independent

Saturday 30 August 2014

Paths neglected while money put into cycle lanes

Published 25/09/2013 | 05:20

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HERE'S a simple question. Who are more frequent users of Dundalk's streets – cyclists or pedestrians?

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The answer is obvious. Pedestrians outnumber cyclists by one hundred, if not more, to one.

The reason for asking this question is simple.

Within the last two years a small fortune has been spent on creating cycle lanes along the town's thoroughfares.

Leaving aside the wisdom of how wisely that money was spent, or indeed the need for the lanes or the blight that they have imposed on a number of the town's finest streets, there is no disputing the fact that a disproportionate amount of money was spent on the cycle lanes in comparison to the footpaths of the town's main streets.

This fact was pointed out to me recently by an elderly person after learning that a friend had tripped over a turned-up iron grating in Park Street.

The point that was forcibly made by the person who drew my attention to the badly maintained grating was that the town's footpaths are not properly maintained, and that there has been no investment – the Market Square aside – in installing new footpaths in the main streets in recent times.

The lower half of Clanbrassil Street is an obvious example, and a disgrace to a town's of Dundalk's stature and ambition.

Badly maintained footpaths are not all that much of an obstacle to the young and light-footed, but to the elderly they are a lethal weapon with dire consequences for their future mobility and health, not to mention the imposition of their medical care on the under resourced HSE.

If, as the Town Council maintains, it is trying to promote increased footfall in the town centre in an effort to sustain businesses then the least it should do is ensure the footpaths are properly maintained.

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