Ambitious plans by Dublin City Council could see vehicles banned from travelling east and west at the city’s College Green area.
If accepted, the proposals would see a new traffic plan introduced at the plaza in a move which has been described as potentially “great for the city”.
There are, however, concerns about how the plans could be put into place, particularly with the Luas Cross City set to be up and running later this year. The Dublin Chamber of Commerce expressed concerns about a “lack of clarity” of where traffic would go if routes were drastically altered.
“In principle, the creation of a pedestrian plaza on College Green could be great for the city,” Dublin Chamber’s Graeme McQueen said.
“However, a lot of questions remain about how College Green and other areas of the city centre will work in practice once the proposed changes are introduced.
“Crucially, uncertainty remains as to whether the traffic which will be pushed out of College Green can be accommodated on other already congested city centre streets.”
There are also concerns about the disruption which would arise from construction on the site at College Green. However, Dublin City Architect Ali Grehan explained that considering it is a more contained site and that work would last around 12 months, things would not be as problematic as with Luas.
“Yes, construction is difficult while it’s happening but we hope that people, once they see the Luas up and running, will, I think, appreciate the work that had to go into it and they’ll quickly forget about the inconvenience of the construction works,” she said.
The overall plans for the College Green would see 7,300 sq. metres made into a space for people to congregate.
It would allow space for up to 15,000 people and would be adaptable so that it could be used for various public events. As well as maintaining the current monuments, a new water sculpture is to be included that will have 32 individual water jets that can shoot water up to six feet into the air.
The jets will be built into the ground and they will be controlled depending on the seasons. A decision on the plans could be made as early as October with construction then commencing in January 2018 if the plans were accepted.