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New Kilkenny urban road proposal

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  • 03-12-2008 1:15pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭


    Article here: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/1203/1228234992337.html

    Does anyone know anything about this?
    The scheme, which comprises 3.5km of a new urban roadway and a new river crossing between Kilkenny's two existing bridges, is jointly led by Kilkenny Borough and Kilkenny County councils.

    The new street, which would run between the 13th century St Canice's Cathedral and the linked medieval heart of Kilkenny city, is opposed by the Heritage Council and An Taisce among others.

    I've got to say, this sounds like a bad idea. I'm all for roads that link cities and towns, but to build a new street through one of our most historic and beautiful cities would, in my opinion, be sacrilege. I'm more minded to ban cars entirely from all city centres rather than to facilitate them.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,705 ✭✭✭serfboard


    Furet wrote: »
    I've got to say, this sounds like a bad idea. I'm all for roads that link cities and towns, but to build a new street through one of our most historic and beautiful cities would, in my opinion, be sacrilege. I'm more minded to ban cars entirely from all city centres rather than to facilitate them.

    Agree 100%.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,155 ✭✭✭gjim


    Wow. This has a real 70s/80s feel hasn't it? I really thought general understanding of urban and traffic planning had advanced beyond building "inner relief roads".

    The whole idea of an "inner relief road" is discredited; if you want to facilitate people driving from one edge of town to the other, you provide a proper by-pass; if people are trying to drive INTO towns, you facilitate it to the edge of the town and then provide parking. Kilkenny is small enough that you can walk from one side of the town "proper" in 10 or 15 minutes, there is no justification for facilitating increased amounts of motorised traffic getting closer to the very centre of the town.

    It sounds like some of Dublin's old-timer traffic engineers responsible for the worst blighted spots of the city have relocated to Kilkenny. This plan this has probably been sold to gullible councilors and public as "progress". I can already imagine the howls of ignorant indignation when this plan is rightly objected to by all and sundry.

    You wouldn't mind except that Kilkenny is one of the last towns in Ireland with a genuine medieval feel and draws tourists on that basis. A significant proportion of its economy is dependent on tourism. Funnily enough I've yet to meet a tourist who recommended a town or city on the basis of it having good roads in its centre.

    I don't know the history of it but it seems to me that Kilkenny's existing by-pass was built too far out probably as a sort of "land grab" of green fields to justify zoning for endless extremely low density housing estates.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann




  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann


    From a press release issued by the local Council (viewable at the website linked to above):
    The Council’s objectives in providing the proposed scheme are as follows:

    * To build a unified city centre with the River Nore at its heart, with strong connectivity between High Street, The Mart and McDonagh Junction

    *Improve access to the city centre and provide for economic and cultural development;

    *Reduce the impact of road traffic and private car domination on the city centre;

    *Enable partial pedestrianisation of John’s Street and High Street.

    *Improved accessibility for emergency services and access to health facilities and hospitals;

    *Make provision for planned residential development on the west side of the city without creating traffic problems in existing residential areas.

    It is envisaged that the first two objectives will be achieved by relieving traffic congestion around the city centre and in particular on the existing city centre bridges.

    The new bridge will enable increased pedestrianisation in the city centre at John Street and High Street which is what this city needs.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,081 ✭✭✭fricatus


    This is an awful plan. It will do untold damage to medieval Kilkenny.

    Kilkenny needs a certain number of measures implemented in order to sort out its traffic problems anyway, so let these be implemented first of all, and then their impact can be judged:

    - completion of the ring road from the Callan Road to the 'Comer Road
    - improvements to some of the roundabouts, like what's been done at the Dublin Road roundabout, where it's been widened and given two PROPER lanes. This is particularly needed at the Bennetsbridge and Waterford Road roundabouts.
    - wait for the M9 to be completed. I don't think people in KK realise what an impact this will have on the older section of the ring road. All trucks between Waterford and Dublin at present (and that's a lot) have to take the N10 because of the poor quality of the N9 at Thomastown. Trucks that aren't destined for KK will disappear off the roads, and those going to the Glanbia plant in Ballyragget from points south will use the new road (which joins at the Hebron roundabout).

    In any case, the council are only trying to move ahead with this plan because An Bord Pleanála turned down planning for the redevelopment of the mart site because of poor access. There's no way that site is going to be developed for a year or two now given the global economy, so why not wait?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,410 ✭✭✭✭road_high


    Well said Fric, I think you've hit the nail on the head. Link the Comer and Callan roads to the west of KK and eliminate much of the traffic from theis area of town.

    I'm not against the road per say but the outer ring has to be a far greater priority for what precious funds that may be available.


  • Registered Users Posts: 78,392 ✭✭✭✭Victor


    I wonder if more roundabouts could be added. :rolleyes:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 ✭✭✭BluntGuy


    Victor wrote: »
    I wonder if more roundabouts could be added. :rolleyes:

    I'm sure they'll find a way to squeeze a few more in. After all, if a real solution can't be found... simply throw in an 'oul roundabout and Bob's your uncle.

    It's called innovation. :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,913 ✭✭✭Danno


    I have to say that this plan looks good. The proposed inner relief street is exactly what is needed. The problem lies not with new routes, but what is built beside them.
    The road from the Esso in Irishtown, west through the lights and down to the roundabout is fine, but the buildings that have sprung up alongside there look totally out of character for its area.
    It is for this, I feel that locals are worried about - yet more American-isation of Irish buildings. The Esso, for example should not been allowed there - an eyesore at the foot of the Cathedral. More of this type of development should be outlawed.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 621 ✭✭✭Nostradamus


    Furet wrote: »
    I've got to say, this sounds like a bad idea. I'm all for roads that link cities and towns, but to build a new street through one of our most historic and beautiful cities would, in my opinion, be sacrilege. I'm more minded to ban cars entirely from all city centres rather than to facilitate them.

    Spot on. I cannot beleive what I am reading. Like some kind of 70's retro fetish.


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  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 12,748 Mod ✭✭✭✭JupiterKid


    This proposed road is horrendous. Is it 1978 or 2008? Inner relief and inner tangent routes are shown to be failures - they just bring even more traffic into historic town cores, cause community severance and destroy the historic built fabric and morphology of town cores.

    The planned severing of St. Canice's Cathederal with the rest of the city centre in this instance is nothing short of criminal. Killkenny in particular is totally unsuited to such a proposal given its medieval and historic character and function as a tourism centre.

    This proposal should be fought every step of the way.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,639 ✭✭✭Zoney


    In fact, the idea quite possibly dates to 1978 and they just haven't got around to doing anything about it till now!

    Absolutely outrageous and a highly irreversable catastrophe for the character of Kilkenny if it goes ahead.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,429 ✭✭✭brettmirl


    Zoney wrote: »
    In fact, the idea quite possibly dates to 1978 and they just haven't got around to doing anything about it till now!

    You're right - it does!

    They've been banging on about this road as long as I can remember, plus they've spent a small fortune on consultants reports over the years too.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭Irish and Proud


    Danno wrote: »
    I have to say that this plan looks good. The proposed inner relief street is exactly what is needed. The problem lies not with new routes, but what is built beside them.
    The road from the Esso in Irishtown, west through the lights and down to the roundabout is fine, but the buildings that have sprung up alongside there look totally out of character for its area.
    It is for this, I feel that locals are worried about - yet more American-isation of Irish buildings. The Esso, for example should not been allowed there - an eyesore at the foot of the Cathedral. More of this type of development should be outlawed.

    I've seen the plan (thanks for the link Furet!) and I have to agree that the road proposal looks fine. It's not a 1970's style plan - if people think the Kilkenny plan is bad, go to Navan in my home county and see the 1970's in full motion - there's a 4 lane inner ring road wrapped tightly around the Northern and Eastern parts of the town centre, effectively cutting off the Boyne and Blackwater rivers. This road should have been constructed like the inner ring in Drogheda where the town centre has uninterrupted access to both banks of the River Boyne. Back to Navan, they're still building roads into Navan town centre such as the Flower Hill relief scheme and Athboy link road, and now, there are even elevated walkways and travelators linking the multi-storey car-parks of Navan Shopping Centre. Now, that's 1970's for you!

    Now about Kilkenny, if this road proposal allows for major environmental improvement such as pedestrianisation, then I think it's really worth it. I'd love to visit Kilkenny in the near future - I used to be brought there many a time as a child in the early 1980's, and guess what? - one section of the road in question was being built - the section which I guess would be the most controversial now - so at this stage, we may as well finish it in light of anticipated urban improvements.

    In general, we must ditch not only 1970's thinking where new roads were considered the answer to everything, but we must also get rid of the irrational thinking of the 1990's where you don't build any roads in towns - we need to move into the 21st century with balanced thinking and not make the mistakes of Birmingham (Inner Ring Road) or Dublin (lack of proper access). Maybe cities should follow the Parisian example of wide boulevards (in the case of Dublin, completing the Georgian Dream) where there would be plenty of room for buses, trams, cars (mainly for shopping etc), pedestrians and cyclists to move around. Also, there would be much more scope for trees etc - and no, trees are not an apology for bad buildings (as some architects seem to say) but are an essential connection between the human population and nature.

    Regards!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,155 ✭✭✭gjim


    but we must also get rid of the irrational thinking of the 1990's where you don't build any roads in towns - we need to move into the 21st century with balanced thinking and not make the mistakes of Birmingham (Inner Ring Road) or Dublin (lack of proper access).
    Eh? What exactly are the mistakes of Dublin and how would you propose providing "proper access"? Please be specific on where you would site the new dualers to provide "proper access" to the centre Dublin?

    "Proper access" to city centres means proper access for PEOPLE not CARS. The motor car has no future in the centre of cities and towns. The attempt to engineer an accommodation for individuals traveling by motor car in city centres really was a 40 year historical blip but it's over. Every attempt failed; if it succeeded to any degree by allowing significant number of private cars to move with ease into and around city centres, it generally resulted in the obliteration of what it is that attracts peoples to the centre of cities in the first place. You can have a successful urban environment OR you can support a high volume of motorised traffic but you cannot have both.

    Even the US where traveling by car has an almost religious significance and where virtually unlimited engineering and financial resources were thrown at the problem over a period of decades has admitted defeat and has given up on the idea of facilitating car movement in city centres. All over the US towns and cities are investing in trams and other forms of public transport.

    No, this is a 70s throwback alright. And yes the same old 70s arguments (that it will lead to an environment improvement by reducing traffic elsewhere) have been debunked by harsh experience. And no, contrasting with even worse schemes (like Navan) is not a compelling argument for this plan.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 621 ✭✭✭Nostradamus



    In general, we must ditch not only 1970's thinking where new roads were considered the answer to everything, but we must also get rid of the irrational thinking of the 1990's where you don't build any roads in towns - we need to move into the 21st century with balanced thinking and not make the mistakes of Birmingham (Inner Ring Road) or Dublin (lack of proper access).

    Proper acces for whom or what? I think Dublin is fantastic in that unlike Belfast or some other UK regional city it does not have some road slicing it in two to provide "access".

    Maybe cities should follow the Parisian example of wide boulevards (in the case of Dublin, completing the Georgian Dream) where there would be plenty of room for buses, trams, cars (mainly for shopping etc), pedestrians and cyclists to move around. Also, there would be much more scope for trees etc - and no, trees are not an apology for bad buildings (as some architects seem to say) but are an essential connection between the human population and nature.

    Regards!

    I have no idea what you are on about and I suspect you don't either.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭Irish and Proud


    gjim wrote: »
    Eh? What exactly are the mistakes of Dublin and how would you propose providing "proper access"? Please be specific on where you would site the new dualers to provide "proper access" to the centre Dublin?

    "Proper access" to city centres means proper access for PEOPLE not CARS. The motor car has no future in the centre of cities and towns. The attempt to engineer an accommodation for individuals traveling by motor car in city centres really was a 40 year historical blip but it's over. Every attempt failed; if it succeeded to any degree by allowing significant number of private cars to move with ease into and around city centres, it generally resulted in the obliteration of what it is that attracts peoples to the centre of cities in the first place. You can have a successful urban environment OR you can support a high volume of motorised traffic but you cannot have both.

    Even the US where traveling by car has an almost religious significance and where virtually unlimited engineering and financial resources were thrown at the problem over a period of decades has admitted defeat and has given up on the idea of facilitating car movement in city centres. All over the US towns and cities are investing in trams and other forms of public transport.

    No, this is a 70s throwback alright. And yes the same old 70s arguments (that it will lead to an environment improvement by reducing traffic elsewhere) have been debunked by harsh experience. And no, contrasting with even worse schemes (like Navan) is not a compelling argument for this plan.

    Did you read what I posted???

    Did I say we should mainly provide for cars???

    What I said was that we should make more room for all transport including buses, trams, cyclists, pedestrians and motorists on shopping trips etc. Dublin transport policy supports this concept generally, but the trouble with Dublin transport planning is that like other cities, there is a general unwillingness to accept the reality that most towns and cities were developed in an unplanned way over the centuries.

    Also, if it weren't for London's Act of Union, Dublin's city centre would probably be entirely Georgian with wide streets all the way through - good planning IMO. I was on Merrion Street a few days ago imagining would it would be like if that street went on for a mile or so maintaining its full width - wouldn't such a Georgian vista look amazing - a far cry from the thinking of the 1970's or 1990's.

    Dublin City is a great city - one of the nicest in Europe I believe, but its transport infrastructure is totally inadequate (not the only city though!) - cities in general need to rethink in terms of transport, urban layout and land use. Cities have to adapt for the 21st Century or decline!

    Regards!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,093 ✭✭✭Amtmann




  • Registered Users Posts: 8,913 ✭✭✭Danno


    If the same style of buildings were allowed to be build along the new route as the buildings on Dean street it would be a grave mistake.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,366 ✭✭✭IIMII


    ...Dublin is fantastic .... it does not have some road slicing it in two to provide "access".
    +1.

    These roads don't really work long term. Navan's "bypass" is too busy and is a barrier of sorts to allowing kids walk on their own from East (Athlumney/Johnstown) and Northwest Navan (Flowerhill) into town. They even demolished the birth-place of Francis Beaufort (Beaufort Scale fame) to build it. A ring road was what was really needed, not a road effectively through the centre of town. In the end, the M3 will part carry out part of this function, but the inner bypass will remain a big dirty road scheme through the middle of town


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,735 ✭✭✭Irish and Proud


    IIMII wrote: »
    +1.

    These roads don't really work long term. Navan's "bypass" is too busy and is a barrier of sorts to allowing kids walk on their own from East (Athlumney/Johnstown) and Northwest Navan (Flowerhill) into town. They even demolished the birth-place of Francis Beaufort (Beaufort Scale fame) to build it. A ring road was what was really needed, not a road effectively through the centre of town. In the end, the M3 will part carry out part of this function, but the inner bypass will remain a big dirty road scheme through the middle of town

    Regarding Navan in general, agreed!!! ;)

    Regarding Beaufort's house, I was told by a Navan person that the Flower Hill road scheme had nothing to do with the demolition. The road scheme was apparently used as an excuse (by vested interests I guess) in order to redevelop the site - more property greed I suspect! :mad:

    Regarding Dublin, something needs to be done before this great city suffocates. I'm not talking about motorways, but rather infill schemes (like the Tolka Valley Road which was supposed to be Griffith Avenue Extension to the Navan Road) and bottleneck busting projects (like the narrow 2 lane part of the Swords Road in Drumcondra).

    Also, something has to be done about the Navan Road in Cabra, Ashtown etc. Now, the DCC has (or had) plans to widen Blackhorse Avenue. Now if this is done, a six lane artery is possible with very little road construction. What if the Navan Road was made one way inbound, while Blackhorse Avenue took the outbound traffic. With 3 lanes each way, an adaptive lane allocation system could be used when in the mornings, two of the lanes could be reserved for buses, where commuters could be encouraged to leave their cars in Meath and take the bus from there.

    How much more of the above could be done in Dublin - after all, it's not London were talking about (just about the worst city for planning). Regarding London, I guess there's nothing other than levelling most of it - it's one fine mess. However, I guess Dublin can be fixed without too much destruction. BTW, was in the Docklands area recently and it's really nice - plenty of space for people!!!

    Must leave it there for now...

    Regards!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,419 ✭✭✭Cool Mo D


    Dublin doesn't need to be "fixed" by demolition and road widening. The cure is worse than the disease. Look at the parts of the city that underwent widening schemes in the last 50 years - christchurch, parnell street, and clanbrassil street being the most notable. They were all vibrant communities, now they are miserable hell-holes.


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