Cleaning and Clearing the City

Question to City Manager City Council Meeting 08/04/2013

Q76. COUNCILLOR KIERAN BINCHY

To ask the Manager how many old poles and signs have been removed since the installation of the new fingerpost wayfinding system in the city, what plans are there to remove more, how many old telephone kiosks and boxes have been removed and what plans are there to remove more, and what other active plans are in place to improve the public realm in the city by removing and clearing redundant street furniture and signs.

CITY MANAGER’S REPLY:

Over the past couple of years a new wayfinding scheme has been introduced in Dublin city which has resulted in the provision of a coordinated approach to directional signage. In excess of 100 directional signs have been erected which have a cultural focus enabling tourists and visitors to the city to easily access the city’s main cultural destinations. The introduction of this system has resulted in the rationalisation of other on-street signage which has become obsolete and redundant as a result of the development of the system. Over the new few years, it is expected that this new wayfinding system and coordinated approach to pedestrian signage will be extended, which will result in the further rationalisation of signage in the city. This will provide for reduced clutter on the city’s streets and give rise to an improved public realm.

The majority of brown finger sign poles were removed by Roads and Traffic prior to the erection of the new wayfinding system. Over 200 redundant poles were removed in the city over the last 24 months.

Old telephone kiosks and boxes are the property of the relevant telecom operator and consequently are out of the control of the Roads and Traffic Department. However, discussions are currently underway in relation to all of the Smart Telecom pedestals and kiosks in the city with Myplace Media, who are the recent new owners of these units. Steps are already taking place to address the damaged and unsightly units in order to make them safer and less unattractive. It is expected that proposals will be presented to the City Council shortly by Myplace Media in relation to all of these structures. In relation to Eircom boxes, a small number of these within the city centre area are being monitored, particularly in relation to anti-social behaviour, with a view to making a case for their removal.

This year so far, the Street Furniture Inspector has issued a total of 34 Enforcement Notices regarding unlicensed Street Furniture and ad boards on the public pavement. Unlicensed Street furniture has been removed from the pavement in front of 7 premises. 8 Advertising Boards have been removed. 119 miscellaneous advertising structures have been removed.

Dublin City Council is empowered under Section 71, Roads Act 1993 to remove unlicensed objects from the public pavement following the issuing of an Enforcement Notice. The owners may retrieve their objects on payment of a removal and storage charge. Section 71, Roads Act 1993 does not permit the removal of objects from private property such as private landings, keg drops, cellar lights, pavement that is not in charge of DCC, etc. but these can be dealt with by Planning Enforcement procedures. Also, other signs attached to DCC street furniture can be dealt with by the Litter Warden service.

However regardless of the Public Realm Strategy, Dublin City Council is sometimes powerless to prevent statutory undertakers e.g. Eircom, An Post, from installing post-boxes, comms cabinets etc. Notwithstanding this we do attempt to work in co-operation with these bodies