You may have noticed, if you live in or are visiting Dublin, that the City Council has blocked off parking bays outside many businesses around the city.
This they have done, they say, to widen footpaths during the Covid-19 emergency.
They have decided to kill local business and, make it impossible for those who need to drive (the disabled and elderly for example) to get to local shops. And Covid-19 is being trotted out as the excuse.
Now, it doesn’t surprise me that they don’t get that people generally have manners and step aside to let other pass on narrower footpaths.
Because the council didn’t even have the manners to consult with local businesses before doing what they did.
In Rathgar, there is one parking space for the disabled.
In Terenure, there is one.
In Harold’s Cross there are none.
This council removed three parking spaces for the disabled from Jervis Street a few years ago and never replaced them. It removed one from South Frederick Street and several more around the city.
It proposes pedestrianizing large areas of the city – which is a brilliant idea – or would be if the proposals took cognizance of the needs of the disabled. But they don’t.
Frankly, I think the council saw Covid-19 as another opportunity to make life difficult for motorists, to discourage cars from entering the city and its suburban villages such as Rathgar, Rathmines, Harold’s Cross, Terenure and Glasnevin.
Its current CEO, Owen Keegan, of course may wish to transform the city as he did Bray and Dun Laoghaire, that is from thriving to dead.
Keegan was on radio today dismissing opposition to the measures as ‘highly localised” and “pockets of resistance.” Arrogance personified.
Dun Laoghaire after his reign there, is oft described these days as “Biarritz at the front and Beirut at the back.”
Dead. Empty shops. Soulless,
But of course there are no cars and that seems to be the whole point.
I hope local business tells Dublin City Council what to do with the bollards which prevent all customers, not just the disabled, from parking outside their premises.
I hope, of course, we can reduce car use in the city and on all our roads.
But I hope, that as we do, we think about those who need motor vehicles to get around, who would love to see pedestrianised Dublin – but have to be able to get there.
I hope, in short, someone tells Owen Keegan to get on his bike.