Bill McH

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  • in reply to: Interconnector is go #777688
    Bill McH

    TP, don’t get me wrong, I’m in favour of the project. But I have my reservations about it.

    I think you were right in your remark further up above that integration is very important. But not surely at any price. And it depends on what one means by integration. I have a strong suspicion that St. Stephen’s Green is a proposed stop because the LUAS is stranded there, thanks to Mary O’Rourke. If the LUAS had been built as originally planned we might be looking at the interconnector project in an entirely different way. So we build it through St. Stephen’s Green and get integration with the LUAS.

    But what about Bus passengers. How do they connect to the train? A huge amount of these bus passengers are down in College Green. So they’re faced with a walk of 5-10 minutes to get to the train. Great integration for them, eh.? OK, you can reroute the buses so that more of them go up to St. Stephen’s Green – that would be a sensible thing to do. But you could also build the LUAS down into the centre of the city. And guess what, that’s part of the plan.:confused:

    I also think building it through St. Stephen’s Green could unbalance the city in a big way. For any passengers in the interconnector it would be necessary to change to get to the really central parts of the city. This is not efficient. In general, the largest group on each train will be people who want to go to the centre. The efficient way to do it is to bring the train directly to the centre, and if you actually want to go somewhere else, then you change.

    Let’s put it like this: a metro train coming in from Swords/Airport contains 3 types of passengers. A are the group of passengers who wish to go to St. Stephen’s Green (for whatever reason), B are the group who wish to go to the Trinity stop (for whatever reason) and C are the passengers who wish to go to to some other stop (for whatever reason). The RPA are apparently predicting that group B will be bigger than Group A. Now one would expect that this pattern on the north-south line would be replicated on our east-west line. Wherever it’s built, group C passengers are going to have to change anyway. So we can forget about them:D But if it’s built through St. Stephen’s Green, we would be delivering the smaller group A to where they want to go, while forcing the larger group B to change!:confused:

    Quite apart from it not being efficient, there are very large portions of the day, and pretty much the entire weekend, when there will be only a very small catchment on the St. Stephen’s Green/Merrion Row/Merrion Square side of the line. Can’t blame William Dargan this time.

    It probably wouldn’t be such a serious issue if the capacity of the line was not so huge. Although the current plans are a little “minimalist” in terms of the number of trains which are planned for the tunnel, that could change in the years to come. I believe that if it’s ever used to anything like its potential it could result in a serious shift southwards in the city if it’s built through St. Stephen’s Green.

    We’ve got a fair idea where the centre of the city is. So let’s build this line through it. OK, so it’s probably O’Connell Bridge, but I’d imagine that there would be difficulties building a prolonged stretch under the river and I’m not sure that a lot of passengers would be too keen on the idea. I’d settle for College Street or College Green.

    in reply to: Interconnector is go #777686
    Bill McH

    @Thomond Park wrote:

    the interconnector is the most direct way of linking both stations whilst taking in the interface between the retail and office core zones South of the Liffey.

    I’ve never understood the proposed route. In my opinion we should be building it through the centre of the city, somewhere like College Green. The Trinity stop was, apparently, predicted by the RPA to be the busiest station on the metro. The busiest station on our north-south underground line. A good indicator, one would think, of where we should build our east-west line.

    What was the figure that came out last week? 58 million journeys per year which start or finish in the vicinity of Trinity. How many journeys per year start or finish each year in the vicinity of St. Stephen’s Green? Anyone got any figures? It’s certainly not anything like 58 million.

    I have always had a strong suspicion that the route chosen was designed to cover Mary O’Rourke’s backside. Not with the citizens of Dublin in mind.

    in reply to: Dublin Airport Metro to have unconnected terminus? #749607
    Bill McH

    @Thomond Park wrote:

    There is a presumption in your calculations that everything is fixed]

    “Do nothing” is not the only alternative. An alternative is to figure out some way of using it to its fullest extent, and then to build it.

    One solution would be to build some kind of holding station in the city centre – under Pearse Square perhaps – and add a couple of extra platforms at Pearse Station. This removes the restriction on trains from the West of the city caused by the shortage of slots on the northern DART line (arrow/Enterprise getting in the way, etc.) This removes the 12 train per hour limit – no reason at all that there couldn’t be 20-30 trains per hour between Pearse and Heuston (and beyond), if the signalling could be introduced to allow that.

    My own view is that it is a pity that the project is not being used to facilitate a rapid rail link between populous locations like Tallaght and the city centre – that would be scuppered by the MetroWest project.

    @a boyle wrote:

    I am pretty sure that these are issue arising from others parts of the network. I would suggest that the problems with the other parts of the network are slight and could be rectified in time and that long term the interconnector allows for as much growth as dublin wants and needs.

    As you correctly point out, the capacity of the interconnector is being dictated to an extent by the capacity of the northern DART line. (There will be no capacity problem on the Kildare line when it is 4-tracked). You’re also correct to say that this capacity problem can be rectified in time. In the case of the Northern Line, I’m told it would be expensive to do it but that it could be done some day. My query would be, why wait until that happens before using the interconnector to its full capacity?

    in reply to: Dublin Airport Metro to have unconnected terminus? #749604
    Bill McH

    Unfortunately, it’s not clear how the interconnector is going to be used to its capacity either. The current plans are for about 12 trains an hour in each direction. I’d be surprised if they manage this, given the presence of Arrow and Enterprise trains along the northern DART line, but those are apparently the plans.

    The tunnel will, I believe, be signalled to allow for 16 trains per hour in each direction. So already, the plans are to use the tunnel to only 75% of its capacity.

    However, the tunnel qua tunnel should be capable of carrying a lot more trains than 16 per hour. Everybody will have examples of cities where there are tunnels which carry a lot more than that. Munich, for example runs a steady 30 trains per hour in each direction all day in their main East-West tunnel. That is about 1,000 trains per day.

    If Munich could be taken as an example of a city which uses its tunnel to its capacity, we then could be taken as an example of a city which plans to use the interconnector at well below 50% of its capacity. And if the promised 12 trains becomes a more realistic 10 trains, we’d actually be planning to use it at about 33% of its capacity.

    In the absence of any indication of where more trains are going to come from, it remains questionable whether the interconnector should be built if it will be running so far short of its capacity.

    in reply to: Luas Central – Which Route? #763545
    Bill McH

    The battle of the College Green cables, eh? I see the picture shows that the army are already in place to keep the peace…

    in reply to: A park at Grand Canal Dock #763054
    Bill McH

    Well, thanks to all for your contributions so far.

    Especially LOB, for this:

    @LOB wrote:

    check out the DDDA site
    Grand Canal Dock Planning scheme 2000 (note paragraph 6.2)…0SCHEME.qxd.pdf

    I hope I am not infringing any copyright by posting the contents of paragraph 6.2 in that document

    Reclaimed Triangle of Inner Basin

    The southern tip of the inner basin tends to collect refuse. This triangle should be reclaimed to rationalise the shape of the waterbody. This also provides the opportunity for a pedestrian link between Barrow Street and Grand Canal Quay. This link would significantly increase Grand Canal Dock Station’s catchment area and improbe accessibility to public transport in the wider area.

    Reclaiming this triangular area of the dock creates an additional development parcel within zone 7. This provides an opportunity to shield the raised railway lines and visually contain the basin. A boat reception office should be part of this development plot. It should be located at the mouth of the canal to provide information and monitor the canal and dock use.

    (There is also a diagram which illustrates the resulting dock which would have a rectangular shape)

    I like the idea of filling in a section of the dock, as the DDDA propose. But filling it in with the purpose of making it more “recreationally” useful, i.e., developing an area where people could sit at the water’s edge and eat their lunch and maybe enjoy a cup of coffee purchased from say, a stall located on this reclaimed section.

    However, having now had a chance to have a good look at the above link, the thrust of the DDDA proposal does not seem to be towards making it a better recreational area, but is rather to create more land for development. I have two questions. Firstly, from what does the raised railway line need to be shielded? Secondly, can anyone explain what “visually contain the basin” means?

    I do, though, like the possibility that we will get a pedestrian drawbridge over the canal.

    in reply to: A park at Grand Canal Dock #763050
    Bill McH
    notjim wrote:
    i have to say that’s a terrible idea]
    Notjim, I agree that visually it is great, but who sees it, and from where? There’s only one small section where you can actually stand or sit alongside it, and that’s the bit near the Tower in the Trinity Enterprise Centre. The DDDA plan would add another section (over near the Grand Canal Dock station) where people could stand/sit alongside the water.

    You’re right that it is great having a basin. The Blessington Street basin is one of my favourite locations in the whole city. When all the building work is finished, the outer Grand Canal Dock will be a great place, as there’ll be pavements/walkways along a lot of the waterside. That dock already hosts the kind of recreational usage you may be talking about – windsurfing, canoeing, etc. There also used to be some organised swimming races in it, though I think that may have stopped now.

    Your solution of stocking the inner dock with fish and making it clean enough to swim in is undoubtedly better than mine. (though I did kinda like the skating rink idea 🙂 ). A massive Lido right in the city centre. That would be a real hit in the summertime.

    I just feel it’s sort of wasted as it is – few people can see it and very few can sit along it and enjoy their sandwich.

    Roll on the DDDA plan.

    in reply to: A park at Grand Canal Dock #763047
    Bill McH

    Thanks for those links, LOB. I’ll have a good look at them – but I can see already that the suggestion is not entirely new. (Though it does go further than what was proposed by the DDDA)

    I’m afraid I got the names of the two docks mixed up in my original post.

    I see now that the outer dock is the one between Hanover Quay and Ringsend Road/Pearse Street. The inner dock is the one between Ringsend Road/Pearse Street and the DART line. I was working from the river in toward the canal, rather than from the canal out to the river. 😮

    It is the inner dock where the DDDA have proposed reclaiming the triangular section over beside the DART line. If that were done it would greatly improve the access to the waterside for a lunchtime sandwich and so forth. As well as improving access between Barrow Street and Grand Canal Quay, as they point out.

    in reply to: Lansdowne Road Stadium #725875
    Bill McH

    @murphaph wrote:

    Looks nice, but what’s forcing the lower roof/smaller capacity stand where the north terrace is now? Is the site constrained behind the north terrace? (I sit in the upper west, near the north terrace end but you can’t really see ‘over’ it to see if there’s something stopping expansion there.

    The IRFU are believed to own quite a number of the houses on the Lansdowne Road end of the ground – apparently they were buying the houses up until the time that property prices started to go mental. There are relatively few houses at that end of the ground (and therefore relatively few potential objectors), though quite a number at the Havelock Square/Vavasour Square end. Perhaps this is influencing the design of the stadium?

    It will also be interesting to see just how they deal with the railway track – the level crossing, etc.

    in reply to: Dublin Inner City: West Entrance #761151
    Bill McH

    @sjpclarke wrote:

    Of course! Sorry I mean that green pepper canister like building within the Guniness complex – looks slightly Byzantium!

    I believe that used to be a windmill.

    in reply to: Citywest : Mansfield’s giant heap of crap #745565
    Bill McH

    Well now just a minute – do you have planning permission for that barn?

    in reply to: Bridges & Boardwalks #734422
    Bill McH

    (I’m not sure if this has been mentioned on the O’Connell Street thread and I’m too lazy to wade through all the posts since March this year to find out! Haven’t seen it mentioned on this one though).

    I think it is a pity that it is so difficult to travel between the Bachelor’s Walk stretch of the boardwalk and the Eden Quay section. Going West to East, there are pedestrian lights which can allow you to walk from the Bachelor’s Walk section across to the island in the middle of O’Connell Bridge, but to get to the Eden Quay bit (without jaywalking) you need to walk towards D’Olier Street and cross at the lights at the other end of the bridge, before returning to Eden Quay. Or you could cross Bachelor’s Walk, cross O’Connell Street at the O’Connell Monument and then cross back over Eden Quay to the boardwalk.

    I know there’s lots of traffic along the quays and on the bridge itself, so it might be difficult to arrange pedestrian lights the whole way across the bridge at the O’Connell Street end of the bridge. Maybe when the port tunnel opens…

    in reply to: NRA inviting f/b on new M50 signs #760035
    Bill McH

    @Graham Hickey wrote:

    how is it that 50 had never been designated for a national secondary before the M50 came along? Even if it had been in gestation since the 70s, have our road names not been in place for longer than this?
    Seems strange that 50 had never been taken before 1990, or 1970 as the case may be.

    It looks to me as if our current road names/numbers came into effect at some point after 1970. I have a copy of the 1970 edition of the AA Illustrated Road Book of Ireland. At the time roads seemed to have either a T or L designation – perhaps similar to the N and R ones we now have. (T for trunk, L for link, perhaps?)

    So the current N1 was actually the T1, the N2 (Dublin-Monaghan) was the T2, the current N3 was the T33, the N4 was the T3, the N7 was the T5 (Dublin-Limerick – T36 between Portlaoise and Cork) and the N11 was the T7. The Malahide road was the L87 and the Howth road was the L86.

    I don’t know at what stage the change occurred. But if the AA are correct it seems feasible that it could have happened around the time that the M50 was being planned.

    in reply to: NRA inviting f/b on new M50 signs #760029
    Bill McH

    @Graham Hickey wrote:

    Just a question I’ve been wondering for a while – why is the M50 so called?!

    I don’t know if this is definitely the case, but I’ve always thought that the reason might be this:

    There are 32 roads which are national primary roads – the N1 to the N32, most of them with a large town or a city at either end. There are then about 37 national secondary roads – N51 (Drogheda-Navan), N52 (Dundalk-Nenagh), etc. to N87 (Belturbet-Swanlinbar).

    Even though it is a motorway, the M50 is actually only a bypass, so it would not be classified as a route between two large towns, and therefore not a national primary route. i.e. it is the first of the national secondary routes.

    So why not start the numbering of national secondary routes at 33? I’d imagine that starting at 50 leaves room for introducing new national primary routes at some later stage – e.g. after what we used to call “reintegration of the national territory”.

    in reply to: Citywest : Mansfield’s giant heap of crap #745556
    Bill McH

    From today’s Independent

    New blow for developer as hotel plan rejected


    MULTI-millionaire property developer Jim Mansfield has been dealt a third blow to his dreams of developing west county Dublin.

    Already in trouble for the unauthorised development of hangars at Weston Aerodrome in Lucan, now Mr Mansfield’s hotel and conference centre scheme at the small airport has been refused planning permission by An Bord Pleanala.

    Last year HSS Ltd, which is a company owned by Mr Mansfield, was fined for beginning work without planning permission on a giant conference centre at City West.

    The latest blow for him comes as An Bord Pleanala upheld a decision by South Dublin County Council to refuse planning permission for a 95-bedroom hotel and a 400-seater conference centre and leisure facility in the grounds of Weston Airport.

    Last February the council refused permission for the construction of a hotel and conference and leisure centre there.

    Mr Mansfield, through HSS/Sean Lucy and Associates Ltd of Mount St Gardens, Mullingar, appealed the refusal from the council, but yesterday the board upheld the decision of the council.

    An Bord Pleanala said it was considered that the proposed development would detract from the character and setting of the protected structure of Weston Park House.

    Lorna Reid

    so construction should be starting fairly soon then…… 😀

    in reply to: Ussher Library #725492
    Bill McH

    If I could just add this:

    For some strange reason, I’d feel an awful lot happier if they had put perspex (or whatever it is) all the way up to the ceiling along the gangway, i.e., only at the ends of the atrium rather than along the sides of it as well – there’s no need for anyone to go to the sides if they don’t want to.

    in reply to: Ussher Library #725491
    Bill McH

    I note the generally approving tone of the comments on this thread about the Ussher library. It is certainly a very nice building to look at from the outside and there is a great view across the cricket pitch from inside.


    I’ve been doing some work in that library for the past few days and I find it a dreadful place in which to work. This is because of the atrium, which has generally received a lot of praise. The problem is this. The books are all on one side of the atrium, while the desks are on the other side. To get from one side to the other, on each floor, you have to walk across this “gangway” (I’m not an architect) which is pretty wide, maybe 3 metres wide. However, you cannot help noticing on one side the enormous drop down to the bottom of the building. And I’m only working on Level 1, which is (I think) actually the fourth level from the bottom. (the type of “gangway” I’m talking about is shown pretty clearly on a couple of the interior photos linked earlier in the thread)

    You are of course protected from falling into this chasm by some perspex (probably about a metre high) but even having to look at it still scares me to death every time I walk down this “gangway”. I don’t have a great head for heights, but I can still go to places like Dun Aengus and appreciate its magnificence, as long as I don’t go right up to the edge. And I used to work on the eighth floor of a building over in London.

    Now I don’t expect that we’d ever move much beyond the bungalow office block if we had to constantly try to accomodate the needs of people who don’t have a great head for heights. But the problem with this building is that, either going between the door (on each level) and the desks, or between the books and the desks, (i.e. doing pretty well any of the things that require movement in a library) you can’t avoid seeing this canyon right beside you.

    Just perhaps something that you architects might bear in mind.

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