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The vision of the Irish Georgian Society is to conserve, protect and foster a keen interest and a respect for Ireland’s architectural heritage and decorative arts. These aims are achieved through its scholarly and conservation education programmes, through its support of conservation projects and planning issues, and vitally, through its members and their activities.

Submission on Limerick City and County Councils preferred option for O'Connell Street - Limerick Urban Centre Revitalisation

31.07.2017

Posted by IGS

FAO. Mr. David Healy,

Limerick City & County Council,

Merchants Quay,

Limerick

LUCROC@arup.co

 

26.06.2017

 

Re: Submission on Limerick City and County Councils preferred option for O'Connell Street - Limerick Urban Centre Revitalisation, as tabled at public consultation June 2017.


Dear Mr. Healy,

The Limerick Chapter of the Irish Georgian Society wish to make the following comments following the public consultation on Limerick City and County Councils preferred option for O'Connell Street - Limerick Urban Centre Revitalisation.

O’Connell Street in Limerick is one of the great Georgian Streets of Europe. However it’s current status as a through traffic thoroughfare in the city centre has made it an unpleasant and unsafe place for pedestrian users. Heavy vehicular traffic is also putting undue pressure on the significant historic fabric of street both above and below ground. While we acknowledge that efforts have been made to reduce traffic and prioritise the pedestrian in the current option tabled by Limerick City and County Council, we submit that your proposals do not go far enough.

In order for O’Connell Street and the surrounding streets of Newtown Pery to be transformed into a place where people would like to live, visit, shop and work, a more radical approach is required with regards the traffic and pedestrian management of the city centre. Therefore we are calling on Limerick City and County Council to review the proposal, taking into account our comments as follows:

  • Prepare a Traffic and Pedestrian Management Plan for the city centre, which would prioritise the movement of pedestrians and cyclists over cars and buses.
  • Remove through traffic from O’Connell Street, allowing only local access for cars, timed deliveries, emergency vehicles etc.
  • Reconsider the use of one way traffic systems, which are proven to promote faster speeds. The use of two lanes of one way traffic has long proven to be unsuccessful on O’Connell Street, where traffic dominates the street making is unsafe for use by pedestrians.
  • It is imperative that best conservation practice is used in order to protect the historic fabric both above and below ground.
  • The historic railings, steps, kerbs, coal covers etc., must be protected and conserved.
  • The cellars must be retained as a significant historic feature of the street. Eliminating heavy traffic and reducing overall traffic considerably would involve less structural interventions to the brick vaults.
  • The Crescent is a natural public space. We urge Limerick City and County Council to reconsider the design of this space for the citizens of Limerick City. Parking should not be retained on the Crescent and while some vehicular access may need to be retained, it should be kept to a minimum with traffic speeds reduced to 10-20km per hour.
  • We are not calling for full pedestrianisation, however we believe that in order to achieve your own key objective of pedestrian priority, the proposal must take a more radical approach to the reduction of traffic on O’Connell Street and within Newtown Pery as a whole.

We have had ongoing discussions with the #LiveableLimerick group in relation to the project as it has developed, and we wish to support the submission made by the group.


On behalf of the Limerick Chapter of the Irish Georgian Society Committee,

Yours sincerely,

Ailish Drake, B. Arch Sc., MA, MRIAI

Limerick Chapter Chair