— An Bord Pleanala asks council about lack of segregation for cycling.
— Planning body seeks further information on traffic and economic impacts.
Officials at the National Transport Authority and Dublin Bus want Parliament Street to be change to two-way and to be for buses only to enable a better detour around the planned College Green Plaza.
The outline of what the transport authority and the semi-state bus company wants was contained in a letter from An Bord Pleanala to Dublin City Council which looks for further further information on elements of the project. Both bodies made submissions on the planned College Green Plaza, as did this website.
Planning board is also seeking more details on the possable impacts on all modes of transport, and it is requesting a comprehensive socio-economic assessment looking at the possable impact on retailers, business and tourism.
Having Parliament Street two-way for buses only was part of draft proposals — and at that stage Dublin Bus indicated its support for the plaza — but Dublin City Council removed the two-way element from the plan because of objections from local businesses near the street, as well as larger retailers.
The plan is currently to make the street bus-only but only in its current direction, meaning fewer buses will be on it and northbound buses will have a larger detour. This watering down of the draft plan seems to be a major source of concern for both the National Transport Authority and Dublin Bus.
Dublin Bus also asked for buses to be allowed across the plaza, “in a manner that gives priority to pedestrians”, and said the closing the proposed plaza off to buses was “premature” before the Dublin Area Bus Network redesign was finished, details of which are expected later this year. The board outlined how the bus company is concerned that the traffic modeling used as part of the planning application for the project included making Parliament Street two-way for buses only, and this is now not part of the plan.
Lack of segregated cycle facilities
In its reporting on this issue earlier this week, The Irish Times claimed that “cyclists will have a designated two-way cycle track next to the footpath on the southside” of the plaza, but this is not the case.
The lack of clarity between the proposed cycling area at the south of the plaza and the rest of the plaza was part of observations made to An Bord Pleanala (again, including from this publication) and is one of the cycling issues the planning body asked for further information on.
The letter to the city council from An Bord Pleanala states: “The lack of segregated cycle facilities throughout the scheme and the potential for conflict with pedestrians other vehicular traffic, indulging Luas Cross City, buses, taxis and cars has been raised in various submissions to the Board, including Dublin Bus, TII, Dublin Chamber, IrishCycle, and the NTA.”
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It added: “Dublin City Council is requested to address this matter and indicate how these conflicts would be managed or what reasoanable alternatives were considered. Concerns regarding potential conflicts arise in particular along a north-south axis, on the turning circle, at the access to the Bank of Ireland, and to the south east end of the plaza at the cross over to Grafton Street Lower.”
An Bord Pleanala is seeking a responce from the council no later than Septermber 21. The letter to the council can be viewed below: