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


Council says car ban needed to unclog city


A PERMANENT ban on cars crossing Dublin city centre may have to be introduced to avoid the city grinding to a halt, a new report from Dublin City Council has warned.

Restrictions on cars, which will be put in place within the next two years, to allow the construction of Transport 21 projects such as Metro North and the Luas interconnector line, are expected to be retained to allow the city to function in the future.

Dublin’s road network is at capacity and “there is no room for additional cars on the city’s roads”, the report from the council’s planning department said.

The car ban must be complemented by better development of the city and suburbs, the report said.

Proximity to public transport can no longer be used by developers to justify large scale residential or mixed-use schemes which would swamp transport services, and even small developments must be subject to traffic management analysis, it said.

There was also a need for better coordination by various transport agencies, which up to now had been “piecemeal”, it said.

The planners’ report will be put to councillors next week and used in their review of the current city development plan.

It makes a number of recommendations in relation to ensuring the city’s increasing traffic problems are brought under control.

The increase in car ownership and the growth in numbers commuting into the city centre each day from the current 200,000 to an expected 375,000 by 2020, has made tackling the traffic problem “even more urgent”, the report said.

“A major issue we have to address is how the city’s limited road space can accommodate the spatial needs of public, transport, pedestrians, cyclists and the private car.

“It is likely, having regard to some of the modelling which had been undertaken by the the city council’s roads and traffic department that all through-traffic will have to be removed for the city centre to function in the future.”

Properly functioning and integrated public transport was the key to providing a true alternative to the private car, the report said.

Co-ordination between the various transport agencies was sometimes disjointed and, while this may be addressed by the eventual establishment of the Dublin Transport Authority, certain problems needed to be dressed in the interim, it said.

Areas which needed to be addressed were the poor-quality passenger interchange facilities, difficulties in accessing public transport by foot or bicycle, congestion and restricted capacity at peak times and poor information systems.

Cycling had the potential to “transform the city’s quality of life”, the council said.

However, despite infrastructural improvements, there was a continuing decline in cycling to work or schools and colleges, the report said.

Safety fears explained the decline, the council said.

The planners recommend the provision of kerb-separated bicycle lanes as well as cycle storage at public transport facilities and better cycle-parking facilities.

Removing cars from the city would would allow the council to devote more space to pedestrians.

The potential for road space to be “dramatically reallocated” to pedestrians should be considered, the report said, particularly in the central areas around Westmoreland Street, college green and dame street.

New residential and commercial developments were the biggest contributors to the traffic problems, it said.

Areas with good-quality public transport links could better accommodate development.

However the report said this was ” sometimes used as a justification for very large-scale development adjacent to any form of public transport irrespective of its capacity”. This was “not sustainable” particularly if the developments were car-dependent, it said.

© 2008 The Irish Times

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