Dublin City Council has recently imposed a speed limit of 30kph in large parts of central Dublin – basically any street which is not regarded as a main artery. This is supposed to protect pedestrians and children at play. In order to explain this to the general public, the council has produced another one in its ongoing series of baffling signs, and spent a lot of money erecting them all over the city.
There are four separate symbols in the sign, which I suppose are meant to illustrate the reasons why the speed limit has been imposed. An adult male walking and a juvenile male playing football are just about self-explanatory. But why a small car? And an odd looking house with an open door? I presume the house is somehow trying to indicate that this is a residential area, but I’m completely baffled by the car. Perhaps it’s a Father Ted-style symbol: ‘This car is not small. It’s far away.’
We’ll leave aside the awful typeface used for the Irish language text for the moment. That’s a post for another day.
Hot news from Dublin’s Phoenix Park, where the signs warning users not to approach the park’s herd of wild fallow deer have now been replaced by a much more direct “do not feed” notice. The old signs (see below) had been erected in the spring of this year, but had baffled both the park’s staff and its users as to what they meant. The new one, with its use of the internationally recognised red circle and diagonal stripe, is much better designed. It is also nicely drawn, with the deer, the hand and the food reduced to their simplest possible forms.
Whether it will stop the dozens of people who turn up each day with bags of carrots has yet to be seen. I recently found a Tupperware box on the path which was full of carrot pieces, nicely peeled and sliced. Some people obviously have too much time on their hands.
The old sign, now removed.
A good entry for the most baffling sign of 2016 has recently appeared in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. I have gone there most days in the last five years to walk my dog and am well accustomed to keeping her clear of the park’s long-established herd of fallow deer. She now looks over at them with an air of slight bafflement, but is no longer inclined to chase them.
Over these five years, I have noticed a definite increase in the numbers of people, mainly tourists, who bring food for the herd. Although this is banned by the park’s by-laws, the rangers seem to have given up trying to enforce it. Two years ago, notices were erected all round the park warning users not to approach or feed the deer, but these have been blithely ignored. The signs are printed in English and Irish – if they were in Spanish or Japanese they might have more effect.
An example of the bilingual sign can be seen on the left below. But last week, another sign appeared (see right):
What on earth does this mean? I guess it’s a warning that a deer might get up on its back legs and attack you. But would it do that because you are trying to feed it? Or is the park now full of dangerous deer who might chase you down? Some explanation required, I think.