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

Home Forums Ireland college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians Re: Re: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians


Someone once said that the reason Dublin City Council don’t give Dublin Bus any more bus stop space, is that when they do, Dublin Bus park more buses in it!

The present bus network is to a large extent, the same network that was present when horse trams ran to the Pillar in the late 1800s. The trams over the years were electrified, numbered, and eventually replaced by buses. Those buses were replaced by more buses, and more over time, but the routes, while extended interminably at their outer ends, have maintained their Pillar centred network for 126 years now, since the replacement of Carlisle Bridge.

The bus network needs to change from a CITY based network, to a regional based network. With new depots like Harristown, and Grange Castle on the way, buses need to be based OUT of the city, at these new depots, and work into and out of the city, instead of out of and then back in, as is presently the case. The typical Dublin Bus driver’s roster today involves a number ‘laps’ on a route, leaving the city, coming back in, and parking up, either for a break, or for a change of crew. The city centre streets are the ‘depot’ for these breaks, with parked buses everywhere. These buses cause congestion, in no greater case than to the company’s own buses!

If those buses were based outside of the city, working rosters would start and finish at the outer ends, with buses entering the city, turning round and heading straight back out. No parking, and no city centre breaks or crew changes. This can still work with the present city depots. Routes like the busy 46A should not be operated from Donnybrook, but rather, to the depot nearest the end of the route, Phibsboro. Routes like that would terminate in and operate from the home depot, rather than the city streets. This is happening now with the Tallaght routes, which have been removed from Eden Quay, and now operate to Ringsend Garage.

The next thing is to create a ring around the city, within which cars and buses and general traffic do not encroach, except for loading purposes within strictly enforced early morning hours. I see a couple of bus ‘corridors’ away from O’Connell Street. These would include the north and south Quays, Capel Street / Jervis Street, Marlborough Street / Gardiner Street, and Seville Place to Macken Street over the proposed new bridge.

You cannot simply ‘lift’ all the buses from O’Connell Street and share them out among the other streets. It takes a huge survey to decide which routes to turn short, and which to maintain as cross city routes. One enormously important issue is the dwell time of buses at bus stops. It is unfathomable how, in this modern day and age, Dublin Bus can hold dear to antiquated fare stages and revenue collection ideas, holding buses at busy city centre bus stops for five minutes or more while the pennies are counted out. It is grotesque, unbelieveable, bizarre, unprecedented, and Dublin Bus cannot complain to anyone about congestion causing delays to buses while they persevere with this nonsense.

I would see streets such as Marlborough Street, Jervis Street, etc. as set down areas only, with specified boarding points at selected streets such as Parnell Square, St. Stephen’s Green, streets where there is space to do so safely. The thing is to have a minimum of bus stops, rather than bus stops in every street, whether there is room or not. If streets such as Parnell Square East and West were bus only, I see no reason why terminating buses would not nose to kerb, at 45 degree angles, and reverse out under the eye of a stance inspector. Bus stop capacity would be tripled or quadrupled.

I do see merit in having ONE bus route in O’Connell Street, running up and down the centre meridian, rather in the manner that the old trams did. I would see this route not as a cross city route, but as a free or sponsored service within the canals, connecting the city centre with other bus routes whose boarding points are necessarily removed from the immediate city area. I would see such a service run by electrically powered single deck buses, charged from charging points at designated waiting points along the route, perhaps limited to 30kph. The Montmartre buses in Paris are an example of this.

I think it is a pity that the LUAS is going to be shoehorned into College Green and O’Connell Street, alongside the buses and all the other traffic, as if some of the buses will somehow disappear with the arrival of the LUAS. There are hundreds of very learned posts here on the topic of creating civic minded plazas in the College Green area. The fact is, all this discourse is for nothing if the LUAS goes through as planned. I am all for digging up College Green and O’Connell Street and running a Metro below ground, but I think the LUAS is going to have too much dominance in an area where pedestrians should have priority, and the very fact of LUAS running through such a congested area, will negate any efficiencies in terms of speed and reliability that might otherwise accrue to a light rail system. The Red Line is a perfect example of this. We are pursuing a single minded path regardless of any lessons that might be learned from past mistakes.

Finally, from the Ken Finlay collection, a view of O’Connell Street in wartime Dublin, with streets deserted except for public transport. What O’Connell Street MIGHT look like, and consequently, College Green…

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