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What Dublin City could have looked like

  • 05-06-2017 6:30pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭


    What Dublin might have looked like

    On RTÉ One a while back (Thursday 30th March), Primetime did a report on the traffic restrictions that are going to be imposed in Dublin around the Eden Quay area by the bicycle-loving, leftie majority of Dublin Corporation. During the piece, Philip Boucher Hayes (I think) gave a brief history of traffic congestion and ideas to solve it over the last fifty years and referred to a firm of Architects called Travers Morgan Partnership. This firm was commissioned by Dublin Corporation back around 1971 to come up with a congestion busting traffic plan for Dublin City.

    What they came up with was pretty amazing and it was only lack of money that caused the plan to be shelved. They proposed an inner Motorway ring around Dublin, incorporating flyovers, raised sections and various on/off ramps.

    See Attachment 1

    The plan also incorporated a high level crossing of the Liffey on the western section of the ring in the area where Christcurch and St Patricks Cathedral stand.
    This crossing was to be 24mts wide and raised 8mts above quay level. To each side would be two-lane slip roads, with quay-level bridges. The route would have been carried past the Cathedral in a cutting with Kevin Street as an overpass and associated slip roads in front of the medieval cathedral. The route was to continue westwards from Kevin Street through the Coombe area and into Cork Street. A strong adherence to elements of this plan by Dublin Corporation meant the dereliction of Cork Street from the 1970s onwards. Kevin Street and Cuffe Street were to be turned into dual carriageways as part of the plan.

    See Attachment 2 and 3

    This company also produced a traffic plan for Belfast in 1968. Whether it was adopted or not, I'm unsure. They were also the design team behind most of the British motorway system during that decade and were very strong proponents of Urban motorways
    In his Facebook page regarding the 2016 plan for the Eastern Bypass motorway through Booterstown, Councilor Ossian Smyth, Green Party (Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown) who is totally opposed to the project btw, mentions the Traffic plan of 1973 and says “ it would have left Dublin looking like Glasgow”. No bad thing in my opinion. Glasgow doesn't suffer much congestion due to the free flow urban motorways that cross it. And, by the way, Councilor Smyth would prefer to see cycle ways, bus routes and greenways instead of the Eastern bypass.

    So , Dublin could have been a very different looking city had this plan gone ahead and what has been built since would have further enhanced it
    Has anyone out there got anything more on what was, a very radical plan. I'd be interested to hear more about it.

    I’m not sure if this subject has been covered already, if it has - apologies


Comments

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 14,659 Mod ✭✭✭✭AndyBoBandy


    Didn't they do this in loads of American cities (specifically Boston) and it destroyed communities, splitting them
    In half, while making waste of the land immediately below the motorways,

    Something they reversed years later with the 'Big Dig' at a cost of billions.

    Also, Glasgow looks horrible with its raised motorways


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,524 ✭✭✭atilladehun


    This looks awful. I cross the city twice a day during rush hour in a car. Dublin isn't that congested imo. This would have been another mid 20th century eyesore in the city.


  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭betistuc


    Well I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder!


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,235 ✭✭✭lucernarian


    And apparently bicycle-loving equals "leftie brigade" :rolleyes:

    Anyone who likes urban motorways should see the state of Coventry (albeit not a motorway) or the surroundings of the A38(M) in Birmingham, or indeed the M6 nearby. At least some of the A38 is in a tunnel, which is a small mercy for the city centre.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,142 ✭✭✭Middle Man


    Likewise, when the ugliness of piles of bicycles clogging our public spaces become apparent (like Copenhagen - compare this to Dublin today where the rot is only starting to set in), when pedestrians end up taking their life in their hands to walk the footpaths, ever grottier cycle infrastructure ruin our public streets and greenery, the powers the be will realise that the only solution to Dublin's traffic problems is rail - DART Inter-connector, Luas, Metro etc.

    Let's keep Dublin beautiful - the city has been saved from urban motorways - now we must save her from the two wheel menace. Street trams look far nicer IMO.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭betistuc


    This looks awful. I cross the city twice a day during rush hour in a car. Dublin isn't that congested imo. This would have been another mid 20th century eyesore in the city.


    www.irishtimes.com/news/.../dublin-is-world-s-10th-most-congested-city-1.1818738

    Not sure what planet you're on


  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭betistuc




  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭betistuc


    Sorry , for some reason that Irish Times article won't open. It was basically saying that according to sat nav makers Tom Tom, Dublin is the 10th most congested city in the world and the 6th in Europe


  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,398 Mod ✭✭✭✭Peregrine


    betistuc wrote: »
    What they came up with was pretty amazing

    Yeah but not in a good way. Reminds me of the Soviet highways that cut through Bratislava.


  • Registered Users Posts: 28,403 ✭✭✭✭vicwatson


    We must be one of the most untunnelled countries in the world, cut and cover is where it's at, albeit expensive short term


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  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭betistuc


    Source - Irish Times

    Dublin is the 10th most congested city in the world, and the sixth most congested in Europe, according to a report from Sat Nav maker TomTom.

    The TomTom fourth annual global traffic index released today claims ‘shortcuts’ to avoid congestion generally add about 50 percent to travel time, and commuters spend, on average, eight working days a year stuck in traffic.

    The global index found Dublin was in the top 10 most congested cities alongside Mexico City, Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro.

    It found Dublin is the sixth most congested city in Europe with a congestion of 35 per cent – meaning, on average, travel times in the city were 35 per cent longer than they would be in free-flowing, uncongested, conditions.

    The situation was even worse at rush hours. In the morning rush-hour, travel times were 74 percent longer than free-flow traffic, while, in the evening, travel times were nearly as bad at 71 percent.

    The figures mean drivers face a delay of 43 minutes for every hour they drive in peak periods and drivers with just a 30-minute commute waste 96 hours a year stuck in traffic jams.

    The data reported by TomTom units installed in vehicles in the city showed the most congested day in Dublin in 2013 was Friday, October 18th.

    The worst days of the week for traffic jams are Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings.

    World’s top 10 most congested cities 1 – Moscow: with a congestion ranking of 74% 2 – Istanbul: 62% 3 – Rio de Janeiro: 55% 4 – Mexico City: 54% 5 – S?o Paulo: 46% 6 – Palermo: 39% 7 – Warsaw: 39% 8 – Rome: 37% 9 – Los Angeles: 36% 10 – Dublin: 35%
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  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,398 Mod ✭✭✭✭Peregrine


    betistuc wrote: »
    It was basically saying that according to sat nav makers Tom Tom, Dublin is the 10th most congested city in the world and the 6th in Europe

    Absolutely.

    So, with space in our cities running out and an ever-increasing population, building more roads for motorists and adding more cars — the least efficient user of space on the road — isn't going to help. We need to take roadspace away from private motorists and taxis and give that space to more efficient users of the road such as busses, cyclists and trams and invest in trains, busses, trams, underground and cycling.


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,229 ✭✭✭LeinsterDub


    Middle Man wrote: »
    Likewise, when the ugliness of piles of bicycles clogging our public spaces become apparent (like Copenhagen - compare this to Dublin today where the rot is only starting to set in), when pedestrians end up taking their life in their hands to walk the footpaths, ever grottier cycle infrastructure ruin our public streets and greenery, the powers the be will realise that the only solution to Dublin's traffic problems is rail - DART Inter-connector, Luas, Metro etc.

    Let's keep Dublin beautiful - the city has been saved from urban motorways - now we must save her from the two wheel menace. Street trams look far nicer IMO.

    This is a bizarre rant. If you look at my history you'll see I'm as big as supporter of the above rail projects as anyone but even if all the above proposals are built buses and bikes will still carry huge numbers of people. If Dublin ever got to the stage like Copenhagen it could be solved for a fraction of the cost of any of the above.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,449 ✭✭✭John_Rambo


    betistuc wrote: »

    So , Dublin could have been a very different looking city had this plan gone ahead and what has been built since would have further enhanced it
    Has anyone out there got anything more on what was, a very radical plan. I'd be interested to hear more about it.

    I’m not sure if this subject has been covered already, if it has - apologies

    Jaysus, what a plan! Outdated (obviously), harebrained, rash and foolish. Thank fook there wasn't the money there to do it. Imagine the consequences, trying to conduct business, trying to set up business with +600 employees in the city centre!! Disaster. Thanks for posting betistuc, just shows how much worse things could have been pouring more and single driver cars in to the city.


  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,398 Mod ✭✭✭✭Peregrine


    Yes, it does highlight how close we came to getting it all completely wrong in the past.

    I mean, we got it wrong a good bit and are still doing things wrong but at least we didn't ravage and divide our cities to build those short-sighted monstrosities through it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,787 ✭✭✭munchkin_utd


    the OP mentioned that there was a similar plan for Belfast and asked what became of that.

    Indeed, there was an urban motorway planned for Belfast and in the end the Westlink to join the M1 coming from the west and M2 heading to the north was built in the early 80s.
    Relatively recently the M3 which links the end of the westlink/ M2 across the lagan to the north Down coast was added.

    The rest, a motorway to the east of the city centre through the university area was abandoned and will never happen .

    Wesley Johnson has a great website on northern ireland roads including these plans here:
    http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/roads/belfasturbanmotorway.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 130 ✭✭betistuc


    Thanks for that , Munchkin . I have visited Wesley's site before but never noticed this page . It's very well put together.
    No mention whether the architects involved were the same ones who designed the Dublin scheme Just goes to showthat joined up
    thinking was in short supply back then as well when they included two major roundabouts on the Westlink. It ended up costing a
    fortune to replace them with underpasses

    Anyway, back to the subject of the Dublin urban motorway scheme .WHAT IF the money had been found and the thing was built.
    Would we be any worse off than we are. Would the M50 have been neccessary? The ports and airport would all have been linked
    up to this scheme, I would imagine.
    I merely speculate but the face of Dublin could have been vastly different all for the want of a few pounds. Some would have
    embraced the idea, others not. We'll never know!


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 4,890 Mod ✭✭✭✭spacetweek


    "What if" indeed.

    You don't need to guess, sadly many cities around the world actually built similar things. They are all kips bar none, as a visit to Glasgow will show. Belfast only built half its motorway box and still suffers from dereliction and a feeling of alienation for the residents due to the way that roads and traffic push people away.

    People don't like living in cities where cars and roads are given priority. They like living in cities where there is plenty of space to walk and cycle or just sit and take it in. This isn't left wing it's just human.

    Motorway boxes were a harebrained, destructive 20th idea that belong in the past.


  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 12,379 Mod ✭✭✭✭JupiterKid


    I remember seeing these road plans for Dublin when I was a student in college in the mid 1990s. I was shocked at the amount of sheer destruction that was planned.

    In any case there was just no money to implement these plans. Still, plans to create an "inner tangent route" around the city centre caused huge destruction in the Parnell St, North King St and Clanbrassil St areas.

    Even by 1975 many in planning and architectural circles were questioning the "redevelopment" of inner cities with urban motorways and tower blocks. The backlash against motorising the city would grow and grow.

    Public transport suits cities. Cities are for people, not cars.


  • Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 14,303 Mod ✭✭✭✭marno21


    I would say the closest development to an urban motorway in Ireland is the N27/South City Link Road in Cork. In fairness it was quite an intelligent use of a disused railway line (people may argue that the line would be partially viable today but the alignment out towards Ballinhassig was destroyed) and is a great way of getting people in and out of Cork city.

    The motorway plans above would've been seriously disruptive for Dublin and thankfully they weren't built. It remains to be seen if the M50 C ring gets completed with the Eastern bypass, which would be beneficial for Dublin as it doesn't really involved destruction (depending on the routing from the Port to Booterstown).

    Another aspect, that was explored in the BBC programme about the M6 a few years back, is the level of maintenance the elevated urban motorways (particularly the Birmingham box) require now. These structures will require complete replacement going forward, and it's a major headache as to how this will be done without causing disruption and also the noise aspect of the construction phase.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,404 ✭✭✭dogmatix


    Thank god this never happened. I remember being in Liverpool in 1990 for a Job interview and being very unimpressed at the way they had run these dual carrigeways right through the city centre. I had just finished reading Frank McDonalds "the Destruction of Dublin" at the time and it described how a lot of the urban blight around St Patricks and Christchurch was a result of properties beign bought up by the corpo and left to rot in anticipation of the motorway plan. Dublin could have ended up looking like Liverpool central only being Ireland it would have looked even worse.


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