Hearing begins on plans to transform College Green into pedestrian plaza
DUBLIN City Council is outlining plans to turn College Green into a world-renowned pedestrian plaza.
An Bord Pleanala has begun a five-day hearing into the proposal, at the Gresham Hotel, in the city centre.
Officials for the council said the plan was to reclaim College Green as a "preeminent public space for Dublin" and create world class public space.
"It will strengthen the historic city centre in counter balance to the vigorous expansion of the city centre eastwards," council architect Ali Grehan said.
Central to the plan is a hierarchy of travelers in the city centre with pedestrians and cyclists at the top and private vehicle owners at the bottom.
Ms Grehan said it has been a historic meeting place in the capital sine the first viking settlement.
Should the project get the go ahead vehicles would no longer be able to pass through College Green.
The area would be lined with trees, have a two-lane cycle track and become a suitable venue for events and performances.
A number of local businesses have objected to the plan on the basis it may cause fewer people to come to the city centre.
There are also concerns about traffic flow across the River Liffey and the impact of traffic congestion.
Head of the council's technical services, Brendan O'Brien, explained how bus routes could be maintained.
Buses heading northbound will avoid the plaza by using Winetavern Street while southbound buses will be diverted along the quays.
A turning area for buses will be built at Dame Street bordering the proposed pedestrian plaza.