IrishCycle.com is reader-funded journalism. Our subscription numbers had stalled at around 250 subscribers. As of August 2, we're within reach of our target of 20 more subscribers by the end of August. Can you help? If you can, please subscribe today for €5 or more. If you have already done so -- thank you!

Ireland is “Kafkaesque” for removal of 14 parking spaces for bus stops, claims Cllr

— Councillors raise issue of lack of clear information provided to them.

Ireland is “near-Kafkaesque” for the removal of 14 parking spaces for new bus routes without consulting with councillors, is a claim made by councillors at the Dublin City Council local area meeting for the South East Area in July.

The councillors debated the issue of new bus stops BusConnects routes planned to facilitate bus routes in Phase 5 of the bus route changes. This includes the orbital route S2 which is planned to run from Heuston Station, Rialto, Kimmage, Rathmines, Ranelagh, Donnybrook, Ballsbridge and Sandymount.

The Phase 5 rollout of new or revised routes was due to happen in November of this year but is likely delayed as Phase 4 has been due to driver shortages.

IMAGE: The full BusConnects routing plan for the area, including the S2 route.

Councillors were a mix of upset and confused when a large number of items — 16 of the 25 — on the Traffic Advisory Group (TAG) report were related to minor BusConnects works, mainly bus stops. The core details from the TAG report are listed at the end of this article.

You have read this far, now please think of supporting this reader-funded journalism. The current target is to reach 20 more subscribers by the end of August: Thanks to readers like you, as of August 2, there's now 265 readers subscribed to IrishCycle.com -- that's just five short of the target. Help us surpass the target by subscribing today.

The debate on the issue took over half an hour with interruptions from councillors on unrelated issues.

The discussion on BusConnects took place at the same meeting where councillors claimed residents who drive on Sean Moore Road “cannot get out of their houses”. IrishCycle.com visited the road and found that residents were freely driving into and out of housing estates, even at rush hour.

On BusConnects, Cllr Paddy McCartan (FG) asked how many parking spaces would be removed.

The length of car parking to be removed is listed as around 62 metres across 5 locations — going by the average length of a car of 4.4 metres, this means there would be a total loss of just 14 car parking spaces across the areas listed which stretch from Kimmage to Sandymount.

IMAGE: The new parking layout on Strand Road where residents “cannot get out of their home”. Google Maps show that the markings have been in place since at least April.

Unconnected to BusConnects, Cllr Claire O’Connor (FF) said that because the council has marked parking spaces on Strand Road — replacing former footpath parking along roughly the same locations — one resident “cannot get out of the home.”

Cllr Claire Byrne (Greens) asked were there any drawings of the changes available.

Also, unrelated to BusConnects, Cllr Byrne said that while she supports active travel and DMURS, that residents of Sean Moore Road were complaining. Chair of the meeting, Cllr Dermot Lacey (Labour) said that that issue will be covered separately in the meeting.

Cllr Mary Freehill  (Labour) objected to the fact that there was nobody from BusConnects at the meeting to speak to them. She said that there seemed to be bus stops placed outside driveways and that “the whole thing seems very vague”.

Cllr Tara Deacy (SocDems) said there was already parking issues at Sundrive Road and asked was anybody consulted about the removal of 15 metres of free parking spaces — 15 metres is around the length of parking required for just 3 cars.

Cllr Lacey tried to move on to another issue and was interrupted by both Cllr James Geoghegan (FG) and Cllr Freehill.

Cllr Freehill then asked — again unrelated to BusConnects — about “where is the active travel for walkers”. Cllr Lacey said that the councillors were just about to get a presentation on active travel and she responded “well. it’s not for walking”. Cllr Lacey then said that the first line in the presentation tag line is “delivering the walk”.

Cllr Freehill then added: “I just want to add that, many of you are familour with the playwright Kafka, but we have a Kafkaesque society now. Kafka used to write plays about what it was like in Russia where you have a bureaucracy and where the system was for the sake of bureaucracy. And we’re coming very close to a Kafkaesque society in Ireland with all of these unaccountable quangos.”

The term Kafkaesque comes from the works of novelist Franz Kafka. Kafka’s work includes a fictional world where there is — as described by merriam-webster.com — a “nightmarish settings in which characters are crushed by nonsensical, blind authority. Thus, the word Kafkaesque is often applied to bizarre and impersonal administrative situations where the individual feels powerless to understand or control what is happening.”

Cllr Lacey said: “Ok, I don’t disagree with you.”

Cllr Geoghegan then asked if the city council would be reasonable for the BusConnects listed on the TAG report and could officials answer that.

Before that could be answered, Cllr Mannix Flynn (independent) interrupted and said: “If I may be so bold, just on a point of information: Brendan O’Brien [head of the traffic and transport section of the council] has extreme powers in this area. Brendan O’Brien was given the powers in this area and Brendan O’Brien needs to be in this chamber and answering these questions.”

Present, at least remotely, was John Flanagan, the council’s Assistant Chief Executive for the Environment and Transportation section, which means he’s the senior Executive who not just over O’Brien’s traffic division but also the separate active travel office and roads office.

Flanagan explained that the traffic section works with BusConnects on issues such as bus stops.

Cllr Deirdre Conroy (FF) explained that there are very few councillors besides herself on the public transport sub-committee and complained that the NTA does not always attend.

Cllr Deacy asked who pays for the BusConnects measures.

Flanagan said that the National Transport Authority is “fully funding” the BusConnects programme, including work the council needs to do on the NTA’s behalf.

Flanagan said that O’Brien answers to him, and that Cllr Flynn is welcome to send him any questions he may have.

TAG report

These are the change listed on the local TAG report for BusConnects Measures (Phase 5):

SEAN MOORE ROAD

Bus Connects Measure: Between the roundabout and the junction with Pine Road. Works to include installation of a bus cage, installation of a bus stop pole and removal of cycle bollards.

Bus Connects Measure: On the opposite side of BremenGrove. Works to include installation of a bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole.

RAVENSDALE PARK

Bus Connects Measure: Opposite to no. 21 Ravensdale Park. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole.

Bus Connects Measure: Outside no. 25 and 27 Ravensdale Park. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of speed ramp and possible loss of free parking spaces.

CASHEL ROAD

Bus Connects Measure: Between no 320 and 322 Cashel Road. Works to include installation of a 12 metre bus cage, installation of a bus stop pole and approximately 16 metres of Double Yellow
Lines.

Bus Connects Measure: Opposite no.336 Cashel Road. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage, installation of a bus stop pole and approximately 16 metres of Double Yellow

NICHOLAS STREET

Bus Connects Measure: Outside no.18 Nicholas Street. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole.

SUNDRIVE ROAD

Bus Connects Measure: Opposite no.292 Sundrive Road. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole.

Bus Connects Measure: Opposite no.170 Sundrive Road. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of approximately 15 metres of free parking.

TERENURE ROAD WEST

Bus Connects Measure: Outside no. 5 Terenure Road West. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole.

THE APPIAN WAY

Bus Connects Measure: Opposite no.8 Appian Way. Works to include installation of a bus stop pole.

SANDYMOUNT AVENUE

Bus Connects Measure: Outside no.36 Sandymount Avenue. Works to include installation of an 11.5 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of approximately 7 metres
of pay and display and permit parking.

Bus Connects Measure: Opposite no.14 Sandymount Avenue. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole.

Bus Connects Measure: Outside no.99 Sandymount Avenue, at existing Go-Ahead stop 2806. Works to include modification of a bus cage.

SEAFORT AVENUE

Bus Connects Measure: Outside no.1 Seafort Avenue. Works to include installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of approximately 12 metres of pay and display and permit parking.

BEACH ROAD

Bus Connects Measure: Outside no.66 Beach Road. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of approximately 18 metres of Double Yellow Lines.

Bus Connects Measure: Opposite no.50 Beach Road. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of approximately 18 metres of Double Yellow Lines.

KENILWORTH PARK

Bus Connects Measure: On the side of no.332 Harold’s Cross Road. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of approximately 18 metres of Double Yellow Lines.

HERBERTON ROAD

Bus Connects Measure: Outside no.13 Herberton Road. Works to include installation of a 15 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of approximately 15 metres of Double
Yellow Lines.

HIGHFIELD ROAD

Bus Connects Measure: Opposite Hillcourt Apartments. Works to include installation of a 14 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole.

Bus Connects Measure: Outside Woodleigh Ash Apartments. Works to include installation of a 15 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of approximately 15 metres of Double Yellow Lines. Installation of a 60 metre continuous centre line.

Bus Connects Measure: Outside no.78 Highfield Road. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole.

Bus Connects Measure: Outside no.4 Highfield Road. Works to include installation of a 15 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of approximately 15 metres of Double Yellow Lines.

Bus Connects Measure: Outside no.16 Highfield Road. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of approximately 18 metres of Double Yellow Lines.

Bus Connects Measure: Approximately 30 metres from the junction with Fairfield Park. Works to include installation of a 15 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of approximately 15 metres of Double Yellow Lines.

MILLTOWN ROAD

Bus Connects Measure: Between the junction with Churchtown Road Lower and Richmond Avenue South. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop
pole.

Bus Connects Measure: Opposite the entrance into Shanagarry apartments. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole.

Bus Connects Measure: Approximately 75 metres from the junction with Dundrum Road. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole.

Bus Connects Measure: Approximately 125 metres from the junction with Churchtown Road Lower. Works to include installation of an 18 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole.

WINDMILL ROAD

Bus Connects Measure: Outside no.32 Crumlin Village. Works to include installation of a 13 metre bus cage and installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of approximately 13 metres of Double Yellow Lines.

SANDYMOUNT GREEN

Bus Connects Measure: Outside no.14 Sandymount Green. Internal Works to include installation of a bus stop pole. Removal of approximately 10 metres of pay and display and permit parking.

Hello Reader... IrishCycle.com is a reader-funded journalism publication. Effectively it's an online newspaper covering news and analyses of cycling and related issues, including cycle route designs, legal changes, and pollical and cultural issues.

There are examples, big and small, which show that the reader-funded or listener-funding model can work to support journalism -- from the Dublin Inquirer and The Guardian to many podcasts. To make it work for IrishCycle.com, it just needs enough people like you to believe!

Monthly subscriptions will give IrishCycle.com's journalism a dependable base of support. But please don't take free access for granted. Last year IrishCycle.com had an average of 15,800 readers per month and we know our readers include people who cycle and those who don't, politicians, officials and campaigners.

I know only a small percentage of readers will see the value of keeping this open enough to subscribe, that's the reality of the reader-funded model. But more support is needed to keep this show on the road.

The funding drive was started in November 2021 and, as of the start of June 2022, 250 readers have kindly become monthly subscribers -- thank you very much to all that have!

But currently, it's only around 1.6% of readers who subscribe. So, if you can, please join them and subscribe today via ko-fi.com/irishcycle/tiers

Cian Ginty
Editor, IrishCycle.com

3 comments

  1. I think these Councillors are not reading the tea leaves about the urgency of responding to the climate crisis. Our world is quite literally on fire and they worry about elimination of some car parking space.

    Reply
  2. To be fair to the Councillors, the communication seems to have been poor on the BusConnects changes. The bus cages seem to be in new locations as far as I can tell. These will inevitably result in calls to local reps, so it’s reasonable for them to expect some advance notice.

    Although calling it “Kafkaesque” is it bit extreme, particularly when a lot of extra bureaucracy comes from the DCC council chamber.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.