Sunday, 21 March 2010

Traders want area off Grafton Street pedestrianised

The businesses have formed the South William Quarter Association, and have made a submission to Dublin City Council asking for cars to be banned from several streets off Grafton Street.

The streets involved include South William Street, Drury Street and Clarendon Street.

Fintan Smyth, the owner of interiors and giftware shop Paradise Lane on South William Street, said that the area could become an internationally-renowned district.

‘‘We believe that the South William Quarter can be branded to become Dublin’s answer to the Marais in Paris, Chueca in Madrid, the West Village or Soho in New York, but we need to get the cars off the street first," he said.

‘‘The eclectic mix of independent business and retail is what makes a city different and worth visiting.

South William Street is becoming home to various independent retailers, bars and cafes, and is poised to become one of the city centre’s most vibrant, 24hour streets."

However, Smyth said that narrow footpaths, on-street parking and loading throughout the day were creating ‘‘chaos’’ in the area.

He confirmed that a submission had been made to the council about the pedestrianisation of certain streets.

The association also wants the council to restrict loading to before 11am each morning, and to widen the footpaths.

‘‘Immediate action is needed to boost this part of the city centre and we want heads at the council to act in unison and make this happen with urgency," said Smyth.

‘‘The cost is not high, but the potential return for retailers, shoppers, the city and council is very substantial.

‘‘Many people are not coming into the city centre any more, and are shopping locally.

‘‘We believe that a new streetscape can be achieved with a very modest investment."

Sunday Business Post

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