YOU’RE commuting from Finglas or Ballymun. Or from the deep southside. Either way,
the journey would be a breeze if it wasn’t for the final half-mile.
That’s the city for you.
That’s the Georgian city, the Victorian city... its two daily jams a testament to
In the Way
Your destination, be it near Merrion or Fitzwilliam Square, or off O’Connell Street,
or in and around the Quays...
That’s what’s in the way.
Your destination is the problem.
Take Phibsboro Road, for example. The part that runs from Doyle’s Corner to the Liffey.
It’s only 60 feet wide. That’s just 18 metres!
And it will now see more new-and-improved buses from Finglas and Ballymun. Those
two freeways will be new-and-improved, too, widened out to 130 feet — our new “Core
Bus Corridors”. But 260 feet into 60 feet doesn’t go. (See Local News North: They
Want More Than Front Gardens»»)
Don’t Blame the Cow
It’s no different south of the Liffey. (You see where we’re going with this?) Familiar
suburbia and ex-urbia: Terenure Road, Rathmines Road, the legendary Red Cow... If
you’re in a jam, don’t blame the Cow, blame the pasture: it’s broad in suburbia,
but offers thin pickings in Cork Street and the SCR...
Now, the US consultant Jarrett Walker has a solution. His solution. It means re-shaping
your city. At a recent meeting for TDs, he refused to say if his Core Bus Corridors
(CBCs) meant knocking down parts of Dublin (specifically Phibsboro Road) to make
the city more accessible. But, revealingly, when pressed on that option, a bad-tempered
exchange produced (from him) the following rhetorical question:
“Fine, how would you propose to get someone from Doyle’s Corner into town?”
How indeed? Actually, it can be done. But not by continuing Mr Walker’s new CBCs,
buses and all, from Finglas to Phibsboro and thence to town. Not by laying waste
to Rathmines, Rialto and Ranelagh.
The buck has to stop somewhere, and if you value the City of Dublin, it has to stop
in the ’burbs.
And no, Local News does not have a heavily-engineered plan to compete with the one
Walker uncovered when he met the TDs. And “heavy” is what he has in mind, even though
his nominal boss, Hugh Creegan, says all he needs to do is “add another bus lane”
to Phibsboro Road.
Good luck with that. Good luck with squeezing 260 feet into 60.
Good luck to our readers also, when they try to air worries and queries in the “Public
Consultation Process” — carefully timed to coincide with the summer holidays.
Not only do the National Transport Authority (NTA) want to cut you off by Sep. 14:
they want you to restrict yourself to the questions they want you to ask.
So: don’t mention the roads. Ask about the buses, but not the roads they’ll run on.
Why not? Because Mr Walker has ruled: “That’s a separate matter”.
But are they connected? “Of course they’re connected!”
Thanks, Mr Walker. Thought so. But again: Don’t mention the roads. Or the Dublin that
will be, well, removed to to create them. We’ll deal with that when the gardens
of suburbia have vanished.
Could Have Walked
In 2020 or 2025, when those gardens have long since gone, we city lovers will be
asked to complete the job by making a sacrifice of our own. We’ll be asked to say
goodbye to the City of Dublin.
Mr Walker’s famous commuter will indeed travel five minutes faster, via CBC, from
Doyle’s Corner to the Four Courts.
Of course, he could have walked.
Or we could have built showers for cyclists for a millionth of the cost of Mr Walker’s
Core Bus Corridors. Or implemented a dozen other low-cost-to-no-cost ways of making
that final half-mile more pleasant. All without fat engineering contracts. All without
“modifying” the fabric of Dublin 1 or 2.
Again, don’t bring any of this up at those “Public Consultations”. We’ll deal with
it when the time comes. When it’s too late.
When Inner City Dublin has been destroyed.
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