Dublin City Council and the National Transport Authority have launched a major new plan for Dublin City Centre.
The plan includes the expected mesures such as the 24 hour bus gate on College Green, but goes further than that by proposing that the north quays between Jervis Street and O’Connell Street be reconfigured as a public transport / cycling / walking only corridor.
City manager Owen Keegan said that the the proposals are been made to meet the expected growth in commuters and to allow the city centre to function effectively.
Public consultation is open from 11 June to 16 July 2015. Feedback can be given at dublincity.ie/TransportStudy. Details and reactions follows:
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- Dublin City Centre Transport Study proposes major changes to ensure city continues to function efficiently and accommodate future growth
- €150 million NTA investment in public transport forecast
- Public transport, cycling and pedestrian only links along North and South Quays and at College Green plus pedestrianisation of Suffolk Street and St. Stephen’s Green North
- Increases in public transport capacity plus implementation of city wide cycle network
- New interchange hubs, bridges, coach and taxi facilities to ease city flow
Dublin City Council said that traffic congestion levels in Dublin are already rising, and, with an additional 42,000 morning-peak journeys into the City Centre anticipated by 2023, plans need to be put in place now to meet the Development Plan targets and to ensure that the capital city continues to function efficiently into the future. In addition, the construction and operation of Luas Cross City will require a significant reconfiguration of current traffic arrangements.
Measures in the plan includes:
- A rebalancing of road space and junction capacity to enable increased public transport provision;
- the introduction of the high-capacity Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system;
- increasing the frequency and capacity of the DART;
- running new rail passenger services between Kildare and the Grand Canal Dock area through the Phoenix Park Tunnel;
- enhancing interchange opportunities between modes at key points across the city;
- developing a high-quality cycle network in the City Centre;
- improving pedestrians’ experiences with wider footpaths and crossing priority at key junctions; and
- extending the current ‘bus gate’ at College Green to exclude cars, vans and taxis on a 24-hour basis, restricting the street permanently to Luas, buses, cyclists and pedestrians and developing a much-enhanced civic space in front of Trinity College.
- North and South Quays, Bachelors’ Walk to be reconfigured as a public transport / cycling / walking only corridor, between its junctions with Jervis Street and O’Connell Street. Across the river, this arrangement would be mirrored, either on Aston Quay, Burgh Quay or George’s Quay – with this decision to be made following a more detailed analysis. General through-traffic would be re-routed around the city’s central area – freeing up road-space in this currently congested part of the city.
Owen Keegan, Dublin City Council Chief Executive said: “Dublin City Council and the NTA are making these proposals because we cannot meet the expected growth in commuter traffic over the next decade through more car journeys. The city centre can only continue to function effectively if we offer those working and living in Dublin, as well as visitors, more choices in how they access and move around the capital. The proposals would also provide a better living and working environment for business, residents and visitors”.
Anne Graham, CEO of the National Transport Authority said: “The National Transport Authority will be investing €150 million in these projects between now and 2023. Facing up to what’s needed, and taking some hard decisions now, will pay dividends for the city, and for the country as a whole, in the future. The plans set out in the Study will deliver a modern, functioning capital city, which addresses the requirements of its citizens, and of which we will all be very proud. ”
The plan was welcomed by councillor Ciarán Cuffe (Green Party), chairperson of the council’s Transportation Strategic Policy Committee. Cuffe said: “This is an ambitious plan that provides for the city centre’s transport and mobility needs in the years ahead. The vision of a pedestrian friendly city centre that caters for the needs of residents, businesses and tourism is one I support.”
“Just as the pedestrianisation of Grafton Street and Henry Street was seen as ambitious and visionary thirty years ago, today’s plan also takes a step forward to improve the city centre environment for all,” he said.
Cuffe added: “We can’t stand still and allow buses and the cross-city Luas to be stalled in traffic; we must take ambitious steps to improve the Quays and the Central Business District for everyone. Removing unnecessary traffic from College Green to allow it regain its role as the premier civic space for the city is crucial, and the widened pedestrian plaza in front of the Bank of Ireland is an important part of these plans.”