“IF we haven’t got the money to mark a road, we have to have a serious discussion,” was Cllr Willie Aird’s angry retort to a reply from PJ Dempsey of the Roads Department, which rejected the councillor’s request to install a pedestrian crossing at Father Brown Avenue in Portlaoise.
The reply from the Roads Department said it considered that the two crossings currently in place at the Abbeyleix Road junction adequately accommodate the existing pedestrians and their directions of travel. Cllr Aird was incredulous at the response, during the recent Portlaoise Town Council meeting.
“How often does PJ Dempsey cross that road? Has he ever?” That’s a regrettable answer for any professional to give. (The council) widened that road without giving any provision for pedestrians, then when the shopping centre was built it increased the footfall. It’s extremely difficult to cross that road,” said Cllr Aird.
He called for proper road markings and said they would have to have “a serious discussion” if funding was not available.
Mayor Catherine Fitzgerald said it was a shame that “so many mistakes were made” when the shopping centre was built.
“If you’re elderly or disabled it’s very difficult to cross there. It’s in favour of the motorist, not the pedestrian,” she said.