Letters to the Editor: Pedestrians should be priority on greenways

We should all accept the principle of greenways designed and developed precisely for the safe use of pedestrians and non-motorised cyclists
Letters to the Editor: Pedestrians should be priority on greenways

Foreign secretary David Cameron arrives in Downing Street, London, for the first meeting of the new-look Cabinet following a reshuffle on Monday. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA

We should all accept the principle of greenways designed and developed precisely for the safe use of pedestrians and non-motorised cyclists.

I put pedestrians first — they are normally slower and more vulnerable. Several may be incapacitated, elderly, or very young. Others may need to be pushed in wheelchairs or prams.

However, the current trend in the design and implementation of greenways does not accommodate the safe passage of people on foot or those being pushed.

Yes, we see ‘segregated’ areas allotted for both but this is normally merely delineated by means of different coloured surfaces or maybe by line painting.

If planners believe that cyclists will, at all times, keep to their very own side of these passageways then they are very naive.

Currently, the pedestrian footpath that meanders along the harbour from Glenbrook to the end of Monkstown, Co Cork, has very clear signage: Bicycles are not permitted on this pathway. Such signs are ignored every day of the week. These same cyclists often become abusive if challenged.

The graphic presentation for all new greenways shows a lovely relaxed environment, walkers walking, children playing, and bicyclists meandering along at a leisurely pace, a scene that no one would object to. But, take note, in reality, this is never the case.

The proposed Active Travel Link and Public Realm Enhancement in Monkstown will see slow-moving bicycles, fast-moving racing bikes, electric scooters, electric cycles, bicycles, tricycles, and motorised unicycles all competing for a very narrow space and, no matter what regulation may be put in place, motorised cycles will be on the Monkstown Greenway.

Such a regulation will never be enforced. Our gardaí are thin on the ground and have far more important matters to attend to. Our planners should not forget that these ‘motorised vehicles’ may travel at high speeds, be unlicensed, and not insured. Recently I found online a unicycle that is capable of travelling at 70km/h!

It would appear as if pedestrians are an afterthought in the planning of such facilities.

We have been invited to submit either online, by email, or letter our observations to the Cork County Council. Planners for this development should engage directly, and in person, with the people who live by and use this facility. They should not bulldoze their ideas on a community as they have in Cork’s Lower Harbour area in the past.

Joe Burns, Monkstown, Co Cork

Respect applicants for teaching posts

I note your article concerning the lack of applicants for many teaching posts in Ireland (77% of schools advertised positions in the previous six months for which no teacher applied, Irish Examiner, November 15).

During my career abroad, as a teacher of maths, physics, English, and, latterly, in educational consultancy, I answered several advertisements for a teaching post in Ireland and never received a courtesy acknowledgement of my application, either by automatic email (easy and free) or personal message (more time-consuming but also more considerate). I had thought my considerable experience and good references deserved a reply.

If school managers are so unconcerned about their job applicants that they don’t even recognise the effort each makes when applying, perhaps their lack of candidates is unsurprising.

Lawrence Fray, Silver Peaks, Ranikhet, India

Tories in freefall

When I heard the shock and awe, and some giggling, on Sky News at the appearance of David Cameron in Downing Street, I realised that the great Tory experiment has finally come to an end.

The return of Cameron was seen as the final act of a prime minister desperate to hold on to a sinking Tory ship.

That Rishi Sunak would re-employ a former prime minister who was the architect of the Brexit referendum and was paid a substantial amount of money, £8.2m, to promote the now collapsed Greensill Capital shows a Tory party in virtual freefall.

Sunak’s attempts to appease all wings of the party, right, left, centre, has allowed extremist views to dominate political and public discourse.

Since 2010 when Cameron was PM, there have been five Tory prime ministers and seven chancellors of the exchequer. Some 39 cabinet ministers have resigned or were forced to quit.

If any other public or private organisation had this many CEOs or executives quit over a period of 13 years, serious questions would be asked as to their competence, yet the British public has to watch this comedy of errors and stupidity until the next general election.

While Rishi and Cameron have their golden nest eggs secured, many British taxpayers must be wondering how they were so naive or foolish to believe the lies they were told and the promises that have not been kept.

Hate-filled rhetoric, scaremongering, and bullish self-interest is now the new Tory brand.

The British electorate, who are finally beginning to wake up, must hope that the next PM will have the required skills to steer his or her country to a better future using honesty, integrity, and good conscience as their core values.

Christy Galligan, Letterkenny, Co Donegal

Zionism must not target democracy

I believe it is important for readers to understand that not all Palestinians support Hamas; neither do all members of the Jewish faith support Zionism.

Therefore it is wrong that individual members of Arab or Jewish communities be targeted.

There have been calls for a ceasefire from governments, aid organisations, and individuals — all have fallen on deaf ears.

In my opinion (based on many years living and working in the Middle East), Zionists have no interest in anything other than Zionist goals and objectives.

Considering the support of various Zionist organisations throughout the world, Zionism is powerful enough to dictate to democratic government.

Zionists, in my opinion, do not acknowledge or respect international law — and violate it at will.

Democracy must not be sidelined by Zionism.

Michael A Moriarty, Rochestown, Cork

Time for Biden’s Gaza wake-up call

Joe Biden has said that hospitals in the Gaza Strip should be protected and that he hoped for “less intrusive” action by Israel.

It is a bit late for that. Has President Biden been asleep for the past few weeks?

The Israeli military is now routinely attacking hospitals in Gaza and newborn babies and other patients have died as a result of power failures. The director of the main hospital, al-Shifa, has spoken of hundreds of dead patients who had to be buried in the grounds of the hospital.

What is happening is difficult to comprehend. More than 100 UN humanitarian workers have also been killed in the Israeli bombing. This is unprecedented.

Following the Hamas attack in southern Israel, Biden gave Israel the green light to invade Gaza. He knew how ruthless the Israeli army was when dealing with Palestinians and cannot wash his hands of what has occurred.

Even this late in the day, it is important that Joe Biden wakes up and calls for an immediate ceasefire, but his behaviour in this conflict will forever be a stain on his reputation.

Fintan Lane, Lucan, Co Dublin

Going out to work in the ‘real world’

In your report of a survey (Irish Examiner, 13/11/23) it is stated that 92% of Irish workers believe the choice of “remote or hybrid working” would influence their job choices and that only 3% of respondents are “working fully on-site”.

One wonders who the respondents to the survey were. All public sector workers perhaps?

Certainly not those who toil in ‘the real world’.

Denis Michael, Ballina, Co Mayo

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