That is a very fair point there is a significant discrepancy between the DRRTS proposal and the interconnector in terms of route length and specific alignment and there are significant cost implications of extending the route.
Yet, as far as I am aware, we’ve not seen any official justification for the change in route alignment, and elevation of costs. When the line was presented for public consultation, the only
justification for routing the interconnector through St. Stephen’s Green was that it would enable interchange with the LUAS, despite the fact that a preferred route for the LUAS link-up had already been selected, and this preferred link-up route would have brought other putative interchange locations into play.
Dublin as a medium density urban centre in the 1970's was very much concentrated between say the Customs House and the Four Courts East to West and Parnell Square to Stephens Green North to South.
It’s still the busiest area though, isn’t it, in terms of where people actually are
? (And, in volume terms, where they want to get to, and get from)
I mean, what other part of the city is continually busy 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
In the 1980's the area between Harcourt Road and Lower Mount Street emerged as the main private sector office area. In the 1990's areas such as IFSC, Grand Canal Quay emerged, in this decade this spread to Hannover Quay and Spencer Dock.
As a network is developed, ready access to Lower Mount Street should be achievable from Pearse Station and Grand Canal Dock. It already is, for users of the DART line. I wouldn’t see St. Stephen’s Green as a station of choice for people wishing to get to this street or its environs.
Similarly with Harcourt Road: it’s about 800 metres from the proposed interconnector station on St. Stephen’s Green, as the crow flies, and closer to a kilometre on foot along roads. (This is also, approximately, the case for important office areas like Fitzwilliam Place, Adelaide Road, Wilton Place/Terrace, etc).
I don’t think that Dublin should aspire to an end situation where, after significant investment, these important employment locations are so distant from the rail network.
In reality, these areas will eventually need
to be properly connected to the network by the metro or LUAS.
It is, in my opinion, short-sighted, to build a longer, more expensive route when the reasons for this choice will be nullified by other infrastructural development which will need
to take place if Dublin is to have a decent transport network..
As for the other areas which you mention, The IFSC (at Connolly) and Grand Canal Quay are already served by the existing parts of the proposed network, Spencer Dock will soon be served by the LUAS, which will connect with the DART, while Hannover Quay’s integration into the network may well also happen thanks to LUAS and Mr. Calatrava.
Areas such as Parnell Square stagnated and the former office mecca of College Green turned into outer temple bar i.e. its main function changed to leisure tilted at stag weekends.
Parnell Street, it seems to me, has turned a corner, and I do
think you are doing College Green a disservice. It isn’t, I agree, the perfect spot at the moment, but even now - in its shabby state – it is much, much more than just a focal point for stag parties, as discussed earlier on this thread (and also on this one
According to the RPA’s presentation at the inquiry into the metro, there are a number of locations suitable for a metro/interconnector interchange. While they chose not to divulge the contents of their deliberations into the pros and cons of the various locations, I suspect that College Green would be among this number.
What is clear is that Stephens Green is in employment terms probably the most intensively used location in Dublin; Pearse Station serves an area that was in the 1970's decaying but has transformed into a viable educational and office quarter. Spencer Dock is now what Wilton Place was in the 1980's and is surrounded by hundreds of acres of heavily leveraged development land which NAMA is crying out to see properly sefved by public transport. The area around Guiness is not much different.
I think you are possibly
using the term “St. Stephen’s Green” here as a general term for the Green itself, the neighbouring Georgian areas of Dublin, and the more modern developments between the Green and the Canal, as the numbers of people employed in St. Stephen’s Green would not be enormous in density terms, compared to several other areas of Dublin.
If this is the case, please remind yourself of my point about future development of the proposed network.
More importantly, you should also remember that the eventual network will not only be used by people who are employed
in one particular place. It will be used by people who travel to and from locations for a whole host of reasons. Overall usage of the system, whether that be directly to a place of employment or for purposes which (by and large) generate employment, needs to be considered.
Pearse Station is already part of the network. As mentioned above, Spencer Dock soon will be with the arrival of the LUAS. And a shorter route probably would not have a different impact on the situation with Guinness.
As logical as your idea is to link Heuston and Tara Street or Connolly directly the chance to develop large scale projects along its route would be problematic due to the fact that so many ideal sites were developed as low quality low rise apartment buildings in the past 15 years. There would also be significant heritage concerns on virtually all the route from Customs House to Christchurch (Hawkins Street Excluded).
Well, in fairness, it is not my
idea. As you know, it was produced in the 1970s by others, when I was but a chisler.
I really can’t see that development opportunities are going to be, or should be, a factor in the construction of much of this cross-city tunnel. As the city is pretty built up, in any case, within the areas which are being spoken about on this thread – whether along the proposed circuitous route, the shorter route proposed by the DRRTS, or some other route - development opportunities which are geographically closely related to the tunnel project are probably going to be minimal.
I would imagine that there will be development opportunities related to proximity to rail lines which can be put through
the tunnel when it is built
but I don’t see this as a particularly relevant factor which deserves imminent consideration when discussing the future of St. Stephen's Green.
As for the heritage issue, one would guess that there will be concerns in the Christchurch area. But elsewhere?