Re: Re: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians
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Agreed on the latter point – no point in indulging in hyperbole (although you’ll appreciate it being derived from frustration). My concern with this process is not so much the political desire – and driven appropriately by general public desire – to have certain transport systems implemented in the city centre, but rather with the advising bodies that one would expect by definition, most notably the RPA, Dublin Bus and to a lesser degree DCC, to have the expertise to implement these schemes in all their many facets, including consideration for the public realms and spaces through which they pass. Alas this is not the case in respect of the latter, in fact the one area that is given the very least consideration when planning these schemes – treated as an incidental to be dealt with with a couple of trees and a crate of slabs of Chinese granite. The Liffey bridges are however, unplasterable over, and will stay with us forever. Similarly the idea of more buses – and presumably therefore more stops and termini – in the city centre is equally unpalatable a notion, if at least a shorter-term issue. The Luas link if/when it comes along will scar the city centre for decades if its wiring system is implemented across the board. These are all factors which concern the implementation of these schemes – which as mentioned ought to be distinguished from broader policy objectives.
If they’re issues considered trifling relative to the transport problems of the city, insignificant in the context of growing environmental concerns regarding public transport, or lofty and ridiculously idealistic in the context of general public opinion, then I think we simply haven’t matured enough to be able to implement large-scale infrastructural projects in a considered fashion that respects existing urban grain (and indeed reinvents it such as in the case of well designed stations and stops). At times I think what we’re still doing is comparable to the boom in house construction of the past 15 years – we need units now – build now and plan later. In fact if the Loop Line Bridge hadn’t been built back in the 1890s, I’d have little doubt that we’d be proposing it today as an economical solution to our transport woes.
As for College Green, the proposal to colour the roadways wasn’t so much a tangible solution as demonstrative of freezing the central core as a pedestrian zone during the light changes. The expanse of roadway from the lights outside the BoI reaching eastwards towards Trinity is a typical example as such – roadway that is used regardless as a safe crossing point, yet by laws of discipline most people feel obliged to use the ridiculous little strip marked out near Grattan. The same to be said of the southern side, or over at the Moore island. Indeed many crossings in the city for that matter.