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10-year plan for Temple Bar unveiled

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  • 28-02-2004 1:33am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 78,303 ✭✭✭✭


    http://home.eircom.net/content/irelandcom/topstories/2631794?view=Eircomnet
    10-year plan for Temple Bar unveiled
    From:ireland.com
    Friday, 27th February, 2004

    Dublin's south quays could become a tree-lined promenade after the port tunnel opens next year, with traffic reduced to one lane for buses, taxis and cyclists, according to a new plan.

    The Temple Bar urban framework plan, published yesterday, also envisages creating a new "gateway" to the area from College Green via Foster Place, with a "galleria of smart shops" similar to the Burlington Arcade in London.

    As reported in The Irish Times yesterday, a tethered helium balloon would be moored in the Liffey, opposite the former SS Michael and John's Church.

    It would accommodate 30 passengers and take them to a height of at least 200 metres.

    The plan includes proposals for up to 60 stackable units on underused sites throughout the "cultural quarter", with the ground floors let to commercial interests and affordable space overhead for artists' studios or craft workshops.

    Drawn up by Howley Harrington Architects for Temple Bar Properties (TBP), it also proposes that a vast-scale model of Dublin should form the centrepiece of a new "Citizenship Centre" in the Civic Offices at Wood Quay.

    Two of the area's principal public spaces, Meeting House Square and Temple Bar Square, would be redesigned. The former would be provided with a retractable roof while the latter would be completely repaved to eliminate its steps.

    Other improvements include a full "makeover" of street furniture, including better lighting and more trees; three-dimensional information displays at various "gateways" into the area; and even a small stream running down Cow Lane.

    Cultural centres in Temple Bar are being urged to engage in more interaction with the public by developing street art. The plan also suggests that pubs and hotels in the area should promote a cultural agenda through poetry readings and exhibitions.

    Mr Dermot McLoughlin, chief executive of TBP, admitted the company had directly facilitated the creation of pubs in the area as a means of drawing tourists to Temple Bar. But he was dealing with present realities because the past could not be changed.

    Asked about the public perception of Temple Bar as a "drinking den", Mr McLoughlin said he could not deny this existed, though it was "a mixture of distortion and cliché". A lot of it came down to individual behaviour on the streets.

    TBP was also working towards "closing loopholes in the licensing and planning laws" to deal with pubs in the area that were in breach of their planning permissions. It had made a submission on this to the Minister for Justice, Mr McDowell.

    "The purpose of the plan is to identify what's important about Temple Bar, what works and what doesn't work, to iron out conflicts and to support and encourage synergies and identify new opportunities to creatively rebalance the area."

    However, he conceded that TBP "has no statutory powers or resources to directly implement the various proposals".

    In some cases it would seek private sector funding while in others "the proposals will pay for themselves".

    The plan itself was part-funded by TASCQ (Traders in the Area Supporting the Cultural Quarter), a consortium of local pubs, restaurants and other businesses, which said yesterday it still had "great confidence" in the area's future.

    "Over the past year, there has been huge criticism of Temple Bar by a handful of people," said Mr Martin Harte, its executive manager, in a reference to some members of Dublin City Council. "This type of attitude is dragging everybody back."

    But Cllr Chris Andrews (FF) claimed that TASCQ was dominated by publicans and hoteliers representing only 11 per cent of the area's traders, and it was "unthinkable" that TBP had allowed this group to "set the agenda for Temple Bar".

    His party colleague, Cllr Gary Keegan, criticised Cllr Andrews - who is seeking a Dáil seat in Dublin South East - for engaging in "megaphone negativity". He said the area's problems could be "sorted out more quietly than that".

    Ms Martha Rose Howard, chairwoman of the Temple Bar Residents' Association, said she was "very upset" about being prevented from attending yesterday's press conference.

    "This is not in the spirit of welcoming your neighbours," she said.

    She said she would be opposed to the proposed balloon because it was likely to draw "disorderly people" into the west end of Temple Bar, where she lives. She denied she was being a "killjoy".

    *Tree-lined promenade along the Liffey quays, with traffic restricted to one lane.
    *New "gateway" to the Temple Bar area from College Green, via Foster Place.
    *Affordable "incubator units" for artists, in up to 60 stackable temporary buildings.
    *Full "makeover" of street furniture, including new lighting and tree-planting.
    *Retractable roof for Meeting House Square and new paving for Temple Bar Square.
    *Observation balloon to be moored off Wood Quay, with capacity for 30 people.

    Public consultation on the draft plan is open until March 29th. Copies are available from Temple Bar Properties, 12 East Essex Street, Dublin 2, or via the Internet at www.templebar.ie
    http://home.eircom.net/content/unison/national/2631958?view=Eircomnet
    Is it a plane, is it a bird? No it's a balloon plan for Dublin
    From:The Irish Independent
    Friday, 27th February, 2004

    A GIANT helium-filled balloon carrying sightseers 700 feet above the city is proposed in the Temple Bar blueprint in the next few years.

    The plan which yesterday went out for public consultation before being sent to the city council also includes a glass roof over part of Temple Bar.

    The balloon floating 250m over the city would be anchored to a small island in the middle of the Liffey. It would be accessed by a drawbridge which could be lifted late at night and held in position by a cable.

    Up to 30 passengers would be accommodated on the balloon on each trip, enjoying bird's eye views of Temple Bar and the central city.

    The observation balloon would be tethered in the middle of the river opposite St Michael and John's Church, according to the report.

    "The balloon would make a nice counterbalance to the Spire, which doesn't have an observation platform, and would provide Dublin with both a pin and a balloon," says the report.

    "We are also inspired by the London Eye, which has transformed the south bank in London, producing a major tourist attraction."

    The plan also proposes a reduction of traffic on one lane on the south quays, the scene of last weekend's bus tragedy.

    Temple Bar Properties want the traffic on the quays restricted to just buses, taxis and cyclists with special traffic calming measures also introduced.

    Sean Harrington, of Howley Harrington Architects, who carried out the report said wider pavements on the south quays would make the area safer for pedestrians.

    He stressed that his could only be done in tandem with completion of the Port Tunnel which will remove many trucks from the city quays.

    "Traffic must be slowed down and part of this would include traffic calming measures."


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 78,303 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    http://home.eircom.net/content/unison/national/2631947?view=Eircomnet
    Capital's cultural quarter told to clean up its tarnished image
    From:The Irish Independent
    Friday, 27th February, 2004

    PUBS in Dublin's Temple Bar should consider installing children's facilities, stagger closing times and ban alco-pops to help get rid of its notorious reputation for drunkenness and other anti-social behaviour, a report recommends.

    The so-called "cultural quarter" is now better known for drinking than anything else and the late night pubs must clean up their act, a blueprint for the area demanded yesterday.

    Excessive noise, vomit and urine, lewd anti-social behaviour fuelled by alcohol leads to an "intimidating, aggressive and sometimes violent atmosphere," it revealed.

    Carried out by Howley Harrington Architects for Temple Bar Properties the report also hit out at the behaviour of heavy-handed bouncers.

    Most of the anti-social problems occur when the pubs close at the same time in the early hours of the moring, says the Urban Framework Plan for Temple Bar 2004.

    "Antisocial behaviour, especially when fuelled by excessive consumption of alcohol, leads to an intimidating, aggressive and sometimes violent atmosphere. The anticipation of such an atmosphere is a turn-off for many people."

    The malaise is seen to be magnified in Temple Bar because of the number of licensed premises (70), their type, the profile of customers and their large numbers, long opening hours and simultaneous closing times and the behaviour of some door staff.

    The report proposes a range of measures to combat the problem including:
    * Publicans to make sure all bar staff are aware they should not serve already drunk customers.
    * Ensure that pubs do not become overcrowded.
    * All licensed premises made comply the their Fire Safety certificates on the maximum number of customers allowed.
    * Publicans to agree on new staggered closing times on a revolving basis.
    * No new customers should be admitted after 11.30pm into pubs and clubs that stay open late.
    * A ban on the sale of alco-pops as had already happened in some parts of Cork.
    * Continue and extend the ban on stag and other group parties.
    * Dublin City Council should intensify efforts to ensure compliance with planning regulations and courts and planning authorities should be made aware of licensing and planning breaches when licences come up for renewal.
    * Pubs should provide other facilities and attractions to get away from their image as "machine for drinking in". These should include childrens facilities, readings, coffee and food.

    Gardai told the report's authors that heavy-handed door staff in pubs and nightclubs can sometimes exacerbate rows "and even cause violence and aggravation on the streets and at the doors of the licensed premises.".

    The blueprint for change is being put out for public submissions until March 29 and will be submitted to the city council on April 14 for inclusion in the city development plan 2005-2011 to be launched later this year.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,108 ✭✭✭Tommy Vercetti


    The balloon plan is bizarre!!!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 914 ✭✭✭Specky


    The plan also suggests that pubs and hotels in the area should promote a cultural agenda through poetry readings and exhibitions.

    I thought they already did, a fella in the bar of Blooms told me a dirty Limerick one time...then went outside and threw up.

    The balloon thing is a bit odd. It seems there is a bit of a fixation with looking down on things. First the chimney thing in Smithfield, now the balloon and a scale model of the city so we can all look down on it.

    I'm all for a bit redesign around Temple Bar though, getting rid of the steps on Temple Bar Square is a must. It's highly discriminatory for a start making a sort of plynth for able bodied individuals to stand on whilst less fortunately abled people skulk around on the cobblestones. I've tripped on those steps in the past too...even without having partaken in any falling over medicine.....

    Not sure I'm entirely happy about the single lane south quays even without the trucks. It is still the primary route out to the west of the city and although converting it into a tree lined avenue sounds delightful I still don't want to sit there in a traffic jam.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,532 ✭✭✭MDR


    Not sure I'm entirely happy about the single lane south quays even without the trucks. It is still the primary route out to the west of the city and although converting it into a tree lined avenue sounds delightful I still don't want to sit there in a traffic jam.

    boo to cars I say !!!
    why you would inclined to bring your car into the center of the town is beyond me anyway, lets pedestrianize the whole bloody lot, dame street, college green, Nassau street, O'Connell street, abbey street, Talbot street, kildare street, wicklow street, georges street, d'olier street, westmoreland street, capel street, the quays and parnel square, public transport vehicles only, in the words of an organisation with whom I claim no affiliation .... lets reclaim the streets ....


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 914 ✭✭✭Specky


    yep, I wholeheartedly agre.....except for the purposes of my work I need to get to many places in the centre of the city including most of the larger hotels and bankd that are slap bank in the middle of town, and the equipment I have to take with me is not carryable on the bus.

    There are a lot of people who trundle in and out of town to office jobs in their cars and with those people I have a problem.

    Unfortunately most of the vehicles I share the streets with seem to me to be either trades people or folk in a similar position to me though.

    Now, having said that, I used to do something similar but on a smaller scale in London and I never owned a car their. Could get more done in a day than some of my colleagues who drove and I just used the tube everywhere....but that's London...I hope we don't get someone banging on about how terrible the transport is in London now 'cos if we do then they're talking out of their pants.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 199 ✭✭innisfree


    I really detest some of these ideas.

    I find both Meeting House Square and the Temple Bar Square quite charming. The steps make TBS for me, though I still think there are other parts of it that could be touched up.

    Meeting House Square, though. The enclosed space with the sky above is what makes it. What is this idea about a roof? The only reason I can see them thinking it a good idea is for all the cultural events they put on in the square, but surely one of the attractions for a lot of people is being under the night sky? I know it's retractable, but I've a feeling it's going to be closed more often than open.

    Really disappointing anyway, and I don't like how a small amount of inviduals can get the power to do somethign that affects so many.

    The ballon sounds good in theory, but I just don't think it'll last the test of time in a culture like Dublin. Maybe some other city.



    I feel as though I'm alone in these thoughts though (or is there going to be a huge backlash from the public?). I'm all for benefitial changes and making the city look nicer, but these ideas just seem too specific to a few peoples tastes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,145 ✭✭✭dazberry


    Originally posted by MDR
    boo to cars I say !!!
    why you would inclined to bring your car into the center of the town is beyond me anyway, lets pedestrianize the whole bloody lot, dame street, college green, Nassau street, O'Connell street, abbey street, Talbot street, kildare street, wicklow street, georges street, d'olier street, westmoreland street, capel street, the quays and parnel square, public transport vehicles only, in the words of an organisation with whom I claim no affiliation .... lets reclaim the streets ....

    As a professional pedestrian :D and public transport user I think the city centre would be great without cars. But I would be concerned that such a plan would actually destroy a large portion of retail in the city - and no, I'm not a retailer of any description.

    I'm looking forward to seeing trucks (coming from Dublin Port) removed from the city. I don't think people realise the amount of traffic that comes from the port. I remember one day sitting on a bus on parliment st. bridge and in one sequence of lights waiting to cross the south quays 13 40' trucks passed in that sequence. Going back into work after lunch on Friday on Georges Quay I'd guesstimate there were atleast 15 in that section (I noticed this because 3 were at the top outside Tara St. station and one had gone out so far you couldn't get across the pedestrian crossing - with any safety anyway.

    My other gripe is the amount of buses parked around town. Now I'm not saying I have an answer for this**, but if, for example you walk up the south quays at the old Virgin megastore at around 5.15pm, there's literally a wall of buses all the way up to Forbidden Planet. This is of course compounded by the work going on in the old megastore which consumes a larger portion of the pavement.

    ** Well I do feel that we have a paranoia about getting more than one form of public transport, especially since its so unreliable. Bit late now, but I always felt that there should be maybe 4 - 6 high frequency rail/tram routes out of the city, that go maybe 3 to 5 miles only in specific directions. At the point these act as radial spurs to additional bus/rail and park and ride services. Yes it does move the problems, the division isn't absolute, 3-5 miles out can be as conjested as the city centre, and its not something I researched, just an idea - it might never work.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,108 ✭✭✭Tommy Vercetti


    Originally posted by MDR
    boo to cars I say !!!
    why you would inclined to bring your car into the center of the town is beyond me anyway, lets pedestrianize the whole bloody lot, dame street, college green, Nassau street, O'Connell street, abbey street, Talbot street, kildare street, wicklow street, georges street, d'olier street, westmoreland street, capel street, the quays and parnel square, public transport vehicles only, in the words of an organisation with whom I claim no affiliation .... lets reclaim the streets ....

    I wish they would do that, it would be quite straghtforward if they build a decent ring-road instead of the North/South Circular Roads.

    Also, I hereby declare my intention to hijack the balloon for the purpose of a drunken urination onto an open-top bus.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 914 ✭✭✭Specky


    I wish they would do that, it would be quite straghtforward if they build a decent ring-road instead of the North/South Circular Roads.

    Hmm...I know this is a popularly held view but I don't actually agree.

    The problems are:

    1. the city is on the coast so you can't build a road that goes all the way around.
    2. Dublin is not like somewhere like London where the M25 does (basically) work.

    Like the UK the basic major road structure radiates out from the capitol (N1, N2, N3, N4, N7, N11 all radiate out from town) and these are really the only real roads in and out of the city. So if you want to go from, say Belfast to Limerick, you come down the N1, around the M50 and out the N7. That's fine, the N1 is pretty cool now, the M50 is a bit screwed by the toll bridge but you're just going to have to live with this now 'cos there's no way you'll build any more major civil projects like the bridge in the future without having a toll attached to it. The method of collection could be improved but that's another issue) then off down the N7....ok, the Red Cow can also be a pain in the pantaloons..).

    So, yes, if you put money into improving the N1, the M50 and the N7 this trip will be improved.

    The M25 around London made a huge difference because a very high proportion of the traffic is making this kind of journey ie the people aren't going to London, they just have to go via London because that's the way the road network was built.

    Problem is though that there are hardly any people making journeys like that in Ireland. Most people are coming to and from the area inside of the M50. That is certainly what the people that cause the traffic jams morning and evening are doing. They are on the major radial roads getting into and out of town. Yes there are problems on the M50 but they are caused by the fact that the sheer weight of traffic cannot get on and off the M50 from the radial routes, not because the M50 doesn't have the capacity.

    - at the N3 because you've got quite a big road funneling onto quite a small road, because there's a lot of lane changing towards the M50 roundabout and because there's a limit to how fast people can get onto the M50 southbound

    - at the N4 because again you've got a lot of convergence and lane changing northbound, because there's a limit to the rate at which people can get onto the M50 north bound and because of the indiscipline of drivers

    - at the red cow because you've got a lot of traffic coming off the M50 going into town and out to Citywest

    - at the southern end because it's just crazy....all the traffic funnelling down onto a few minor roads with a lot of roundabouts....hopefully this will change when the next section opens so traffic for Sandyford doesn't have to go through Dundrum

    I really don't think a ring road is the answer.

    Improvements to the radial routes and the interchanges would make a difference. Inchicore where the N4 and N7 converge needs looking at.

    An alternative to the quays is required but maybe that won't be so bad when all the trucks are in the Dublin port tunnel...maybe...but it won't be improved if the south quays becomes single lane, there is way too much traffic that will not be going to or from the port.

    The city just isn't big enough for it to be worth my while using a ring road. The north and south circular roads remind me of the old north circular road in London before the M25 was built. It wasn't a ring road at all, it was just a road that happened to go roughly around half of the city. The traffic was also just as bad as the Dublin north/south circular can be...

    I dunno...the traffic situation in Dublin is a difficult one to solve. It's only a small place and you have to wonder how much money is it really worth spending on massive infrastructure projects...topic for another thread...but I don't like the idea of a single lane south quays if some alternative route for traffic heading west out of town is not provided and I think the balloon is just another hairbrained novelty that'll probably end up the subject of a tribunal in 10 years time.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,108 ✭✭✭Tommy Vercetti


    I wasn't really suggesting a major motorway, just a somewhat decent road going around the general area that was suggested as a pedestrianised area.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 914 ✭✭✭Specky


    Yeah, but there's a lot of buildings in the way.

    Heard an interesting suggestion a little while ago that the Stephens Green situation could be solved/greatly improved by reversing the flow around the green and reversing the flow on all the one way streets leading on and off the green. It would relieve the bottleneck that occurs at the Stephens Green south/west corner.

    Brussels has a lovely system of tunnels for the main routes in and out of the city that seems to work extremely well. HUGE infrastructural project but does save knocking down all the buildings.

    For people like myself who need to get around the centre of town it is becoming increasingly difficult with all the one ways though.

    ...and another thing!! Mass parking to the east of Stephens Green is pretty much non-existant, it's all on street pay and display. It probably doesn't have much bearing on the traffic and it certainly doesn't have anything to do with Temple Bar but it's annoying :)

    Oh the bliss of out of town driving. I went to Ennis and back today. Left home at 7.00am, arrived home at 6.30pm, 3hours there 3hours back and a reasonable amount of work time in between. So pleasant in comparison to driving in to Dublin and back out again.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,303 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    Originally posted by Specky
    Brussels has a lovely system of tunnels for the main routes in and out of the city that seems to work extremely well. HUGE infrastructural project but does save knocking down all the buildings.
    They knocked the city walls at the end of the 19th century and built a boulevard around the inner city. They then built a motorway and later a metro under this. Hence in WWI, Brussels fell when other Belgian cities didn't.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 914 ✭✭✭Specky


    They knocked the city walls at the end of the 19th century and built a boulevard around the inner city. They then built a motorway and later a metro under this. Hence in WWI, Brussels fell when other Belgian cities didn't.

    Ah well...it's only Brussels....

    ...I don't think Dublin will be invaded any time soon...


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