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Francis Street revamp gets green light

Following years of planning and designing, the quirky Dublin 8 thoroughfare will finally transform into a pedestrian friendly environment, fit for ‘a day out’. The Liberty spoke to Stephen Coyne, Dublin City Council coordinator of the Urban Renewal and Development Fund.  

A significant part of the €53 million Dublin City Council (DCC) fund for urban regeneration in the Liberties area is earmarked to be spent on a new look for Francis Street.

The works were scheduled to start in October 2020. 

As the Government eases the construction industry restrictions on May 4th, works are now expected to begin immediately.

“It is aimed at drawing a larger footfall to the street,” said Stephen Coyne, a Dublin City Council coordinator of the Urban Renewal and Development Fund. 

“The revamp will develop Francis Street into a destination for residents and visitors to enjoy a day out on.”

STEPHEN COYNE, URBAN RENEWAL URBAN AND DEVELOPMENT FUND COORDINATOR

“The revamp strongly emphasises the layout for pedestrians. The widening of pavements and new threshold spaces to the front of the Iveagh Market and St Nicholas de Myra Church will be marked with different pavings and landscaping,” Coyne told The Liberty.  

“The plans envisage Francis Street as a destination for residents and visitors to enjoy a day out on. The main idea was to try and create a consistent carriageway down South of the street and use all that redundant space for footpaths,” he said. 

A view of the planned changes in front of the Iveagh Market on Francis Street. Photo courtesy: TheLiberties.ie 

The DCC plan will keep the street as a single-lane, one-way street for traffic, with a speed limit of 30kph.  

“In some places, the pavements will be double what they are now. That’ll mean more room for terraced areas and space for tree planting,” Coyne said.

“Other changes include car parking spots and loading areas. There will be 20 new street trees and landscaped areas, new street lighting, street furniture and utilities along with sustainable urban drainage measures. This will all serve to create a much-improved street and establish Francis Street as a destination in itself,” Coyne. said

land planning and design document for the Francis Street Environmental Improvement Scheme previously aimed to “assess the feasibility of a separate cycle track, including a contra-flow cycle lane – a path running against the flow of traffic”.

This plan was rejected. “A segregated cycle lane would sterilise one half of the street for parking and loading, which wasn’t acceptable to businesses that depend on parking spaces,” Coyne said.  

Green Party Councillor Michael Pidgeon welcomed the changes to Francis Street. On the day the plans were approved he celebrated on Twitter.  

“The revamp will be a major uplift to the street and the area. It was crying out for a renovation,” Pidgeon said.  

“As it is a one-way street and will remain a one-way street, I would have loved to see a contra-flow cycle lane,” Cllr Pidgeon added.  

Coyne said the contra-flow cycle lane might be implemented in the future as was done on Nassau Street and Werburgh Street.       

 

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