Words: Dray Morgan
From the end of May all private vehicles will be banned from College Green in order to make moves towards a pedestrian-friendly area.
On 29 May, College Green is set to battle congestion and create an “enhanced pedestrian experience” as part of the College Green Pathfinder Project.
The aim of the project is to create a space that prioritises universal accessibility whilst also harbouring biodiversity.
Currently, private vehicles are banned from driving through College Green from 07:00 to 19:00 on weekdays, however, this will be extended to a round the clock 24/7 ban. Busses will be able to drive through the area with added freedom as the bus gate will be expanded following the removal of traffic.
The final vision for College Green will see no cars or buses and “safe cycle routes” with the aim of increasing footfall to businesses and promoting social inclusion.
The 2018 proposal for the Pathfinder Project has yet to see much progress be made towards that final objective. Currently Dublin City Council have launched a competition to procure an architect and design team to spearhead the transition to a new College Green.
An Bord Pleanála, the Irish national planning body, initially rejected the proposal in 2018 citing “significant adverse impacts on pedestrians and on bus transport within the city centre”, however, the plan was revised and later approved.
The proposition intertwines with a further plan to redesign the city’s bus network to reduce congestion in the city centre and make Dublin a greener space. Delays have been consistent with this plan due to a shortage of bus drivers which has resulted in the ban on buses in the area being pushed back.
There is no concrete date for when the full plan will be implemented, with it still being in preliminary stages. Nevertheless, Dublin City Council have promised that a pedestrianised Dame Street is imminent as work commences next week.
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