Keeping up appearances

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    • #708871
      urbanisto
      Participant

      There’s nothing like a 5-month break from Dublin city to see just how much is going on and how dynamic the city is. The number of new builds that have literally popped up over the last few months is impressive.

      However, equally (and coming from pristine, hyper-organised Germany this is all the more obvious) is how seriously under-prepared, under-resourced and unable the City Council is to deal with all the changes in the city. Roads and paving in particular stick out. What a mess most of our pathway are in. In spite of a few prestige projects (and Dorset Street seems to be the latest street getting a much needed makeover) most streets are a shambles. Pour concrete paving poured once too often, tarmac lumps everywhere, basic concepts such as ‘the kerb’ ignored, no effort to plant street trees (in spite of the fact that so many of these new builds add lovely smart trees to their imagery to soften and sell their development). And of course the city council’s ever present obsession – poles.

      Pour concrete has to be the most unsustainble, costly (in the long run) and unaesthetic material to use for paving but it keeps getting laid. Why?? I don’t get it – don’t these people want to save money, don’t they want to make life easier for themselves. Whole streets have been newly rebuilt – Kings Inn Street, James Joyce Street for example and the same old shite paving and utilitarian ‘street furniture’ (lamps) left in place. What ever happened to all those wonderful sounding zoning objectives for the city centre….’ to enhance, improve, protect the character of streetscapes, etc’ Its very depressing. And personally if I were a developer who had just forked out a small fortune in development fees and were left with this mess I would be well pissed off, That is of course if I were one of those rare breeds that were actually interested in the proper finish of a development.

    • #784298
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      It has always gobsmacked the way the “award winning” Temple Bar West End was left with unsightly temporary street & pavement surfaces.

      Upper Exchange Street (below) is particularly horrendous. If I’d paid 500 grand for an apartment in the Wooden Building I think I’d be banging down the CC’s door to get the pavement outside my gaf sorted. (It has been improved slightly since these pictures were taken, but not much.)

    • #784299
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @Devin wrote:

      It has always gobsmacked the way the “award winning” Temple Bar West End was left with unsightly temporary street & pavement surfaces.

      Upper Exchange Street (below) is particularly horrendous. If I’d paid 500 grand for an apartment in the Wooden Building I think I’d be banging down the CC’s door to get the pavement outside my gaf sorted. (It has been improved slightly since these pictures were taken, but not much.)

      What i would like to know is what did the city council do with the millions in development fees paid for by the developers that were to be used for road / pavement upgrades?
      The same crap goes on in Cork…..take the money and RUN.:eek:

    • #784300
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      This is exactly the type of thing I mean. And as for development fees that is my point entirely…what happens to those fees!! Most new developments are conditioned by the planners to restore the paving around their building and properly landscape it which I presume means proper paving as opposed to this type of stuff. Many do, it has to be said, although its always treated as a minor job and no thought is put into it. For example look at the new Grand Canal developments – lots of nice paving but none of it dished for wheelchairs, prams, the elderly. This is obviously something they feel is the job of the council.

      But too many seem to opt for shite aul pour concrete and the council just seems unable or unwilling to get anything further from them.

    • #784301
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      @StephenC wrote:

      ….but too many seem to opt for shite aul pour concrete and the council just seems unable or unwilling to get anything further from them.

      :rolleyes: Maybe they do?
      Hard to believe the sale of envelopes, brown or otherwise has stopped altogther!!;)

    • #784302
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      I don’t post often being mainly a lurker here however I just have to comment on this issue. Coming from a Northern Ireland perspective the state of streetscapes in the Republic is quite shocking. Signposts are usually an incoherent mess of twisted finger posts and randomly tacked on tourist signs. There appears to be no order or indeed thought given to a logical approach.

      The contrast in the standards of footpath paving is probably even greater from one side of the border to the other. Up here a mix of high quality paving is used in urban centres, redevelopment schemes, parks etc. Less important streets will at least enjoy one of a number of reasonably smart cobblelock finishes. Then outside these plusher locations a still reasonable finish of a sort of HRA (hot roled tarmac) with either attrative white or red chips used alongside proper kerbing and dropped areas for wheel chairs. Down there, as in NI, the ‘fancy’ areas of towns and cities are usually attractively paved – though the tie in neatly of one new development to surrounding areas is clearly still a bit of a foreign concept. However, it’s when you get to residential areas and ‘ordinary’ streets that the standards go through the floor. Mouldy green/brown and cracked concrete is to be found everywhere. Kerbs seem to be unheard of – councils instead opting for the half-arsed approach of leaving the bare edge of the poured concrete to suffice. Frequently, as in the pic above, this proceeds to break off due to the stresses on a poorly laid surface of vehicles mounting the pavement.

      Then theres road markings. While the authorities down there seem just about able to mark out the dashed line in the middle of the road more complex markings at junctions often don’t exist or are never maintained. The most confusing practice is the one where the road layout has changed but the old road markings haven’t been adequately ‘blacked out’ before the new ones have been painted on. Result: a sort of council sponsored mess of street grafitti that’d be more in keeping with the paint splattered legs of the Tour de France.

      In less central urban areas of smaller towns weeds seem to never be sprayed and park and recreation areas seem to often be unkempt in the extreme. I can think of numerous public laybys and recreation areas throughout the north west of the Republic – conveniently close to me in Fermanagh – that have never been fully finished or maintained. Concrete bollards are broken or leaning over, fencing falling appart, weeds literally everywhere, cracked concrete seats, crumbing walls and the obligatory leaning or twisted signage jabbed into the ground like carelessly thrown javelins. It often beggars belief.

      Oh and did I forget to mention the brilliant idea when actually putting down the rare tarmac footpath of using the cheapo crumbly asphalt whithout first putting down a barrier membrane. Result: weeds sprouting everywhere through the surface after a year or two.

      Anyway, I could go on but contrasting pictures of such schemes on each side of the border would be much more informative than my ramblings here.

    • #784303
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      😮 I’ll get malled for this but…

      …the thing that really makes the O’Connell street makeover stand out for me is a standard of finish that’s commonplace in UK town/cities but on the contrary such an exception in the Republic. It gave me quite a start to see such a quality streetscape having walked through so many lined with farmyard style cracked concrete.

    • #784304
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Its disgusting that more money isn’t being spent on roads in the Republic..I’m not sure sometimes where all the “Celtic Tiger” money is going, the City Councils should be ashamed of themselves..maybe all the money is going on the Southside of the city I don’t know. Brutal pathways and roads in Clontarf, dreadful in Donabate (beyond belief) and what the hell have they done to the road in Swords coming off the Pinnock Hill roundabout? Driving along that is like being on a funfair bouncy castle or something – its terrible! What the hell is wrong with Fingal and Dublin City council, the roads and paths are a disgrace.

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