Visuals supplied by Cork City Council showed happy faces and streets with the odd car, in reality, the revamp of MacCurtain St and surrounding streets has resulted in chronic levels of illegal parking.
Councillors, business owners, members of the public and campaigners have complained but they say that enforcement is still lacking and at times nonexistent.
The redesign of the streets as part of the MacCurtain Street Public Transport Improvement Scheme has resulted in motorists dumping their cars around the streets, especially when traffic wardens are off-duty.
Cllr John Maher (Labour Party) said that despite councillors, businesses and street users highlighting the issue, including him bringing it up at the most recent Joint Policing Committee meeting in the city, the situation is getting worse.
Cllr Maher said: “I’ve contacted the Gardaí when I see people being anti-social behaviour with car parking outside of council traffic warden working hours. The Victorian Quarter area is abused most evenings.”
He said at the Joint Policing Committee meeting, which is attended by senior Gardaí, he highlighted how “Gardaí on the beat could kill two birds with one stone, protect the people using the street and penalise people who are parking their vehicle wherever.”
He added: “In my experience, it is getting worse which is frustrating considering the money spent on the area and numerous elected reps, business owners and street users highlighting the issue.”
Michael Wall, a business owner on the street, is one of the people who have taken to Twitter to highlight the issue.
He tweeted: “If you’re short of sight, have a disability, use a wheelchair, or have a buggy etc….. give it your best shot!!”
“It’s like match day,” Wall said separately on Twitter. “No feedback from @GardaTraffic despite many traders making complaints.”
A spokesperson at the Garda Press Office said: “An Garda Síochána does not comment on remakes made or material circulated online by third parties. It is the responsibility of every motorist to obey road traffic legislation including illegal parking. Where instances of illegal parking are detected by members of An Garda Síochána appropriate action is taken.”
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“Through our close working relationships with various stakeholders including local authorities and associations representing persons with disabilities, An Garda Siochána is acutely aware of difficulties and dangers caused to all members of the public by illegal parking. ‘Operation Enable’ is a Roads Policing initiative established in co-operation with the disabled driving associations and local authorities to tackle the issue of disabled parking permit and disabled parking bay and footpath misuse,” the spokesperson said.
They added: “Local authorities also have enforcement powers in relation to illegal parking.”