Alek Smart

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  • in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731276
    Alek Smart

    Drum Roll Maestro,If you please……….The Spire is fully Illumiminated once more..Hip Hip..????? ๐Ÿ˜€

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731262
    Alek Smart

    Given the current decrepit state of the country`s finances does anybody really envisage this O Connell St project even progressing to site-work stage within the next 5 years ?

    The extent of serious damage to the basic fibre of our Developing and Construction industry by the Sean Fitzpatrick affair alone must have reduced the funding avenues available for this somewhat dubious project ?

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731248
    Alek Smart

    Dublin City Council says that 2007 and this year saw “exceptional years” with major lighting repairs and cleaning.

    Exceptional is correct….That`s probably why the damn lights have failed,YET AGAIN.

    It only remains to be seen where DCC will find the exceptional amounts needed to fix the exceptionally fragile light units in 2009…..:)

    Where`s the queue for refunds..??? ๐Ÿ˜€

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731234
    Alek Smart

    One of the more interesting aspects of this years Crissermas Lights along OCS is how the Central median and GPO Plaza looks so totally bereft of life or purpose.

    This has been exascerbated by the incredibly sad looking Crib…It seems as if was just dropped opposite Easons cos the LED Tree is squatting on the Holy Ground.

    Walkin along the street from South to North one is struck by the sheer absence of…well….anything along what should be a focal point for the entire City.

    Oh and yet again…the Lights atop the Spire are blown….well two of the sections are…the rest will follow.
    Has DCC secured any form of rebate from the lighting system designers as it most certainly is not performing to the original PR Blurb……. ๐Ÿ˜€

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731231
    Alek Smart

    I`m somewhat dubious of their logic,if thats what it is.
    The current City Centre Shopping Centre Multi Stories tend to be described by Car drivers as locations to PARK the voiture full stop.

    A motorist parking in one of the 1,111 new spaces might not spend a cent in the new shopping centre at all,but might simply park there whilst dropping into Bus Atha Cliath`s new Head Office (Contained Therein) to redeem their change-tickets ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Ask any motorist for a roll call of places to park in An Lรƒย r and you`ll most likely get a roll call of the major Shopping Centres.

    As ctesiphon points out the logic here is at best,Flawed and at worst evidence of yet more dubious dealings in Dublins Planning Poorhouse ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731224
    Alek Smart

    Thanks ctesiphon for this Quote:

    “The underlying rationale for this quantum of car parking is derived from a number of specific considerations, including the strategic location and uniqueness of the subject development, as well as supporting planning policy. It is therefore submitted that the level of car parking proposed for the site is based on sound transportation needs.”

    Uniqueness…..Truly I say unto you…This man is the Son of….???

    1,111…..Now I`m sure we can improve on that too.

    No nettles being grasped here then,Kyoto or no Kyoto ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731215
    Alek Smart

    Alonso`s Zero Car Parking quantum is sadly nowhere on the radar.

    As far as I can see this development,with the blessing of DCC and the other administrative bodies has NO facilities for Public Transport…not so much as a pole to lock a Public Rickshaw to.

    Make no bones about it,this is yet another Car Parking led development and with ICP or somesuch already on board to operate it.

    It`s one of the central tenets of Irish Planning….total disregard for the greater good.

    Take for example,Croke Park.

    Ireland vs New Zealand.

    Full House expected one might suppose…….

    Yet as is usual for these events,Bus Atha Cliath pulls the terminus for two of it`s busiest and direct South Suburbs-Croke Park routes the 46A and 145 from Mountjoy Square back to Parnell Square cos the Buses cannot get access.

    This codology must surely rank as Irishism on a grand scale….Major event-Quick….move the buses away from it…..:eek:

    The current mystification about WHY Bus patronage is falling is very easily explained…..just use Croke Park events as your pattern and all will become clear. ๐Ÿ™

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731201
    Alek Smart

    I too am living with the Tree,hugging it almost ๐Ÿ™‚

    However as with the Spire itself,its let down badly by the base which singularly fails to make any impact.

    I have long felt that the Spire should have been set down into a circular,seated amphitheatre directly in front of the GPO, which would have enhanced it`s dei-facto role as a meeting place (C u at the Pillar/Spire etc etc )

    Just look at the missed opportunity as evidenced by the throngs who stand arkwardly around the base on that uncomfortable raised metal banding.
    All they do is prevent a free-flow of pedestrians between North Earl and Henry Streets…..

    Last Question…….where is the Crib going this year..????

    in reply to: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians #746358
    Alek Smart

    Yup….sickle shelters….I suppose it made sense to somebody in authority or perhaps they were on holliers to some part of the civilized world and came upon similar contriviances….

    Several dotted along the N11 QBC.. one at the Goat Bar and no doubt a few more too.
    Idea was It seems to promote local cycle useage as a means of getting to and from the “Showcase” QBC`s.

    However,from their very first appearance the native Irish displayed their mistrust of such foreign influence on their streetscape by systematically destroying them.
    Essentially this merely entailed stripping off the sheets of plexiglass and eating them,or in some particularly inventive cases,burning them instead.

    The Tubular Steel frames are however still dotted about the place having,thus far,proven impervious to standard hooliganism.

    The reaction of the “Erecting Authorities” has in equally true Irish practice been to ignore it.

    Thus,we see former US Police Chief John Timoney`s theory about the “Broken Pane of Glass” syndrome proven yet again…..

    Leave the broken pane unattended and the entire window will soon follow,then the wall,before eventually the entire building falls to the ground.

    One need look no further then last nights Halloween aftermath for examples of where we collectively are headed,as destruction of the most wanton kind is beningly smiled upon by a nation hell bent on enjoyin itself…… ๐Ÿ˜€

    in reply to: college green/ o’connell street plaza and pedestrians #746355
    Alek Smart

    God almighty are we still being fed this drivel ๐Ÿ˜ก

    Quote: “Properly functioning and integrated public transport was the key to providing a true alternative to the private car, the report said.”

    Anybody find fault with the above sentiment ?

    Oh dear…the compilers of the report don`t appear to have checked in with Transport Minister Noel Dempsey.

    Our Minister for Transport currently feels that Dublin has more than enough buses,in fact TOO many and is “undecided” about funding any extra resources in that department.
    What he has refrained from saying is that his Department is currently examining options from the CIE bus companies for a substantial REDUCTION in the Public Bus fleet.
    In Bus Atha Cliath`s case we could be looking at 100 buses taken off the road.

    Notwithstanding the current “Downturn”,this volte-face from the Minister merely underlines the lack of any real impetus for the Public Bus service that T21 supposedly was meant to encourage.

    Now here`s a Quare one….” Proximity to public transport can no longer be used by developers to justify large scale residential or mixed-use schemes which would swamp transport services, and even small developments must be subject to traffic management analysis, it said.”

    So marketing initiatives such as “Only a stones throw from Luas” will need to be revisited then ?
    The reasons for Developers latching on to the Public Transport network in the first place was a total lack of any integrated planning BEFORE these developments were commenced.
    Only in the VERY recent past has any form of official contact regarding Public Transport become accepted.

    And to complete a thoroughly despondent report….”However, despite infrastructural improvements, there was a continuing decline in cycling to work or schools and colleges, the report said.”

    This hoary old chesnut arises again,with not a mention of our Weather……Like it or not,while the committed chamois wearing cycliste will not care a whit about the weather,the huge volume of POTENTIAL job related ones most definitely will.
    Mass transfer to the bicycle simply ain`t going to happen unless the earth`s axis shifts to satisfy DCC`s planners.

    In the meantime the same pro-cycling professionals could do worse than take an in-depth look at what is left of the Cycle Shelters so expensively provided along several of the City`s main arteries…..within a very short time they became derelict,with not even enough cover for a gypsy to live in.
    The only items contained within being the abandoned skeletons of vandalized machines whose owners rapidly returned to the Micra,Polo or Fiesta.
    …..Get a grip DCC.

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731160
    Alek Smart

    It would be quite easy and affordable to extend the current footpath line outwards on the bridge as shown in ctesiphon`s photo.
    If you look closely at the Taxi Rank markings u can see how it is only a small stretch of the carriageway actually marked as a Rank,the remainder is useless ( In the Irish context) cross-hatching.

    Therefore extending the Kerbline would make it a safer environment for pedestrians whilst also physically preventing Taxidrivers from shooting-up the inside to gain advantage at the traffic signals.

    As for the Aircoach Northbound trajectory,this is a recurring and worsening problem which is afflicting all traffic crossing the bridge.
    However when performing this in a Bus or Coach the effects and resultant dangers are magnified greatly.

    I am currently embroiled in a crusade (of sorts) to spread the word to Bus and Coach drivers that BOTH straight-ahead marked lanes on Westmoreland St Can be utilised by them to align with the relevant lanes on O Connell Bridge itself and thence O Connell St.

    There is a tendency,amongst Aircoach staff particularly,to insist on using the left hand straight ahead lane only when leaving Westmoreland St then making a severe right hand lane correction ON THE BRIDGE to gain access to the outer lane on O Connell St (This OCS outer lane positioning is perfectly acceptable as Aircoach and many Bus Atha Cliath routes do not stop again on OCS until well beyond the Spire crossing.)

    The problem appears to stem from a difference of opinion at Instruction level whereby Drivers are recommended to stay in the left straight ahead lane until clear of Westmoreland St.
    The key to successfully negotiating the Bridge for a Bus or Coach driver is to get out early from the Westmoreland St stops and then make full use of ALL straight-ahead marked lanes of which the outer is usually clear as traffic turning Right off OCB moves quite rapidly over to the right-turn lanes as marked on the bridge.

    The other simple solution to the “shoot up the inside” problem is to erect floppy poles OR extend the footpath on OCB at the Aston Quay junction also !!

    This debate may well however by totally academic as Mr Dempsey`s remarks as reported in todays meejia don`t exactly amount to a ringing endorsement of Metro North or indeed of Transport21 itself………”It`ll be a great project in 2 to 3 years”……. Nurse !! The screens please….Noel is having a moment !! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731141
    Alek Smart

    One of the most immediate requirements to breathing a bit of life into the Parnell St-Bolton St-Capel St-Wolfe Tone St zone would be if Bus Atha Cliath could find it within itself to recognize it as an area which has merits for some form of Public Transport service ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    No matter what ethnic grouping we establish there,they will require Public Transport as an INTEGRAL part of their community ?

    Currently anybody working or living in the area has to trek to Parnell Square or O Connell St to avail of the Omnibus and even further if seeking the Train.

    Anybody with a little interest should walk around the place and wonder why the absence of public transport..??? :confused:

    in reply to: O’ Connell Street, Dublin #731091
    Alek Smart

    Was there any mention of any of this in the original IAP for the O Connell St project ?

    Is this yet another example of the type of “Planning” engaged in by Dublin City Council as a rule ?

    Lets get some costings for this festival of replacing “everlasting” light fittings and cleaning “self-cleaning” surfaces as per the original descriptions of an Tรƒยนr Solaรƒยฌs ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777046
    Alek Smart

    This entire scenario is fast becoming a quagmire for DCC.

    The handling of the initial contract negotiations was bad enough but as sure as night follows day when a civic body embarks upon secret deals then they WILL be caught out,thankfully in this case it was still dark.

    For a City authority which prides itself on employing the brightest and best young professionals DCC has suddenly appeared as a stumbling grasping body who are`nt even aware of the basic bye-laws or conventions governing the City they purport to “manage”.

    Its also quite a feat on the part of JCD in that they appear to have escaped any of the questioning whilst DCC flail around trying to make base metal into gold…:D

    Mind you,a brace of senior resignations would do a great deal to clear the air !!

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777039
    Alek Smart

    StephenC makes a valid point here.
    The felling of such recently transplanted Trees and the duplication of Lamp Standards is surely an integral part of a Managers function…..Now,correct me here if I am wrong,but do we currently have a CITY MANAGER ?

    If not,then fair enough lets just cut and burn our way through the streetscape,however if we DO then surely the occupant of that position MUST have an input into thoise decisions..?:confused:

    It appears to me,yet again,as if everybody`s in-charge but NOBODY is RESPONSIBLE……(Latin translation could surely replace the current Dublin City Motto ?)

    in reply to: Metro R.I.P. #736873
    Alek Smart

    One of the saddest aspects of this thread is the all too apparent reality gulf which currently exists at Departmental and Ministerial level about what exactly constitutes a Bus service.

    The current Bus Atha Cliath ORDINARY services which serve the Airport are largely already overstretched BEFORE factoring in any Airport specific traffic.

    Sending Swords corridor services through the Airport can only be a sticky tape answer to the greater problem as the core business of the 41 group is Swords and greater North County Dublin.
    Similarly the 16A attempts to portray itself as an Airport service when it`s merely an extension of a SANTRY route

    There appears to be little recognition on the part of the Department and Minister of the difference between a service route and an express route a la Airlink or Aircoach.

    Bus Atha Cliath have attempted to address this with the proposed 141 which would have linked Swords with Rathmines whilst bypassing the Airport.
    This of itself would have freed up resources for those Airport bound customers who did not wish to travel (and pay for) Express.

    However,the Department in it`s infinite wisdom consider that such an ordinary stage-carriage service operating along the Swords Road QBC will in some exestential fashion “interefere” with the Swords EXPRESS service which incredibly enough is a limited stop EXPRESS service utilizing the Port Tunnel.

    I hope that somebody somewhere can see how immediate approval for the 141 (Proposed 10 Min peak frequency,with full 7 day service) is in the Public Interest which is surely the remit of the Department and Minister for Transport.

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #777002
    Alek Smart

    Grahamh`s picture of the bottom detail of these panels illustrates another potential for accident.
    If one observes a blind person using a “white-stick” a pattern is discernible.
    The person usually “sweeps” the area immediately in front of them in a varying arc.

    Now as the numerous photo`s illustrate,DCC has superimposed most of the panels directly onto the footpath.
    Therefore a Blind person can be placed in atruly awful situation as their “white-stick” will fail to impact upon any solid part of the frame due to the Cutouts.
    This will leave the unfortunate Blind person disorientated and perhaps even injured as they walk directly into the frame itself.

    This has to be the tackiest most ill-advised piece of slip-shod administration DCC have ever become involved in.
    It`s not even the JCD/DCC contract that is grating,but rather the simplistic and downright dangerous manner in which these intrusive things have been erected.

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #776984
    Alek Smart

    Thans to Smithfield Resi for those images and particularly for the Wording of the Corporate Manslaughter Bill 2000.

    Thse images portray a situation far worse than anybody could have believed.
    Perhaps the structures were erected in darkness by a French crew believing traffic flow to be in the opposite direction ?

    I really do think that some form of writ should be slapped across the City Managers gob at opening of business tomorrow.
    This thing encompasses all that can possibly be wrong with the Irish concept of good governance and responsibility.

    In order to get to this actual stage the proposal will have been vetted by a cross section of EVERY professional department in DCC plus an Garda Siochana.
    Are we being asked to believe that the sum total of every professional who inspected this amounted to a total inability to refer to reality as it pertains to public safety.

    There is a very real need now for some form of impeachment mechanism whereby people such as the City Manager can be forced to account for their decisions.

    The images of that buggy and pedestrian totally concealed behind this insanely placed structure tell the entire sorry tale.

    One can see where people such as Noel O Gara get their confidence from when dubious planning and irregularity on the part of a Civic Authority result in such a potentially fatal mess.

    It might be worth mailing those images to Gay Byrne or show them to Joe,as in the absence of true democracy in this pastiche of a Republic it`s probably the best chance we have of securing accountability ! ๐Ÿ˜ก ๐Ÿ˜ก ๐Ÿ˜ก

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #776981
    Alek Smart

    I am absolutely stunned by the siting of the Unit at Dorset St/Synott Place.
    It not alone masks the kerbside traffic signal array but also manages to effectively increase the risk of serious accident to pedesterians concealed behind it too !

    I have never before witnessed such a complete and total example of Corporate Negligence as is visible here.

    At this stage I consider there is sufficient evidence to sustain such a charge against the City Manager and several of the Proffessional branch of DCC as it is quite obvious that none of these people carried out any form of due diligence in relation to this particular location.

    World Class Traffic Management My Sweet Ass ! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    in reply to: New Advertising in Dublin #776979
    Alek Smart

    Well,our City Manager stoutly declares his belief that we have a “World Class” traffic management system in Dublin.

    The Rathmines and Dorset St hoardings flatly contradict this and appear to render it as the babblings of somebody possibly not quite “right in the head”.

    However,it will probably be more productive to count how many senior City Council administrators decide to holiday in France this year….and next year….and the year after….. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

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