Rebecca and Emmet O’Connell swear that they are not car people and that they
worry about global warming. Indeed, they looked miserable one recent evening as
they drove home to suburban Lucan from central Dublin, a crawling 8.5-mile
journey that took an hour.
But in this booming city, where the number of cars has doubled in the last 15
years, there is little choice, they said. “Believe me — if there was an
alternative we would use it,” said Ms. O’Connell, 40, a textile designer. “We
care about the environment. It’s just hard to follow through here.”
No trains run to the new suburbs where hundreds of thousands of Dubliners now
live, and the few buses going there overflow with people. So nearly everyone
drives — to work, to shop, to take their children to school — in what seems like
a constant smoggy, traffic jam. Since 1990, emissions from transportation in
Ireland have risen about 140 percent, the most in Europe. But Ireland is not ...