More details of College Green works revealed

by Aisling Kennedy

New plans to transform College Green into a large pedestrianised plaza were revealed this week at a local area committee meeting at Dublin City Council.
The plans will see a pedestrian plaza that stretches the full width of the street in front of the Bank of Ireland and Trinity College, with an aim to providing unhindered pedestrian movement from St Stephen’s Green to the south quays.
There will also be a segregated two-way space for cycling leading up to the main plaza area on College Green, while buses and taxis will follow the new north-south Luas tram tracks at the eastern edge of the plaza.
There will be access for people to walk and cycle along the east-west route on College Green; however, no taxis or buses will be permitted to go along this route.
The monuments on College Green will be retained and not moved as previously planned with loading arrangements for stores in the vicinity yet to be confirmed.
The appointment of an architect and lead design team for the new draft plans will take place in the summer, according to the council.
The majority of councillors at the local area committee meeting supported the new plans for College Green and welcomed the new draft design for the area.
Cllr Andrew Keegan (PBP) spoke to The Gazette and said that he supports the plan for College Green but recognises there are difficulties to overcome to accommodate all interest groups.
“The planned pedestrianisation of College Green will be a complex development as it will discommode the private motorist but allow taxis and buses to access the pedestrian area, creating a safety issue for pedestrians and cyclists.”
He added: “Unfortunately, the Government missed a great chance to seize the Bank of Ireland building after the bank collapse as payment for a bailout.
“Setting the old parliament building up as a museum would have been a jewel in the crown in this development.”
Cllr Keegan added that he thinks it is important that the plans eventually link up with any future plans for O’Connell Street and Parnell Square.
Cllr Ciaran Cuffe (GP), chair of the council transport committee, also spoke to The Gazette and said he was delighted with the positive reaction he was receiving for the new plans for College Green.
He said the drawings that were revealed at the council meeting this week were purely for illustrative purposes to show how traffic would flow, and he added that a more detailed design for the plaza will be developed.
“There will be a lot more detail going into the plans as we’ll have to think about the planting, the lighting, the paving, street furniture etc. We’ve had a number of meetings over the last four months to try and get the traffic layout right and I’m really pleased with the result.”
He added that the plans were “visionary, necessary and achievable”.

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