Category: Archive

Editorial: Driving themselves mad

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

In a few short years, the traffic in Dublin and surrounding areas has gone from bad to horrendous. It continues to deteriorate. Small wonder you might think that Dublin Corporation, the city’s governing body, should get itself all revved up over an event on a recent Sunday involving feet rather than wheels.

More than 35,000 runners took to the streets in one part of the city to compete in an annual women’s mini-marathon, which, since 1983, has raised roughly $35 million for various charities. The Corporation, however, saw the event in a different context, complaining that it had a "very disruptive effect on traffic." That it did: on traffic that doesn’t move much anyway; on huge numbers of often badly tuned vehicles with single occupants pouring exhaust fumes into narrow streets; on motorists who, in not a few cases, could cover the relatively short distances to be traveled by other means, be it bus, train, bicycle or even the dreaded and underutilized feet.

Certainly it is symptomatic of the often myopic manner in which Dublin’s present and future has been planned that an event celebrating human enterprise, physical endeavor and charitable disposition should somehow be seen as disruptive. Traffic, it seems, is an end in itself, roaring proof of prosperity a la Bangkok or Mexico City. Perhaps the mini-marathon runners should get together and plan something new for next year: How about a long march for runners’ rights?

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