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.

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:

 

I am editor of IrishCycle.com and have reported on and commented on cycling in Ireland for over a decade. My background is in journalism -- I have a BA in Journalism from DCU and HDip in Print Journalism from BCFE. I wrote about cycling for national newspapers, and then started CyclingInDublin.com for overflow stories. Later the website was re-branded to reflect a more national focus.

5 Comments

  1. Identical ads for Fruitfield Jams and Royal Baking Powder in both photos so presumably from the same year.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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