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  • Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets, 2013

    A new manual has been jointly produced by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.  The Manual was been prepared by a Project Team with a range of relevant skills drawn from a number of local authorities (South Dublin, Fingal, Kildare, Cork City) and hosted by South Dublin County Council. Among other things it involved a focused stakeholder consultation exercise.

    The aim of the manual is to move away from the practice of designing streets as traffic corridors, and instead focus on the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and public transport users. The manual is very similar to the UK’s Manual for Streets which came out in 2007.  Although it has taken another 6 years for a manual of this nature to emerge in Ireland it is worth the wait and it will finally provide a basis for moving away from a public realm dominated by the car and toward a public realm where more sustainable forms of transport have priority. 

    This urban design led approach is much needed in the Irish context, although it remains to be seen how local authority engineers will be able to square this approach with the safety requirements outlined in other guidance documents which they rely on when assessing proposals.  Too often high quality urban design based schemes have been refused or significantly altered in order to accommodated engineering based requirements.  The Manual does not seek to replace the private car but recognizes that we need to achieve a better balance in how our urban roads and streets are designed and used.

    Published on April 5, 2013 By:David Mulcahy · Filed under: Planning Guidelines; Tagged as: ,
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