Reinventing Dublin: the feedback
THE READERS:All week, in our Reinventing Dublin series, ‘The Irish Times’ has been suggesting ways to improve Ireland’s capital city. Hundreds of readers have also offered suggestions for making Dublin better. Here's a selection of their ideas
'Make a park and promenade on north Liffey quay'
Stop traffic going along the Liffey, thereby cleaning the air, reducing the noise, and rejuvenating and re-energising the heart of the city for the people.
It will bring people back into the centre of Dublin, the tourists will love it, and it will reconnect the city in a pleasant, healthy way. On the north bank (where the sun is) allow terraces, cafes and so on, and make it a park and promenade, with a cycle and skate path extending from Phoenix Park to the O2.
There should be extensive car and truck-free zones in the city centre, for example from Christ Church to Trinity (potentially with awnings for when it rains), and open-air markets all along.
Remove excess street clutter, and make a better cycle path system around the city centre like the one along the Grand Canal. Only allow very small trucks in to the centre for more frequent but smaller deliveries.
I have long advocated using the two canals as a boundary to cars of nonresidents. Limit the use of cars within the city to those who live there and those who must travel in and out of it. A decent public-transport system of buses, taxis and free bikes would need to be arranged.
Taxi fares would need to be lowered with the zone, but then taxis would benefit from increased custom, albeit for much shorter journeys
Bus fares would need to be lowered also – the existing lower shoppers’ fare, which covers the very heart of the city, could be extended both timewise and geographically.
Tony McCoy O’Grady
How about that idea to turn one half of the quays into a pedestrian or cycle path in order to link up the shamefully isolated Phoenix Park? How about linking the Portobello and Inchicore cycle paths; when’s that happening?
GAPS IN CITY CENTRE
‘Fill gaps with parks, markets’
We need to fill in the gaps. There are many empty sites on prominent streets in Dublin. A prime example is O’Connell Street. There are two huge gaping holes in the streetscape on the west side one of which predates the boom.
These kinds of spaces need to be filled. It can be with parks, housing, markets . . . what-ever will make the city more attractive.
If every vacant spot in the city was filled with apartments, for example, it would bring more life to the city centre and help control urban sprawl.
Keith L Cullen
The planned shopping centre on the Carlton site is obnoxious and should never be built. And people who work for Facebook and Google are most certainly not “Bohemian” – they are the opposite.
LOCAL CITY FOR LOCALS
‘Middle-class are revolting snobs’
The junkie problem around the city centre needs to be addressed. Proper supports need to be implemented for those who want it and a zero-tolerance approach taken to anti-social behaviour.
Keith L Cullen
The Dublin middle-class are in general revolting snobs with little or no redeeming features. They assume anyone in the city centre who is not dressed like them (conservative, dull and expensive) is a homeless, junky scumbag. What these Nazis have been asking for on this thread is a cleansing of Dublin City. Don’t harass the locals. People live there. And if you don’t like it, stay out in rugger-bugger land.
MORE PLAY AREAS
Strategically placed see-saws
Dublin could do with more playgrounds and microplaygrounds. In France you often see strategically placed see-saws in squares, at bus stops and on greens. In Singapore, many shopping centres have playground facilities.
RECLAIM THE COAST
First port of call for the city
Not only reclaim the river, reclaim the coast. Dublin is a coastal city. . . but you would never think it. We should look at moving at least some of the port away from the city centre and developing it for the city.
CYCLIST FRIENDLY CITY
More cycle lanes will traffic and boost local shops
Get more cycle lanes, not just in the city centre but right out to the suburbs, along the Liffey, along the canals. Stick them in the middle of the M50 and outer motorways.
Dublin is small enough to be a cycle-friendly city. It will help get rid of congestion and might boost small restaurants and local shops.
I have lost track of the amount of cars parked in cycle lanes rendering them useless. I can’t count the number of times I had to dodge a person getting out of a car in a traffic jam and stepping straight on to a cycle lane without looking. Talking on mobile phones while driving seems to be a national past time.
Keith L Cullen
USE OF OPEN SPACES
‘There is a dearth of piazzas, like Covent Garden’
In comparison to most other major cities, Dublin has a dearth of piazzas, comparable to, say, Covent Garden, in London. It is time for radical ideas. How about converting Westmoreland Street into a piazza and making D’Olier Street two-way? It would complement Temple Bar to have a major open space at its eastern end.
Pedestrianise College Green! It would transform the city centre. Like most European cities, Dublin would then have a real civic centre.
‘Many houses along the Liffey need TLC’
Could the compulsory purchase of old derelict buildings for conversion into council dwellings be beneficial? This would alleviate the need for land development which can have a knock-on effect. It can prevent natural drainage sometimes and it is too often the cause of flooding.
Many of the houses along the River Liffey are rundown and badly need new windows while the stonework needs some TLC.
The Government needs to introduce a duty-of-care bill to make the owners of properties in and around the city centre maintain the houses to a certain standard.
They must not allow the buildings to fall into disrepair, because when that happens it makes the city seem much more run down.
REROUTE THE BUSES
Buses half empty most of the time
There are far too many buses in Dublin. And the routes are beyond confusing. There should be no reason for every single bus to pass through the centre of the city.
The double-deckers are noisy, drive too fast and are often a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists – 80 per cent of the buses should just be single-decker anyway: most are half empty most of the time.
Speedy solution to traffic jams
Congestion charging takes 15 to 40 per cent of cars off city-centre roads. This increases the speed of public transport by a much higher percentage, as buses are a lot more efficient in their use of space.
Good riddance to bad rubbish
It would be great if there was a possibility of an on-the-spot prize for picking up litter. Litter wardens could grant a cash prize or voucher for being a good citizen as well as fines for being a litterbug. That would teach . . . a generation of Dubliners to think differently about how we can take care of our own environment.
Mary Kate O'Flanagan