Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Action Now!

I know that many bloggers regularly use their sites to highlight matters of grave concern and in doing so shine the spotlight of public interest on these hitherto ignored problems. So today I speak to you about one such serious injustice.

Nutley Lane is a microcosm of all that is right and decent about southside Dublin in the 21st Century. This tree-line boulevard meanders gentle from right to left and then imperceptibly to the right again, as it gently inclines from the lower Merrion Road to original superhighway that is the Stillorgan Dual Carriageway. At one end, local residents are blessed with the fabulous Merrion Shopping Centre where no day is complete without a blow dry and a skinny latte. Adjacent stands the majestic St Vincent’s Hospital, a noble testament to modern healthcare and the very embodiment of the Public/Private co-location model currently espoused by the Minister for Health.

At the other end, stand two beacons to future and continued prosperity – the RTE Television mast and the UCD water tower. No son or daughter grows up on this mean street without believing a priori that an arts degree and an enjoyable student sojourn through Donnybrook public houses is adequate preparation for a life in broadcasting. The kids on this block know the value of hard work and hone their commercial savy picking up stray golf balls on the Elm Park Golf Course which bounds the road to the south.

Scattered liberally along its route, are examples of the finest technology know to man. I speak not of plasma screen TV’s recording in DVD format from the numerous web-cams perched aloft the blossom laden trees which sentinel the footpath. But rather pay homage to the ubiquitous SUV’s and the 4x4’s which glide majestically up and down this thoroughfare. In regulation black with matching leather trim, all luxuary marques are represented – Lexus, BMW, Audi, Mercedes and Range Rover. Long before McWilliams realised there was an easy living to be made by slagging Ireland’s noveau riche, the long established money had grasped the importance of a high driving position and bull bars.

But this idyllic way of life is coming under threat from two nefarious sources. Firstly the increasing prevalence of cyclists and Fiat Punto’s – not to mention those infuriating SmartCars – is causing the sunglasses-on-the-forehead John Rocha-wearing Mummies to turn down the Norah Jones CD and ask Tarquin to buckle up. It is bad enough having to negotiate those infernal speed bumps without having to dodge a sweaty Northsider on a Raleigh Pioneer. And do you know that two Fiat’s can squeeze into the respectable distance that one leaves between your X5 and Mrs Armitage’s XC 90. Dropping Alicia to the Gael Scoil is trying enough without having to risk your metallic paintwork on some rusty bike handlebar.

“I witnessed one woman cyclist today stick out her hand before making an exaggerated right turn, I can tell you I was glad that I went for the servo-assisted brakes option otherwise, I’d have to explain another ‘trolley damage’ incident to Marcus,” explained one exasperated Nutley Land resident.

And then there are all those commercial vehicles. What is the point of having a superior driving position if you are going to be eclipsed by the 2FM Roadcaster or the Number 18 bus. In fact, has anyone asked why public transport to Lucan and Ballymun needs to traverse this quiet avenue? And does anyone believe that there is such a place as Lark Hill? These vehicles are unnecessary, do untold damage to the road surface making it unsafe for local residents to navigate. There is one pothole halfway along the road which when it rains turns into a major obstacle for the Cherokee and the Pajero. These vehicles are not designed to be driven in such rough conditions and it makes the Lauren Hill jump.

After several round-table discussions at Elm Park, Concerned Residents Against Infuriating Cars (CRAIC) have compiled an action plan which it hopes local politicians will adopt.

- Ban on cars with engine capacity of less than 1800 cc
- Ban on estate cars, transit & hiace vans and other vehicles known to be driven by the Travelling Community
- Ban on all public transport vehicles
- Ban on commercial vehicles (other than IKEA delivery trucks)
- Opening of an Ambulance entry to the hospital from the Merrion Road
Ban on drivers who wear tracksuits (Louis Vitton designed leisure wear excepted).

We do hope that Blogosphere will lend its support to this important campaign otherwise local residents will be forced to ignore the dangerous camber and mount the footpaths to avoid contact with some louse-infected Ford Focus.


Blogger John of Dublin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

11:02 a.m., March 20, 2007  
Blogger John of Dublin said...

Well written. An impressive knowledge of brands too - you lost me more than once!

SUVs are getting so popular that they are losing their height advantage - next we'll have Super SUVs so owners can see over other SUVs. God help us low down drivers.

11:06 a.m., March 20, 2007  
Anonymous Dario Sanchez said...

I'm assuming you're ripping the piss?

It was a late night last night.

2:10 p.m., March 20, 2007  
Blogger JL Pagano said...

I'm with Dario, a bit anyway. I got the piss-take at the third paragraph, and I was extremely relieved!

Word of warning to the Blog O'Sphere ... Paige is back and she's pissed off!!!


9:30 a.m., March 21, 2007  
Anonymous ainelivia said...

By all that's holy, my cousin lives around there, wonder if she had a hand in this??

10:38 a.m., March 21, 2007  
Blogger Paige A Harrison said...

John, car brand knowledge isn't something I aspire to but it is amazing what goes in by osmosis.

Dario, right.

JL, not pissed off just hormonal. (Of course that's the same thing - temporary, unpredictable and transient)

Ainelivia, did it really take you so long to suss me, cousin?


10:04 p.m., March 21, 2007  
Anonymous ainelivia said...

Paige, I'm at a total loss.... we are related?

4:18 p.m., March 24, 2007  
Blogger Paige A Harrison said...

Ainelivia, relax, we're not related. I was just having a larf. I don't have a cousin called Aine who blogs, but then again I do have a cousin in London who might blog. Now I'm worried!

7:41 p.m., March 26, 2007  
Anonymous ainelivia said...

Oh dear, so am I, (but I am also laughing reading your comment) it gets complicated sometimes.

Ma cuz in Dub, her name's Frances. And Ainelivia is a sue-d-nom......

No I don't think we are related, you have a marvellous sense of humour, and my rellies...... well, nuff said.....

4:56 p.m., March 28, 2007  

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