Ringsend and Irishtown: Reshaping on the horizon

Above: Ringsend Park.
Photo by Kevin O’Gorman.

Local Environment Improvement Plans for Ringsend and Irishtown will be announced shortly by landscape architects Mitchell and Associates, conditional on Dublin City Council agreement.

The plans are in the middle stage of development and much of it may be subject to change. A workshop on the Local Environment Improvement Plan was held in Ringsend-Irishtown Community Centre. Mitchell and Associates are focusing on two primary aspects in their plans. They wish to redesign the area around Ringsend Library to make it more amenable to the public.

They described how the awkward level changes took away from its potential. Additionally, the high traffic created difficulties and there was a problem with litter. Their proposals involve taking away much of the fencing, creating a gradual gradient and reduced deliveries due to the area being pedestrianised during certain hours. Following on from this, they would create a green area with trees where suggested markets could be held. Potentially, it could become a more vibrant heart of Ringsend.

Representatives from Mitchell and Associates were conscious that the area was an arterial route and wished to slow traffic down. They proposed narrowly changing the alignment which would make it safer for drivers and cyclists as well as pedestrians. It could include a cycle path. Many who attended had suggestions and comments. One local business person felt that it was a good scheme in general, but worried how it would affect business trade if changed significantly.

Outreach Development Worker for Ringsend Community Services Forum, Sueann Moore, was positive about the idea, though she felt the issues of lighting and parking needed to be tackled. In general, there was some concern over parking, which is an issue around the library. She emphasised that local people would like to see the area revamped.

Labour Senator, Kevin Humphries, felt that the proposed narrowing of the roads and removal of the railings would cause incidents. He stated that the “barriers had been put there for a reason,” due to previous incidents.

Additionally, there are plans to increase the lighting in Ringsend Park and to create more defined paths radiating from the centre to the entrances. This would help connect Ringsend to Irishtown from the north-east through the south. It may also reduce antisocial behaviour and make the park accessible throughout the day. The idea behind such schemes is called ‘passive surveillance’, whereby increased footfall and better lighting makes anti-social activity rarer due to increased exposure.

It is proposed that this would also simplify people’s access to Ringsend by enabling them to walk through the park and that it would also increase connectivity between Ringsend Park and local schools.
Additionally, Sean Moore Road will be improved through measures such as narrowing the road and improving access points for pedestrians and cyclists. Green verges would also make the area more amenable. This would go as far as Pigeon House Road, where better parking facilities would be created.

In the plans launched on January 18th, they state clearly that any existing plans would have to work in conjunction with council plans for improving the area with regard to projects such as the Eastern Bypass.

The plans are available to view on the DCC website, www.dublincity.ie

By Kevin Mac Sharry