The new planters etc on Clarendon Street are actually a very effective (and cheap) means of creating more pedestrian space on the street and altering the mood. It should also be pointed out that the Council have also removed cycle rails and bollards to accommodate the anticipated higher level of footfall this street will see when works on Grafton Street begin in January.
The planters are exactly the type of common sense solution that should be applied elsewhere in the city where a greater degree of pedestrian space is required.
On Parnell Street (east section) for example... The criminally poor street environment here hasn't been touched in any meaningful way for decades, and surely the poor quality of buildings and shops and everything else on the street reflects its neglect by DCC. However, the view of the Council in 2011 when Dublin Civic Trust published a study of the street (see viewtopic.php?f=49&t=3777&start=150
) was that the funds simply weren't there to do anything with the street. The only hope was that Luas works would improve the situation, and An Bord Pleanala have included a condition in the Railway Order for BXD that the street here be substantially repaved.
However....curiously the pavement of Talbot Street and Parnell Street West (main shopping end) are both being relaid at present. In the case of Parnell Street West, the works are to replace the red eurobrick with concrete flags (and unfortunately, cheap looking mass concrete kerbing). Its welcome certainly, but where are the priorities here? How come this street (which wasn't in that bad nick) gets bumped up the list for works while its poor east end cousin languishes in third world conditions decade after decade?
I also question why Grafton Street requires a Part VIII in order to complete its repaving (albeit a pointless exercise where no-one's opinion as expressed in the 'public consultation' phase is considered - ditto Thomas Street Dual-Carriage Way/QBC - ditto Mountjoy Square ACA), while Talbot Street and Parnell Street works can go ahead without any recourse to planning.
Its all a bit muddled isnt it?
Anyhow, lest I be accused, as usual, of DCC-bashing...kudos to the Council in this instance for at least picking up something from all those continental European city breaks and making effective use of temporary planters etc on Clarendon Street. More please!