DECEMBER ISSUE - PLAN MAGAZINE, Ireland's leading architectural publication, has conducted a major investigation the results of which are published in our current issue. In conducting our research, we uncovered key findings including:
Dublin City Council's own internal report finds majority of units inspected to be deficient regarding road safety yet units nonetheless deemed as compliant
No schedule yet for the independent safety audit, although vast majority of units are in place.
JC Decaux's list of 50 predominantly already obsolete billboards accepted as complying with the condition that sought to reduce 100 billboards around the city
Billboards erected on roads known to have a bad safety record
Alcohol adverts now flashing outside schools
"Having published the previously secret rezoning map in April used to deliver the Decaux scheme, Plan Magazine lifts the lid and again further exposes significant new shortcomings some of which are potential public safety hazards."
Synopsis of our findings:
1. On request by councillors, city officials conducted an internal audit whereby 32 site inspections were carried out in city-centre areas, primarily on the smaller "metropanel" units, now freestanding on footpaths. Twenty-seven had been erected at time of inspection, yet of the units only eight appear to be completely free from "road user infringements". Although the majority appear to have deficiencies in terms of road safety and could be potentially dangerous, such as "blind spots" (council's own description) and sightlines blocked, all bar one have been deemed to be compliant.
2. Forty-six other units, primarily the larger "metropole" type, do not appear to have been inspected; however Plan Magazine has correlated data provided by the Gardai with locations of development, and it appears that approximately 25 have been built on roads known to have bad history of accidents. (Any of the larger "metropole" units that were appealed to An Bord PleanÃ¡la were shot down, primarily because of road safety concerns; in contrast Dublin City Council approved 100% all such applications in the first instance. No Environmental Impact Assessment was ever carried out.)
3. In total, of the 78 "metropole" and "metropanel" units, approximately 50 raise problems in terms of road safety, or are located on dangerous roads. Despite this the independent safety audit required has not even been advertised for contract with no timetable apparent as to when it is likely to be carried out.
4. The condition stipulating a cleanup of the city by the removal of 100 billboards has seemingly been retrospectively changed to 50, yet the evidence of decommissioned hoardings by JC Decaux appears to have significant peculiarities. Of the 50 units, 30 roads and streets are listed – yet only 20 of these are identifiable with specific numbers provided. Having conducted site examinations of the locations, Plan Magazine has discovered that many of the sites were already under or effected by redevelopment, including in one case state land where a garda station is being built, while in other instances it appears that some addresses provided do not exist.
5. Other matters including alcohol adverts outside schools such as on Dorset Street, land ownership issues, estimates of the scheme being worth €150 million, liability questions and more!
h/t cactus flower at machinenation