I have a couple of friends visiting recently from Switzerland and France. As they were arriving late in the evening, they assured me that I wouldn’t need to meet them upon their arrival and we arranged to meet the next day instead. Which we did. And the very first thing they asked me – “where are all the maps next to the bus stops?”.
Ops. Come to think of it, we don’t have those in Dublin. In fact, we don’t even normally have maps of the bus routes at the bus stops (which is rather annoying actually), least of all to expect a map of the area in vicinity. Dublin is not, unfortunately, like many European cities, where lost tourists can consult large maps adjacent to bus stops or metro stations etc.
Pat Liddy and one of the tourist information traffic boxes (Photograph by Aidan Crawley)
Luckily, a few weeks before that, the good folks of Dublin City Business Improvement District (BID) and historian Pat Liddy (who runs excellent walking tours – I’ve been on one with him and loved it) had just launched a new initiative of using traffic light boxes as historical and tourist information points, and guess what – there’s a great map on every one of them! Needless to say, I pointed those out to my friends so they know what to look for the next time they want a city map in a jiffy.
Living in the city and with the city centre area being relatively compact, this is something that I’ve never paid much attention to. But I can imagine the difficulty visitors may face, especially those who are staying only for a weekend or so and didn’t think they would need to get a map before hand. But now, we have these amazing traffic light boxes that educate and aid orientation. Fabulous.
There are 14 of these info-boxes around the city at the moment, including on Dawson Street/Trinity College junction, Dame Street, Temple Bar, O’Connell Street and Capel Street. Of course, there are more traffic signal boxes around the city. Those not used as info-boxes are now visually enhanced with decorative art coverings.
Personally, I like these changes and I’m sure many would agree with me. Do take a look at them the next time you pass by one, or better, recommend them to your visitors. After all the efforts put in to improve the city, we should rightly appreciate and make use of them. ;-)