Re: Re: The Irish Town â€“ Dying At The Crossroads?
There is so much asphalt shown in this photograph I think, that there is never any hope that the pedestrian might triumph over the car. The pedestrian who makes it onto that little calm oasis of trees and nicely placed rubbish bins, and phoneboxes . . . is effectively stuck there. Trying to get off that island, in any direction involves going through asphalt and possibly traffic moving at speed. This is what makes this islands in Irish towns places where undesireable elements hang out. Giving bother and banter to the usual people who are trying to go about their business. Indeed, if you hang around those islands too long yourself, you are in danger of being seen like some form of loiterer.
This kind of design is so inferior to what purpose built retail centres now have to offer. Especially for the youngest and the oldest members in comunities. The ‘big vision’ would insist that a pedestrian can navigate from one extreme of the town to the other, without having to struggle with traffic too much, at any point on the journey. Much in the same way as you can in any shopping centre. You have that piece of mind to go about your business. I am not saying that keeping out the car is the answer. Full pedestrianisation of urban streets, such as Grafton Street has led to a complete deterioration of them as urban places. And a subsequent over-rise to dominance of the retail user requirements on Grafton Street. In fact, what happens on places such as Grafton Street is the buildings are bought wholesale by absentee landlords, who may live abroad, and never have to worry again about how the street is doing.