WE all know that Dublin’s traffic is bad but only the Dublin Transportation Office (DTO) knows exactly how bad it is. And they are not telling anyone.
Believe it or not, there is no public body carrying out traffic research on behalf of the public in this city.
If you want to know, for example, what the breakdown of commuters from the Northside using their cars, or the bus, or their bikes – you have to pay the DTO for it.
That’s because they sell their surveys to other companies (they wouldn’t tell me who these companies were) and they are not going to let the concept of informed public debate get in the way of a nice little earner.
The DTO also has a computer traffic model of Dublin, which they boast about whenever they can. It can tell you nearly anything you might want to know about Dublin traffic. It’s one of the biggest of its kind in Europe, they say, and its worth over €2 million.
But you can’t see it, of course, because you’re only a pleb. Only those prepared to come up with the readies can see the great computer model.
Just recently the DTO have commissioned an €800,000 study to find out how to get people out of their cars. As part of this study they are going to ask the Dublin public their opinions on the traffic situation.
You can see the irony here.
The DTO is spending a fortune to find out what the public knows, which is very little since the DTO won’t make accurate information available to them.
So we fund the DTO through our taxes. They want us to pay them again for the information we have already paid for.
In the meantime we, the taxpayers, are planning to spend billions on Luas and metro even though the only vital objective information on the traffic situation in this city is practically a state secret.
How on earth is an informed public debate on transport supposed to take place when the public is kept in the dark?
Maybe they expect us to count the cars ourselves.
What’s that you were saying, Seamus?
There he was, on Morning Ireland, waxing on about keeping motorcyclists safe, as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.
Because Seamus Brennan is concerned about bikers.
When I’m out on the dual carriageway on me little moped, on a rainy evening, doing the top speed of 35mph, with an articulated truck two inches behind me, with the car on my outside roaring by at 55mph, the taxi on the inside whizzing by at 55mph, wobbling in the crosswind and blinded by the spray coming from all sides, I think to myself “Seamus Brennan is concerned about bikers” and I feel all warm inside.
All Seamus has to do for me to like him even more is to sign a new regulation under the Road Traffic (Traffic & Parking) Regulations 1997 and let me move over into the bus lane.
Seamus can do this any day of the week he so chooses and there’s no good reason why he shouldn’t.
Safety, you said, Seamus?