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August 21, 2008

Opposition grows against advertising panel plan in return for bike rental

Archiseek, Ireland’s architectural discussion website, has added its voice to calls on Dublin City Council to halt the erection of free-standing advertising panels on footpaths in the city pending a review and investigation. Under a deal agreed by city council management without the prior knowledge of councillors, French-owned advertising company JC Decaux was permitted to erect 120 of these panels in return for a bicycle rental scheme on the Paris Vélib model. Opponents of what Green Party TD Ciarán Cuffe termed a “dodgy deal” include the National Council for the Blind of Ireland, An Taisce and the Dublin City Business Association – mainly because of the obstruction of footpaths by the metal-framed panels. The arrangement required JC Decaux to supply four rental bikes per on-street panel, amounting to a total of 480, compared to 12 per panel under the Vélib scheme in Paris, where the city council also receives an annual rental of more than €2,000 per unit. The deal first became public in December 2006 after a contributor to the Archiseek website initiated a discussion under the heading “And you thought Dublin’s Streets were cluttered already”. Not even then Lord Mayor Vincent Jackson (Ind) was aware of it.

The Irish Times

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