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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 several occasions 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,
Cluain Tarbh,
Baile Átha Cliath 3.

The plans for College Green will be available for public consultation until May 24.

Are plans for College Green daft? (Irish Times letters page)

Pics: Dublin City Council

83 thoughts on “Plaza Plans

  1. Harry Molloy

    I would share this concern, lovely and all as a plaza would be.
    fact is that there’s massive volumes of people crossing the river each day and that’s probably the busiest, and widest route.

    1. classter

      I share her concern but this would be fantastic.

      We should be trying to figure out some practical alternatives for bus routes.

      1. D2dweller

        Do you know you won’t be able to take one continuous Luas across the new joint up line. At some stage you will have to get off and get on to a new Luas

        When they built the original tracks two different companies were hired to build them, they were built slightly differently so that one tram can’t drive both lines.

        How very irish

        1. classter

          The red & green line have the same gauge (Standard European Gauge of 1,435mm). The same trams can be used on both lines.

          In summary:
          1) You are completely spoofing.
          2) You are trying to pull all Irish people into your own self-hatred spiral.

    2. Mr. Camomile T

      Do you want a city that’s nice to inhabit or one that’s easy to drive through? In my opinion the two options are mutually exclusive. I would favour that we prioritise creating a city that is habitable over one that can be driven through quickly and easily. (I don’t own a car park or shopping centre so perhaps I am biased…)

      1. Harry Molloy

        I would hope they aren’t mutually exclusive! totes get what you’re saying too but a city is also reliant on its economy and people need to cross the river to work.

        what’s really lacking is decent public transport…
        I will be using the luas but it hasn’t got the same capacity

        1. Mr. Camomile T

          I specifically used the word ‘drive’ and not ‘travel’ because the private car and the city do not work well together. I know it’s a case of “spilt milk” but take a look at the extensive tram system which we dug up in the fifties and weep. Can we hope that the people in charge now have more foresight than those who were in charge then?

          1. Harry Molloy

            OK, well we’re petty much in agreement as cars have little place in a city centre these days . am just agreeing that I’m concerned as far as the time it’ll take eds buses to cross the city centre

          2. classter

            ‘private car and the city do not work well together.’

            Long-term we should be (and are) trying to reduce our dependence on the car within the city. In the short-term, we are still partially dependent on the car & we need to take that into account as we proceed.

          3. rotide

            It’s very hard to predict how the car will fare long term due to the advent of self driving cars which is much closer than people realise.

            They will ease traffic congestion a fair amount and by then surely we will be looking at an alternative fuel source for cars so pollution might not be such an issue.

  2. Alan C

    She’s spot on, the consultation documents have no details on how journey times will be impacted for bus users.
    The bus stops on Dame Street and Westmorland Street are by far the busiest in the city, anytime I get the bus to the city center it practically empties at central bank. Displacing all these journeys has a significant negative impact on Public Transport and there would want to be some major gain from this.

    1. Daddy Wilson

      Looks to me like the Central Bank stop isn’t affected?
      The plaza begins after Foster place / church Lane

      Any routes coming to Dame St from the west would have to terminate at Central Bank now, up to recent years the majorit y of these routes terminated at Westmoreland St.

      The routes which travel North to South via O’Connell Bridge – West Moreland Street and on through college green are absolutely destroyed by these plans, there is nowhere else for them to go.

      1. Alan c

        That’s not the plan
        The bus routes are being rerouted via Parliament street to north quays and not going down Dame street at all.
        See consultation documents.

      2. Tish Mahorey

        Only a couple of routes are terminating at College Green. The rest are being routed either via the quays or around Stephen’s Green to Nassau Street. The north/south buses are sharing the road space with the Luas.

        1. dav

          “the north/south buses are sharing the road space with the Luas.”
          But not in college green – which is the issue

          1. Tish Mahorey

            They are. Have a look at the link. You’ll see that they are routing buses along with the Luas.

    2. Vote Rep #1

      “The bus stops on Dame Street and Westmorland Street are by far the busiest in the city, anytime I get the bus to the city center it practically empties at central bank. ”

      Anytme I get the bus, it empties its self ouytside the Arlington hotel on Bachelors Walk. Its almost as if people get off where is handiest for the on that bus. If the bus route was to change and dropped people off towards Christchurch, would that be so bad? Or are we so lazy as a city that we must go without open spaces so that our lardy arses don’t have to walk too far?

  3. Christopher

    I have no idea how this plan was expected to work- where are they proposing those buses go?

  4. Cromuel

    If you follow the, er, link above to “Public Consultation” it has maps of what goes where. Looks pretty sensible.

  5. joj

    Finally some sense, Trinity itself works like a big roundabout with pearse street and Nassau street one way, blocking college green would literally fuck up all these routes
    and for what benefit? a small pedestrian area that could be as easily achieved by removing fencing outside trinity

    1. Medium Sized C


  6. sqoid

    Across the Rosie Hackett bridge and East around Trinity College.

    There is going to be difficulties and teething problems but eventually what will fall out is that journeys across the city will be done around the city rather than right through the centre.

    1. sqoid

      ^ was supposed to be a reply to Daddy Wilson asking where the routes running North-South on O’Connell bridge can go.

  7. Eliot Rosewater

    There are plenty of options around Dublin to make a plaza like this work. Two options I can think of would be to reroute most of the bus journeys that would normally come down Dawson Street to the east of Trinity (some of them already do this). Once they get on the quays, there are loads of options for them to head north. Any of those coming from the west-ish side of Dublin can use the Fr Matthew Bridge. No harm taking some of the pressure off O’Connell Street for buses (Gardiner Street is near enough and there are very few buses that use it).

  8. Bort

    A big plaza for what? Hanging out on sunny days? Estimated construction time 12 months, actual construction time 5 years + 300% over budget. I can’t see how or why people would use? “Lets go hang out on Dame St” At best junkies and youths will haunt the place, otherwise it will be a concrete desert in the middle of the city

      1. mike

        I think you’ll find they are actually relocating the Goths from the Central Bank to the proposed Anglo Irish Bank HQ in the IFSC. :)

    1. Nilbert

      nah, we’ll suddenly be all French or something, all of a sudden…. we’ll listen little to little jazz quartets, we’ll have little cups of coffee, or ice cream. I’ll probably write a screen play, or a novella.

  9. Tish Mahorey

    The re-routing of buses onto the Quays is going to be a major problem, especially for buses going west to east such as 77A, 56A, 39A. 77A and 56A terminate in Ringsend and serve Pearse Street and Barrow Street districts. Cutting out College Green could add 10 minutes or more to those journeys. Many people hop on these buses along Cork street for what is a short trip to College Green / Pearse st. Now that could take twice as long.

    The more I look into this, the more I oppose it.

    1. LiamZero

      Well yes, but not so long ago the 77A used to terminate on Eden Quay and on Aston Quay before that. Things change. Other things replace them and we get used to them.

  10. Eoin

    Every grand project FG/ Lab has tried has ended in disaster. This will be no different. And there’s no ‘undo’ option either. Nobody asked for this dumb plaza and it’s gonna totally disrupt traffic forever.

    1. Small Wonder

      The idea is to totally disrupt traffic forever. Dublin city was never built for the volume of cars going through it. Something has to give. The only way to encourage fat arses out of cars and on to public transport is to make it a pain in said fat arses to drive through the city. Everyone will be better off in the long run.

      1. joj

        Cars are already banned, its the buses that they are proposing to ban which is lunacy, gobpoo

        1. ahjayzis

          Redirect. There are more ways to get cross-city than through College Green.

          Really if a bus is going from Tallaght to Swords it shouldn’t be going anywhere near the city centre anyway. More orbital north-south routes, redirect the remaining city centre ones to other roads.

          1. classter

            ‘If a bus is going from Tallaght to Swords it shouldn’t be going anywhere near the city centre anyway. More orbital north-south routes, ‘


            Whatever happens with the plaza, they should be looking at this.

    2. classter

      ‘And there’s no ‘undo’ option either’

      There’s a relatively easy undo option for a plaza, surely.
      Tear it up & build a road.

  11. Alan C

    Looking again at the plan, I don’t see why they have a bus corridor through the plaza, there is plenty of space to have a decent urban plaza and a bus corridor.
    This wouldn’t be much different to a segregated cycle track crossing it, just a couple of extra meters width.
    This would be a better balance between commuter needs and urban improvement.

  12. Martin

    nice rant, except that buses aren’t banned from College Green. as per the pictures on this very page, they pass through parts of it.
    basically just closing 200m of Dame St. for access.

    unsurprisingly, the chicken little crew are out in force opposing any sort of change (while still complaining about the current system).

  13. read twice

    This looks great. You’ll be able to walk from Stephen’s Green to the Aston Quay without crossing a road! Win!

    Next up (in my book) is changing the Liffey Dual Carriageway back into a human-accessible space.

    1. Tish Mahorey

      Abandon the city centre. Just leave it for the stags and hens, like Fort Apache the Bronx or something.

  14. Stephen

    Dublin Buses are the worst thing about the city. Huge and polluting, and dangerous (they barrel through red lights on a regular basis).

    If college green is closed – can people not just walk a few hundred yards to get their bus somewhere else??

    1. Alan C

      The will have no choice, coming from Patrick St/ Thomas street direction you will have to get off at Lord Edward street instead of Central Bank.
      This is 400m distance (4 min walk) according to google maps.
      This is a significant negative impact, and with an ageing population and trying to encourage people to go car free this kind of messing about with buses wont help.

    2. sqoid

      Thing to remember with regards to Buses is that every bus is potentially moving the equivalent number of people as 10-70 smaller vehicles.

      The real difficulty and problem here is that with the introduction of a Luas line traversing College Green there is not enough “green time” available in any traffic light scheme that can facilitate West-East movements across the tram rails

    3. John

      The bottom line is that Dublin Bus are responsible for carrying 2/3 of public transport passengers in Dublin.

      Whether people think that buses are noisy/dirty etc. is frankly irrelevant. Without them this city would grind to a halt. In the absence of alternatives such as Metro North and DART Underground that can carry large numbers of people, the bus will remain the dominant form of public transport for years to come.

      Therefore it is essential that they be treated as that essential element to our public transport network rather than as an afterthought.

      This plan will cause chaos and longer journey times for cross-city passengers, and will result in poorer interchange between routes.

  15. Clampers Outside!

    That space outside Trinity, the ‘plaza’ to be, is currently one of Europe’s pollution hotspots with some of the worst air of any city in Europe.

    This will improve that. Which is nice.

  16. mike

    More importantly, where will they put the Taxi Rank. The one where you stand perished for 2hrs at 3am on the Friday night before Xmas. They’re messing with tradition, man.

  17. Tim

    Are cars being banned from Parliament st too? Will this send more traffic onto the already congested bridge between Church st and High st? It’s mental at peak times already, I can’t imagine how busy it’s going to be now that key routes are being made less accessible

  18. Punches Pilot

    I think its just getting to the stage that vehicles with internal combustion engines have no place in City/Town centres. Yup sure its gonna take a sizable mind shift for a lot of people but its the future and good for us all. Disruption will be short and the alternative that now seems a hindrance will just become the norm. Once the space has been given back to the pedestrians the benefits on many levels will be fantastic. More of it nation wide I say.

  19. 15 cents

    the gov had the same thought process when evaluating this as they do every thing. one question is all they ask themselves; will foreigners like this. and if the answers yes, that outweighs whatever qualms irish people might have.

    1. ahjayzis

      They’ve absolutely ruined Grafton Street. And O’Connell streets a mess since they removed carparking. And what the hell is Stephen’s Green still doing untarmaced?!

  20. Bandy

    More plazas please!! Lots and lots and lots of them. For those of us who live in town this is brilliant and we want more. For those who live outside town, you wouldn’t want me coming round to your area and telling you what you can and can’t have there – so stick that in your toenail and cook it for breakfast Julie Lyons – you can translate your name to look fancy all you want, but it doesn’t help one bit.

    1. LiamZero

      From Met Eireann website:
      The general impression is that it rains quite a lot of the time in Ireland but in fact two out of three hourly observations will not report any measurable rainfall. The average number of wet days (days with more than 1mm of rain) ranges from about 150 days a year along the east and south-east coasts, to about 225 days a year in parts of the west.

    2. classter

      There is a point there, Custo.

      I don’t know why we don’t have more arcades (in the northern Italian sense), canopies etc.

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