Una Mullally: Capel Street called out and Owen Keegan listened

People want more public amenities in city and are making local government comply

Dublin’s  Capel Street: a six-weekend-long pedestrianisation trial will begin in late June. Photograph: Gareth Chaney

Dublin’s Capel Street: a six-weekend-long pedestrianisation trial will begin in late June. Photograph: Gareth Chaney

Something remarkable happened last week that illustrates the growing level of political engagement in Dublin. When Dublin City Council opened a brief window of consultation over the pedestrianisation of Capel Street in the city centre, over 4,500 public submissions were made. The result of this massive input was a change to the plans, including an expansion of path build-outs on the street, and a recognition that people want more than that, and so a six-weekend-long pedestrianisation trial will begin in late June. It is incredible such a huge number of people would engage in the recalibration of a single street in Dublin.

Dublin city has an amenities crisis, and while this has been evident for some time, the pandemic has prompted people to engage with their own desires and needs regarding public space and amenities.

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