Re: Re: The destruction of St. Stephen’s Green
The way I understood the Frank McDonnald article, he was hinting that ‘Grand Central Station’ should be put in some other location, because of the impact on the Green.
If that is the argument, what are the alternative locations?
The only other, centrally located, site of the acreage apparently required, that comes to mind is Upper O’Connell Street.
The original (1970s) route for a link between the Kildare Line and the Northern Line was designed so that it would have travelled under the College Green/Dame Street/Temple Bar area. If it was feasible to build such a line in the 1970s then it’s hard to see how it would not be feasible now.
The main reason why a longer, more circuitous and hence more expensive route was chosen for the interconnector, was that this would enable it to “connect with the LUAS”. As outlined by Frank Allen recently to the joint committee on transport, this reason has now been removed by the selection of the preferred route for the LUAS link-up – a route which travels via College Green.
At the time it was first proposed, it would have been suicide for any politician, DTO apparatchik, DOT mandarin or anyone else involved in public transport to suggest a route for the interconnector which did not “connect with the LUAS” – the shiny LUAS with its “shiny, happy people” as Mary O’Rourke called the tram’s passengers. This was all to do with integration, we were told, despite the fact that such a route would have been fairly studiously avoiding the majority of the city’s bus routes, and the passengers on those buses.
I firmly believe that it makes more sense for the interconnector to be built along the College Green / Dame Street axis. In the absence of any other work, everybody knows that a LUAS stop at College Green would be considerably busier than a stop at St. Stephen’s Green, indicating that more people want to go to and from there. It would therefore make considerable sense to build the much higher capacity interconnector through the former location.
Anybody who has ever been in College Green knows that there is more than enough space for an underground interchange there. And, of course, digging up this area to place an interchange there need have no long term impact, as the city’s plan is to eventually pedestrianise it.
That takes the interconnector out of the St. Stephen’s Green equation.
The second thing to be done to minimise destruction of St. Stephen’s Green is to plan to build the metro, as part of the first phase of construction, out past the Grand Canal. This would (i) remove the need for turnback facilities and whatnot in St. Stephen’s Green, which seem to be the cause of much of the likely work in the park, and (ii) provide some useful transport facilities to areas south of the canal.
The area around Harold’s Cross, for example, is home to a number of places where boring machines, works exits, etc., could reasonably be situated.