Historic pics show Dublin cyclists were also crowded out years ago

The below two historic photographs of O’Connell Bridge in Dublin show two different stories — a city where there was more space for cyclists is pictured in the first image, but the second one depicts cyclists crowded out by buses years ago, much the same way that happens today.

The first image has been shared more relating the cycling aspect of it, but both images have about 20 people cycling in them.

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And, yes, the first image shows the north quays with two-way traffic — the quays had two-way traffic before being switched two way-way in the oppsite direction than is currently used for most of the quays.

These images were have done the rounds on social media, but does anybody know who took them or what year/s they were taken on? Were the two taken minutes apart or years apart?

The below image is not O’Connell Bridge, but getting photographs of nearly 20 cyclists at junctions getting less difficult:


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  1. I’m a little shocked at how few private cars there are in the old pictures. I only see one, the rest are commercial vehicles and busses.

    The recent picture is at kind of a bad angle to see much of the road but I see what looks like three taxis and a private car in the background. I guess there’s a debate about whether taxis really count as public transport but from the point of view of road usage they are outrageously inefficient compared to busses so I am happy with lumping them in with private cars.

  2. CIE was founded in 1945 from a merger of the Dublin United Tram Co. and the Great Southern Railway and the last tram in the City was in 1949. So 1947 +/- a couple of years.

  3. Look at how smooth and unbroken the roads surfaces look. I saw a video a few months ago about the cycle-race from Dublin to Dundalk in 1932 (?). All the road surfaces looked perfect. Completely different from today with road surfaces now torn-up all over the place. And no prizes for guessing the likely culprits = cars & cars & more cars.

  4. There are more motor vehicles now and the average weight of those vehicles is certainly higher. It was very obvious that road repairs basically stopped for a few years after the financial crisis. I’m not sure that this ever got back up to the old levels. Finally even though companies who dig up the roads are required to put them back they way they found them it is painfully obvious that they don’t actually do this. Perhaps the road is flat immediately after the repair but I’ve seen enough sunken trenches across the roads to know that these repairs are not to the same quality as the original surface and do not last.

  5. years ago cycling and walking were the only main ways of getting around since officials started to drive more and more incentives were done for cars. with pedestrians and cyclists losing out. now at least a change is happening with cyclists benefiting well but pedestrians losing out as can be seen in the bottom modern picture the pedestrian crossing is blocked by bicycles who should in reality be behind the crossing line in a dedicated cycle area with advance light but this is not happening as cars are still important to tds and Councillors but not to bus passengers and pedestrians. maybe a picture in 40 years will be different again

  6. @Martin — re “at least a change is happening with cyclists benefiting well but pedestrians losing”, if you look at the trend, things are slowly but surely getting better in terms of space and priority for pedestrians. Your perspective might be a bit off for some reason?

    As your view of perspectives, your perspective is off with the photograph. The pedestrian crossing is clear. The guy in the pink shirt is walking across it with nothing in his way. The people in bicycles are both on front of and behind the crossing — they just look closer because that’s the perspective that’s given by a long lens on a camera.


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