Let’s back the Mayor’s initiative and get Galway moving.
More and more Galway is being associated with traffic gridlock — and it is a monicker with which we would not like to be stuck. Even a recent edition of The Apprentice saw the contestants come a cropper when they were delayed due to the infamous Galway traffic, and, increasingly so, traffic woes are becoming commonplace for the people who use this city.
With the opening of the Briarhill junction this week, the Galway city councillors are confident that the flow will be improved and they feel that this will get even better when, like the fairy lights on a Christmas tree, all the components are put together and eventually all roundabouts are traffic lit.
With that in mind and with failure such a high possibility, it is a brave decision by Mayor Hildegarde Naughton to place her neck on the line and put her name to a traffic forum in which everyday, commonsense, and inexpensive solutions to the traffic flow problems are sought from a group of experts — including the general public, as after all we are the ones who have to suffer the traffic gridlock on a daily basis.
Everyone is invited to engage in the process, including residents of Galway, those who commute to work in Galway, business interests, visitors, officials and councillors of Galway City Council, other public representatives, An Garda Síochána and other relevant statutory bodies, together with private and public sector providers of transport services in the city.
There are a number of ways in which to engage with the initiative including online and offline surveys and a blog on the Galway Transport Forum website, which welcomes contributions and comments.
Surveys will be conducted in partnership with selected businesses in Galway, including multinational corporations, educational and health organisations, and companies. Some of this will take the form of focus groups.
In the end nothing may come out of this process, because the people who currently make the decisions may say there is no merit to the solutions being put forward by the people who live in this city.
Or maybe there will. If the Mayor can pull this off, she will have turned her mayoralty around and created something worthwhile for the city to have — a living breathing debate on Galway traffic.
We all have our opinions on what can be done, but are we going to confine them to the taxi rides or the pub stools or the kitchen tables, or are we going to use this forum website to express our views and make sure they get to the people who matter? No matter how daft a solution you may have, it may provide a kernel of an idea for somebody else to turn it into fruition. Or maybe, we all have ingenioius ideas which can be made real and viable by the experts whom Mayor Naughton has gathered.
So get involved, get on www.galwaytf.com and help get Galway moving.