Cars in the Phoenix Park
Sir, – Cian McKenna writes that, “you need to make driving a hassle so people don’t do it” (Letters, July 13th).
I wonder if he would be happy if the hundreds of people like myself who worked all through the lockdown to keep hospitals, etc, open had decided that it was too much of a hassle to drive and had decided to stay at home.
As a hospital worker who daily commutes through the Phoenix Park, I could see the sense in closing the peripheral gates during lockdown as the park was being used as an amenity and there was almost no traffic on the roads.
However, that was a temporary measure and traffic is now back to normal summer levels.
The roads surrounding the park are not suitable for the increased levels of traffic nor will they be when the schools reopen in the autumn.
The Phoenix Park does not belong to one particular group of people; it is a facility for all, and as such needs to be open for all. There is plenty of room to accommodate cars, cyclists and pedestrians.
I am happy that on my way home from work I can now enjoy my drive in the Park as part of my commute. – Yours, etc,
A chara, – As a worker blessed to be based in the Phoenix Park, I can sympathise with Una Mullally’s disappointment at the reopening of the side gates to the park (“Phoenix Park travesty is a litmus test for the Greens”, Opinion & Analysis, July 13th). At the height of the lockdown, the Phoenix Park was a haven and a beacon of tranquillity, silence and nature. But with the return to limited normality, I celebrate the opening of those gates and the end of needless tailbacks. The city has grown around the park, and in closing some roads many other areas were badly affected and thousands inconvenienced.
The notion that those open gates will “destroy the ambience” or make the park dangerous is wrong, as hundreds upon hundreds of acres remain far removed from traffic where wildlife thrives and the ambience remains golden.
We need to share this precious space with all users. It is not the private playground for a local elite, but a city treasure that enriches the lives of all – the visitors, walkers, hikers, bikers, skaters, runners, and others who enjoy sport and recreational activities – and the commuter who needs to use but not abuse the routes to get to and from work. There is enough space for all. – Is mise,
Baile Átha Cliath 16.