Carlton site of which the developer could do little to prevent.

Up to when the artistic scaffolding went onto the gaping hole that was on the Carlton site it was then an open wound for 20 years. At least the hoarding mitigates the appearance slightly. Fair play to Nissan for the sponsorship

O'Connell St is still not perfect but it is light years from where it was thanks to the IAP. To hear that it will be more or less finished by December is something we could only have dreamed of for far to long .:)
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Postby phil » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:49 pm

I agree as well, I think the street is starting to come on. You can nearly imagine what it will eventually look like. I think, however, that not allowing telephone kiosks on the street is being a little excessive.
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Postby emf » Mon Jan 12, 2004 2:56 pm

The telephone kiosks need planning permission now don't they??, Remember a few years ago the Telecoms companies were throwing them up wherever they fancied!!
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Postby phil » Mon Jan 12, 2004 3:02 pm

Not too sure, but I agree that they should be regulated in some way. I remember that as well, I think it was just after other companies were allowed to install kiosks. There was alot of hole digging (followed by really bad repair of footpaths) by telephone companies at that time as well.
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Postby urbanisto » Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:50 pm

Diaspora - only the Henry St to Bridge stretch will be completed by December. It will take to Dec 2005 to complete the whole street. Dont ask me how it cold take so long to complete an average size street! Why cant it all be completed by years end.

Royston may have been electioneering but you all know the drill by know. If you want anything done in thsi country then you have to get it done in an election year

Latest observation: I thought there would be more trees. There seem to be very litle from the plaza down to Abbey St
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Postby PVC King » Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:01 pm

Another 12 months that is a pity. But I think the planners should be praised all the same.

I am also confused as to why the plan was stage planned on such a small Street.
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Postby notjim » Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:16 pm

you see fintan o'toole was flying the abbey goes to the carlton site plan again. along with the usual arguements, he had a novel new reason for using the carlton site: the facade is quite short, so you wouldn't have to spend so much on architecture.
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Postby FIN » Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:26 pm

jesus....classy argument eh!
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Postby PVC King » Tue Jan 13, 2004 5:01 pm

Solution level the Fingal Co Co offices,

The new enlarged facade would cost a fortune

:D
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Postby GrahamH » Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:17 pm

Fingal is being converted into a hotel - apparently.
The Abbey should never move to O 'Cll St, yet another struture to add the morguelike atmosphere of northern end

When we see the works being executed, and the builders on site etc, everyone inevitably get very excited and a perception is created that progress is being made.
However the improvment of the public space is only half of the plan - the other part being to improve the building stock of the street, specifically with regard to the tax designated sites, and then the broader approach to 'encourage' property owners to improve their buildings.
There has been not so much as the slightest scrap of progress in relation to this, not a single facade has been cleaned with the exception of the Gresham who were refurbishing anyway.
And the only progress on shopfronts has been from the Bank of Ireland who also were carrying out refurbishments, on account of their downsizing on the street.

Assuming that the CC can get property owners to improve their buildings, all of the work will take place AFTER the paving works etc.
So in theory, and according to the plans in the IAP, the street is going to be a building site for years to come.
Ok, I accept such works won't affect pedestrians etc, but it is unacceptable for buildings to be encased in scaffolding, for sites to be surrounded by hoarding and for the new paving to be lifted again, after all of the current works are finished!

There is a complete lack of co-ordination here.
One need only look at the paving fiasco on Henry St at Christmas.
One need only look at the brand new traffic signals at O 'Cll Bridge/Bachelors Walk which have stood unoperational for the past year.
What a joke.

I'm not just picking holes here, I'm absolutely furious with the City Council, furious.

They couldn't organise a prayer in a convent.
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Postby PVC King » Wed Jan 14, 2004 1:55 am

I am sorry to hear that the former Dublin Co Co building is being retained, it is a horror story ans it is definitely the worst building on the Street. .:mad:

I am also happy that the Abbey is staying on Abbey St as that section of Abbey St needs an important building. Without the Abbey it really would ressemble Dodge City. :eek:

But I differ with you on the role of the planners. I agree with you that the current situation is not perfect but my reading of the situation goes like so:

The O'Connell St IAP was basically a forward planning exercise. Traditional planning in Ireland has involved insufficiently clear plans containing many contradictory objectives.

This plan in contrast involved less objective inputs and more action like public works such as the Spire, new trees and new paving arrangements. DCC took a lead just like they did with the Smithfield Plaza. :D

It was those measures that I was praising, I also think that the tax designation of properties was a good move. However why the time limits were not timed to ensure early completion beggars belief.

However the Carlton debacle is a disgrace and I have a lot of sympathy for the developer who was deliberately obstructed in the project.

The failure of the property owners to use the tax designation is bizarre and very shortsighted on their individual parts.

But given the previous take up of all previous designation schemes the take up on O'Connell St has been an unprecedented failure.

There is no forward planner who could have forecast it. It must be a first time that free money has been refused.

Regarding the traffic lights that really is no brainer territory, a specialty of the roads department.

I am amongst the happiest people that their destructive tendencies are firmly tranquilised these days. :D

Finally I fully agree that co-ordination is the real villan here. Pre civic offices it may have been OK when DCC was scattered to the four winds but surely a walk from Block 1 to Block 4 wouldn't start a wave of litigation for something or other
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Postby redeoin » Wed Jan 14, 2004 1:23 pm

The shops will not spend money on upgrades until the street is complete. Why would they make expensive upgrades in a building site. They should also wait to see how the street looks when it is finished, before calling in the exterior designers.

The City Council are progressing slowly but steadily, and are apparently going to get it right, judging by what is emerging at the plaza. Royston is just electioneering. I heard him on The Last Word. He knew nothing about the street plans; he clearly knew nothing about the legal difficulties the Carlton Site was mired in; he had failed to register that since the Spire was finished there were massive billboards spelling out what is being done on the street; he also failed to acknowledge that the street has to be kept open for very heavy business. Or that there was war when the City Council insisted on continuing works over Christmas, to avoid delays.

If he wanted to fault the plan, he could have asked the City Council why they don't have twice as many people working twice as fast. He could have questioned the budget. He could have enquired about the legal difficulties. He could have asked if as Mayor was there anything he could propose to government to help speed up progress. But instead he engaged in the typical Fianna Fail rubbish about 'results' and 'tough choices'; which is what they always say when they are about to pull a fast one.

And the fact that as Mayor he says he cares but still seemed to know f all, that any ten minute brief, browsing of the internet, or info. from a lackey would have told him, makes me think as Mayor he might turn out to be a Fianna Fail populist t**t. After all, I am sure he does care, but I thought his rank would make him a bit brighter than that.
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Postby Niall » Wed Jan 14, 2004 5:43 pm

Royston Brady will be one of two FF candidates in Dublin for the European elections and also a candidate in the Dublin City Council elections..... both on June 11.
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