college green/ o'connell street plaza and pedestrians

Postby StephenC » Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:11 pm

The trees are quite overgrown and dominate Foster Place but I think a bit of imaginatioin here could create a feature of them. Some judicious pruning, extension of the pavement and moving the taxi rank and some interesting lighting (in the trees) could creat a really atmospheric place. Ideal for outside dining and drinking. The volume and noise pollution of traffic remain a problem though. Like most areas of Dublin the levels of traffic really dont allow one to enjoy the city. Someone mentioned in the Capel St thread that pedestrainisation has reached its limit in the city and no further schem,es should be considered! Are you mad. More not less is deinfately the answer. Forget congestion charging in the city just reduce the amount of areas that traffic imapcts. Its a small city centre and it is ridiculous that the amount of traffic using it should continue to grow. Westmoreland St is a case in point...its 6 lanes wide! Meanwhile pedestrians jostle for space on the pavements. The Wide Streets Commissioners are turning in their graves.

Good to see my favorite water sculpture back in action. Hopefully the CC do something with the disaster at the top of South Kings St. Either fix it or remove it!
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Postby yee haw » Thu Sep 30, 2004 12:16 pm

I heard that DCC had done some kind of feasibility study based on using glass screens or the likes to close off Foster St from College Green...to look at keeping taxis out of the space...this was about 3 months ago...not sure what the latest is
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Postby PVC King » Tue Oct 05, 2004 11:37 pm

I found DCC Senior Planner Dick Gleeson's interpretation of the College Green situation highly encouraging.

It sounded like the pedestrainisation of College Green is "agreed"

I hope it comes to pass, Dublin would benefit enormously.
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Postby Frank Taylor » Wed Oct 06, 2004 3:05 pm

Originally posted by Diaspora
It sounded like the pedestrainisation of College Green is "agreed"

I hope it comes to pass, Dublin would benefit enormously.
How would this work? Would the stretch of road passing the Bank of Ireland have to stay open to cars to allow traffic from Dame street on to Westmoreland Street? What about traffic from D'Olier street that goes across college green towards Westmoreland Street?
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Postby phil » Wed Oct 06, 2004 3:14 pm

I would say Pearse Street would have to become a two way system again and take over from Nassau Street as the area to get buses from. This would actually help to generate more activity on Pearse Street. It would obviously take a huge amount more than just this, but it is one of my first thoughts on it anyway
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Postby burge_eye » Wed Oct 06, 2004 5:08 pm

Nassau street can be discounted as it would become pointless as a route but

Take a look at the volume of traffic that continues from the North Quay to Dame Street via College Green. All of the traffic for Dame Steet, Georges Street and Christchurch would have to be channelled down the quay and up Parliament Street.

Hundreds upon hundreds of people get buses to work which stop at opp. trinity St. via Dame Street. Would all of these be re-routed up Georges Street? Or Suffolk Street?

Take a look at the traffic jams - all day - on Pearse Street with it's 4 lanes. And only 3 buses serve it. Take 2 lanes away? Insanity

Don't want to be a wet blanket but the total chaos caused just because we want to walk from Trinity to um, eh, where exactly? To admire the Bank of Ireland's railings?

It would seem that the only way to acheive the ideal is to build an underpass.
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Postby PVC King » Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:52 pm

Originally posted by burge_eye
It would seem that the only way to acheive the ideal is to build an underpass.


I disagree,

It is possible to acheive a much better public space at College Green without either fully pedestrianising it or building underpasses. The following arrangement would work:

1. Leave College St as it is but have reduced its traffic load by banning the right turn from Bachelors Walk onto O'Connell Bridge and Banning the left turn from Burgh Quay onto D'olier St.

Allow this reduced traffic flow to continue to the base of Grafton St before turning left onto Nassau St thus eliminating the need to change Peasrse St which incidently hasn't flowed freely since the Luas interfered with Beresford Place.

2. Reduce College Green and Dame St (to City Hall) to one lane in either direction; exclusively reserved for Buses, Taxis, Motorbikes and Bicycles.

3. All Bus stops would be eliminated from the above section with seperated laned bus stops on Westmoreland St, Sth Gt Georges St and Lord Edward St.

4. (Dame Court and) Dame Lane be reopened to traffic to allow access to the Trinity St Car Park via Exchequer St.

5. The taxi rank on College Green be moved to Cope St where taxis could wind their away around the back and sides of the Central Bank as far Blooms Hotel.

The way that the Central Plaza section of O'Connell St works is a pardigm in itself, well done to all concerned in its design if not its execution.
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Postby asdasd » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:08 am

Where is all this traffic going? I am used to using my car all the time, as an ex-migrant to the US: here i use it once or twice a week, if that: to shop at a suburban "mall" ( too far to walk), and to leave the city. I never go across the Liffey. Every time I see cars stuck in traffic that are not taxis, I think Why? Make it difficult for traffic to come to town, and the occupients will have to take freer flowing buses.
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Postby Frank Taylor » Thu Oct 07, 2004 11:54 am

Originally posted by asdasd
Where is all this traffic going?
A lot of it is just northside-southside suburban traffic. Cutting through the centre saves paying the Eastlink toll, and the route may be more well known to people than the alternatives further West. I think some people drive through the centre for the view. You've got a car and all roads are free so why not drive along the most central important streets?
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Postby GrahamH » Thu Oct 07, 2004 2:13 pm

I think one of the most unappreciated areas of the city centre is the College St/Westmoreland St junction - it's one of the best places in the whole city, with the House of Lords and Westin and Trinity's end pavilion all facing onto it, as well as the stock of College St itself.
There is real potential here to improve and extend the island, including the removal of the toilets there. The Moore trees have been cut over the summer so you can see him now, he looks quite well with the shady canopy floating over his head.
I've an interesting pic of an effort to improve here in the past with a line of trees planted along the roadside, probably in the 60s - they're gone now.
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Postby PVC King » Fri Oct 08, 2004 8:27 am

Improving College St shouldn't be too difficult as the traffic load onto right fork going into Westmoreland St has been dramatically reduced by the enforced right turn from Pearse St onto Tara St.

The objective in my opinion must be to extend the O'Connell St model as far as City Hall. It should be possible to give an East-West quality space on the South of the river to imitate what a fusion of Henry St & Middle Abbey St does North of the river.

Foster Place without the Taxis would be a great start along with doing something with the pedestrian margin in College St.
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Postby notjim » Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:44 pm

its clear that there is a solution: a variety of traffice reduction measures, short of complete pedestrianization, along with pedestrian lights arranged so people to cross at any point.
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Postby Frank Taylor » Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:54 pm

The crossing between Trinity College and the traffic island facing the Westin has for many years been a pedestrian bottleneck between the Northside and the Southside. It would make a huge difference to change the traffic light sequencing in favour of the pedestrians as Ken did in Trafalgar Square a couple of years back.
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Postby GrahamH » Fri Oct 08, 2004 8:10 pm

Definitely.
I was wondering why the flow on Pearse St had altered so much - never thought of the Luas. Have to say I welcome it though cause it's much easier to cross now!

Agreed about the linking of 'The Grand Thoroughfare' as it's so often described, from City Hall to O' Cll St. What a difference it would make to the image of the city centre if nothing else, let alone the lives of those who use it. Traffic should continue to play a part on some city streets, but should not dominate as it currently does.
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Postby PVC King » Fri Oct 15, 2004 6:09 pm

Absolutely correct,

There are a number of steps to be taken before it happens, I am confident that many of the building blocks are already under way.

Completion of the O'Connell St to City Hall Plaza has the potential to be the most significant development in urbanism since the wide streets commission. As it will provide the first significant East West Axis that isn't either fully pedestrianised or completely open to traffic.
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Postby shaun » Sat Oct 16, 2004 10:55 am

We have to be careful here, too many pedestrianised streets can have an adverse effect on a city, streets were made for traffic, obviously we want heavy goods vehicles out of the city but that's another story.
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Postby PVC King » Sat Oct 16, 2004 1:16 pm

Shaun,

It has been stated by many observers that the O'Connell St plaza has been a total success in increasing commercial activity. It has also led to a situation where the footfall on The O'Connell St end of Henry St actually exceeds that of Grafton St.

All that is proposed is to extend the same principle to College Green and Dame St, therebye increasing the footfall there and to Streets such as Trinity St and Georges St.

As it stands people are choosing to shop in places such Blanchardstown and Quarry Vale where people can sit for hours on the wide open to all congested road that is the M50.

It is a City Centre we're talking about
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Postby Paul Clerkin » Sat Oct 16, 2004 4:43 pm

Originally posted by shaun
We have to be careful here, too many pedestrianised streets can have an adverse effect on a city, streets were made for traffic, obviously we want heavy goods vehicles out of the city but that's another story.


surely streets evolved as a way of moving pedestrian traffic originally not fellow travellers of the AA Roadwatch ;)
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Postby shaun » Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:51 pm

Less and restricted traffic is one thing, is this what is being proposed for the plaza because that sounds great, we just don't want to turn our city centre's into no-go zones for cars.

The streets of Dublin were made for traffic, as any in other town, but just let's not do what they have done in Holland where most town centers are pedestrianised, and it just doesn't work or feel right, it's like walking around a theme park.

If only we could reduce the traffic on the quays, what a mess.....
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Postby burge_eye » Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:56 pm

I remember someone mentioning river taxis once and I thought it was a brilliant idea. Is there any reason why we can't do it?
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Postby Rory W » Mon Oct 18, 2004 3:47 pm

The streets of Dublin were made for traffic, as any in other town, but just let's not do what they have done in Holland where most town centers are pedestrianised, and it just doesn't work or feel right, it's like walking around a theme park.


Yeah - wouldn't it be awful not having to wait 180 seconds for the 15 second break you get to cross at College Green. Imagine how false it would be without having a HGV belching fumes into your face and wouldn't it be simply awful having reduced pollution and dodging in and out of cars who stray onto pedestrian crossings when the lights are against them. And as for not getting nearly mowed down by cars that break red lights. Jesus what a hell on earth Dublin would become.
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Postby tommyt » Mon Oct 18, 2004 7:47 pm

it's probably come up here before but I'm new to this board .I reckon a major part of the unattractiveness of College green/st. & westmoreland st. is the ugly trees that obscure the neo- classical elevations, considering the hullabaloo over the O'Connel st. trees (glad to see them go)wil they ever be got rid of and return the area to its original hard landscaped styling?.whoever got the impression that Dick Gleeson forsees the area pedestianised from his interview in Ron Black's I thought he was suggesting it couldn't be done myself from what he said...
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Postby phil » Tue Oct 19, 2004 9:57 am

Tommyt, I must say I got the impression that he favoured it in principle, but knew that a huge amount of work needed to be done prior to it being thought about. The overall impression I got was that he reckoned it would eventually be done.
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Postby PVC King » Tue Oct 19, 2004 8:50 pm

I think Dick Gleeson has to play it a lot cleverer than most, there are always a number of agendas within local authorities that one must approach with care.

I got the impression that he personally favours improving the pedestrian environment in College Green and that if he had the chance he would favour a total pedestrianisation.

There are four impediments to delivering a College Green Plaza.

1). The Trees in front of the BOI, anyone got a loan of a chainsaw? You have to see the bigger picture.

2). The Buses and futue possible Luas, Luas isn't going to happen for a long while and if it does Fleet St/ Temple Bar would be perfect. The buses and Taxis could use Dame St/ College Green but simply not be permitted to allow passengers alight from there.

3). Disruption to businesses, the operation of both Henry St and Grafton St proves that goods can still be delivered.

4.) Disruption to traffic, thats why an inner orbital exists and when the Macken St Bridge is completed most of the North-South traffic will have an alternative route, and the Cuffe St- Christchurch- Phibsboro route can take pressure off as well.

The end definitely justifies the means on this one, but It will probably be a few years before it happens.

A few good preliminary measures would be to.

1). Move the College Green Taxi rank to the side of the Central Bank.
2). Eliminate as many bus-stops as possible and re-position them on the next Street out, such as Westmoreland St, Georges St, Lord Edward St.
3). Ban the right turn at Nicholas St to Christchurch Place
4). Ban the right turn on Bachelors walk to O'Connell Bridge
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Postby phil » Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:05 am

I don't personally see what the problem with the trees is. I am not going to give a whole "they should stay because they have been there for years rant", because I know they havn't. I think if the area was to be pedestrianised they would enhance the area. The area would feel very bare if it was just an expanse of hard landscaping for pedestrians.
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