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Dublin gets new cycle paths… in 1986

RTÉ’s daily archive clip today features new cycle paths in Dublin on this day in 1986.

The relatively short sections of cycle paths were opened by then lord mayor Bertie Ahern, who launched a winter road safety programme aimed for cyclists to “be safe, be seen”.

RTE reporter Joe O’Brien said: “40 pedal cyclists are killed and hundreds injured on Irish roads every year, there has been a massive increase in accidents in the last four years. These new cycle paths were introduced to help reduce those statistics.”

Interviewed in the clip was P J Howell of Dublin Corporation (since replaced by Dublin City Council) on the issue of road safety for cyclists. The council official promised more cycling facilities — a promise which might sound familiar to many people who only started cycling in Dublin in more recent years.

He said: “We are looking at a number of proposals particularly where clusters of accidents occur so we have have the effect of reducing the number of accidents.”

One of the new cycle paths featured was on the Swords Road northbound just north of Griffith Avenue (pictured above) — this was later narrowed, cut short, had a bus stop interrupting and possibly also had a change in surface. This seems to have been mainly done under the Quality Bus Corridor Project, the predecessor to BusConnects.

The other cycle paths were on both sides of the Drumcondra Road at the Bishop’s residence:

The report also featured a section of the S2S route on the Alfie Byrne Road, mentioned as the Clontarf embankment road — this is viewed to this day to be one of the better sections of cycle path in Dublin City, although ending poorly at East Point Business Park:

Bertie Ahern opened the cycle path and launched a “be safe, be seen” safely campaign:

The message was also put on buses:

Of course, back then as of today, some cyclists didn’t want to use the cycle paths and others were using them in the wrong direction:

WATCH: the full clip at is reader-funded journalism. That means it's funded by readers like you.

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Cian Ginty

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