I think it’s fair to say that most people in Ireland and especially in our cities, would love to see fewer cars on the roads.
There are a number of ways the authorities could achieve this.
They could make life easier for cyclists and, in fairness, they’re doing a bit of that even if, in places, they’re not doing it very well.
And they could improve public transport.
Well, Bus Connects was part of that plan but it seems that for the foreseeable future, many if not most people will avoid buses meaning that vehicles (diesel by the way) designed to carry 80 people will probably carry no more than 20 or so.
Then of course there’s the idea of an underground railway which has been mooted since 1968.
But the cry always goes up that we can’t afford it.
Actually, we can, In fact, we probably can’t afford NOT to build and underground railway in Dublin. What we have though, is a succession of gutless politicians who are willing to give themselves pay rises but not willing to commit the billions it will take to build such a railway.
So why do I say we can afford it?
Well, they’re building an underground railway in Abidjan, capital of Ivory Coast a country not noted for its vast wealth. They’re building one in Ho Chi Min City in Vietnam, in Lagos in Nigeria and Qom in Iran.
They already have an underground in Tashkent in Uzbekistan, in Bucharest, in THIRTEEN Indian cities, in the Dominican Republic.
In fact we’re one of the few countries not to have one.
But doesn’t bother our leaders, at least not in Dublin, where an underground railway passing through, say, Ranelagh, Rathgar, Rathmines, Harold’s Cross, Terenure and Rathfarnham would probably take tens of thousands of cars off the road.
But don’t panic, the people who run Dublin have a different and much cheaper plan.
It’s the MDRA plan.
That’s Make Driving Really Annoying also known as POM – P**S Off Motorists.
The Harold’s Cross road is very busy, day and night.
So what have our great leaders in Dublin City done?
They’ve changed the sequence of the traffic lights so that, at some times during the day, they are green for just six seconds. And it’s the same at the end of Rathgar Avenue.
There’s enough time for three cars to go through (legally) if you’re lucky.
What’s actually happening, is that three go through legally and then another three break the lights, such is the frustration this idiocy is causing.
I can almost hear the sniggering at the bicycle rack at the Civic Offices.
And it’s not just in Harold’s Cross and Rathgar that the time for cars to pass through lights has been reduced. It’s all over the place.
And parking bays have been sealed off too (apart from the two the residents got reopened in Rathgar.)
So we now have a council whose slogan is: “Let’s annoy people of the roads.” That seems to be the genius plan.
Let’s force people onto buses – even though it mightn’t be safe and certainly isn’t as risk free as traveling in your own car.
And it was done using Covid as an excuse. It was done without a vote of councillors.
It seems that our city manager, Owen Keegan, can do as he pleases. It’s more like a dictatorship than a democracy.. And there’s shag all we can do about it.
if people decide to abandon their cars and not go into the city at all, business will suffer. Dun Laoghaire is an example of that. And that was Kim Jong Keegan’s last empire.
I presume if this doesn’t work as well as our Great Leader Keegan hopes, council workers will be instructed to throw tacks on the road to burst car tyres in an effort to dissuade people from driving.
Or maybe, just maybe, some politicians, some minister will eventually get the guts to give the thumbs up to an underground.
Because even with restrictions, an underground train will carry multiples of the numbers buses now carry, AND they are electric.
But don’t hold your breath.
Our leaders are not noted for their application of common sense in most situations.
And I don’t think things will be any different on our city streets.
But you know what’s going to happen down the road (!) don’t you?
We’ll have bicycle lanes everywhere – until the scooter users get up on their high horses.
And after that it will be the high horses mob…