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Pedestrians and cyclists nearly 50% of traffic in Dublin city centre counts

Pedestrians and cyclists now account for nearly 50% of the street traffic in Dublin’s central traffic counts — which mainly includes locations along the city’s quays and a select number of other locations.

Dublin City Council said that the 2017 central traffic count was carried out between the days of May 4 – 25 from 7 am to 7 pm on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. The count was taken before Luas Cross City-related public transport priority was put in place along the quays.

The central count is separate to the traffic counts looking at traffic crossing the ‘canals cordon’ when entering the city centre.

Most of the counting locations on the central count are along what is viewed as the car-focused quays, but, despite this, cars have gone from the dominant mode in 2013 to be lower than the pedestrian total in 2017. It is important to outline that, unlike the canal cordon count, the central count does include an estimated number of passengers in buses or trams.

Cycling continued to increase between 2016 and 2017 but at a slower rate — construction works on the Luas tram line would have been on-going, but the slowed rate is also within the trend in recent years where the rate of increase slowed in other years before picking up again.

This is the first year since the count started in 2012 that the report looked at pedestrians — it shows more than a third of all recorded traffic at the combined count locations is pedestrian traffic, while cycling traffic has steadily risen from 7.9% in 2013 to 12.9% in 2017.

The report said the junction of D’Olier Street / Aston Quay / Burgh Quay recorded the highest percentage of pedestrians accounting for 82.01% of all traffic at the junction. The junction of O’Connell Street Lower/ Bachelor’s Walk/Eden Quay recorded the second highest percentage of pedestrians, accounting for 70.16% of all traffic.

It added: “The location with the highest percentage of cyclists in 2017 was Dame Street / Georges Street (location no 24) where cyclists made up 35.2% of all traffic. This location has had the highest percentage of cyclists in every year from 2007 to 2017 since the city centre cycle counts began. A close second is Samuel Becket Bridge (South) (location 28) with 27.1%.”

The report also includes figures for the total actual numbers of pedestrians and cyclists, but understands that these figures are likely to count people a number of times as, for example, they move along the quays.

Count locations:

Previous data released by the council for along the north quays and the Red Line Luas showed that while cars were given a lot of the space, a far smaller number trams and buses carried far more people:

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Cian Ginty


  1. Wow, it really shows how much demand is already there for proper cycle infrastructure along the Liffey. Can you image what the numbers would be if there was a segregate cycle track!

  2. Assuming the pedestrian numbers aren’t inflated by double counting, that really shows how unfair it is that pedestrians are given so little priority at junctions.

  3. @Eric, if there is double counting, it should be across all modes of transport. What’s significant is the proportion of cyclist/pedestrians to total, and the shift in the balance over the last five years.

    To be fair to DCC, they have built a database of statistics to support planned infrastructure. The obstacle is the elected members in the council chamber, looking after their local constituents, and othe special interest groups. These stats provide hard data to justify a change to how funding is allocated.

  4. You’re right, for some reason I thought the mention of double counting in the article was directed at pedestrians only but actually it refers to all modes.

    Vocal anti-cyclist councilors always claim to be looking after their constituents but they only seem to care about constituents in cars.


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