grrrrrrrrr

grrrrrrrrr

Postby Paul Clerkin » Wed Jun 18, 2003 8:51 am

Fears of children playing may lead to bridge alteration


Fears have emerged that Dublin's newest bridge across the Liffey may be extremely dangerous for children tempted to play on it.

Dublin City Council said last night that, if necessary, it will amend the design of the new James Joyce Bridge after people expressed anxiety about children climbing on it.

The council says it is monitoring the activities of children climbing and sliding on the bridge.

The €8.4 million bridge was opened on Monday by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mr Dermot Lacey.

Young people have been seen climbing up and sliding back down the steel arches that rise about 25 feet above the traffic. One man who saw their activities on Monday evening, Mr Gary Leeson, said there was an "obvious safety risk" that the children could fall into either the traffic or the river below.

A Bridewell Garda station spokesman said there had been a number of calls from members of the public concerned about young people on the bridge.

"There's not a lot we can do except tell them to get down. It is dangerous alright. Something awful could happen."

A spokeswoman for Dublin City Council said that although standard health and safety checks had been carried out on the bridge before, during and after its construction, "we did not anticipate this activity by the children".

She added: "We are monitoring the situation and will amend the design if necessary."

The bridge is an integrated part of the North King Street traffic management scheme and has been designed to facilitate buses, in particular.

According to the deputy city engineer, Mr Tim Brick, it was also built to " set a high standard of design for an area that was likely to see a lot of new development".
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Postby Harry » Wed Jun 18, 2003 9:54 am

I was at the opening on Monday and it was one thing that struck me. It does seem like an open invitation to the daredevil types !

".........and will amend the design if necessary." makes a shiver run though me with images of anti-climb devices.

I am also amused that the seating does not have some sort of anti-skateboard design incorporated. Surely this is day number one of street furniture design nowadays.
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Postby GregF » Wed Jun 18, 2003 10:27 am

I bet they'll erect big cumbersome 'Irish fencing' barricades with barb wire that will ruin the look of the bridge. Me I'd leave anyone whether it be street urchin or drunk who attempts to use it as a slide; they should be left and let fall into their rancid Liffey watery grave as an example to all who attempts the same. Jesus, what is lacking with some people today is 'responsibility'.....to be responsible for ones own actions....to be responsible for your childrens actions. Everyone is only too willing to blame someone else.... aka compo culture.
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Postby urbanisto » Wed Jun 18, 2003 11:23 am

I was going to post something along similar lines but .... fuck it! let the little shits play on the bridge and see what happens!
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Postby Rory W » Wed Jun 18, 2003 12:21 pm

Absolutely f***ing ridiculous, this is the nanny state at its worst, what next rubber pavements in case people fall over - pathetic pathetic pathetic
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Postby ew » Wed Jun 18, 2003 1:13 pm

And you can walk on the wall's of o Connell bridge too - risking a nasty tumble into the liffey. The sooner they get a proper high security fence up on that the safer I'll feel. I've heard you can slip if you stand on the wooded rail of the boardwalk though I'm sure that can't be true as it has won loads of design awards.
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Postby Niall » Wed Jun 18, 2003 1:18 pm

I don't think those involved should touch the bridge. You can fall into the Liffey anywhere along its length.

Hopefully, the novelty will wear off when the winter approaches and the little ruffins will find something else to do.. like litter and graffiti.

That reminds me, was it sprayed with anti-vandal paint? Also, once the spike is finalllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllly unveiled... the graffiti will be up within hours!
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Postby urbanisto » Wed Jun 18, 2003 1:19 pm

A funny related story was an incident about 6 weeks ago where some moron went for a swim (no doubt spurred on by sa,pling the delights fo one of our superpubs) and was left clinging onto the support struts pf the Boardwalk. No doubt he contributed towards the cost of the subsequent rescue operation!
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Postby ew » Wed Jun 18, 2003 1:23 pm

How soon after construction can you have a structure preserved. Could it be added as is to the protected structures list? Is there any precedent on this?
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Postby emf » Wed Jun 18, 2003 1:31 pm

I went down to see the bridge yesterday evening. Someone had already managed to puke in front of one of the granite seats. There were two American tourists sitting just over from it admiring the view towards Heuston. Imagine their thoughts!!!!
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The Bridge

Postby bewhelan » Wed Jun 18, 2003 2:58 pm

When i saw a kid climbing the bridge, the first thing i thought is that the architect forgot a common principle often employed by web and interface designers, that of "affordance". Certain objects "afford" certain actions and communicate these actions by their appearance. Yes it is true that all the bridges on the Liffey have railings that could be walked on, but the new bridge is designed so that its railings afford or invite walking/ climbing. A simple change in design like simply making the first 4ft of the railing at each end much narrower than it presently is would make climbing on it much less inviting and with good visual design employed would not really harm the look of the bridge. What has happened is just so typical, a design that does not consider actual human use. Anyone could see a mile off this would happen.
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Postby bigjoe » Wed Jun 18, 2003 3:18 pm

i thought this was the start of an UL at first.
:)
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Postby urbanisto » Wed Jun 18, 2003 3:33 pm

I think you are wrong ... most people wouldn't dream of climbing the bridge and I am sure that the designer would be conscious of this and therefore would not need to factor this into his design.

However, some people will climb something regardless of how much the design dissuades them.
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Postby bewhelan » Wed Jun 18, 2003 4:09 pm

I know that MOST people would not dream of climbing the bridge. Most people are not climbing it, just a few kids, but that is all it takes to cause problems. The point is that the form the bridge takes does invite and accomodate climbing. MOST people resist this invitation as they care for their personal safety, because of social decorum or because they have better things to do but children often have none of these things. I am not condoning the actions of the children, just saying that a little further thought might have prevented the problem.
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Postby bluefoam » Wed Jun 18, 2003 4:14 pm

I have to say, the bridge screams 'Climb Me!'.
I don't think the kids are doing anything bad, they are interacting with there environment. It is up to the designer to be aware of the social interaction their product is going to provoke.

In this case I think it was either an oversight on the designers part, or else he thought it might happen and chose to ignore it.

Wasn't the bridge originally designed for a more remote location in Spain. Kids won't travel to interact with their environment, they will however interact with their immediate surroundings. Maybe this particular bridge would serve better in a rural location with regular to heavy traffic, rather than in an innercity area with a close local population.

Personally, I quite like the bridge and think it will promote people to enhance the surroundings. In 20 years it will be a great stretch of river!
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Postby urbanisto » Wed Jun 18, 2003 4:18 pm

If MOST people would not dream of climbing the bridge (for whatever reasons) then the design of the bridge does not 'invite and accommodate climbing'. Its simply that, as with most low level structures, the bridge can be climbed.
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Postby bewhelan » Wed Jun 18, 2003 4:34 pm

I think you are missing my point...just because most people do not respond to the invitation does not mean the invitation does not exist. Yes all low level structures can be climbed but to quote bluefoam the structure does yell 'climb me' ,whereas not all low level structures do.
To provide a comparison to explain my point, if a bus shelter is made from wood, people are more likely to write on it than if it is made of glass, though both materials can in fact be written on(this has been proven from studies in the UK). The properties of an object affect how we react to it and in my opinion the design of the bridge does have something about it that suggests climbing. If this is not the case then why are the children climbing it instead of all the other bridge railings on the Liffey?
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Postby bluefoam » Wed Jun 18, 2003 5:07 pm

I would love to climb the bridge, but my good sense and an aversion to harm tell me otherwise. There are people (including children) who have less inhibition who will climb it. (have my mid twenties caught up with me already? - oh how it feels to get old!)

It would be a shame to let the council alter the bridge, they should get Calatrava or one of his plebs to come up with a solution. I already have a number of ideas which wouldn't affect the design greatly.
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Postby bewhelan » Wed Jun 18, 2003 5:16 pm

Thanks bluefoam, your lighthearted approach gets the point across much better, glad to see i am not alone in my thoughts. It will be interesting to see what is actually done about the problem.
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Postby naz78 » Wed Jun 18, 2003 7:06 pm

It is very sad that these people have nothing better to do with their time. I can't understand how people can be so thick in this day and age!!! As a result of people playing with the bridge I am so worried that some a**hole is now going to destroy the look of this new structure. Afterall this is Ireland and in Ireland we haven't a clue how to do anything right. I'd say stupid looking devices will be put on the bridge as a result of these idiots. If they fall in just leave them be because as far as I am concerned it's their own fault if they do. Bloody a**holes.
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Postby sw101 » Wed Jun 18, 2003 7:33 pm

now thats just not nice naz!

someone asked earlier if we could slap a preservation order on the thing? why not? its sculpture and art and as a piece it should remain completely intact. i havent seen the bridge close up yet, i've had to retire down south for the summer and earn, but what exactly is the problem? where are people getting up? surely a protective structure of glass or fine titanium mesh or something could be erected without detracting from the thing. is this why the bottom 10 metres of the spike are so bloody smooth and shiny? to stop the innocent little mites from following natural childlike attraction to climbable things and try to scale the spike? nice view up there. nice splat down here :) little dears
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Postby Ocean33 » Wed Jun 18, 2003 7:55 pm

where will the responsibility of the architect/engineer ever stop? if the arches are to be kiddie proof, the benches skater proof, the railings suicide proof!?!? if we're to progress with innovative design in public amenities, the public themselves must surely accept some responsibility for their own actions and those around them!
Dublin City Council cant be allowed to throw up some ill conceived short term solution which will be left there til the bridge eventually falls into the filthy river.
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Postby naz78 » Wed Jun 18, 2003 7:59 pm

I am just concerned that they could destroy the look of the bridge by amending it. So many things go wrong in this country. I wouldn't be surprised if they ruined the look of the bridge, but then again maybe they will do a good job. I understand that Ireland does have some very good projects under construction but something always goes wrong. It is so unfair. I just want for a clean and modern city. I want a city to be proud of. There are so many messer's out there, so many people that just ruin it all for everyone else. I would hate to see spray paint all over the bottom of the spike for example. If they amend the bridge and do a good job of it i'll be a happy man.
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Postby ew » Thu Jun 19, 2003 9:52 am

I think it's all a bit of a non story. The Times article quotes Gary Leeson. This is the same Gary Leeson freelance photographer that took the photo of "child on bridge" that accompanies the photo.
If you vist the bridge when there is no photographer present you are unlikely to see anyone climbing the arch.
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Thu Jun 19, 2003 10:11 am

ahhhhh its a a bit "drop the dead donkey"
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