Date Published: 21-Apr-2011
Hesitation. What an excellent initial response there was in the past week by our City Fathers to the proposal that we might replace any number of roundabouts with sets of traffic lights somewhat akin to those at Moneenageisha Cross.
This was no anti high-tech knee-jerk – this had to be the voice of reason and caution which was sibilantly whispering in the ears of at least some of the city councillors when someone came along with a €6 million solution that would transform all our lives.
Silly me! And there was I thinking that if you had a huge growth in traffic in Galway, and you built a motorway from Dublin to Galway, and then didn’t build the €400 million outer bypass to carry half of that traffic past the city because you wanted to preserve part of a slab of rock, you would have problems no matter how many sets of traffic
lights you put into action . . . or roundabouts!
The alleged solution looked all the more attractive when it was couched in high-tech language and seemed like it might be somewhat easily financed from the National Roads Authority; it would mean less congestion and that we would all be healthier because many more of us would be on bikes or walking the average 2 kilometres to work, though in some cases the average would be nearer to 4k.
Here, I have to point out, in the interests of fairness, that the proposal does predict a reduction in private car use if routes are more amenable to other road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. It also has to be said that previous route planning in Galway looked almost totally to the private car and left all others to take their chances on a hugely unfriendly system for commuters.
Under the plan as outlined last week, one of the economic clinchers would be that, according to consultants, for every euro spent, there would be a €4 cost benefit to us in terms of lifestyle, traffic movement and so on.
Like many another citizen of this traffic-snarled town I have become cautious in the face of apparently wizard solutions . . . one doesn’t wish to be churlish about this, but remember the Eyre Square transformation plans? And wasn’t it only a few years ago we were being told that roundabouts were the solution?
In other words, I reserve the right to be cautious . . . especially if someone tells me that, if there is a problem with this new traffic lights structure around the city, then someone in an office in the city will be able to change the lights at the flick of a switch.
To which my sceptical answer in the light of what we have endured in recent years has to be – Yeah? This from a local authority which appeared to play ‘Russian Roulette’ for months on end with the ‘intelligent’ lights at Moneenageisha Cross before they eventually appeared to work to their full potential.
My further reservation – and this may be in the minds of the city councillors – is that, if we multiply the potential fiddling about with ‘intelligent lights’ at up to six sets of new junctions, as a driver, am I likely to end up in ‘therapy’, or in a ditch somewhere between Salthill and Doughiska?
I may be greying and some say ‘losing it’, but in some things I am cursed with a long memory. Question me as to precisely where I was last Thursday and there may be a great hesitation on my part, but weren’t the now-hated roundabouts welcomed as a remarkable intervention no too many years ago?
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.