Improving City Centre Junctions
The tightening of the junctions at either end of Hartstonge Street will make them much safer for everybody. Well done and thank you to Limerick Council for doing this.
It would be good to develop a protocol around the use of bollards in heritage areas, however. In this case they are unnecessary, as well as being costly and unsightly.
Back in June of this year the Department of Transport issued an advice note around junction design which is well worth a read. It may seem like something for the anoraks but getting junctions right has a very positive impact on our urban areas, and ultimately leads to a safer, pleasant, more attractive and more livable city. If junctions are designed with wide sweeping turns - as these ones were - they enable vehicles to move faster around them, while simultaneously forcing the pedestrian to walk a much greater distance across to get out of the way of the speeding vehicle. The pedestrian has to rush. Junction design that facilitates vehicles over pedestrians creates a city environment that is hostile to pedestrians.
Here's the problem set out in the new advice note.
There is a lot more in the advice note than this, so please have a look (see below for download). If you're an engineer it's really helpful, and if you're a campaigner it's good to see what the engineers are supposed to be following.
One thing missing from the note is how best to design these improvements in sensitive historic areas. Although such guidance can be found elsewhere the roads engineer isn't going to look beyond DMURS and its various updates. The use of stainless steel bollards in the Limerick example is simply wrong for that setting. And using poured concrete might be the least expensive option but higher quality materials are more appropriate for what should be high value urban areas.