From the Archives: O'Connell Street Cyclists, 1949


This is the second of the photo images from Holiday magazine (the first being used as last months From the Archives featurea). The view is looking up O'Connell Street from the O'Connell Street Bridge towards the O'Connell Monument and, further back, the Nelson Column. The taller monument to British Admiral Horatio Nelson was destroyed by bomb in 1966. 

Clearly there are more personal vehicles being used for transportation, yet at the same time, far more people are being moved via buses, trolleys, bicycle and foot. There is an equality of modes, as opposed to today's skewed monopoly. As a result the streets are much more open and inviting. Am I beginning to wax nostalgic? 1949 was well before my time, so I have no first hand experience, but I will surmise that the streets back then were a much more friendly place than they are now.

Speaking of those bicycles, it is kind of interesting to check out the different styles - you've got your standard urban uprights, at least one has drop bars with the rider exhibiting that classic hunched, arms outstretched form. It looks like there is a cargo bike with a smaller front wheel and a large basket or box at the front. The guy out front almost looks like he has those narrow profile bars that urban fixie riders like to use these days. Someone carries something under his right arm. Another rider is signaling a turn. A traffic control officer watches the coming and goings. There is a lot going on in this one shot.

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