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Car ban for Dublin's College Green may come in as early as this year

It’s part of ambitious plans for a civic plaza at the site.

DCC College Green view  from Trinity College The proposed College Green Plaza looking from Trinity College. Source: Dublin City Council

VEHICLES COULD BE banned from travelling east and west on Dublin’s College Green from later this year if ambitious plans for the site get the go ahead.

Dublin City Council has published its plans for a new civic plaza at the city centre location and said that new traffic routes would be put in place immediately if they were approved by An Bord Pleanála.

A decision on the plans could be made as early as October with construction then commencing in January 2018 if the plans were accepted.

Luas Cross City works are currently ongoing and are slated to be completed later this year.

Construction works for the new plaza are being estimated at 12 months with Dublin City Architect Ali Grehan saying they shouldn’t be as disputive as the Luas works.

“Yes, construction is difficult while it’s happening but we hope people once they see the Luas up and running will, I think, appreciate the work that had to go into it and they’ll quickly forget about the I suppose inconvenience of the construction works,” she says.

And College Green is a more contained site. So yes there will obviously be construction activity around the College Green area but it won’t be as disruptive as a transport system that’s been carved through the city.

The overall plans for the College Green would see 7,300 sq. metres made into a space for people to congregate.

DCC College Green view towards Trinity College The proposed view from Foster Place view towards Trinity College. Source: Dublin City Council

It’s envisaged that it would allow space for up to 15,000 people and would be adaptable so as to allow it be used for various public events.

As well as maintaining the current monuments, a new water sculpture is to be included that will have 32 individual water jets that can shoot water up to six feet into the air.

The jets will be built into the ground and they will be controlled depending on the seasons.

When operational, the Luas Cross City will travel along the front of Trinity College at College Green with taxis and buses but not private cars also allowed use that route.

dcc 3 The traffic flow plan for College Green. Source: Dublin City Council

Bus and car traffic on Dame Street will stop at Foster Pace South, leaving a space for pedestrians on front of the Bank of Ireland building.

A turning point will be built to allow cars and buses turn around and travel back down Dame Street and away from the civic plaza on College Green.

A cycleway will also be incorporated that will allow cyclists travel down Westmoreland Street along the Civic Plaza and then further down Dame Street.

dcc 2 Buses turning at the proposed turning point. Source: Dublin City Council

Brendan O’Brien of the DCC’s traffic department said that banning vehicles from College Green would come into effect before construction began.

Speaking at the launch of the plans today, he said:

Pretty much when we get the An Bord Pleanála decision and if the Bord Pleanala decision is in our favour then we propose then to implement a traffic management process where where East/West traffic would not be allowed and we would provide this space for the construction works to take place.

DCC College Green view  towards  Bank of Ireland The proposed water jets at College Green. Source: Dublin City Council

Dublin Chamber of Commerce has however expressed concern that there is now a “lack of clarity” about how traffic will move around the city once the Luas Cross City begins operating later this year.

“In principle, the creation of a pedestrian plaza on College Green could be great for the city,” says Dublin Chamber’s Graeme McQueen.

“However,  a lot of questions remain about how College Green and other areas of the city centre will work in practice once the proposed changes are introduced. Crucially, uncertainty remains as to whether the traffic which will be pushed out of College Green can be accomodated on other already congested city centre streets.”

Read: ‘They’ve completely isolated us’: Dublin businesses say Luas works are destroying their livelihoods >

Read: What would you use the pedestrianised College Green plaza for? >

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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