Signs of the times

Following on from our previous comments about the execrable state of Irish roads, we’re now going to reflect on road signage…

Signs should be instructive and salutary.

They should help us navigate around the country.

They should improve our travelling experience.

In a bid to appear all European and sophisticated the Department of Transport went on a nationwide campaign to upgrade our directional signage.

There was general outcry when well-known junctions like the Mad Cow Roundabout were replaced with alpha numeric cyphers such as J12.

If I was living in the estate below, would I tell people to call to Monalea Wood or the L8314? (See how it trips so nicely off the tongue!)

Useless road sign Ireland

I can’t see how the new references are an improvement on landmarks and place names that people have been using for generations.

To make matters worse Leo Varadkar is now supporting a proposal to replace these shiny new road signs with bilingual versions where the Irish language equivalent will be even more prominent. What is L8314 ‘as Gaeilge’ I wonder?

As well as directional signage, local councils seem to think we can’t do anything as simple as changing lane without being prompted to do so by authoritative road markings. But their misguided attempts at instruction have led to general confusion.

There is invariably chaos at the junction below as motorists and cyclists try to figure out which lane they should be in and who has right of way.

Junction Firhouse Road M50 bridge

And my personal favourite is the plague of signage demarcating cycle tracks. The first sign below indicates the end of the cycle track while not 2 meters later a second sign announces the resumption of the track. Invariably by the time cyclists have observed the first sign, the second sign is also fading into the distance.

Useless cycle track signs Dublin

I think the state should scrap every single piece of road signage in the country and replace them all with the message below.

Keep Calm and Carry On

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