Poplar Square, Naas
Part of Naas town centre is to be made more “user friendly” by the creation of a public realm space, new pedestrian crossings and an improved bus stop.
Much of the work will take place at Poplar Square and most businesses in the area are supportive of the development.
The public realm space will be located at the square and the bus stop in the square used by vehicles coming from the Dublin direction will be improved. The existing arrangement is regarded as unsatisfactory in the absence of recognisable infrastructure and some bus operators are unwilling to allow passengers to disembark there.
“The changes will also make the area more accessible for disabled people and I believe families will be keen to use the area, said Cllr Bill Clear.
Also being provided are pedestrian crossings in the area, seating which can be used by someone with a disability and it’s hoped to provide a crossing between Poplar Square and the Town Hall.
Also envisaged are parklets (public seating platforms or a parking space translated into an ‘oasis of calm’)
Disabled parking spaces will remain and the project will mean a loss of about a dozen spaces.
However the opening of the Dunne Stores supermarket created 58 car park spaces, there are 200 around the corner at the “Boyle’s” car park and over 100 at “Hederman’s” and more at the nearby Naas Town Centre complex.
The area will also be decorated by planter floral displays provided by the Naas Tidy Towns group.
There are also plans to provide white decorative lighting in the area.
“I think people will like the area, especially when the Covid-19 restrictions relax and it will provide a nice experience and a focal point for people coming in the town,” said Cllr Clear.
The work is being done with funding to the tune of €40,000, provided by the Government as part of its stimulus package in response to the coronavirus.
Cllr Clear stressed that it is a pilot project which can be changed as interested people see fit.
“It has worked in other areas and something similar was done in Market Square in Kildare town; and we will monitor how it goes.”
He believed that the work done provided great value for €40,000 and it “doesn’t involve digging up the ground.
The work is similar (but unconnected to) an overarching plan to pedestrianise part of Poplar Square, create cycle lanes along Dublin Road and provide new pedestrian crossings and bus stops, a bus corridor and cycle lanes along Dublin Road.
This project, which was estimated to cost €3m, is an advanced stage of design.