Monday, 12 March 2012

M50 traffic jams, baby booms, busy shopping centres - welcome to recessionary Ireland.

Remember, during the bubble, how it was obvious to anyone with half a brain in their heads (thus ruling out the ruling Fianna Fail/Green coalition and the opposition who were very quiet on the tax-break funded building boom) that it was all going to end in tears?

A similar thing seems to be going on today.  It's been mentioned here before, but I continue to be dumbfounded with how busy it is whenever I go out the door.  

Last week, for instance, I was off work Thursday and Friday...  and once again I was amazed out how busy the shops - and the roads in general were - during these two weekdays.   Everywhere was teeming.  

Now I know Dublin City Council recently produced research to show that the amount of traffic entering the area encompassed by the canals has seen a drop in bus, private car and pedestrian traffic since 2001.  But I cannot believe the same applies to the anarchic arc of asphalt known as the M50.

There was a massive traffic jam on the N4 leading up to it, and Chapelizod on the way back was near stationary on the Friday afternoon.   What is behind this?  Petrol and diesel prices are at all time highs, insurance costs are up, people are supposedly losing their jobs - 2,500 poor buggers in AIB being the latest to be targeted - yet Paddy and Mary seem to love driving in their car more than Madness did.   Even if it's not a quite a Jaguar.

What is going on?   Ok, there is the usual thing about ferrying Oisin and Roisin to and from school - and at every lunch break - instead of letting them exercise their lardy arses now and again, but it does not explain why the shops should be hopping during weekdays.  It does not explain why the roads should be jammed with traffic.

Just as during the property bubble, it seems that there is something unsustainable going on...

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Ella said...

Like MADNESS, I like driving in my car but... not in that!

Dakota said...

Asking myself the samething GM, how or why are there so many cars on the roads, not only during working hours (which is disturbing) but all hours of the day and night? With the Great Recession allegedly underway, the opposite should be the case. Doesn't make any sense...Not with the price of petrol where it is.

Then again GM, it is Ireland. Although, the country is on German life support, the reality is still the same. Latent Bubble mentality fuelled by expectation and aspiration. This country still doesn't get it, it can't. The Irish are basically immature. It's genetic, one generation is worse than the next.

The Gombeen Man said...

@ Ella. Yes. Thankfully we don't have the infrastructure in place that contrains ten-lane dual carriageways. Can you imagine it?

@ Dakota. I can't figure it out D, I honestly can't. When there was a recession in England years back when living there, you could see the traffic decline. Here? No. It's hopping, recession or not. Very strange.

Anonymous said...

For starters, bad workmen blame their tools - when it comes to unsustainable practices, the problem is not with the infrastructure, the problem is with the economy and what is championed in our society: money - this in turn, leads to compulsive greed which leads to unsustainable practices.

Secondly, there's nothing wrong with the M50 in principle - for the most part, it's very efficient and is very necessary. Also, anti-car bashing is a knee-jerk reaction of the 1990's towards previous imbalances that developed regarding car dominated policies on the part of authorities - this is 2012 and we should be well beyond that thinking now - what we need is an integrated transport strategy that steers away from fanaticism one way or the other - we need cars, trucks, buses, trams, trains, cycling, walking etc because all these modes have certain advantages and should be used inclusively - no one mode should dominate!

Irish and Proud