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By Chamber Press Office, 27 December 2018
Dublin Chamber has called on Dublin City Council to consider a trial pedestrianisation of College Green in early 2019.
The Chamber, which represents 1,300 businesses in the Dublin region, said trialling the concept would help citizens and businesses get a feel for the benefits that a plaza on College Green would bring to the city.
The Chamber said that the vast majority of its member companies are in favour of the idea of a plaza, but that doubts remain over whether a full pedestrianisation of the area would work.
A recent Chamber survey, carried out amongst 400 companies, found that 72% were in favour of College Green Plaza being trialled.
The Chamber said a successful trial would help alleviate the fears of businesses and workers in the city and get more people on board with the potentially exciting Plaza proposal.
According to Dublin Chamber's Head of Public Affairs Graeme McQueen: "The pedestrianisation of College Green is something that most people and businesses would like to see happen, but doubts remain regarding how practical the idea actually is. A short trial, or series of trials, would give Dubliners and businesses in the city an opportunity to experience what a pedestrianised College Green would be like. A successful trial would help alleviate some of the fears and concerns that businesses have over the potential impact of a pedestrianised College Green. Such a trial would also provide the Council with important feedback and learnings that will help shape any revised College Green Plaza proposal."
Mr McQueen said: “We welcome the news that Dublin City Council is looking at submitting a revised plan for College Green in 2019. Ensuring a high level of support from the business community will be central to the success of any plan and we look forward to working with the Council to see ensure that happens. Any trial would, of course, need to be well-devised, with proper traffic management plans put in place. But as a city we do this kind of thing all of the time, be it for the visit of the Pope or for big sporting or music events.”
Dublin Chamber has suggested that Dublin City Council consider running a 'pedestrianised Sunday' at College Green, providing locals with an opportunity to visit the area and experience what College Green Plaza would be like. Other options would include a full weekend trials or longer, if the Council deems it appropriate and workable.
Mr McQueen added: "The Chamber has always supported the concept of College Green Plaza, but there is considerable nervousness in some areas of the business community around how pedestrianisation would impact the wider city. Running a trial and letting people experience pedestrianisation could help alleviate many of those concerns. Pedestrianisation trials are carried out all of the time in cities all around the world. Increased pedestrianisation is becoming a major trend in cities globally. Dublin currently suffers from a lack of pedestrianised areas and overcoming this challenge will be important in ensuring that Dublin becomes a more family friendly city and that quality of life improves for the people who live and work in it."