Why did the pedestrian cross the road? It’s no joke.

Having got back on the canvassing track after the Christmas break and winter virus outbreaks etc, I’m confined to home AGAIN with two children and one husband knocked out  with a variety of symptoms (vomitting, fever, coughs and headaches, not pretty).  So I am spending the time working on submissions to the council on issues raised by locals on recent canvassing days.

Yet another dangerous crossing has been highlighted at the Firhouse Road/Ballyroan Road junction, with residents on Ballyroan Road and all of those coming from the Knocklyon direction unable to cross the Firhouse Road safely and directly over to the 15B bus stop.  There is a pedestrian crossing on Old Bridge Road and one on Butterfield Avenue which work with the traffic lights controlling the junction and it is only common sense that there should be one leading to the bus stop which is where the pedestrians are likely to be headed.

This raises another question; Can Irish drivers and pedestrians be trusted with plain Zebra crossings with no lights?  The majority of crossings in South Dublin Co Co are Pelican crossings – controlled by lights – these seem to either cause resentment among drivers because of long wait times or fear among pedestrians – especially the elderly – if they do not give enough time to cross the road (or roads where two crossings are on the same system).  Younger and more agile people are more likely to skip across a road, dodging traffic if there is no convenient crossing increasing the risk of injury or death.  Our neighbours in the UK are now using Puffin crossings – user-friendly crossings which use infra-red sensors to detect when the pedestrians have crossed and change the signal accordingly.  These have ‘reduced delays to motor vehicles, and improved crossing conditions for elderly and disabled persons by automatically varying the crossing times’ according to the 2pass website for learner drivers  – http://www.2pass.co.uk/crossing.htm#.Uwix2yhCgwM .  South Dublin Co Co should do a cost benefit analysis of these compared with the traditional Pelican crossings.  Of course the cheapest form of crossing is the simple Zebra crossing and given Ireland’s improved road safety record perhaps it is time to trust our citizens with using them.

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