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Council to increase pedestrianised space on Dublin's Capel Street, asks public for feedback

If approved, the Council said works will begin later this month.

Capel Street, Dublin
Capel Street, Dublin
Image: RollingNews.ie

PLANS TO REMOVE on-street parking and increase pedestrianised space on Dublin’s northside have been announced by Dublin City Council today as part of a public consultation process

The Council proposes to increase car-free space around Capel Street and Parnell Street and is asking members of the public for feedback on its plans which include making a stretch of Capel Street between Ryder’s Row and Parnell Street traffic-free on a 24/7 basis. 

It’s also proposed to remove all on-street parking between Ormond Quay and Mary St and to temporarily widen footpaths throughout the area – including between Strand Street and Ormond Quay – to facilitate hospitality businesses and outdoor dining this summer. 

The plan also proposes to widen footpaths on the west side of Capel Street and on the nearby Strand Street. 

Under the proposals, loading bays will be removed from Capel Street “to better align with non-hospitality businesses” and disabled parking spaces in the vicinity will be relocated but there will no reduction in the number of disabled parking spaces, according to the Council. 

The plans also propose to remove a certain amount of parking spaces between Mary Street and Little Britain Street. 

The consultation process begins today and will end on 14 May. If approved, works will begin later this month, the Council said. 

According to the Council, the plans would provide 1,300 metres sq of additional public space. 

It follows an announcement yesterday that work on pedestrianising several streets on the southside to facilitate outdoor dining has begun.

Four streets will either be traffic-free or sections of them will be made traffic-free after 11am each day.

These are:

  • Anne Street South from the junction of Dawson Street
  • South William Street from Exchequer Street to the Brown Thomas carpark exit
  • Drury Street from just after its junction with Fade Street to the Drury Street underground carpark
  • Dame Court From Exchequer Street

It comes after trials to pedestrianise several streets in Dublin city were carried out in July and August of last year, with trials being extended due to the positive feedback.

Online surveys carried out by Dublin City Council found that 95% of the 1,588 respondents were in favour of having the selected streets permanently pedestrianised.

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The plans, however, have been met with criticism from Green Party TD Neasa Hourigan who said the southside interventions represent a “disappointing lack of ambition” and “a failure to address the scale of the challenge this summer”. 

“We know that thousands of people will want to seize the opportunity of less Covid restrictions by finally meeting up with each other and making contact with friends and family – this year much of that will need to be outside,” said Hourigan. 

“To provide that scale of space for social gatherings while maintaining street access for those with disabilities will be very difficult.

“The paltry amount of space currently planned to achieve this task simply is not good enough. Businesses will be relying on access to open public space for seating and queuing but with little extra space planned under these proposals it is likely that only the pavement will be available, creating obstructions and hazards for those in wheelchairs or with mobility impairment.”

“In the last year we have truly understood the need for investment in our public realm in Dublin – access to toilets, seating, bins and car free areas have all become a significant issue. Most businesses want greater access to car free space, the Dublin Town group support more pedestrianisation, and the public want more car free space,” she said.

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