The slooooowwwww evolution of digital (and cycling) infrastructure in Ireland.
Both with huge demand for higher standards and meaningful delivery.
Both with long-standing, international examples of how to do things right.
Both hobbled by years of wasteful, half-arsed, non-solutions that were doomed to fail from the beginning.
As a casual cyclist and web professional, the parallels between the achingly slow evolution of cycling and digital services from government in Ireland has long perplexed me.
For 2+ decades it has been irrefutably and utterly obvious that only by creating good quality cycling infrastructure could our major cities deliver the minimally safe environment that existing bike users need—and also encourage more people to start.
Everyone has been in total agreement on this.
It has been discussed endlessly over and over and over again. For years, the necessary solutions have been completely clear from international experience.
And yet millions of euro have been wasted on expedient non-solutions.
Typically this involved smearing a narrow band of red paint into a pot-holed gutter, calling it a "Cycle Lane" and then being amazed (and somewhat hurt) that cyclists ignored it because it was almost unusable.
Only recently have all these non-solutions finally been exposed as complete failures.
Only now are senior decision-makers recognising what was completely obvious from the very beginning—that they need to invest in dedicated, high-quality infrastructure that is designed, built and maintained by skilled professionals.
And so on to digital...
For 2+ decades it has been irrefutably and utterly obvious...
Do I need to continue?
Sadly, unlike cycling, government in Ireland (with a few honourable exceptions) has still not fully exhausted its inventory of expedient non-solutions for digital.
A review of current delivery and governance quality suggests that at least 1 or 2 more rounds of useless web "redesigns!" are likely to happen before the penny finally drops.
That means several more millions of wasted euros before government finally admits it needs to invest seriously in digital manpower, skills and capability.
It's a shame, but somehow this long journey always seemed inevitable.