Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pedestrianisation in Clonmel Town Centre

At various times it has been suggested that areas of Clonmel be pedestrianised.
Currently, only Mitchel St is pedestrianised. The traders there think that it has been a great success.
For younger readers, who may not remember when it was open to traffic, it was always slightly dangerous, being so narrow, with equally narrow footpaths! Riding a bike down there when I was a child was risky but fun.
When pedestrianised, the Corporation (as it was then), resurfaced the street and paths, softening the surface and blending path and street.

Some traders in Gladstone and O’Connell St are in favour of further pedestrianisation, to encompass Sarsfield St; Gladstone St from the Main Guard to Market St and O’Connell St from the Main Guard to Bridge/Mary St.

In reality, these are the prime trading locations in town.

Those arguing for say that it would make the area a much more appealing location than it is, with potential for “sidewalk cafes” and perhaps a revived market area.
Seating and amenities could be developed that would enhance the experience of visiting the town centre.
These amenities might also encourage people to consider living on our Main Streets again. At present there are no amenities to encourage this. Surely all good for traders?
A further benefit would be the opening up of the Main Guard. This is a focal point and has been recently renovated by the OPW. Its open arches are a great venue for street performances, but passing traffic causes many restrictions at present.

Those arguing against say that removing the cars from the street will reduce the impact of their shop window and discourage shoppers, driving them to out-of-town centres, where they have free parking close to retail outlets. So it’s back to parking again. They cite recent discussions on pedestrianisation in Waterford to support their views.

What do you think?
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