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DUBLIN: Grafton Street Repaving and Environs

56692 Views 267 Replies 54 Participants Last post by  autretemps
Grafton St repaving in pink and grey to cost €2.5m

OLIVIA KELLY

DUBLIN’S PRINCIPAL shopping street, Grafton Street, is to be repaved in grey and pink granite by Dublin City Council at a cost of approximately €2.5 million.

The work, which will see the surface of the entire street dug up and the existing red-brick paving removed, is expected to take about a year to complete. It is due to get under way next January.

The council says the Eurobrick paving, which was laid on the pedestrianised street in the mid- 1980s, has deteriorated badly to the point where it requires repair on an almost daily basis.

“The replacement of its existing paving material is an imperative for the street and the city,” councillors were told last night.

The work will involve the removal of the existing pavement for the length of the street from the junction of Nassau Street and Suffolk Street, just in front of the Molly Malone Statue, to St Stephen’s Green North. The paving will be stripped back to the building line at each side of the street. All “street furniture” such as bins, bollards and poles will be removed and replaced.

The new paving should be “calm and understated in nature” the council says. The background colour will be a mid-grey with a “way-finding path” of dark grey stone off the central roadway on one side to provide an obstruction-free route along the street.

Street junctions will be marked along the street with a light pink granite square set into a darker pink apron. Entrances to small side streets are marked with pink granite threshold paving and the shopfronts will be edged with a margin of pink granite setts.

Councillors last night approved the initiation of the plans but raised concerns that the works would have a serious impact on the use of the street.

The work will be undertaken on a phased basis to minimise disruption for businesses, the council says. The new paving and street furniture will also provide protection to existing private under-street cellars from the weight of delivery vehicles and will allow for street maintenance by mechanised street-cleaning vehicles.

The work is to be the first in a series of improvements for the area which the council has dubbed the Grafton Street quarter.

The council plans to spend a further €9.5 million by the end of 2014 on improvements to other streets surrounding Grafton Street. Plans for the repaving come more than five years after the council designated Grafton Street as an architectural conservation area.

The designation serves to protect the appearance of the street by specifying shopfront design and the material used in the maintenance of old buildings and in new developments.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0306/1224312850751.html
That article from March.

Pity they are getting rid of the charming red brick even if it is in disrepair at this stage. Any renders for the new paving?
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I like the red paving that is there now.
While the paving that is there now is nice, it's awfully worn and damaged in places. I think that grey and pink (and flat!) will actually improve the area, as long as the street furniture is sorted out at the same time!
Don't we have enought grey in Ireland as it is? I'd much prefer if they used lighter colours. Now if only they'd clean up the tacky signage on many of the shopfronts and try to bring the street back to it's former glory.
Here's the plan, courtesy of the DCBA. Looks elegant enough, though I would have preferred something a bit more red. It will be nice to be able to walk without fear of breaking my neck though :cheers:
I think granite flagstones would be great. Similar to those found on merrion square etc...

Trees lining the middle would also be nice and add more life
I think granite flagstones would be great. Similar to those found on merrion square etc...

Trees lining the middle would also be nice and add more life
Indeed they would be but those are quite uneven in places by their very nature. I have a feeling that DCCs Health and Safety dept will decree that we get cheap Chinese "paving slab" granite.
Personally I think Grafton Street looks nice the way it is. I think there are many more streets in Ireland, like O' Connell Street in Limerick that need more attention that Grafton Street. Also €2.5 million is too much. I mean I bet if the government stopped spending money so silly they could put a tram system into Cork.
GrahamPhelan said:
Personally I think Grafton Street looks nice the way it is. I think there are many more streets in Ireland, like O' Connell Street in Limerick that need more attention that Grafton Street. Also €2.5 million is too much. I mean I bet if the government stopped spending money so silly they could put a tram system into Cork.
Since when do the Government fund paving upgrades? The work is being carried out by Dublin City Council and financed through the rates that business's in the area pay.
Didn't businesses in the city centre recently set up a separate initiative of their own by forming a kind of umbrella group to put funds towards the street scapes aswell? I can't recall exactly what it is but I do recall being impressed when I read it. That was only a few months ago if I recall.

I will try and dig something up! (pardon the pun)
odlum833 said:
Didn't businesses in the city centre recently set up a separate initiative of their own by forming a kind of umbrella group to put funds towards the street scapes aswell? I can't recall exactly what it is but I do recall being impressed when I read it. That was only a few months ago if I recall.

I will try and dig something up! (pardon the pun)
Think you are referring to Dublin City BID (Business Improvement District)....this is involved in litter control, graffiti removal etc. Aramark are the current contractor appointed.
Personally I think Grafton Street looks nice the way it is. I think there are many more streets in Ireland, like O' Connell Street in Limerick that need more attention that Grafton Street. Also €2.5 million is too much. I mean I bet if the government stopped spending money so silly they could put a tram system into Cork.
Not even close. Grafton St has the highest rents of any street in the country (used be in the whole world) and the tatty appearance of the paving is in urgent need of remedy. And why on earth would you build a tram system in Cork? Why does it need one?
Council seeks to enhance a stroll down Grafton St

JOE HUMPHREYS


Thu, Dec 27, 2012


Grafton Street photographed in 1976, still open to buses and cars.

Most businesses are keen to see greater pedestrianisation around Grafton Street

Thirty years after it was pedestrianised, Dublin’s Grafton Street is to be repaved with granite in early 2013, bringing to an end an era of sometimes wonky under-shoe brickwork. Could it mark a fresh drive towards pedestrianisation in the city?

Many planners and stakeholders believe so, with a number of walker-friendly initiatives under way. “The whole thrust now is on walkable cities – they attract more investment and more people,” says Labour councillor Andrew Montague.

Separate to the €2.5 million repaving of Grafton Street, Dublin City Council plans to spend €9.5 million for improvement works on surrounding streets by the end of 2014. On-street parking is being incrementally removed and new walking and cycling spaces are being created, notably on Clarendon Street.

A difference now to 30 years ago is the enthusiasm of businesses, including publicans on South William Street, who have been pushing over the past year for its full pedestrianisation.

That particular idea isn’t universally loved, however. “We shouldn’t allow one part of society ride roughshod over others,” says David Brennan, chief operating officer of Dublin City Business Association (DCBA).

While the organisation backs plans to make the area more pedestrian-friendly, some of its members feel South William Street is already too dominated by the pub trade, which has grabbed much of the pavement for outdoor drinking.

Last month, a DCBA-commissioned report on the “Grafton Street quarter” made a number of recommendations, including full pedestrianisation of Harry Street and Chatham Lane. It approvingly cited the models of London’s Covent Garden and Copenhagen in Denmark, where has been a shift over 30 years away from car transport.

While the association welcomed the report, Brennan says “we would not see a situation where entire sections of D2 are pedestrianised”. There is a need “to allow customers who wish to bring their cars into town continue to do so”.

Of the planned resurfacing, due to start next month, he emphasises the need to “maintain pedestrian flow” during works, conscious of the fact that Ireland begins hosting the EU presidency next month.

Last June, Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton wrote to the council proposing the work be postponed to “the latter half of 2013” due to such concerns.

The council said the works would start in early 2013 but on a phased basis and “ structured in a way which will minimises disruption to businesses, shoppers and the general public”.

The grey and pink granite – which replaces Eurobrick paving, dating from the mid-1980s – will be laid on a phased basis by Dublin City Council over a period of about a year.

Montague, who promoted the 30 km/h speed limit in the city centre, a move that drew initial criticism from motorists, said the council was examining number of further pedestrianisation proposals. These included lowering volumes of traffic on the quays by creating wider pavements, similar to those on O’Connell Street.

“If you look at other cities, there is always a focus on the river and waterfronts; that is something we have neglected. We have to ask the question: is it more important to having a semi-motorway coming through there or an attractive city centre?”

Another plan, long-mooted, is a diversion of traffic from College Green, already reduced in volume by a bus gate at Pearse Street. As councillor Mary Fitzpatrick (FF) notes, “the built environment”, with Trinity College and the Bank of Ireland building, “does lend itself to a big public plaza”.

It is a long way from 1982, when cars could still be driven down the city’s premier shopping street. On December 1st that year, Dublin Corporation finally declared the “war” between pedestrians and vehicles to be over, although cross-traffic and extensive goods access to Grafton Street was then still allowed.

The effect of pedestrianisation in Dublin has been highlighted by emergence of home video footage in recent years showing a radically different streetscape in the 1970s. Two such videos have attracted more than 500,000 viewers online in the past year, one of them featuring the sight of film-maker Andrew Manson parking his car temporarily on a single yellow line outside McDonald’s on Grafton Street.

“We left the camera running and went in to get a burger,” says Manson, who now runs an arts centre in Co Wicklow.

The footage, which he dates around March 1979 (and not 1982, as attributed when it was posted online), was recorded as a college project. He wanted to capture some images at dusk so he took an evening drive with his 1956 Morris Oxford from Dún Laoghaire to Dublin and back, filming with a Super 8 Nizo Braun, taking one frame every 6½ seconds.

The footage was rediscovered 18 months ago when his son Rob, himself a filmmaker, had it digitised. Andrew Manson gleefully recalls his college tutor dismissing the film as a waste of film roll; now it “has been downloaded in all the countries of the world bar about six”.

He recalls Dublin being a more “intimate” place 30 years ago. On another occasion, he remembers driving into the city to photograph “the bright lights of the city, which was basically the No 6 [Players cigarette brand] sign at the top end of Grafton Street,” he laughs.

As for the future, Mary Fitzpatrick says there has been a “continuous expansion of traffic calming and vehicle removing in the city centre and that is an objective for the inner city core.

“Generally, where it is pedestrianised, it is conducive to more shopping, more eating in restaurants and more people using the city.”

The 30-year-old Driving through Dublin film can be viewed at: vimeo.com/27435412

© 2012 The Irish Times
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Old and worn it may be but I have a soft spot for the red brick paving on Grafton street and may miss it when it's gone depending on what the new brick looks like.
Would someone post some pictures from the repaving on Grafton St. please?

Will appreciate this :)
Would someone post some pictures from the repaving on Grafton St. please?

Will appreciate this :)
There's nothing to see yet :bash:
Yeah, they're currently doing preliminary waterworks before starting the repaving. Should see some work start by the beginning of Summer.
Yeah, they're currently doing preliminary waterworks before starting the repaving. Should see some work start by the beginning of Summer.
All right, thanks lads, I haven`t been over there for so long :eek:hno:
That's a bit of a shame, if they'll start it in summer, hopefully that won't take too long for them, afterall summer is the high season for tourists...
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