Just last week it was announced that 17 bus routes from north and west Dublin are to be rerouted away from College Green.
These would be the unloved, uncool buses that get most people – especially most working-class and lower-middle-class people – into and out of the city centre.
The Luas is beautiful and the Dart runs along some of the loveliest urban coastline in Europe.
But 61 per cent of all public-transport trips taken into Dublin city centre are by bus. Dublin Bus carried 140 million passengers last year, and about 85 million of them went through College Green.
But they’re not cool people; they are disproportionally less affluent. They are also disproportionally less likely to have cars, which means, ironically, that they don’t need to be offered an attractive alternative to the car.
The proposed civic plaza at College Green, Dublin 2
Olivia Kelly, in The Irish Times, reports:
Dublin Bus wants to keep running buses through College Green in defiance of Dublin City Council’s plans to develop the area as a pedestrian- and cyclist-only plaza.
The bus company, which previously publicly supported the council’s plans for a new €10 million civic plaza, wants An Bord Pleanála to stop the council from banning buses from crossing College Green, and to hold a public oral hearing on the scheme.
Above from left, Ali Grehan, Dublin City Architect, Paul Keogh, lead architect, Paul Keogh Architects and Edward Jones, Dixon Jones Architects, launch the design of the proposed new civic plaza at College Green, Dublin 2.
A flagship project in the implementation of the City Council’s public realm strategy, the College Green development will remove through traffic from the area.
Subject to planning permission from An Bord Pleanála, construction is scheduled to commence in January 2018, to coincide with the start of operations on the LUAS cross-city line in December.
Hi Dublin City Council, after nearly being crushed to death under a car wheel [yesterday] morning trying to cycle in one tiny lane shared by buses, cyclists, cars and taxis, from College Green on to Westmoreland St, I then faced, (as all cyclists on this route do every day) the prospect of this ‘wall of steel’ in order to get from Westmoreland St straight down onto O’Connell St.
This is the scene every single day here, right outside Bewleys (Starbucks, whatever) if you’re going straight ahead. I am not a nervous cyclist by any means, but this is absolutely *terrifying*.
Most bus drivers here do their best I feel to look out for us – but they shouldn’t have to! And I’ve had more than one conversation with bus drivers hanging out their window who think it’s ridiculous too!
There is NO provision for cyclists here and it is only a minor *miracle* that’s someone has not been killed yet. What is being done about it and when can we expect change?
The pedestrian-only plaza planned for College Green which will prevent traffic from crossing between College Green and Dame Street
As a citizen of Dublin, I thank you for highlighting on severaloccasions the daft idea of banning buses from College Green.
Essential bus routes providing cross-city services linking northeast to southwest, and northwest to southeast Dublin, carry thousands of commuters every day. Approximately 23 routes travel along Dame Street, and a further 20 go around Trinity to Nassau Street.
In addition, there are large numbers of coaches bringing tourists and shoppers from the country into an area full of cultural attractions, businesses, shops, theatres, etc. The “hop-on, hop-off” sightseeing buses use these routes also.
The complete closure of College Green to buses would bring the city to a standstill, with increased levels of pollution along the quays and other streets, longer travel times for already hard-pressed commuters, and a further limit to access for people with mobility issues.
The current ban on private cars in this area has worked well for public transport, but the recent Luas works have shown how quickly the area becomes massively congested when access to College Green is restricted.
Between Macken Street bridge and Fr Matthew bridge there are six other bridges, only four of which carry traffic, and only one of which (O’Connell Bridge) is large enough to manage significant traffic flow.
Dublin Castle/Temple Bar/Trinity combine to form a significant barrier through which College Green, D’Olier, and Westmoreland streets provide the only “pass” for effective traffic movement.
It seems that Dublin City Council is reacting to the previous underprovision of cycle paths by overcompensating and bringing all motorised traffic in our already congested city centre to a complete stop!
Far more people travel by bus than by Luas or bicycle, yet it seems these are the only two forms of transport favoured by the council.
These changes are unnecessary and will have a detrimental effect on what is currently a well-functioning bus service. It is becoming almost impossible to travel across the city as it is. City-centre businesses are suffering.
Síle Uí Laighin,
Baile Átha Cliath 3.
Frank Byrne pleads for the retention of the trees in College Green as part of the car-free redevelopment proposals. I think Frank is wrong and that the trees seriously diminish the appreciation of one of Dublin’s great vistas.
Not all trees enhance an urban setting. Would St Peter’s Square in Rome be enhanced by the planting of trees? Of course not. I shall be glad to see the back of them in College Green and we can all revel fully in the facades of Grattan’s parliament building and Trinity College. O’Connell Street benefited greatly from reordering its treescape some years back.
The new proposals jointly unveiled today by the National Transport Authority (NTA) and Dublin City Council would enforce the restriction [no traffic on College Green] seven days a week and also extend the ban to taxis.
A number of other measures to stop through-city traffic include a ban on private cars on Bachelor’s Walk on the North Quays and a section of the South Quays, possibly George’s Quay.
The plan would create a civic space at College Green and the pedestrianisation of part of St Stephen’s Green North and Suffolk Street at either end of Grafton Street.
Streets like Westmoreland Street would have wider pavements and better cycling lanes.
No traffic would be allowed to turn left from Westmoreland Street onto the quays removing, what the report calls a “major source of conflict between pedestrians and vehicles on this thoroughfare“.