obvious we hope…..

A MASSIVE culture shift will need to be enacted if we are going to tackle the housing crisis in this country, Cllr Dan Boyle said on social media last week. He was talking about the need to discourage people from owning a car when they live near the city.

Cllr Boyle was posting comments as part of an announced public consultation for a 39-unit social housing development on Kinsale Road near Musgrave Park. But when asked if there would be parking spaces for cars in this development, he replied that most developments like this will not have parking.

The Kinsale Road development is on a bus corridor route. The choice is either to park cars or build housing, the Green Party councilor said.

It is striking. It is not easy. It would be particularly difficult for families with children who have to be transported to football or drama lessons or the like. Not to mention the need for transport to do the weekly shopping. Try it on foot with a kid or two in tow and an inadequate shopping bag or shopping cart. It’s the stuff of an urban nightmare, trying to live an urban life without the support of four wheels.

And if you have to take your child to the hospital, what should you do? Waiting for the bus or a taxi?

Surely, in the interest of good planning, parking facilities should be included in plans for new housing developments. But space is often limited, necessitating building upwards – another problem for people who don’t want things to change. But they must change, because our current way of life is not sustainable. Cars are bad for the environment and parking lots take up a lot of space.

The 39-unit development on Kinsale Road happens to consist of 24 one-bedroom units and 15 two-bedroom units. In other words, this development project does not target families but rather single people and couples.

So life wouldn’t be so difficult if you had to take the bus because you would probably be childless.

If the purchases of the week cannot be done physically without a car, there is always the possibility of ordering groceries online in a supermarket.

Of course, there would be people who would say that living in your glass box, without the human touch felt paying for your goods or meeting neighbors at the supermarket, will only lead to atomized lives. And they are right. But there are many other ways to be sociable than complaining about the price of tomatoes to the person next to you in the vegetable section of the supermarket. Join a club. Check your local library for events. Start conversations at the bus stop.

On the contrary, there was a tongue-in-cheek Twitter thread recently by someone calling themselves “Wall Street Silver.” WSW said a banker gave economists pause when he said: ‘A cyclist is a disaster for the country’s economy’.

That’s because cyclists don’t borrow money to buy cars (borrowing is the engine that drives society). They don’t buy insurance or fuel, and there’s no car maintenance, no repairs, and no parking fees.

And expanding on the theme of thwarting the economy as we know it, I read that healthy people are not necessary or helpful to the economy. It’s because they don’t buy drugs from Big Pharma, they don’t go to hospitals or doctors. “They add nothing to a country’s GDP,” it was claimed.

On the other hand, “every new McDonalds store creates at least 30 jobs. These are ten cardiologists, ten dentists and ten dietitians or nutritionists.

And there are also the fast-food employees. The tweeter urged to “choose wisely: a bike or a McDonalds”.

I wouldn’t choose either, although I’m surprised by a depressing day and maybe persuaded to have a Big Mac to cheer me up. But a bike? I know too many people who have been knocked off their bike while cycling in traffic.

Cyclists are incredibly vulnerable. They can also be incredibly annoying, breaking traffic lights, so as a pedestrian I never take for granted that they are going to stop when the lights are red. But when the conditions are ideal, the bike is environmentally friendly. Don’t try to fill your satchel with today’s dinner ingredients. There’s just no room for a sack of potatoes.

A warning was issued on Twitter with someone saying that capitalist society will end when people can no longer use their cars due to the high cost of oil.

“But it will be the biggest bloodbath in human history,” the Merchant of Doom said.

I go get a McDonalds meal to lighten the load.

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