gunter wrote:A rail link to the airport would be a nice thing to have, I don't think anyone disputes that. It is slightly embarrasing that Dublin doesn't have one. The problem as I see it with MN is that it's a disproportionate, Tiger-era-trophy, response to that gap in the city brochure, and if it is proceeded with in these straightened times, two consequences are likely to follow:
I'm glad you recognise the advantages and benefits a rail link to the airport will bring. What I'll disagree with you is you saying it's disproportionate. If anything, Metro North is an under-powered scheme compared to initial plans. The original Dublin Rapid Transit Scheme had the airport rail link as a DART-standard heavy
rail line under the city. Metro North is actually light rail with a capacity of only 2/3rds that of heavy rail.
1. The network of Luas lines that we should have planned, immediately after the building of the first two lines demonstrated the popularity and success of re-introducing trams, will slip further down the transportation agenda.
Not true. Luas BXD is also in the works and will be completed over the next 10 years. The only reason the link-up wasn't built was that businesses around College Green objected to having their trade disrupted like those on Harcourt St.. Now that those very same businesses along the Luas lines have seen an increase in trade, the same objectors are clamouring for BXD. That means it will be completed.
2. Development energies will gravitate to the outer reaches of the MN route hinterland fuelled by a planning mileau that will embrace the proximity to this major transportation corridor as the justification for a ribbon of high density development that should instead be directed to the under-performing areas within the city centre.
Again, not true. When you take MN and DARTu together, Dublin between the canals will have 8 new stations. Add that to the Luas BXD and you have significantly better public transport infrastructure at the very heart of our city. Moreover, most of the stations further out on MN exist to serve specific transport needs. Ballymun was left out of the revisions to the Luas network and so is deprived of light rail - Metro provides this. DCU is a rapidly-growing university without proper rail access - Metro provides this. Swords is suffering from poor connectivity to the city centre - Metro provides this. On top of that, once MN is built, an extension to the Northern line via Malahide/Donabate to link MN with it will make the situation even better.
Dublin has a shocking density deficit, the city centre has more density holes in it than a Swiss cheese, anyone who thinks the density of the core area [we'll use the canal ring as a working definition] is near enough fine is seriously deluding themselves IMO. I understand that the Corpo undertook a land use survey of the city a few years ago and were shocked at the amount of un-used, or under-used, lands that it turned up. However in typical Corpo fashion, instead of the survey triggering a series of actions and prototype interventions that might have begun to stimulate the regeneration of these lands, the study seems to have gotten itself filed away on a shelf somewhere.
Well the DARTu will have the effect of not only linking up Dublin's rail network, it will also have spin-off development benefits too. There are plans to re-develop areas around stations to a higher density and that will sort out the problems you point out. In any case, there are cities with lower densities and populations than Dublin which already have Metro.
I accept the point that MN is not 'isolated' in the sense that it is intended to be integrated with Dart, Luas etc. and that there is a city centre section that could only be positive [if less positive in my view than an on-street Luas alternative], but as a - Metro line - it is a one-off that is unlikely to be developed into a comprehensive network in our lifetime, certainly if Luas is anything to go by, and that makes building it incomprehensible in my view.
Not true. The Luas Green Line was built to Metro standard and, once MN is completed, can be upgraded to Metro standard. There are also proposals to bore tunnels out towards Terenure. MN will also link with Metro West at Dardistown. In addition to this, many cities like Amsterdam, Prague and Copenhagen have multiple modes of public transport - trams, heavy rail, buses and underground - and they are able to knit them together into one grand scheme. Once we have integrated ticketing by 2011 and an integrated transport network by 2020, the comprehensive network you seek will be a reality.
We've gotten by with a piecemeal approach in Dublin for years, a bit of a bus lane here, a few trams and a bit of rail electrification there, and now we're on the verge of throwing a bit of Metro into the mix, what's next, a cable car and a mono-rail? Would it not be better to fix on one solution, stick with it and build a network?
Well we did have that plan, it was called the Dublin Rapid Transit Scheme. It was going to build three heavy rail lines through Dublin and would have fixed all our problems at a stroke. To meet future demands we would only have had to build spurs onto it. Unfortunately that fell victim to the same short-sighted types who now oppose Metro North and only the coastal rail portion which we now know as DART was built. MN exists to right those historical wrongs as part of the overall Transport 21 plans for the city.