Stop!, Look and Listen – a good use of Council funds?

Last week, candidates running for local elections attended a ‘meet and greet’ in the Iona Centre in Knocklyon. This was an excellent opportunity for local residents to see first-hand how our incumbents deal with real issues affecting local residents.

One of the biggest issues raised was our local schools and the traffic mayhem caused by parents dropping children off to school by car. As a community we have looked to the Council to work together to find a solution.

But we were told at the meeting that SDCC have allocated €100,000 for a pilot scheme in Ballyroan to look at how best to deal with school parking.

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I was gobsmacked! As a community, we know what the solutions are and other schools have solved the problem – without spending a cent on consultants.

A friend of mine has kids in a school in West Dublin with similar traffic issues. They solved it and it cost them €0. So what did they do and can we employ it in Knocklyon?

This school has a staff car park but no parent car parking allocated. They have playing courts and allow the parents of Junior and Senior infants only to park here in the mornings and afternoons for drop off and pick up.

For First class pupils and beyond – parents are permitted to drive around a drop-off one way system.

When they reach the allotted point – they stop and their children hop out to a waiting parent volunteer/teacher who takes them to the supervised area – indoors on wet days and to their class line in the yard on dry days.

The parent doesn’t need to get out of the car and carries on out of the school reasonably quickly. The traffic keeps moving through in an orderly fashion.

This school also allocated a secure lock-up where children who scoot/cycle to school can lock up their bikes for the day. This has encouraged more children to come to school without the car.

This is just one case study, carried out informally and without spending a single Euro – and some of this could be used in Knocklyon.

Another option might be to look at changing the sequence of traffic lights at relevant junctions to facilitate the increased traffic to and from the schools.

Wouldn’t the common sense approach be to pick up to the phone to a few other schools or visit their websites to see if they have a published parking policy?

From next year, that’s your property tax the council will be squandering on consultants.

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Deirdre O'Donovan

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