#LiveableLimerick: More than 200 people answer the call for O'Connell Street

Public has its say on €9m for reimagining city's main thoroughfare

#LiveableLimerick: More than 200 people answer the call for O'Connell Street

A view of how a section of O'Connell Street might look under plans produced for John Moran's grouping's vision of O'Connell Street

MORE than 200 people have contacted Limerick City and County Council to have their say on the €9m improvement works to O’Connell Street.

Over a two-week period, the local authority invited feedback on the plans, which will see Limerick’s main street transformed.

The council’s preferred design sees a reduction of traffic to just one lane, and the creation of a public plaza at the Crescent.

On top of this, taxi ranks will be shifted to side streets, with another focal point located at the junction of Bedford Row, Thomas Street and O’Connell Street.

But many people have criticised the local authority for not being bold enough with the scheme.

Social entrepreneur John Moran, the Rubberbandits and Copenhagen-based architect Mick Bradley co-signed a letter urging council members to be more ambitious in the design.

One ambitious submission from Ruby Sundays cafe, based at 84 O’Connell Street, in the heart of Georgian Limerick, suggested putting a roof over the main street and some surrounding roads.

“This leaves an urban pedestrianised green living zone from O’Connell Street to the Thomas Street junction to O’Connell Street to Hartstonge Street junction with the middle part of O’Connell Street roofed. In doing so, we create a community area, a culture area, a city living decorated with cafes, craft business, boutiques, bars, businesses and restaurants that’s both green and roofed.”

Metropolitan mayor Cllr Sean Lynch urged the inclusion of accessible toilets on the main street must be included.

“When we are doing the public realm, we must make sure there are toilets there which are fit for purpose. Some people looking at them may appear fine, but they may have hidden disabilities, so it’s important to make sure when we are consulting, we keep in mind people with disabilities and the elderly. I want to be a champion for people with disabilities,” the mayor said.

A spokesperson for the Council said that 195 physical submissions had been received, but when the views expressed through Twitter using the #LiveableLimerick hashtag had been added in, this climbs to well over 200.

They said the local authority is “delighted” with the level of engagement.

“It shows that people are taking an interest in the development of Limerick and we value their input,” the spokesman added.

Each submission will now be assessed and will form part of the design review for the reimaging of O’Connell Street.

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