Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dublin slow down

From tomorrow morning a 30kph speed limit will apply around the centre of Dublin. It will be in affect 24 hours a day roughly between Gardiner St and Church St, and from Dorset St to Cuffe St. The main additions to the already existing 30kph zone are the quays, Dame St, George's St, Parnell St and O'Connell St as many of the side streets in this area are already have a reduced limit or are at least partially pedestrianised already.

Already the usual suspects are out moaning about this infringement to our civil liberty to drive our cars wherever we want at whatever speed we want. Of course, what they are forgetting is that between about 630 and 1900 every weekday it is impossible to get above an average speed of about 15kph in the city centre anyway. Add to this the need to drive extremely slowly on the quays and Dame St at night due to the large number of intoxicated pedestrians who randomly jump out in front of you and the massive number of taxis and it is clear that this new limit will barely affect driving times in town at all.

The policy of Dublin City Council towards private car traffic in central Dublin over the last few years is to be commended. They are trying to force a modal shift towards public transport, cycling and walking. Starting with small measures like no left turn from Dawson St on to Nassau St, the re-landscaping of O'Connell St, Busgate and now the reduced speed limit they are slowly but surely turning Dublin back into a living space rather than a glorified car park. Now it is up to central government to provide the required funding to complete the picture with the Interconnector, Metro North and retaining Dublin Bus services despite the economic down turn.

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