Car lanes to be given to walkers and cyclists on Dublin’s quays

Liffey project would eliminate 173 parking spaces

A plan to reduce traffic lanes and remove parking spaces from the Liffey quays, and to create a new pedestrian and cycling boulevard, will be presented to Dublin City Council next week.

The 21st Century Liffey Project envisages the creation of two major civic plazas – at O’Connell Bridge, where traffic lanes will be reduced and a diagonal pedestrian crossing created, and at the Custom House, which will be completely pedestrianised with traffic diverted around the back, along Beresford Place.

The project, developed by urban planners and designers Fergus Browne and David Jordan, with the support of the council and the Dublin Civic Trust, seeks "re-orientating the public realm away from the car", without completely eliminating traffic from the quays, by 2030.

Under the plan, the 173 on-street parking spaces from the Four Courts to the Custom House would be removed. On both sides of the quays, pedestrians would occupy the space fronting the river, followed by cyclists. A bus lane would be located at the buildings' side, with cars occupying the remaining middle space. This would involve reducing car traffic to one lane for most of the route.

'Traditional boulevard'


Extensive riverside space would be devoted to pedestrians and cyclists in what would be a “traditional boulevard”.

Previous plans had sought a dedicated cycle lane only on the north side of the river, because of a number of narrow “pinch points” on the south side. However, the project argues for the same facilities on both sides. “Not providing a cycle lane on the south quay is only delaying the inevitable transition to sustainable movement patterns within the city.”

Where space is limited, “pedestrians and cyclists must take precedent followed by public transport and lastly the private car”, it says.

In addition to the elimination of all on-street parking, which is “essential for planning and providing wider pedestrian pavements and provision of cycle lanes to free space for amenity uses”, the mature trees along the quayside would have to go because of damage caused to roads, the quay wall and the limits they would put on space for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Liffey corridor should be seen as a “series of rooms” at Inns Quay in front of the Four Courts, Essex Quay at Smock Alley Theatre, the Ha’Penny Bridge at Liffey Street as well as at the main plazas at O’Connell Bridge and the Custom House.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times