— Councillor accused of blaming cyclists for illegal parking by motorists.
It’s “absolute chaos” out there on the mean streets of Dublin City, all you have to do is go out and look, according to Cllr Mannix Flynn, but increasing the cost for those caught illegally parking a car is not part of the solution, for now, he claimed.
Cllr Flynn (independent), who is known for describing relatively minor issues in apocalyptic terms, has in recent years claimed to be all for walking and cycling while also objecting to positive changes for active travel. As in the case with cycle route objectors around the world, he often claims there are issues with the process or not enough consultation.
Some of the escapades have included trying to get pedestrian priority at traffic lights reduced, spreading misinformation about a cycle route he was objecting to in Dublin, going on local radio in Galway to try to help derail the now at least postponed Salthill cycle route trial, and setting up a group against cycle lanes and then refusing to answer questions when some of those listed said they were not involved.
Cllr Flynn made his latest comments this morning when he was on the Newstalk Breakfast radio show with fellow city Cllr Michael Pidgeon (Green Party) debating the increase in costs for unlocking a clamp from €80 to €125.
Both councillors agreed there should be more focus on fines without clamping. In this regard, the stand-alone parking fine without using a claim was separately recently increased from €40 to €80. Dublin City Council said that this will allow them to ramp up the level of enforcement and it said that the council is looking to have parking enforcement patrols on foot or bicycles.
Cllr Pidgeon said: “The fee for claiming was set in 1998. We were still using pounds then. That was a time when a pint was €2.50 and it is not unreasonable that over the course of 23 years the cost of something might increase once. Basically, this is about catching up with where the fee for clamping should be.”
But Cllr Mannix Flynn (independent) claimed that people cycling and using scooters on footpaths are a bigger problem.
“But the biggest issue out there, believe it or not.. is actually street furniture and the other biggest issue is actually cyclists and scooters on the footpaths…” said Cllr Flynn, before a Newstalk presenter tried to remind him of the topic on hand.
But he then added: “I think it’s the wrong approach, I think it’s punitive. And as we open up the economy, there’s a finite amount of space, because the space is gone because it’s been given over to cyclists and then the loading bays are given over to build-outsouts for outdoor dining… so where do cars actually go?”
Cllr Pidgeon responded: “Yeah, it is punitive. It’s punitive against people who break the law. Most drivers will never pay this increase. Most drivers never get clamped because they know to follow the rules.”
“It’s funny to bring in cyclists as if they are the cause of bad parking. For most people this is the easiest increase to avoid — you don’t park in a bus lane, you don’t park up on the footpath, you park where you’re supposed to. There’s tens of thousands of parking provided at subsidy in Dublin, often they are free,” said Cllr Pidgeon.
Cllr Flynn then went on a rant saying that the streets are in “chaos”, and then “absolute chaos”. He said that it was the wrong time to increase the fine, and that the city had not addressed issues around loading bays, cycle lanes, or danger around the school run and how “you have to look at the street as a whole” and how the increase in clamping “would not deter those determined” to park illegally.