Later this month Dublin City Council is to make its first interim changes to College Green by moving expanding the bus gate hours to 24 hours.
Brendan O’Brien, the head of traffic and transport in Dublin City Council, said to councillors at a meeting this afternoon that the bus gate would be made 24 hours from Monday, May 27.
The council said that each week over half a million pedestrians and 2 million passengers on public transport go through the College Green bus gate, but just 27,000 private vehicles.
He said that 97% of journeys via College Green are by sustainable modes. Of the cars that use College Green, 70% are outside the current bus gate times, while 30% are illegally passing through the bus gate which he said was problematic.
He said that the works would also include decluttering, including removing large electronic signs and replacing plastic bollards with kerbs.
South East Area Committee councillors welcomed the changes while some said that the plan was not ambitious enough compared to what was said to be included under the College Green Pathfinder Project.
O’Brien said that the council has hoped to implement more interim measures ahead of a College Green Plaza by this year but that the delays with BusConnects have restricted their options until next year. The BusConnects routing process was expected to have included diverting more buses out of the street by now, but has been delayed due to issues such as driver recruitment.
Foster Place is also to have fewer taxi parking spaces and new public seating, which is to be implemented in June. Increased interim footpath space, called buildouts, are to be put in place on Dame Street at Foster Place.
The council said that the central median opposite Church Lane will also be increased, removing the right turn from Church Lane to College Green. This space will be used for interim public seating and planters, the council said.
In a press release sent just after the issue was discussed at the South East Area Committee, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Cllr Caroline Conroy said: “This Pathfinder project will enhance the often overlooked area of Foster Place. The traffic management measures will improve public transport times, as well as creating a more relaxing and inviting environment to enjoy our historic city centre. This is in accordance with the objective for College Green in the development plan 2022 – 2028.”
Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, said: “I am delighted to see this launch of the College Green Pathfinder Project – the first steps in delivering a long-awaited and innovative reimagining of the city core. This is the way all of the best cities in the world are moving – making more space for people, for active travel and for public transport and relieving our city centres of choking traffic.”
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He said: “The Pathfinder Programme is all about accelerating transport projects that can deliver tangible and sustainable changes for communities and these interventions will do just that; contributing towards a more liveable and enjoyable city.”