adminwp April 5, 2006
harvardplan.jpg

It is difficult to comment critically on the recent visionary plans for the Albert Basin area without being dubbed a Luddite, or worse!

Yet perhaps enough time has passed (several weeks, anyway!) since the Harvard masters students returned home to the US, for us to look again at the plans they drew up. These were very detailed, and came with costings, though admittedly much of the latter rested on grandiose expectations of public and private funding from many sources! Anyway the overall vision is summarised in the drawing here reproduced.

It is our opinion that much the greater part of this ambitious scheme can never be fulfilled. Access is everything and the inherent problems here have hardly even been addressed.

Dublin Bridge is already at the centre of our gridlocked traffic problem. How much more so will it be – unexpanded – when several thousand MORE motorists attempt to access the new 17 storey Hotel planned for the old Lockingtons site? Where are the car-parking spaces to cater for such a huge influx of hotel guests – never mind the occupants of the ‘Town Housing’ on the old Station Platform site?

When a new access road is driven over the old Railway Bridge of the Clanrye at Kilmorey Street (AND, if I read these plans correctly, also at the River St junction AND close to the Quay St or Home Avenue junction!) will not that traffic, exiting at The Quays swing-bridge or Dublin Bridge magnify enormously the present gridlock?   Will ‘The Island’ be vehicular access one-way only, and which roads which way?  Will some northbound vehicle traffic attempt to avoid the Dublin Bridge gridlock by skipping over the swing-bridge and through The Quays?  What about the plans for southern by-pass traffic? 

Remember too that the recent helpful Rivers Authority improvements aided only the east bank riverside, and waterlogging will confront the proposed developers of those apartments on the old Lockkeeper’s Cottage site facing Kilmorey St on the west riverside!

If there is the demand for yet another huge hotel (Canal Court has recently doubled in size: as has the other McParland’s hotel on the border: there is one planned for Trevor Hill: and the Mourne Country is still there) would any entrepreneur choose to build such a skyscraper on a water-bound site whose foundations would require enormous reinforcement?

Those who, like myself, frequently walk ‘The Rampart’ for pleasure, are aware that a persistent foul smell emanating, one imagines from the new sewage treatment works at the junction of Kilmorey Street with Warrenpoint Road, undermines this area as a desirable residential location. Yet these plans see expensive waterside residential property slap-bang against the said offensive industrial complex!

Doubtless readers will point out these and other inherent problems over these plans. Or is it just that I am a Luddite, opposed to worthwhile development?

Why not open a Thread on Discussions Board on this theme? 

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