The Dublin Blockers activists believe that streets must be for the use of people first and that the current managment and policy of both local authorities and national government do not achive this. Footpaths are for feet: big and small, using walking aids or wheelchairs, white canes or prams. A great many factors can rob Dubliners of their use of the city's streets: the amount of cars communting into the city has spiralled in the last decade1; our household waste collections result in large bins pulled across pavements; dog fouling continues, footpaths are often badly broken and places and businesses use the civic realm for advertising. Our city can do better for the people who live and work here.
Streets for People
We contend that the very first priority for local authorities in managing the public realm must be to support pedestrians to use and enjoy the places where they live at all times of the day. This means providing a safe, pleasant, well maintained and sustainable environment for people of all ages and abilities.
We believe that a public space that is not suitable for the most vulnerable amongst us is not a public space at all. All public footpaths, streets, squares and developments should be designed with Universal Access in mind and comply with the nationally recognised Design Manual for Urban Roads and Streets (DMURS) government guidance.
We Can All Win
A fully integrated strategy for street usage that recognises the balance of rights and needs of all groups and provides for them appropriately would benefit everyone in Dublin City. Better and more comprehensive cycling infrastructure would see less cyclist flout road rules endangering pedestrians; more frequent and accessible public transport would make life easier for commuters and less cars would reduce air pollution for families living in the city centre.
Better Park Enforcement: Everyone should be able to rely on pavements being safe and clear, but unfortunately pavement parking is a major issue up and down the country. Cars, van and lorries parked on the pavements force people into the road, which is particularly dangerous for many, including blind and partially sighted people, parents with pushchairs and young children, wheelchair users and others who use mobility aids
Street Wardens: We propose the creation of local authority ‘Street Officers’, to issue both parking fines; litter and dog fouling fines; and actively patrol communities to ensure that streets and neighbourhoods are accessible to all. This role would include identifying problematic surfaces and junctions for mobility/visually-impaired people.
Clutter Action: Street clutter includes things like poorly-placed or redundant street furniture, such as defunct phone boxes, or excessive poles for road signs. This can seem harmless but it can create unnecessary obstructions which are inconvenient for everyone and particularly problematic for people with wheelchairs, buggies, or those living with sight loss. Reducing street clutter and making attractive, interesting and beautiful public spaces is a major part of how we can create vibrant areas for walking
Policy First: The needs of those with disabilities and other vulnerable road users should be the primary and key focus of how we plan and fund street design and management