The benefits of having less traffic in town
The lack of vehicles travelling through the centre of Boyle must surely have brought some health benefits with it. Here in Boyle we are unlucky enough (or lucky enough depending on your view) to have the N61 national secondary route running right through our town. If you want to head north to south of Ireland, chances are you have to pass down Main Street, along Bridge Street and up the Crescent, right through the centre of Boyle and that is the route most trucks seem to take. Since lock down, traffic volumes in Boyle have decreased significantly and in the process air pollution has no doubt also decreased. When RTE’s Duncan Stewart visited the town last December, the volume of trucks travelling through the centre of town shocked him. But really there is not a lot we can do about the resultant traffic pollution until there is a bypass built and that won’t be for a long time yet. But there is one small measure we can take to improve our air quality and that is reduce the number of smaller vehicles using our town centre. To achieve this we need additional parking on the outskirts of the town and an elimination of parking spaces in the direct town centre. The former car parking spaces could then be replaced with public realm enhancement features like benches, sitting our areas and planting along with additional cycle lanes and walkways. Were this to happen, it no doubt would not be popular with many retailers and the ‘park outside the door’ brigade, but after a few weeks of improved air quality and less traffic, retailers would see that more people would in fact visit the town and wander around which would be to everyone’s benefit.
Mobile phone coverage in this area
Have you ever wondered why your mobile phone loses signal depending on where you are in the country? Comreg, the Commission for Communications Regulation have produced an outdoor mobile coverage map showing coverage all over Ireland for nine service providers. From the map, and depending on who you are aligned to, you will see that there are a number of black spots outside of Boyle. You can view the map here
A regrettable but correct decision
The news during the week that this year’s Boyle Arts Festival has been cancelled was met with sadness but understanding by the public in general. Not having the Arts Festival in Boyle in 2020 will leave a big void both socially and commercially in the town. It was always a time for natives to come back home or use it as a family gathering when there was so much happening. But while we will not have an Arts Festival this year, let’s wait and see what the next few months bring and perhaps we can fill the void with some other form of get together and celebration.
The lockdown is being ignored by some
If the increase in traffic on the roads locally of late is anything to go by, it would seem the current lockdown and 2k distance is being ignored by many. Granted the Gardai have been very active locally in conducting Covid-19 checkpoints, which is commendable, but statistics on the N4 show traffic volumes are increasing. Last Sunday, a day when there should be little commercial traffic on the road, 1627 vehicles pass Usna between Boyle and Carrick on Shannon. Compare that to the previous Sunday when 966 vehicles past the same point – that’s nearly a 70% increase!
Will the motorist see the drop in oil price?
A barrel of oil is now cheaper than a litre of milk! Indeed at one stage earlier this week, if you had the space to store it, you could have got a few thousand barrels of oil for free! The situation has been caused by the coronavirus crisis that has seen a global fall off in demand for oil due to the lockdown and not enough storage capacity. This has resulted in producers paying buyers to take oil off their hands! As a result now is a good time to stock up on home heating oil/kerosene before prices probably rise again. And will we see a drop at the pumps where currently a litre of diesel covers you for a month! On Tuesday, just when oil prices had a large fall, diesel in Boyle was around 107.8c and petrol 119.8c. Last night (Thursday) they remained exactly the same. No sign yet of the reduction coming to the motorist.
Seeking friends originally from Boyle
We received a request this week from a viewer seeking friends from Boyle. “Hi I am looking for my ma’s friends Hannah Gunning and Tony /Brian Mc Greevy/Mc Greavy (spelling of exact surname unknown) who are both originally from Boyle. Moved to Dublin in the 1970’s. Hannah worked in the hospitality sector and Tony /Brian was a truck driver. Seeking anyone who may know of either Hannah or Tony/Brian. My ma lives in Australia and would like to get in touch with them. Please contact myself at [email protected]”
Thought of the Day
“If we lifted the restrictions today, let’s be really clear, thousands and thousands of people in our country would die” – Minister for Health Simon Harris speaking on Wednesday. Perhaps those, both locally and nationally, who believe the current restrictions need to be lifted should think long and hard about what our Minister for Health had to say.
The Garda Traffic Corps found over 200 dead crows on the M7 near Limerick recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was NOT Avian Flu.
The cause of death appeared to be from vehicular impacts. However, during analysis it was noted that varying colours of paints appeared on the bird’s beaks and claws.
By analysing these paint residues it was found that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with motorbikes, while only 2% were killed by cars.
The investigators then hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of motorbike kills versus car kills. The Ornithological Behaviourist quickly concluded that when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow to warn of danger.
They discovered that while all the lookout crows could shout “Cah”, not a single one could shout “bike”