A Screw Luas? Dunville Crossing Nominated For Design Award
December 30, 2004 at 1:30 pm #707554huttonParticipant
Luas Level Crossing Nominated For Innovative Design Award
November 2004 Dublin
The new level crossing at Dunville Avenue on Dublinâ€™s Green Luas Line has been nominated for Irish Innovative Design Awards. Located in the heart of Ranelagh in Dublin 6, the crossing was in fact originally a bridge during the lines previous incarnation as the Harcourt Street Railway, but this was thought to be obsolete and unnecessary for todayâ€™s needs.
Describing himself as â€œdelighted with the newsâ€, a spokesperson said that it was recognition for the innovative move of converting a bridge site into what is now a level crossing. He said that having carefully studied the pre-existing Merrion Gates level-crossing on the DART line, all had been â€œsuitably impressedâ€.
However it is one thing to change a bridge to level crossing, but the true innovation at Dunville are the traffic lights and their sequencing. Four years ago when the road had been narrower and the two piers from the original bridge remained in place, the council inserted traffic lights limiting traffic flow to one way at a time. The Luas project was, by then already under way. Subsequently when the bridge piers were removed for a level crossing, the traffic lights wereâ€¦.left and simply adjusted in order to also now stop traffic when the Luas tram is crossing.
â€œThat was the true ingenuity. There were no significant obstacles both side so in fact the bridge could have been rebuilt with a slightly longer span, and had a two lane road to pass underneath. Instead, it is now a level crossing where only one direction of road traffic can go through at any one time â€“ even though the road is no longer narrow; Ingenious!â€
December 30, 2004 at 1:55 pm #749041AnonymousParticipant
There were four reasons why the bridge was not re-instated and a level crossing put in:
1. The station had an underpass and not a bridge before so by widening the span the major existing section of the station would have needed to be replaced anyway,
2. Security, this station had a major blind spot on the Dunville side of the station, which according to the local rags had quite a track record in providing cover for bandits to attack women at night.
3. It allowed the track to drop a few metres and therebye reduced the disturbance to the dwellings on Upper Beechwood Ave as it made screening easier as it came from a lower height and would have blocked less sun.
I do agree with the option chosen but I don’t think that it was deserving of an award, in general the standard of Luas architecture is very high particularly the Kiosks at Smithfield & Beechwood and the Station at Charlemont. Between these stations there is Ranelagh where the shop design features an entrance that cannot be accessed from the station but only from a blindspot on the Ranelagh road side.
I am however looking forward to seeing the two lines linking up although which route it will take is far from decided it appears if anyone saw Frank McDonalds piece in the Times which is available on http://www.platform11.org ( In the Dublin Section)
December 31, 2004 at 1:53 am #749042JJParticipant
Dunville Ave is really silly. The original station was elevated and bits of it were demolished during the building of the new stop. Perhaps it was saving some money which dictated the current arrangement ( a high level station nowadays requires ramps and lifts and therefore more land) but its at the expense of reduced efficiency for traffic and trams. A silly arrangement and one that will be seen to be very stupid if and when the line is upgraded to Metro.
By the way theres a new image on the RPA web site showing the old tram outside the Harcourt Station which merges into the new tram which is amusing, Follow the link below, if that fails try the RPA site, follow the Luas link and the section called en-route and then photo gallery.
Took the Luas today and it was Packed!!!!!! 🙂
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