— Plan linked to, but separated from public consultation on rest of quays walking and cycling route
— Buses to be given priority “in shadow of” Luas
— Park would join up with riverside
Plans to extend the Croppies Acre memorial park, at the front of Collins Barracks, out onto the riverside are at an advanced stage — the move would allow for a car-free public park and two-way walking and cycle route along a central section of the north quays.
Eastbound motor traffic would be diverted away for about 500 meters of the north quays between Heuston Station and Blackhall Place. Public consultation could start in the new year, according to the city council.
The emerging design option includes diverting motor traffic along a new route from Heuston Station across the Frank Sherwin Bridge where traffic would follow the Luas red line before moving back onto the quays near the main vehicle entrance to Collins Barracks.
Buses would follow a similar route but at the entrance to Collins Barracks buses would continue to follow the Luas line until Church Street, at the Four Courts. This could allow for a higher quality walking and cycling route on the quays, while limiting impacts on private traffic and buses.
Brendan O’Brien, of the traffic department of Dublin City Council detailed the plans to the city’s traffic and transport committee last Wednesday.
He told the committee that a Part 8 planning process — which includes public consultation — would start “probably in the new year”. The rest of the quays walking and cycling route will be part of a separate public consultation process.
As well as forming part of the walking and cycling route and linking the park with the river, O’Brien said part of the reason for the plan is the flooding of the quays which has become a regular yearly issue which has caused major traffic disruption.
Here’s our outline of traffic diversions based on the presentation:
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O’Brien said: “Part of the emerging design at Croppies Acre the idea would be to leave the buses to run behind (buildings) and parallel with the Luas as far as Church Street which would give (buses) a very high level of priority in that area, running basically in the shadow of the priority that we give to Luas. That’s the suggestion which we will put out and we will have to have further discussion with Dublin Bus.”
Keeping buses alongside Luas tracks until Church Street could solve the issue of the north quays worst pinch points and allow for a higher quality quay-side walking and cycling route without having to resort to boardwalks and the removal of sections of the quay or bridge walls.
Cllr Ciaran Cuffe (Green), the former junior transport minister and now chair of the transport committee, said: “I sense that it will be an issue of much debate and the sooner we can get a more general discussion about it the better. I’m pleased that the manager has brought forward proposals here today and the time for debate starts here.”
Cllr Mannix Flynn (independent) accused the council of demonising and neglecting the park so they could move forward with their plans. He said he would fight the proposals as he sees it as an erosion of green space. The official plan, however, seems to be more about moving the green space to the quay side, not removing it altogether.