One would have to wonder if the entire 1,000 tonnes of salt used to date by Dublin City Council in this cold spell were used in a single sweep on O'Connell Street last night. There was about 5cm of salt covering the entire thoroughfare this morning. A most impressive effort - it resembled a fresh fall of snow it was so consistent and deep. No doubt it is needed to cope with both morning and evening rush hours. Top marks.
Likewise DCC must be commended for the heavy salting of all the major commercial thoroughfares in the city overnight. It couldn't have been any more of a different scene to the deathtrap of a skating rink the entire city become yesterday evening, where the level of compaction on the pavements made many of the roads a safer place to be. Some streets, notably High Street, were even worse today, but most were substantially improved.
There were extraordinary scenes on Dame Street at about 2pm yesterday, as the thoroughfare resembled an apocalypse scene, with abandoned buses and stranded cars scattered along its length. The problem was Cork Hill, which very few vehicles could approach, and those on Parliament Street either had to sit there stranded or be pushed by three of four willing pedestrians at a time. It was bizarre how this part of the city became entirely dependent on the manpower of pedestrians for its roads to function.
Sierra have been out all morning today doing a great job scraping the city's pavements with their gravediggers and then gritting afterwards. Though why this wasn't done last night isn't entirely clear... Generally speaking though, I think Dublin City Council have approached this problem well in the city centre, whatever about secondary streets and suburban routes which I'm sure others can comment on.
If there is anyone to lay criticism on, it has to be said the city's own traders have not outshone themselves in efforts to clear pavements outside their shops. In a long and tortuous trek home through the city yesterday, I did not encounter a single shop that had cleared their pavement. Of course local authorities hold ultimate responsibility in this regard, but the lack of civic-mindedness of retailers and traders was surprising. A couple of kettles, a shovel, a stiff brush or plank from the basement, and a bag of salt, ten minutes and it's done. Substantial tracts of the city, aided with the odd communal shovel, could have been cleared this way