Major pedestrian and cycle plaza plan for Dublin’s College Green

No vehicles to cross College Green towards or from Dame Street under changes


Dublin’s College Green is to be transformed into a major pedestrian plaza stretching the full width of the street in front of Bank of Ireland, under new plans from Dublin City Council.

No vehicular traffic, including buses and taxis, will be able to cross College Green to go to and from Dame Street under the changes, which will be available for public consultation from next month.

The council last November unveiled plans for the redesign of College Green, which included the pedestrianisation of the northbound traffic lane in front of the 18th century Bank of Ireland building opposite a two-way bus lane on what is now the south-bound traffic lane heading to Dame Street.

Cyclists’ safety

However, in an interview with The Irish Times the following month, council chief executive Owen Keegan said problems had emerged with the design in relation to cyclists’ safety and bus access to College Green once the Luas Cross City line was completed.

Proposed College Green plaza

College Green plaza

Red and blue arrows indicate bus and Luas corridor

Pedestrian-only plaza at College Green

Buses using Dame Street to divert via Church Lane

“There are issues about the quality of the cycling provision and there are difficulties with whether we can cater for buses - those issues are not resolved,” Mr Keegan said.

The council’s proposed solution is to extend the plaza, which would be reserved for pedestrians and cyclists, to the full width of the road, stopping all traffic travelling from Dame Street through College Green to Westmoreland Street, and travelling in the opposite direction, from D’Olier Street to Dame Street.

Taxi trial

Buses would run along the same route as the new Luas tracks, north and south in front of Trinity College, and could use this route to access Nassau Street heading south, and Westmoreland Street heading north. On a trial basis, taxis would also be allowed to use the tram line route in front of Trinity.

However, buses and taxis would not be permitted to cross the plaza into Dame Street.

The council’s head of technical services, Brendan O’Brien, said the council was currently “engaged in discussions with Dublin Bus” about the necessary changes.

Most buses currently using Dame Street to cross the city would be diverted onto other routes, while buses which continued to use Dame Street would turn around before College green, either in a new U-turn lane or onto Church Lane, where the current traffic flow will be reversed to allow traffic to loop back to head south on Dame Street.

A new wide pedestrian crossing would be installed from the gates of Trinity to the plaza.

The monuments on College Green, which were to be relocated under the previous plaza design, would remain in place, and Suffolk Street would also be pedestrianised.