Re: Re: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians
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More fresh thinking from Busman. The one dispute would be the chosen locations for all the bus termini – St. Stephen’s Green, Parnell Square and Merrion Street – the very places you least need ranks of buses compromising spaces. Nonetheless the latter two both feature secondary areas which would be more accommodating.
I fear your College Green Platz idea is hopefully unrealistic, at least in the short-term, I think it’s more Picadilly Circus than a quiet pedestrian zone.
College Green can be whatever we want it to be. There are no rules, only guiding principles from elsewhere which can be pick n mixed at will. Equally apathetic resignation, or appeasing of transport authorities will also not result in the best outcome for this place. An urban framework plan with a clear vision as Peter has mentioned takes priority, by all accounts acknowledging different transport scenarios. But a defined strategy that protects the integrity of this critical civic space first and foremost is required before any decisions are made about transport. It would be entirely unacceptable, and so typical of Irish planning, if College Green was merely landscaped as a left over token incidental space after the transport engineers have had their way.
I had gathered together a series of photographs on College Green and College Street, but accidentally deleted the lot, but frankly it was just a rant anyway so no loss. Also it was simply so depressing taking them that I couldn’t actually put myself through it all again. Coupled with a wander around the area last evening, as well as typical passing through on a near daily basis, it really is crushing to see how much the main throughfares of Dublin city centre have degenerated over the past few years. All of that boom and nothing to show for it on any of the main streets except O’Connell Street. In fact it’s so depressing I’m beginning to avoid the Westmoreland/D’Olier/College Green axis for the more heartening aspect of the quays. Frankly it’s a dump to walk through, and horrifically congested with pedestrians at peak times. It’s worse than sittng on the M50 with the amount of waiting bus patrons and tourists wandering aimlessly around without a sole attraction in the entire area save Carrolls tack merchants. It’s sickening to see the current white elephant of the Docklands and campshires (all perfectly valid in the longer term) receiving such investment with barely a soul gracing their acres of new landscaping, while the city core quite literally rots, Save an emptying of bins and the odd pavement sweeper, the public domain is completely untended. This cringe-inducingly embarrassing scene has been like this for months on end, in high summer. It is an absolute scandal.
What on earth does this say to visitors about how we hold ourselves in regard, never mind the city itself. The ground around here is also constantly littered with bank receipts, vomit (as people congregate here after dark), litter left by the homeless, and other general filth. One cannot be anything but mortified at the standards that are tolerated in the presentation of this city. There’s no point dredging through all the issues – we all know what they are, from public domain, buildings to retail uses, and all as important as each other. But the more these standards are tolerated, and these largely in prestigious and watertight legally binding Architectural Conservation and Special Planning Control Areas, the more it breeds and contaminates adjacent streets. We can see Dame Street beginning to lose its grip on quality uses already, and even the sniff of the potential of Lidl on College Green merely confirms this trend. The latest addition as mentioned before is this delightful number right opposite City Hall and Dublin Castle, the very origin of the city.
There have been so many objections to this place in all its previous guises, unmaterialed and otherwise, over the past few years it’s really quite remarkable. And yet in spite of all their planning issues, and multiple and highly prescriptive conditions, the likes of this still goes on in the most historic part of the city.
Cheap off the shelf aluminium frames, multiple useless doors, postering everywhere, fit-out exposed to the street. sandwich boards all over the pavement, ‘temporary’ signage, cheap lighting and exposed electrical conduiting, and already rusting upper balcony…
And the wider building, while crisp and a decent contemporary interpretation of adjacent structures (as stipulated by planners, can you imagine what it was like before) was still allowed away with terrible factory fenestration and crude devices designed for maximum interior rentability. I mean this is basic basic stuff.
And then the banner crops up advertising cash conversions…
An excellent submission was made by a Cherie Flynn on a very recent application for an off licence in this unit. It’s worth reading as she sums up a number of issues facing the area at large. Apparently Supermacs have been sniffing around the Burton building, which says it all really.