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Luas Wars 1996

  • 30-09-2010 9:25pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 394 ✭✭ Propellerhead


    I have in front of me an article from the Sunday Tribune dated 1 September 1996.
    Luas construction chaos a foretaste of the future - Opponents of the light rail system claim that the disruption during its construction will be nothing compared to the traffic nightmare when it is up and running.

    [Assertions made with accompanying illustrations:
    The underground alternative: proposed underground system would cause minimal disruption to city streets.

    LUAS trams [30 metres long] will accomodate 200 people, only 60 of whom will be seated. Trams can be coupled together to increase capacity at peak times

    [Illustration based on the original proposal to run down Dawson Street and Westmoreland Street]

    Vehicular traffic continuing along Stephen's Green North will be forced to stop to allow LUAS to cross over from Stephen's Green into Dawson Street.

    Traffic turning right onto Nassau Street will be forced across the LUAS line at the end of Dawson Street. The LUAS will turn left onto Nassau Street heading towards College Green.

    Section of Nassau Street and College Green, from end of Dawson Street to gates of Trinity College, will be closed off to all traffic, with possibility that Nassau Street will also be closed to pedestrians.

    At O'Connell Bridge, LUAS will change over from running along the east side of the street to running down the middle of O'Connell Bridge and O'Connell Street either side of pedestrian island.

    Assertions made in the body of the article:
    ..the temporary disruption will be nothing compared to the permanent chaos which will follow when Luas is up and running. Buildings will be demolished, streets closed forever and traffic lanes in an already congested city snatched away in order to allow the Luas trams uninhibited progress through Dublin.
    ..The service will run at six minute intervals at peak times and at 15 minute gaps during the rest of the day. There will be one tram per journey, each of which can hold 200 passengers, 140 of these standing. It will have an hourly capacity of 2,400 passengers per direction per lineI]original Tallaght- Balally proposal[/I
    "The construction work can't but add to the traffic chaos in the city says transport consultant Rudi Monahan, one of the Unified Proposal Group, which has suggested the alternative plan. "It might be worth it if the system was going to work, but it is our contention that Luas is a guaranteed loss maker and will not be able to deal with the demand at peak times"
    Monahan claims, although this is denied by Luas, that pedestrians may have to be excluded from this stretch of the city I]Lower Grafton Street and Nassau Street[/Iin order to allow two tracks to be in use simultaneously
    "Construction of an underground system would have virtually no effect on the street environment above it", says Monahan. "Providing a below ground city centre transportation system would free up scarce street space. The provision of a superior, fast and reliable underground transportation system offers a realistic alternative to the car, an opportunity to pedestrianise streets and to carry out imaginative city enhancement schemes"

    So, the question is, was this alternative scheme to Luas really thought through properly, and crucially, why did Kevin Myers support this scheme but now vehemently opposes Metro North?

    As I always ask in transport matters, who would really have benefitted?
    Tagged:


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    I have piles of newscuttings from our 'so-called' intelligentsia - Garret FitzGerald, Vincent Browne etc campaigning against the Luas, indeed, some of the same individuals were against the DART too! I will post a few gems when I get a moment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,688 ✭✭✭✭ Zebra3


    I vaguely remember Fitzgerald being on something like Prime Time in the build up to the launch of the Luas in '04 and he was incredibly scathing in his criticism of it.

    I suppose it can be hard to see the big picture when you've a limo, guarda driver and use of bus lanes at your disposal 24/7. :rolleyes:


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 394 ✭✭ Propellerhead


    Zebra3 wrote: »
    I vaguely remember Fitzgerald being on something like Prime Time in the build up to the launch of the Luas in '04 and he was incredibly scathing in his criticism of it.

    I suppose it can be hard to see the big picture when you've a limo, guarda driver and use of bus lanes at your disposal 24/7. :rolleyes:

    Indeed. Garret isn't the only one, and our decision makers seem to be insulated from the effects of their decisions.

    Whose Republic?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,221 BrianD


    Zebra3 wrote: »
    I vaguely remember Fitzgerald being on something like Prime Time in the build up to the launch of the Luas in '04 and he was incredibly scathing in his criticism of it.

    I suppose it can be hard to see the big picture when you've a limo, guarda driver and use of bus lanes at your disposal 24/7. :rolleyes:

    As far as I recall he was critical of the red line route and not the project itself. He believed that the route should have been more direct.

    The Tribune article is funny not only in the language used (forced etc) but that it was so incredibly uninformed. The notion that a street i.e. Nassau St. would be closed to everything and everybody but trams is ridiculous. Obviously back in '96 the chrap flights to other European cities were beyond the budgets of Tribune hacks.

    Also I love the standing/seating emphasis reinforcing the old Irish and Irish print myth that there should be a seat for everyone on urban transport.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,183 ✭✭✭ sdanseo


    Fitzgerald is nothing more than a senile, eccentric twat at this stage. Old fogey set in his ways and afraid of change. Useless as a public figure tbh for that and becuase he was way too diplomatic.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    sdonn wrote: »
    Fitzgerald is nothing more than a senile, eccentric twat at this stage. Old fogey set in his ways and afraid of change. Useless as a public figure tbh for that and becuase he was way too diplomatic.

    He was that 20 years ago!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,157 Johnny Utah


    Should have gone underground. The Luas is just too slow and awkward to snake around our city centre streets.


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