college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

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

Postby urbanisto » Wed Nov 04, 2009 4:57 pm

Its a bad decision alright. The Bus Gate has been a great help in getting in and out of teh city at rush hour for cyclists and bus passengers. It has to be said that it is a pain in the arse driving in Dublin City Centre and I am not sure that the streets are being used to their best ability. One way systems are frustrating and sometimes illogical. The Macken Street bridge will help aleviate tratffic on Pearse Street when it opens. I think the loss of the bus gate (even temporarily and evenings only) is a retrograde step.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby wearnicehats » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:06 pm

Frank Taylor wrote:Dublin City Council voted on Monday night to allow cars to drive through college green during the evening rush hour for two months from mid nov to mid jan. They also voted to allow free on street parking in 1380 spaces after 2pm in the city centre. The city manager stated in his report that he could find no evidence that the bus gate had been the cause of a reduction in sales in the city centre shops.

So there you have it: Dublin City Council's plan to encourage people into Dublin is to transfer road space from public transport to cars and to stop charging for parking spaces that were previously filled by fee paying drivers.

In previous years there was an acknowledgement that the roads could not take the Christmas rush and that people were to be encouraged to use public transport during the busy season with temporary P&R facilities created. There was also an acceptance that charging for parking led to a higher turnover of spaces and availability of parking for those willing to pay. The alternative is that the spaces fill with people abandoning their cars for 10 hours+ while they work an evening shift or hang out in their mates apartments. The streets fill with cars cruising around for free spaces.

I'm very disappointed with the council. Motion was carried 35 to 11. Mostly it was supported by FG/Labour and opposed by FF (surprisingly) and some labour reps and independents like Mannix Flynn. The council seems to have caved in following legal threats from car park owners, an unproven fear that some of their larger ratepayers were losing money and pressure on Labour from their Union paymasters, representing staff in Brown Thomas.


I think if DCC really wanted to help Dublin shoppers this christmas they would allow free on street parking in 1380 spaces somewhere in the vicinity of Newry
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby missarchi » Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:21 pm

I always thought this would happen...
That's why you have an underground carpark...
This was caused by having 3 separate councils all competing for shoppers and planning applications/fees.

Metro north might help but pedestrian flows are not going to be as linear and long as there where before. It will be the dropping bomb effect.

college green needs to become a hub or the destination...
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby GrahamH » Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:31 am

I'm getting great mileage out of this Charles W. Cushman Collection. These might as well go here, given this thread absorbs nearly all Dame Street-related matters.

1961 :)

Image

What a scene! And talk about safety in numbers! Not only do so many people cycle, but also look at the age spectrum. When was the last time you saw a 10 year old cycling in Dublin city centre? Or in any urban context for that matter?

Image

Even if he is dressed like he's 75.

Of course, what is really of interest is the heart-breaking loss of the scene's backdrop. What a magnificent, strong streetscape; exuding authority, institutional confidence and civic grandeur.

Image

A criminal loss. Little else compares in the city today.

Likewise, the understated elegance of decorative schemes. This Wide Streets Commission terrace appears to be newly cleaned and re-pointed, probably by the last of the old school craftsmen who died out over the subsequent two decades. A potent new coat of Victorian claret to the windows too.

Image

Note the attractive sultry tones of the fabulous right-hand shopfront, now painted a grubby gloss cream, and the sophistication of the paintwork adorning the present-day Toni & Guy shopfront. An art we have well and truly lost.

Turning our attention to over the road and a little further west, to the mother of all photographic gems :)

Image

The notoriously elusive demolished Wide Streets Commission terrace in full colour! 14 houses in total were swept away here as part of Dame Street's road-widening scheme, butchering three streets in the process.

Again, it is breathtaking to note the prevalence of a fully intact array of traditional shopfronts well into the second half of the 20th century. The charcoal one to the right is a real beauty.

Image


As for the eye-catcher of G. Roche's...

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The original 18th century sashes even survived to the upper floors - just with their glazing bars chopped out.

A time when cycling was so leisurely, one smoked one's pipe while dawdling up a hill!

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

Postby Peter Fitz » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:33 am

Brilliant images... you feel like you're right there (dressed as a 75 year old)

Image


GrahamH wrote:The notoriously elusive demolished Wide Streets Commission terrace in full colour! 14 houses in total were swept away here as part of Dame Street's road-widening scheme, butchering three streets in the process.


Such a vivid image, and such needless demolition... 4 lanes already ... ?
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:03 am

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

Postby Devin » Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:15 am

Yeah the Cushman collection is great. The Kodachromes must have been properly stored over the years too as they're in fantastic condition ... almost no fading of the dyes.

Browse it here - http://webapp1.dlib.indiana.edu/cushman/results/result.do?query=country%3A%22Ireland%22&action=browse




Image

DCC should use this picture to add a bit of retro ambience to their promotion of the bikes scheme.

Interesting to see the terrace knocked out for the Central Bank - ie. to the right of the red dotted line.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby urbanisto » Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:32 pm

What a shame....poor old Dame Street.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Paul Clerkin » Mon Dec 14, 2009 3:11 pm

there's that many cyclists - it must have been fairly terrifying driving a car... and much more reassuring to be on a bike
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby foremanjoe » Mon Dec 14, 2009 4:30 pm

I think everyone's getting a little carried away here with the nostalgia of these photos.

There are so many bicycles on the streets because people couldn't afford cars, not because they cared about the environment or had any kind of social conscience regarding traffic congestion or pollution.

That 10-year-old boy that you're all so impressed at being able to cycle on the 'safe' streets of 1960s Dublin is probably on his way to work a shift in St. James' Gate, and it looks like he's suffering with lice, or possibly fleas.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Devin » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:00 pm

I don't know about that. It just looks like a general form of transport, like in Amsterdam today, before the levels of motor traffic made it impossible/unpleasant. Notice old gents and ladies who don't look poor in the shot outside City Hall.

This (1961) must have been about the last time you saw mass cycling in Dublin. The decline in the '60s must have been massive. I wonder did people talk about this at the time, or did it just go unremarked?

Even going out on the city streets on a bike today, you are mostly on your own - no other cyclists around you.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby foremanjoe » Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:10 pm

Devin wrote:Even going out on the city streets on a bike today, you are mostly on your own - no other cyclists around you.


That's hardly accurate Devin.
Rush-hour cycling numbers today can be similar to those on view here, especially on clear days like the ones in these pictures.

The size of Dublin, the distance people have to travel to work, the cost of living in the city centre and the popularization of the automobile are all factors that have contributed to this apparent demise of cycling as the popular mode of transport.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Devin » Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:38 am

I would say replanning our whole environment around the motor car is the main reason.


Two more old pics of College Green here, the first one from 1900 direction and the second from the 1940s. Lots of life in both pics:

Image

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

Postby reddy » Mon Dec 28, 2009 1:32 pm

Peter Fitz wrote:Brilliant images... you feel like you're right there (dressed as a 75 year old)

Image




Such a vivid image, and such needless demolition... 4 lanes already ... ?


Wow looking at that picture just shows what a miserable effort the "robocop" building was. No attempt made to reinstate the street line and provide city hall with a strong, dignified neighbour.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Frank Taylor » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:56 pm

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

Postby Andrew Duffy » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:20 am

Comparing the two pictures above - was any extra road space even gained by demolishing the terrace next to City Hall?
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby kefu » Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:54 pm

That's what I find most confusing about these pictures: then, we had two traffic lanes in either direction, now, we have ... the exact same. What was actually achieved by this wholesale destruction?
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby johnglas » Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:03 pm

The simple fact is that there was a fetish for inner-city road-widening in the 1950s/60s; just be thankful not as much of it was done as proposed. Its successor was the urban motorway, which has devastated this city (I was just noticing the baleful effects last night); at least you were spared that.
Keep your road engineers in a dark cupboard and only very rarely let them out.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby Devin » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:05 am

In fairness, the terrace was standing way out into the street. See the end-building (corner of Palace Street) here in this view from College Green:

Image




But that also meant it was a good point from where to take photos up the street:

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

Postby OisinT » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:55 pm

I think setting the "robocop" building back actually makes the street much more interesting and pleasant looking.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby weehamster » Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:15 pm

The reality is that no building should have been built at all let alone set back from the original line. To block the beautiful AIB building is a total disgrace. The site should just have been made a simple mini-square. If something had to use the space then maybe allow a temporary retail setup
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby reddy » Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:06 am

weehamster wrote:The reality is that no building should have been built at all let alone set back from the original line. To block the beautiful AIB building is a total disgrace. The site should just have been made a simple mini-square. If something had to use the space then maybe allow a temporary retail setup


I know what you mean - a little plaza here, with the entrance to the castle etc could have been lovely but I always feel the loss of the buildings there really breaks down the sense of enclosure of the street, same goes for the break for the central bank. Its at these points that Dame St loses a lot of its drama and power.
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Re: college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby missarchi » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:11 am

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

Postby Global Citizen » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:01 am



I don't know about Luas stops with humps but I do believe there is a reasonable argument for the traffic calming measures you highlight above in certain areas at certain times. DCC in their defense argue that such speed limits have been successful in a number of cities on continental Europe.

However they failed to examine the fact that such limits in these cities only apply in residential areas at different times of the day.
DCC in their (cack handed) wisdom have applied the 30 kph limit across vast tracts of the city centre 24 hours a day in non residential areas.

Expect penalty points for doing 35 kph along the empty quays at 3 in the morning whilst the boy racers in the residential suburbs continue to let rip with one hand on the steering wheel and the other hand raising a middle finger at the rest of us.
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