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The future for Dublin's infrastructure

  • 20-11-2011 2:09pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 636 ✭✭✭ Jayuu


    I want to start a thread to discuss this in a more general sense as opposed to any specific project.

    One of the things that I think was wrong about the last few years with regard to Dublin's infrastructure planning was that it seems there was no overall coherent concept for the city and no one agency promoting an overall plan. So at one stage we had Metro North, Metro West, various Luas lines, the Internconnector, Dart Undergound, Dart line spurs and various heavy rail extensions all being sold by various different agencies for their own agendas. It's easy to see how the public never really got hold of an overall plan for the city and in some cases completely misunderstood what was being planned. To be honest I read these forums and I still get confused sometimes with some of the different plans that were around.

    Now that most if not all of these plans have been put on hold and (apart from BXD) are unlikely to be built in the next five to ten years I wonder are we too late to go back to the drawing board or is that even a good idea? Are there better solutions out there? If the government came along tomorrow and put you in charge of one body with overall responsibility for Dublin transport with the years 2030 in mind would you proceed with what we have or would you take a different approach?

    I don't want this to be just another crayoning thread so I don't want people to say they would build an entire 20 line underground network because that's not really feasible but I am wondering which of any of the current plans we think should be kept or modified and what should be dropped and replaced in order to build an intergrated transport vision for Dublin.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,834 ✭✭✭ markpb


    Jayuu wrote: »
    Now that most if not all of these plans have been put on hold and (apart from BXD) are unlikely to be built in the next five to ten years I wonder are we too late to go back to the drawing board or is that even a good idea?

    I think a big problem in Ireland is precisely this - everyone wants to spend their time at the drawing board and no-one wants to pony up the cash to actually build anything.

    Personally I thought that the combination of the existing Luas lines, Metro North and Dart Interconnector would have given Dublin a pretty good rail infrastructure for almost all of the city.


  • Registered Users Posts: 951 robd


    markpb wrote: »
    Personally I thought that the combination of the existing Luas lines, Metro North and Dart Interconnector would have given Dublin a pretty good rail infrastructure for almost all of the city.

    Pretty much. The plans weren't actually too bad, the problem as OP correctly identified was the 2 different agencies tasked with delivering them.

    The Dart Underground/Interconnector (Interconnector was what it was originally called but they're the same thing) joined up 4 lines, so had to stick to gauge and standards that are currently did. You could tweak certain things, like improving track out of Heuston etc. but basic plan was sound. CIE/IR delivering it prob wasn't the best idea though.

    Metro North was us a Luas underground but suffered from branding. Lots of arguments as to whether Dublin is suited to Metro's etc. Too much focus on Airport by anti-metro brigade when it delivered a solid transport solution to Mater, Drumcondra, Glasnevin, DCU and Swords. Was possibly a bit too gold plated and some of it could be lightened and done cheaper. It didn't have to run underground for so long for example.

    Really, in the current climate of doing things as cheap as possible I think we're left with trying to build on what Luas we have. Build BXD, although I'd cut O'Connelll street and run down Malborough St. only. Then look at extensions of other lines. Lucan is planned, so that's one. Could possibly look at extending red line from Point to East Point Business Park then Clontarf then Artane and so on. Really RPA need to be looking at adding a few kms extra per year and build it up that way.

    However, I really think BXD won't happen in 2015. Europe is fubarred beyond believe. FG/Labour government looks set to take an extremely week and poor set of budget decisions in 2 weeks time, along with paying back bank bond holders and losses in banks still growing. The can is been kicked down the road and the s will hit the fan it 2-3 years time if even that long away.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,079 ✭✭✭ antoinolachtnai


    A big problem with the schemes is that they were both very big and undirected.

    The thing to do would be to find a way to combine the best aspects of these schemes, to serve the city centre and the airport with a single city centre tunnel, rather than two.

    There do seem to have been technology and other issues with the plans. The Dart Underground scheme wasn't designed to be grade separated, which means that the capacity of the tunnel would be curtailed. Metro North's plan involved drilling-and-blasting a tunnel directly under the Liffey.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,235 ✭✭✭ D.L.R.


    I think the future's a little brighter now that the FF tumor has been lanced.

    Their decentralisation policies were the bain of Dublin for decades, little removed from De Valera's "Celtic Utopia" claptrap. Did anyone see the dozens of rural luas lines FF had planned to criss cross the country? Bizarre.

    Is it any wonder the Germans forced a bailout on a state with these policies?

    As for an Underground system, FF blew their chance. The time to build was the luas era, but they predictably copped out and went for trams, and there was some guff about them being "upgradeable to metro". This seems to have been based on the understanding that money grew on trees.

    The existance of the lumbering CIE dinosaur didn't help matters, and it goes on not helping to this day.

    So what do we do now? Well, CIE could be gagged and bound for a start. And the RPA could slip away into the night and nobody would really notice either.

    Invite DeutscheBahn or RATP to lead Dublin's transport development. They've got the experience, organisation and understanding of urban networks that the Irish state clearly does not.


  • Registered Users Posts: 951 robd


    D.L.R. wrote: »
    I think the future's a little brighter now that the FF tumor has been lanced.

    I thought that till I started hearing the policies and election manifestos of the other two major parties. They're dithering etc. at the moment is astounding. You can't guarantee no headline income tax rises, no headline welfare cuts and no renegotiation of the Croke Park Agreement when times are this bad. God knows where we're going with this. They seem to be too fundamentally different as parties to make a coherent plan or decision. And I'm a staunch anybody but FF and more business than socialist in my outlook.
    D.L.R. wrote: »
    Invite DeutscheBahn or RATP to lead Dublin's transport development.

    You think these organizations aren't just as political. They just have more money and a proper manifesto.

    Actually respecting Dublin for what it is in terms of the income generating power house of the country which deserves investment to keep it so would be a good start. We shouldn't be subsidising this De Valera era "Celtic Utopia" that is rural Ireland. The future is cities and we know it. Cork could do with a bit of recognition too.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,164 ✭✭✭ cavedave


    One possibility that would not cost much is for red tape to be reduced. For example morning Ireland this morning had a segment on driverless cars. They said the bigger impediment to such cars was not technology but legal and insurance problems.
    So a huge upcoming policy question is: when will what big cities manage to coordinate to change road law to achieve these huge auto-auto economic gains? Thirty years from now we may look back and lament that big city politics was so broken that no big cities could manage it. Or perhaps history will celebrate how the first big city to do it dramatically increased its importance on the world scene
    The typical American spends an average of roughly 100 hours a year in traffic; imagine using that time in better ways — by working or just having fun. The irksome burden of commuting might be lessened considerably. Furthermore, computer-driven cars could allow for tighter packing of vehicles on the road, which would speed traffic times and allow a given road or city to handle more cars

    If we cannot afford to build things maybe we can afford to legislate for the world of 2030 and that would do a lot of good?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,468 ✭✭✭ budhabob


    http://examiner.ie/ireland/metro-north-doomed-after-report-favours-dart-project-174535.html

    Read this earlier and thought this thread was the right place for it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    budhabob wrote: »
    http://examiner.ie/ireland/metro-north-doomed-after-report-favours-dart-project-174535.html

    Read this earlier and thought this thread was the right place for it.

    Not surprising really. The last few Governments were never serious about building any of it anyway. Chucking a few hundred million at them in Celtic Tiger days was akin to a multi-millionaire donating a 100,000 towards the cost of building a homeless shelter. It made them feel better and appear to be doing something about it. Realistically there was no concerted formulation of a dedicated agency containing a clear view of requirements and a structured plan.

    It has always been my belief that

    1. DU was the more important project.

    and

    2. Even if the money was still flowing, the Government would still be dithering and fudging. There political mindset just doesn't get public transport beyond a bus and a road.


  • Registered Users Posts: 279 ✭✭ coolperson05


    It would be great if they could get the DART underground designed in such a way as to serves swords and the airport, at least getting some of the benefits of Metro North, while only requiring one project....


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,079 ✭✭✭ antoinolachtnai


    Can be done. Get the cross-city tunnel to connect with the Phoenix Park Tunnel, then go north from Glasnevin towards Griffith Avenue.

    DART Underground's design at the East Wall/Docklands end is not really suitable for high frequency services.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,032 DWCommuter


    Can be done. Get the cross-city tunnel to connect with the Phoenix Park Tunnel, then go north from Glasnevin towards Griffith Avenue.

    DART Underground's design at the East Wall/Docklands end is not really suitable for high frequency services.


    Not that easy, but a step in the right direction. (If different factors were in play.) Ultimately the problem will always come back to the simple issue we have. The RPA was created as an anti union/CIE entity, because successive Governments are afraid of actually dealing with CIE.


  • Registered Users Posts: 852 blackdog2


    Jayuu wrote: »
    I want to start a thread to discuss this in a more general sense as opposed to any specific project.

    One of the things that I think was wrong about the last few years with regard to Dublin's infrastructure planning was that it seems there was no overall coherent concept for the city and no one agency promoting an overall plan. So at one stage we had Metro North, Metro West, various Luas lines, the Internconnector, Dart Undergound, Dart line spurs and various heavy rail extensions all being sold by various different agencies for their own agendas. It's easy to see how the public never really got hold of an overall plan for the city and in some cases completely misunderstood what was being planned.

    No, I think the public was quite aware that none of these plans would come to fruition, at least not within any particularly short time-scale. There was no plan, well, because there was no plan. Not once did building work get under way, all we got was lots of humming and hawing and committee meetings about which route was best, and promises about how we would all be served.

    The building of the LUAS set the tone for Dublin public transport, and I think the public understood completely what any further building would entail. Such a balls was made of light rail, imagine what 'heavy' rail would do to us...


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