Re: Re: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians
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A. Boyle, I think that you are getting too wound up on the wrong issues here. High rise living is perfectly acceptable by and for middle income families. Look at Manhattan, where incomes â€“ and rents – are even higher. The main reason growing families move out to the NY or CT suburbs is due to the schooling/taxation/rent mix, nothing else. Just walk in Central Park any weekend, look at the age profile of the people there â€“ singles, young marrieds with toddlers and OAPs.
Also, it is not accurate to compare a possible development in Swords with La Defense. Firstly, La Defense was constructed primarily as an office park, not a residential zone. Secondly, the transport issues are different because in most French cities the richer people live in the city centre and the poorer population lives in the outer suburbs. That is not the case in Ireland. Thirdly, the French legal framework supports the political process, rapidly enforces compulsory purchase and drives policy in a way that is almost impossible to imagine in Ireland. Think of the farce of Tara, Carrickmines, Glen of the Downs, etc.
When I worked in La Defense I initially lived in the city centre and it was a 30 minute or so metro-ride. Never waited more than 3 minutes for a metro. Later, living to the west of Paris I could take the RER to La Def. (every 15 mins) journey time also 30 mins. If I wanted to drive to work there were zillions of underground car spaces to use. If I wanted to go anywhere there was a bus, or a train, RER or Metro emanating from underground linked termini below the Grande Arche. Back then the La Defense transport system handled about 400,000 journeys every day and it worked (well, when they were not on strike!) Everyone used the RATP or RER and a figure I remember was almost 90% of our employees (services co.) used public transport to come to work. We had a transport company representative come to our building once a month and set up shop in an office where you could buy your â€œcarte orangeâ€ or seasonal pass, at a discount that would make Bus Eireann/Luas/Dart wince! Many Dart stations do not even allow turnstiles, where they have one they are located in front of the ticket office, not where they should be. Could we build something comparable to la Defense in Ireland? I very much doubt it, every gobshite would have a petition started, every shoneen would be in on the act to buy a bit of land to make a killing, every politico would be driven to bertiespeak bumbling to placate the electorate and hold on to office and every union official would be throwing shapes to get more money for the dossers.
Those are the lessons we need to learn from, not Ballymun or Tallaght.