college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Cathal Dunne » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:12 pm

Morlan wrote:Image


The absolute gem of the south city centre. Buy out the car parks, force Dublin Bus to change their routes, get the Luas in. Pedestrianise all streets. What a fantastic city Dublin could be. :(


How did you highlight that, Morlan?
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby dermot_trellis » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:18 pm

Looks like a bit of Photoshop layer filters to me..
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Morlan » Wed Jun 10, 2009 5:36 pm

Cathal Dunne wrote:How did you highlight that, Morlan?


In Photoshop, paste in your map and then duplicate it so you have two layers. Turn down the brightness of the bottom layer.. then go to the top layer and erase the areas you don't want highlighted.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Cathal Dunne » Thu Jun 11, 2009 4:48 pm

Morlan wrote:In Photoshop, paste in your map and then duplicate it so you have two layers. Turn down the brightness of the bottom layer.. then go to the top layer and erase the areas you don't want highlighted.


I see. Thank you very much for the response. I had thought that there was an option to edit Google Maps/Earth if you had a professional edition of it.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby GrahamH » Fri Jun 12, 2009 11:41 pm

Aha, I was wondering too. Very nice presentation effect indeed.

Just as Dame Street has often popped into this thread, many stretches of this grand old thoroughfare are sadly going to pot in respect of shopfronts and the wider public realm. This farcical vista presents itself to visitors and citizens alike on the so-called, officially-termed Grand Civic Thoroughfare of the city as one approaches the historic environs of City Hall and Dublin Castle.

Image

If ever there was a doubt in anybody's mind that all principal streets in the city centre should be Architectural Conservation Areas, this stands as but one example of many as to why things simply must change. Not that most of this signage is legal under even standard planning controls, but ACA status (in theory anyway) at least affords much greater development control on the part of the local authority, and gives reason to carry out (in theory) much more rigorous monitoring of these areas. Parliament Street, Westmoreland Street and Grafton Street are experiencing a scourge of similar tawdry tat which needs to be stamped out hard if we are to achieve anything remotely like this oft-touted 'quality city'. We're not even at the starting line.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby missarchi » Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:23 am

RPA will be holding an Open Day for Luas City Centre/Broombridge (Line BXD):

Wednesday, 10th June 2009, 16:00 - 20:00hrs
Jury's Hotel, Parnell Street, Dublin 1.

http://www.rpa.ie/Documents/Public%20Consultation/Public%20Consultation%20Flyers/Line%20BXD%20Open%20Day%20Flyer%200509.pdf
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby urbanisto » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:34 am

How disappointing to see the works on College Green doing nothing to change the status quo on this poorly used public space. The infamous view of the Green from Grafton Street will still contain all that collection of street tat after the paving is relaid as it did before (very important phone boxes there).
No new street lighting proposed - even though the streetlighting around here is among the ugliest in the city. Why not some of the large floodlights from O'Connell Street plaza?
Assorted poles and signage and phone boxes and telecom cabinets all stay in place...in fact even more poles will be required because as we all know any pedestrian crossing has to consist of about 10 sets of lights these days. As with signage, the more lights you see the more likely you are to take notice.
And of course those lovely acres of tarmac will still be there too by the looks of it, despite the new paving being laid.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby urbanisto » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:47 pm

The chance of an irish road engineer even the having the imagination...
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby GrahamH » Sat Jun 20, 2009 11:37 pm

Fully agreed. Not every aspect of the public domain has to be 'managed' within an inch of its life. Also agreed about the works currently underway. Indeed things are so preposterous on the College Street island that they are crisply paving around the splodges of tarmac! Incredible.

I promised myself I'd go easy on the Bus Gate works (i.e. civic improvement works of the most basic nature that should have been carried out 20 years ago independent of any transport policy). There is good quality work taking place in some virgin territory, but really and truly, what is happening in front of the Bank of Ireland simply beggars belief.

Firstly, one would naturally suppose, in spite of chaotic and destructive works involving historic paving still abounding across the city, that a decent effort would be made to manage change sensitively in the historic environs of College Green - even if for PR never mind matters cultural, or civilised for that matter. Secondly, one would have thought that the outstandingly beautiful setted entrances to the Bank of Ireland, composed of unique rust-toned granite setts laid in gracious sweeps emerging from the gates, flanked at either side by historic granite paving, in totality comprising the very best modern-day paving composition anywhere in Dublin city centre, would be duly respected.

I simply cannot believe what is happening in front of our eyes by Sierra's botchmen.

This is the surviving sweep at the west (Dame Street) end (cameraphone).

Image


This is what is happening at the east, pedestrian crossing end.

Image

Firstly, as can be seen, it has been deemed appropriate that the flanking granite paving be gouged out to cater for preposterous little scraps of crossing stud tiles. How can such a tiny feature possibly aid the visually impaired? In any event, why on earth are these needed at this crossing? This is health and safety or mobility correctness gone crazy. All at the expense of the historic setting of the Bank of Ireland. The composition has been ruined. And need it even be noted the new thin Chinese granite kerbs do no justice to the robust entrance gates.

The same tiled treatment looks to be going in at the completely gouged out opposite side, completely stealing the limelight from the rusty setts.

Image



Secondly, all of the fabulous seemingly hand-cut setts have been scandalously sliced the entire way along their length with a circular saw. This is not even the stuff of Bob the Builder.

Image

A crude line of cement will now be pasted the whole way along the junction’s length.

Back again on the opposite side, the driveway is being lop-sidedly widened in compensation. Here, setts are being laughably re-laid directly abutting the chainsawed line! The existing half-setts are not even being taken out to enable a neat intercourse with the new setts. You couldn’t make this up.

Image


Then at the new rounded corner, thin and weak kerbstones of Chinese granite are being laid against the robust Dublin kerbstones alongside.

Image


While the original curved stones remained stacked in a heap in the middle of the site.

Image


Who the hell is overseeing this mess? Anyone? I dare not go back and see what other delights they have in store for us.

And again on the issue of coloured crossing tiles, if fawn coloured can be used outside the Bank, why on earth is this (not to mention more palatable) colour not being used across the board? Why is red being used on the opposite side of this very junction?! Or over on College Street? While over at Trinity Street it’s back to fawn again. Absolutely no co-ordination.

I just cannot believe what is going on here. You’d think for such a flagship contract, involving the ceremonial and historic heart of the city, and encompassing a number of challenging conservation requirements, that a masterplan of some kind would be drawn up. I really shouldn’t be surprised at this mess – also taking account of the lack of progress on the trees and all the other junk – but one really would have to despair in this city. There’s just no aspiration to quality, plain and simple.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby PVC King » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:02 pm

Sadly the interface between disability access enhancement and heritage is often badly handled; I have little doubt that the vast majority of disabled people would gladly go without textured footpath at this location to see the setting preserved if it were pointed out to them.


This clearly highlights the need to have the CITY COUNCIL HERITAGE OFFICER sign off ALL ROADS DEPARTMENT WORKS in ALL CONSERVATION AREAS WITHOUT EXCEPTION. These works are a disgrace to all concerned except the operatives who carried out instructions under reduced budgets.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby marmajam » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:32 pm

Morlan wrote:Image


The absolute gem of the south city centre. Buy out the car parks, force Dublin Bus to change their routes, get the Luas in. Pedestrianise all streets. What a fantastic city Dublin could be. :(


good idea. but

be over the dead bodies of dublin bus and shop traders.

I'd be for it (killing the above especially)
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby lauder » Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:42 pm

GrahamH and interested others,

Keep up the good work with reporting disgraceful flaws and poor workmanship on our cities historic streets. I have been passing this information on to the FG grouping on City Council and these issues are being followed up. The Cllrs I have spoken to agree with preserving the historic paving and are acting on your report.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby GrahamH » Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:34 pm

Many thanks lauder. Okay, so the above is a tad ranty for what some may see as comparitively minor quibbles. But these poorly detailed works are symptomatic of a broader ignorance in the city of the importance of a well-presented public realm. It is frustrating to see one of the few oases of sophistication and good craftsmanship in the city centre, that was entirely self-maintaining year round, with a timeless, hard-wearing charm, being so crudely butchered with finnicky, badly thought out and unnecessary detailing. Never mind generating it from new, we cannot even recognise when we already have quality.

Passing this evening, the rusty setts have, as expected, since been relaid with a surgical scar running along the length of the driveway, while some of the larger angular gaps between the Chinese granite kerbing and the paving stones have just been filled with cement. The Chinese curved stones look ridiculous emerging from the Dublin kerbs of a third wider dimension. And as if to prove the unnecessity of the fawn tiles, the Dame Street side driveway has been left as was, with simple dished slopes of granite.

It is deeply sad that there appears to be no mainstream contractor capable of carrying out repaving in the robust but elegant spirit of the Dublin tradition. This is not just a matter of laying slabs and choosing the right pointing in a localised fashion. It demands designing an entire pavement as a coherent architectural ensemble, with correctly chosen or tailor-made pieces to compose the picture. The ingenuity of the 19th century paving recently featured over on Lincoln Place is but a minor example of such artistry.

Image


Such craftsmanship applied on College Green would dictate that there would be no angular gaps plugged with cement, curved sweeps of kerbstones would be robustly and generously scaled. and surfaces comprised of increasingly scrappy off-cuts of granite generated by service interventions over the years would be rationalised. And need it even be said that expensive and well-sourced granite setts would be treated as an asset and long-term investment of the public realm - not something to be slashed through with a chainsaw at the public's expense.

The outrageous condition of the granite paving over at Trinity beside the gates has long been a blight on the presentation of the environs of the West Front. However, things are so bad thus far that one almost hopes this will not be 'refurbished' as part of these works.

As Stephen mentioned also, not a single item of clutter has been rationalised anywhere on College Green or College Street. Even the rank of three preposterous traffic signal megaboxes dumped outside Fox's have not been sunk underground - they still sit alongside a redundant international telephone kiosk, a car park display, numerous traffic signal poles, a Malton View, a rank of Eircom phoneboxes and various other random municipal knick-knacks. What a wasted opportunity this project has been. A quick-fix engineering job at its most short-sighted.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby kefu » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:01 am

Is that a syringe at the top of the picture?
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby urbanisto » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:14 am

Thats exactly it....quick fix engineering solutions. I dont get it. College Green is so disfunctional as a civic space. It ooozes potential, its constantly being refered to by people like Dick Gleeson and Ali Grehan as the grand civic space of the city centre and yet no one can see beyond providing more space for traffic. Everything else must take second place to the need to accommodate buses and cars and (lets not forget the rank) taxis. The result is that while you want to linger there; you want to sit in that shadow of all those gorgeous builidngs; you want to explore the statues and fountain - you can't because there is just no room for people.

By all means keep up the pressure Lauder...hopefully it works. A call to the Heritage Officer might be in order.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby GrahamH » Tue Jun 23, 2009 11:15 am

Darn it, that's where I lost it!
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby missarchi » Thu Jun 25, 2009 11:58 pm

One of the reasons I so respect Frank Pick (1878-1941), the legendary chief executive of the London Passenger Transport Board, is that he made common places shine.

http://www.bdonline.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=427&storycode=3143607&channel=783&c=2&encCode=00000000019c24d7

Sham sans?
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby GregF » Fri Jun 26, 2009 10:42 am

I was in the Ulster Bank on College Green recently, and wow, what a grand entrance, with the huge arch that leads into................ a cavernous warren of an office space.
Another act of wanton vandalism where this once fine old building was gutted in the 60's or 70's and just the facade retained.

My Jasus, what a bunch of morons!
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby alonso » Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:06 am

GregF wrote:
My Jasus, what a bunch of morons!



ah yes the DCC motto
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby rumpelstiltskin » Fri Jun 26, 2009 1:08 pm

StephenC wrote:Thats exactly it....quick fix engineering solutions. I dont get it. College Green is so disfunctional as a civic space. It ooozes potential, its constantly being refered to by people like Dick Gleeson and Ali Grehan as the grand civic space of the city centre and yet no one can see beyond providing more space for traffic.


I mean if you think about it, Dame Street and college Green contain or are close to: the country's most prestigious university, the first purpose built parliament building in the world, the city hall, dublin castle, and one of our cathedrals, as well as being next to Temple Bar and Grafton Street. If they simply brought in rules about shop fronts and pedestrianised the whole area, it could rival the Royal Mile in Edinburgh for grandeur. That's a depressing thought.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Cathal Dunne » Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:06 pm

They've put hideous little brick-pavings in the pedestrian platforms which jut out from the paths at the pedestrian crossing to Pearse St. They look awful in the context. In the middle of our capital and in the vicinity of what could be our greatest public square these little things bring the tone down.

These build-outs should have large, broad flagstones over them with proper masonry work so that, as GrahamH has already stated, they do not need equally awful cement line-fills.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby urbanisto » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:22 am

Fat chance
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby GrahamH » Thu Jul 02, 2009 10:27 pm

Now there's a notion! Something that is desperately needed in Dublin. Public space and the lack and/or presentation thereof is probably the most pressing issue in the city centre at the moment after transit issues.

Regarding the above BoI works, we got some action in respect of the rusty setts, which have been dug up again around the chainsawed line (I'm sure the contractors were delighted), and the newly laid setts integrated with the old as they should have been. Thus the scar is no more. Wasn't too difficult was it? Alas the kerbstones and the paving slabs abutting them remain an incoherent mess.

Over at Trinity, the beautiful curved pavement is being nastily treated with more red tile slabs, upon the apparent wider insistence of the National Council for the Blind of Ireland on the specification of street paving, in spite of nearly every other historic city getting by just fine without them. Not only do they destroy historic paving, look awful in all contexts, but they're also a pain in the foot to walk on, especially where they ridiculously extend the full way back to the rear of the pavement. Why on earth?!! College Green is turning into an uncomfortable nightmare in decent shoes. So yes, they are also a crime against comfort and fashion! I know of a number of people who hate them for this reason. They are also an inconvenience for buggies, prams and, ironically, wheelchairs.

We also now have no less than six traffic signal/telecoms boxes sitting over outside Fox's and Halifax, in addition to all the other junk. Also, why the considerable time, expense and visual chaos of finnickily faffing about attempting to accommodate the trees on both College Green and College Street, when both spaces would have been better served by just hacking the scrawny yokes down, is completely beyond me. One can only take it that this was purely a PR gesture - nobody has the guts, vision or determination to take on O'Connell Street Round II. What a crying shame.

As a final note, I observed this evening that even the grey tiles (if still uncomfortable and ugly) on the very odd part of O'Connell Street are far superior to both red and fawn. So yet another missed opportunity.
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