WAITING times at pedestrian crossings should be reduced to just 30 seconds, Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has said.
As part of an effort to encourage walking, the Dublin TD says cars should be made to wait rather than people travelling by foot.
He told Independent.ie’s ‘Floating Voter’ podcast that many pedestrian lights leave walkers waiting 90 seconds before giving them a green light to cross.
“Everybody jay-walks. Why? Well one of the reasons is that we have 90 second waits on a lot crossing. It doesn’t have to be like that,” he said.
“If you go to San Francisco, a not too dissimilar city to Dublin in terms of wealth and affluence, you don’t have any of that 90 second wait there.”
He wants local authorities to “bring the crossing times right down”.
Mr Ryan claims the Government have put too much focus on improving roads while ignoring public transport and cycling infrastructure.
As a regularly cyclist in Dublin, he has only recently started wearing a helmet because “there were too many days where I felt ‘that was a bit close’”.
Speaking about the increasing number of clashes between cyclist and motorists, the Dublin Bay South representative said: “Why do people get pissed off with cyclists? Because we break the law too much. Because we’re in a chaotic system where we’re reacting to traffic conditions that are impossible.”
Mr Ryan has made headlines over a number of controversial proposal in recent weeks, most notably his suggestion that wolves should be reintroduced to Ireland.
He is sticking by the idea, arguing people don’t understand the benefits of having such animals in the wild.
He said deer are preventing the growth of forests because “they will just literally eat everything”.
“What they found in other countries when they introduced wolves, was that the wolves changed the behaviour of the deer and forest came back quicker.
“It’s not going to happen any time soon. You’d have to have real scientific analysis and have the farming community with you,” Mr Ryan said.
“In people’s minds and forklore wolves are scary but actually they are scared of us. They avoid human beings.”
On the podcast, Mr Ryan also discusses the Green Party’s current growth in popularity and how they will approach the next election.