Bus Connects: Never mind your garden, I'd take away your house

Bus Connects: Never mind your garden, I'd take away your house

If you live in Dublin, you're in the way.

Thousands of people are trying to get in and out the city centre every day and the houses they pass are mere obstacles for them to negotiate.

Eventually something has to give, and today the National Transport Authority announced 1,300 houses would have their front gardens compulsory purcharsed in order to make way for new bus lanes and cycle paths.

Inevitably this means everyone in Dublin has now decided their hobby is gardening.

There is of course a word for this: NIMBYs. These are the people who are happy to pile the kids into their 4x4 before they head out to Dunnes, but they have an ethical objection to anyone else being able to go about their own business.

At this point the poshos of D4 will point out that I would be annoyed if it were my garden being taken away. Yes I would. I think everybody would. Nobody is going to open the post and say "good news, the government are taking that bit of front garden we've got lying around!"

At the same time I hope I'd understand that I don't have a God-given right to own anything. In particular, cities change fast. New buildings appear, travel patterns change, you invest in a property which could benefit or suffer from that. That's part and parcel of city life.

Dublin Bus Volvo B5TL Wrightbus Eclipse Gemini Mk.III 162-D-19156 SG240

The way I'd strike a balance between the residents and the public is simple: you have a normal consultation period where people can make genuine objections and suggestions. But if their objection turns out to me simple NIMBYism, the complainant won't just lose have their front garden sold but they'll lose their house too.

You might say it's wrong to take away somebody's house, especially a city with a major housing crisis. But these people don't know what a housing crisis is.

Have sympathy for somebody losing their house? These people can't even imagine life without a front garden.

 
Tedious about the author bit

Radio producer and travel historian. I love the places people pass through along their journey.

I research and write about how our need to get around continues to shape our world through roads, railways, airports and whole new towns.

My thoughts and/or research have been used by the likes of Truck & Driver, BBC local radio, Daily Express, The Guardian, The Independent, Mail Online and Daily Mirror (detail).

I can't tell you how many toll booths I've been through. But it's a lot of toll booths.

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Any similarities with real-life events or wealthy international firms is probably coincidental. No products endorsed. I'm powered by Monster Munch.

© 2020 Johnathan Randall.