Clogging up Dublin traffic

Last month I wrote a post on the new traffic restrictions in College Green in Dublin’s city centre. I took the view that closing College Green to traffic seemed to me to have very little point – but a number of readers disagreed with me. I now see that traders have been complaining to Dublin City Council in the matter, and that there may be a review of the scheme. You can read more about this here.

I confess that I am still wholly sceptical about the whole measure. If the purpose (as has been suggested) was to free up Dame Street for buses, then that could have been achieved by closing Dame Street rather than College Green, which would have caused fewer traffic problems elsewhere. Or more logical still might be to close off the entire city centre to private traffic and to make proper park and ride services available. But what has actually been done seems to serve no particular purpose.

And my apologies to anyone from outside Ireland reading this – let me assure you that traffic problems are a de rigueur topic of conversation at any Dublin dinner table. Indeed, maybe that is what the Council have wanted to achieve with this measure in the first place, now that I think of it.

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10 Comments on “Clogging up Dublin traffic”

  1. Vincent Says:

    First, I must state that I have no oar in this water in any way. However I do know Dublin and consider that it is designed traffic-wise by an idiot. And this situation pertained well before this current attempt. In essence there are two cities with very tenuous treads joining them together. In this it is very like London, except that in London they at least tried to make some attempt to ease the situation by driving arterial routs through from east to west and north to south in the first place. Its size make it impossible to work in one city and live in another unless that is you walk to work, get public transport or live so near the river that you may as well walk.
    In Dublin, we have the foolish situation where people in cars are criss-crossing the Liffey with thoughtless abandon.
    Now to the poor traders, I COULD NOT CARE LESS, and to some extent hold that if that shower are not squealing then it is not working. Remember the LUAS, when that went through it seemed that traders were being held down and flesh and blood were being flayed on a daily basis.
    Onward, my solution, from the junction of Leeson St and Mespil Rd in the south to the junction of Dorset St and the North Circular via Leeson Grafton Westmorland O’Connell Fredrick and Dorset Streets, all closed to traffic other than Buses from 7am to 7pm. Traffic may pass across but not on it. Further close the road between Wolf Tone Quay and Eden Quay.
    Now you might say that my solution is bordering on the frightening, and it may well be so. Others may say it is cruel and unusual. But what it will do is force people to think. Which is exactly what they are not doing at the moment. Some are getting in to cars in Bray and working in DCU, while some between Swords and UCD, yet others working at Government Buildings are living in an arc between Cavan and Wexford. We have the truly insane situation where people are driving their girls to school in Foxrock or Goatstown from Meath, ditto for the sons. Nor are your COI lot innocent in all this rubbish. Also, at the moment it is designed that travel from Killiney to DCU is eased with traffic lights. So, in my remedy it is pain all the way. If you will not get out of your cars, then I would make it so painful that being in them would be am agony. Carrot, my eye.

  2. Aoife Citizen Says:

    It allows me 30 extra minutes of work a day: why is this pointless?

    Cities are for people to work and live in, as well as shop.


    • Well Aoife, of course I agree – but I guess that includes retail workers? My gripe with this particular measure is that it has created more congestion everywhere except Dame Street and the first 20 yards of Nassau Street. If I remember your earlier contribution on this point, you wanted Dame Street to be less congested. That would be best achieved by closing Dame Street itself, rather than College Green.


  3. Not at all, Aoife – I’m a frequent bus user!

  4. Cian Ginty Says:

    I’m unsure why the is talk of Dame Street only, this was not put in place just for Dame Street. College Green was the main pinch point.

    And there are quite a number of buses which use Nassau Street in both directions. College Green, again, was the main pinch point for these.

    Sorry to be flipent, but so what if traffic is pushed elsewhere? The city is already full of cars, if you can’t handle the traffic take the bus, tram, train, or cycle. Many motorists are in their cars for no good reason, even sometimes when walking from a to be can be done (I can dig up examples of people saying they do this if you want). The idea is to move these people away from cars so those who really have a reason to use their own motored transport can.

    And if buses are being held up elsewhere, then more or better bus lanes need to be looked at, and traffic lights reacting to buses is already being looked at.


    • Sorry, Cian, that doesn’t do it. I would be quite in favour of closing the city centre to all private care traffic, assuming that good and plentiful public transport were laid on. But just closing little stretches here and there is mad, as it displaces the traffic and creates a much bigger problem somewhere else.

      • Cian Says:

        Just closing “little stretches here and there” is exactly what has happened in other cities — and is still happening in places like Copenhagen, and is starting to happen in unexpected places like New York. So, I’m unsure what is so mad about the idea.

        I would say idea of closing off the whole city centre and, for example, say, putting in all new city tram lines as has been done in some French cities in recent years is a nice idea. But I don’t think there is currently the political vision, will and power to do something that large scale all at once in Dublin.

        The main opposition to the bus gate are city traders groups which are the same kind of people who objected to the pedestrianisation of Grafton Street. They even managed to get the pedestrianisation of the street put off for years, but more than somewhat proven since. More recently, to bolster their argument about how important cars are to their business they have been misleading the media about public transport usage — they keep quoting national rather then Dublin usage, which is crazy.

        It’s about giving more priority to public transport users (and cyclists). There was grid lock or near gridlock conditions before the bus gate, of course some of this is going to be displaced and, even, make private car traffic worse else where. This is to be expected.

        But the measure is still successful. Because it’s aim is public transport priority and bus times have improved.

        You may or may not know that the bus gate was originally only to come in with construction of Metro North (indeed it is to be expanded to 24 hours once/if metro construction is started). The bus gate was seen as such a good idea, in terms of public transport priority and because most buses that cross the city do so in this small area, that it was brought forward by the city council.

        And it’s worth noting that this isn’t a stand alone measure — bus priority at traffic signals is due next year, and the opening of the Samuel Beckett Bridge later this year or early next will allow more traffic to move cross the city without using the College Green area (you could easily say this should have been opened first, and I may agree).

  5. Perry Share Says:

    Ferdinand – you want to start a transport enquiry – why not look into the fate of integrated ticketing for Dublin public transport services, perhaps one of our most embarrassing failures as a so called technologically advanced society?


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