Sometimes, people just don’t think.
There is lots of talk now about reducing the number of cars going into our towns and cities and, indeed, banning them altogether in the Phoenix Park.
It would be lovely.
Indeed, it would be lovely if all the jets in the world were grounded so they didn’t belch their fumes out into our atmosphere.
Only it’s not very practical. Whether for pleasure or business, millions of people need to fly. And, indeed, it sometimes seems wrong to me, to describe a holiday as non-essential. Holidays are utterly essential.
But let’s get back to the Phoenix Park.
We are very lucky to have such a wonderful place within our city. It is a haven. It is an oasis of calm.
And yes of course, it would be wonderful if we could just lock the gates tomorrow and ban all cars.
But it isn’t that simple.
Firstly, banning through traffic will make journeys longer for thousands of people. Longer journeys mean more fumes, more cars, more traffic.
Secondly, banning all cars in the Park would close it to people who don’t live within walking or cycling distance.
And that’s assuming they can walk or cycle. I, for example, can do neither, at least not for any distance due to Stage 4 COPD.
Is the finest city park, possibly in the world, to be off limits to me and others who are even less mobile that I?
Or do those who want to ban cars from the Park support the construction of massive car parks nearby for those who must drive there to enjoy its beauty?
Of course we’d all love to see fewer cars on our roads, and fewer cars passing through the Phoenix Park.
I’d like to see fewer wheelchairs too – but not because their users can’t get to Park. I just wish so many people weren’t disabled. I wish there weren’t 100,000+ like me suffering from COPD.
And I wish people who come out with this stuff about arbitrarily banning cars here and there, gave us some consideration.