Dublin City asked us to help with some opinions about a Transport Study that suggests to dramatically change the City Centre traffic flow. The goal is to keep cars far away from the City Centre and to make the City more pedestrian friendly. To achieve that, parts of the Liffey Quays will be closed for traffic it the suggestions in the Study will be put in reality. In addition, big changes will happen to College Green, Westmoreland Street and D’Olier Street. I would like to say that they will pedestrianised, but that would be a lie because there are some odd things happening.

I drive a car and therefore have concerns when another one of the few Liffey crossings will be closed and the plan is to effectively close O’Connell Bridge, BUT I also cycle and I walk (and I use an Electric Unicycle…the coolest vehicle ever :-) ). So because of that, I am relatively open to positive changes. But if you read the study in detail you will see that we are not really told the full story.

Most of us think that pedestrianisation is good, but how would you feel if in peak hours Taxi drivers or buses are still allowed to drive through a pedestrianised area. Doesn’t make sense, right? The idea of pedestrianising an area is that walking people will NOT have to worry about non walking parties. That’s the reason why we don’t even allow a very slow bicycle to cycle through Grafton Street, But Dublin City doesn’t want to give you that. Noo, they say that Taxis and buses still need to drive through College Green. That doesn’t sound cool.And would it not makes sense then to at least let bicycles also use the area where buses and taxis are still allowed to endanger pedestrians?

I think it should be an ALL or nothing! I am in favour of pedestrianisation but only if that keeps all non-walking “traffic” out.

Dublin City then gave us an opportunity to submit our opinion about this study, well at least that’s what the claimed, but if you did reply then there was not a single question about the actual plans of closing parts of the quays, or only partially pedestrianising College Green instead the consultation questionnaire was rigged by asking questions that most would answer in a way Dublin City wants it.

Here are a few of the questions:

  • Do you think that reducing ‘through traffic’ will improve the amenity value of Dublin’s city centre?
  • Do you support the principle of giving commuters more transport choices when they decide to come to Dublin City Centre?
  • Are you in favour of high quality pedestrian facilities in the city centre?
  • Are you in favour of high quality cycle facilities in the city centre?

There were 10 questions all together. Not one really explained or asked about any details. There was no question that said “Do you think that closing the South Quays and the North Quays for traffic is the appropriate way to reduce traffic in the City Centre?” Instead only wishy washy questions like the four listed above were asked. Would anybody say NO to them? I doubt it.

Dublin City you rigged the questionnaire to get the answers that you wanted to get! Very disappointing!