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Doors Open Day 2018 G1 George Square

G1 George Square

A classic Doors Open Day event. Buildings you see all of the time but rarely get the chance to go inside.

It doesnt need to be correct if its pretty

As these things do i had a tweet in my timeline;

Uh Oh ! Design by pretty graphics

So lets see where this goes;
It does say run but we would be interested in pedestrians , by far the majority but lets keep an open mind.
Interesting ...

Glasgow In Motion

Lets go deeper and see what we can find

Still not at data , lets continue

Oh boy its just strava data with pretty colours.

There used to be good numbers available for the streets and basically showed cyling was 4.9% of pedestrian traffic this is not shown here at all and would enable designs that are dangerous for pedestrians.

What are the real numbers like
I have managed to display a day we have actual data for . I also use this day in an earlier post about the Sauchiehall Street Changes.

Highlighted in red is Sauchiehall street on Sep 2 2014. In these displays they look basically the same. However in the numbers there were 11,000 pedestrians and 500 cyclists. Nothing in this display shows anything like that. This was people standing on the street counting people not relying on them being able to afford the required hardware and subscription and allowing their data to be counted. How do the map labels even apply; are they specific per type or can you compare across displays for a day. These certainly dont show that pedestrians were 20x more than cyclists on this day.

Self selected data from people who game-ify their commutes. A group unrepresentative of the city population that probably barely includes pedestrian of any range of age groups and over emphasises cyclists. Takes no account of practicalities of terrain or reasons for travel. As with all these things when you have descriptors like "Popular, not popular, most popular" etc and no real numbers not even the hiding place of data scoundrels ; percentages
This kind of flashy graphics is used to dazzle people without being critical of the data sourcess.
This is NOT the way to do design and make decisions that will inpact the safety of people..
A waste of time effort and money that can be used to justify unsafe designs.

GNEAT and the Law of the Instrument

I wrote a post last year about the Sauchiehall Street Changes. The Glasgow School of Art fire and closure of the street has even more confused what is going to be achieved and whether those changes will be of benefit to the street. The changes to Victoria Road have also started to appear and as usual reduce pedestrian space once the bins. poles. A frames, seats etc are placed on the space left behind, unlike the artists impressions used to sell the idea. Now there is a consultation for changes in North East Glasgow ( Glasgow North East Active Travel ) .

The Law Of The Instrument

"If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"

TLDR: This proposal treats an area as a crossfit course for others to use as they pass through with limited benefit for those who live there.

I have made a zoomable map from the supplied pdfs to make it easier to view the proposed changes. HERE

Wallacewell Road has had separated cycle lanes on both sides for many years . To say they are underused implies there is a large number of people who would use them but for some unknown reason. It is a shock to see a bike on them . However as some groups have money to spend the intention is to put in more lanes rather than make informed decisions about what would be good for people living here. The decisions to proceed so completely with cycle lanes without the other area users being helped appears set in the belief "Build it and they will come". The lack of safe pedestrian crossings on this stretch of road being used to try to sell the expenditure on these cycle lanes, and bus islands, is a failure of previous planning . This is a basic failing under the Equality Act and the required Equality Impact Statements should have forced these changes without being an add on to another scheme. Proper controlled crossings would be needed to make the area safe for impaired,elderly and others but the design presented adds the bare minimum tactile strips with not enough controlled crossingss.
It is trying to make the previous ignoring of this part of Glasgow as a positive to be built upon rather than treat it as the contempt for the safety of people living in the area that it is. The safe crossings should be going in regardless but not be used to justify expanded cycle lanes that reduce the safety of pavement and bus users. The safety of the elderly, impaired and people with younger kids has been ignored until it could be tacked onto something else. It should have been the priority.
Here is the strava heat map so beloved of planners. I have indicated the roads in this proposal beside a thick yellow line so that they can be picked out.
NB these data displays are pretty useless as the data is only provided by a set of self selected people who want to participate and data for pedestrians, public transport users is never as flashy. This really does emphasise that the providers of this data are not living in these areas but just pass through. NB the large dark areas with no start points for journeys.It is actually interesting that more people go over Balgrayhill that use the existing cycle lanes on Wallacewell Road.
If there was a push to get next bikes in the area you could take this proposal seriously but there isnt and this is just to turn the area into a bike track for people in surrounding areas.

Where we are;
The highest point in Glasgow is just to the left of the top of Broomfield road in Springburn Park. The are many height changes and some challenging slopes, so these changes are not for the casual local out for a ride with the family, they are for commuters out of the area passing through. They treat the area like a training course rather than an area people live in . They do not make it easier for people to access the hospital which would have been a useful thing to do when "active" and "travel" are in use.
Diagram showing elevation changes from top of Broomfield Road to end of proposed cycle lanesDiagram showing elevation changes from top of Northgate Road to end of proposed cycle lanes
( Click above images for bigger versions )
Is this stretch to the top of Broomfield Road just to let people get to do their Strava laps in Springburn Park ?

A destination that may make sense for kids to cycle to , Petershill FC , is ignored in the plans ( eg the blue line, the black line is the planned route ). Is this section of street ignored as the cycle lanes are for commuters to pass through rather than for use by the the people living with them in their streets .
It could also be that the Fire and Ambulance stations , the hilighted red area , do not want this additional street change at their entrances.MAP LINK
Satellite map with lines drawn on to show proposed cycle lanse and how they miss Petershill FC ground

Little understanding of how people will move through the area. In this map of the roundabout next to the cleared Red Road Flats and Carntyne Transport yard i have tried to show the expected path that no-one, cyclists or pedestrians, will ever take. ( Orange and black single dash lines ) It is forcing dogmatic style over usefulness. There needs to be a serious discussion of who will clear these lanes in winter weather. MAP LINK
Diagram shoing proposed paths for cycles and pedestrians at roundabout
NB On this street ( Red Road , nice steep road for elderly or impaired ) the busiest bus stop is being removed.
The bus stop at the top of the hill that allows people to currently catch either the 57 or 57A ( the red lines ) is being removed. That means people using it would need to choose which bus to wait for or go to the bottom of the hill. Of course this is all at the will of First Bus who could change routes and make everything in the new design redundant. This is another sign of not doing what people use but trying to impose other transport on them. MAP LINK
Diagram shoing removal of bus stop and existing bus paths

If this was meant to be of use to local people there would be a comprehensive integration to allow people to choose their travel method. The area needs more local buses, too many people rely on taxis. There should be provision of seated areas to let people who chose, or are forced by circumstances, to walk rest. It should be clear that bus users have adequate shelter in bad weather . There should be better paths for pedestrians to get access to streets instead of cutting across areas.
An integrated plan would be fixing access issues like this.;
( Fixing this does not mean just remove the bus stop but address these issues and not just put in cycle lanes ).
There is no addressing issues like this in the plans so this is in no way to make things better for locals, it is just to justify putting cycle lanes in.
Image showing steps close to bus stop with no easy access for peopel with mobility issues without a longer travle

How about making things better for people walking here by putting seats along this area; or some additional paved paths crossing the area if there are going to be no other amenities or upgrade.
Showing open area with no provision for passing usage

At the bus islands have and enforce a speed limit of 4 mph as , say, powered wheel chairs have when in this close contact with vulnerable unprotected people on the pavement.

This design like too many in this city is cycling lead with some additions to make it look like there has been thought for anything else. The needs of public transport users and pedestrians especially the elderly, those with children and impaired users are always an afterthought.

When Glasgow has a "Strategy for pedestrians and public transport users" like it has a "Strategy for Cycling" it will start to be properly inclusive and accessible. If they could start by creating accessible doumentation and surveys that would at least be something.

July 29th 2018

UPDATE August 12th
So i went along to the consultation. Two council representatives not taking notes. A good number of local residents angry about plans after them having cycle lanes imposed on them before. This just adds to confusion when they clearly didnt add more cyclists. Crossing at roundabouts not straight but should be, just a choice of the plan preparer.
Bus number counts not been done so removing busy stop at top of Read Road just arbitrary choice. The choice was made because when the cycle lane goes in there is limited room for the bus shelter, nothing to do with need just to make cycle lanes possible. If the counts are done do they take into account access issues to the stops. The stop to be removed has at least one person using a walking frame using it; do they only count as one body or are their , and others, additional needs taken into account ? probably not if Sustrans are involved they seem to have issues with disabled and impaired people having to be accommodated in their push for cycle lanes above all else.
Equality Impact Assessment and statement not created yet so that will be the usual one paragraph "No impact to anyone" boilerplate.
Leaflets for meeting attendance only went to houses directly on street not on the surrounding streets that feed into them directly.
Council really needs people who live in these areas and use public transport and walking rather than cyclists and car drivers to be involved in these decisions. Feeling was this is just being forced on area , council will get blame while Sustrans just avoid it as usual. Sustrans get too much money and control over design on infrastructure. Split the money to the communities rather than just do what Sustrans want.
As an article in August 12th Scotsman calls them "Cycle path developers Sustrans" i think that is appropriate and they should not be allowed to impose this narrow view while hiding behind "Active Travel" and disregarding those living in an area and public transport users.

UPDATE Week of August 20th
Surveyors are out on the roads described in the plans so i guess this is all just going ahead regardless

UPDATE 27th September 2018
Just remembered to check there are no proper crossing points added on Northgate Road. Pavement users still have to walk across grass or through car turning gaps. Why do Sustrans and the Council always put pavement users at the bottom of any design.

Red Road

Red Road
July 11th 2018

Cleared and at end of dry spell, so as weed free as its going to ever be.

Queen Street Station

Queen Street Station
15th May 2018

( Update June 1 2018

( Update June 30 2018

( Update July 3rd 2018

( Update July 7th 2018

( Update July 11th 2018

As part of the station redevelopment the buildings in front of the old arch are being removed. The arch will , as has always been the case , be viewable from the interior once the new building is complete but with increased light .

The additinal track length for longer train sets requires an additional building to accommodate passengers and the ticket centre to be built in front.

There seem to be a lot of people wanting to be able to see the full arch but have no consideration for the people using the station. It is a working station and was always built as such. People who dont use the station may not have realised the arch , at both ends, was viewable from the inside or by going to Cathedral St.

The Press Bar

The Press Bar
199 Albion St, Glasgow G1 1RU
14th February 2018

The Press Bar closes for a week on Sunday for some renovations.

( In this image that lower table corner is the same corner :) )
( NB if you asked me i would get rid of this booth and have built in seats against the walls with narrower ( split level) tables. Like Heraghtys and other Glasgow bars )

Sauchiehall Street Changes

Nov 28th 2017
A "Glasgow Connectivity Commission" was announced last week and it has prompted me to write this post.
I am picking as an example the current proposed works on Sauchiehall St although any of the current planned schemes could be used. ( Partick Bus Station(in work) ,Woodlands, Victoria Road , Battlefield , "Connected Clydebank" , Edinburgh Picardy Place etc ). It shares a similarity with most of these other schemes as it has one major change that overwhelms all street users.

A lot of these points have been presented over the consultation process but were thought not important enough or responses back took so long as to be after the planning was approved. This is mainly tfo make sure they are noted in a public way for future reference.
I do not drive , i walk and use the bus and subway. Restricting vehicle travel on this and other roads in the city is essential. Most journeys through the city centre are by habit of historically learned routes that could be done more efficiently by bypassing using the motorway or other external streets.
Recent changes have taken a step back in city transport , changes to the bus stops on Union street have not been constructive and reduce the ability to do connected journeys and show how little our transport planners use the city transport system. The statement of a SPT manager at a recent travel seminar was how he had not used his car that morning to attendend as if it was a shock and had used a train and can use public transport "where appropriate" unlike all the people who have to use it.
This post is a look at this scheme from the view of a pedestrian , this could be young,old,sensory impaired, with children, shopping, out for entertainment. A view not often sought or heard against all the different vehicle ( car/bus/bike/taxi ) lobbies and proponents. Pedestrians who probably also use public transport. There are no specific pedestrian groups represented although a few claim to do , my practical knowledge of them always shows that to be a minor side issue used to gain funding for other schemes. Not Sustrans ,Living Streets or GDA , i know and have had to interact with all of them in other schemes.
A lot of consultations have neglected to take into account the pedestrians travelling through an area and the fact that they are the only people who can go into shops and businesses without additional parking spots or street furniture for securing vehicles. There is also little thought for the ongoing maintenance costs for the variety of surfaces. Glasgow has major trip hazard problems due to stone edges lifting and lack of surface fixes.

A majority of these issues could have been avoided by better inclusive planning. "Vision Zero" starts with the pedestrian . Dont promote other forms of transport by denigrating pedestrians.
The cycle path on the south side of the street would have been a better solution but work to change drains has been given as an excuse.

Sauchiehall Street

Planning Documents LINK
"17/00240/DC | Public Realm works including improvements include the introduction of natural stone footways, removal of pay and display parking on Sauchiehall Street, introduction of a 2-way cycle lane, planting of trees and associated root zones. In addition measures will be introduced to improve pedestrian and cyclist movements at junctions. | Site At Sauchiehall Street Between Charing Cross And Rose Street/ Blythswood Street Glasgow "
Major physical change is the cycle path so lets have a look at that.

Active Travel

What is "active Travel" and why is the term used to justify dramatic changes for vehicles;
Here is one of many Government pages about it LINK . Reading it you would think it was mainly one form of transport due to the number of related documents with walking as a minor afterthought.

Here are openly available numbers for this street.

Data Glasgow
from 2014
( Actual data set used )

( Update April 2018 : These data sets no longer exist on the Glasgow Open Data site. You can see the previous links in a google search using 'cyclistspedestrians-counts-in-glasgows-city-centre-september-2014' but the data is no longer available . Here is a google sheets link to the data )

Pedestrians were 95.5% of journeys and Cycling was 4.5%, but the term "Active Travel", or "Total Journeys", is used to display the larger number,involving pedestrians, to justify changes. You will see in a lot of documentation that changes are expressed as percentage changes not absolute numbers as a 100% increase appears dramatic but it can be a tiny portion of actual journeys. It says nothing of the potential reduction in other journeys caused by the inclusion of changes. Making an area less safe for pedestrians will lead to a reduction.

NB The true priorities are kind of shown by the upcoming consultation for Battlefield being handled at a page on the council web page called cycling.
Lets not pretend these are anything for pedestrians. Not even the pretence of "Active Travel". There is no or .

The Street
Here is complete street as proposed;
Click on to get a bigger version. The new cycle path can be seen from St Georges Road to just before Rose St.

The below are not all of the issues but are representative;

Pedestrian crossing controls removed from Elmbank and Pitt Streets
Recognition of danger by having posts on one side but no protection for crossing.
Shaped paved , or possibly, tactile areas leading to raised surface and no kerb invented for the scheme that do not really follow standards. ( As surfaces are basically level there is no differentiation which is part of the use of tactile surfaces)
The restriction in width from the current pavements can be seen on the main street as well. With cycle path on south side we would have ended with one badly restrictive side of the road but current plan makes both sides less useful.
This is not even lip service to the stated goal to "improve pedestrian movements at junctions"
Current ;

Passengers getting off/on bus are stepping directly onto both ways cycle path. Unless the cyclists are held to walking speed this is going to cause injuries. Are there going to be speed restrictions along this path. How about more space available for prams and shopping trolleys ? You need to use the busses to know about these . The bus stops in the plans do have advertising blocks at the ends so do restrict the view along the paths when exiting.
Current bus stop

Cross paths marking/indication/stonework intended to create separation of bikes and pedestrians. The proposed kerbs do not provide enough differentiation to prevent any coming together of the pavement users.
Mix of bikes/pedestrians in wet/icy/snowy weather. What gets gritted first and will bikes ride along clear paths created by the majority pedestrians.

How do you get from cycle path( especially westbound ) to Elmbank st where the crossing signal has been removed and there is no red light restricting bike across pedestrians. Will bikes just skip over the island bit to get there.

Cycle path ends directly into pedestrian waiting areas for crossings or conversely cyclists need to ride onto pavement to get to cycle path start through potential groups of pedestrians. ( The Core Path does not start till the other side of Rose Street )

Area outside ABC. People waiting,entering or exiting have to avoid cycle path ?
( a minor point but important for keeping this popular business open; Where do transport for bands go now? equipment unloading ?)

Need to cross cycle path to wait on the "island" between the road and the cycle path. Is the Nite Zone still there ?

Add in the additional street furniture needed to support the paths and how it already restricts the pavements, you can understand how pedestrians think they are very low on the priority list. Seats on the island between cycle path and right next to busses/cars is pandering to give the appearance of concern without practical thought.
Current street
( Question re those kegs and where the large bins will go as well , Probably in the pedestrians way not cycles or cars.)

As a look at one part of the simple aesthetics of the changes;
Streetscape: Canopy gone from outside Mclellan Galleries?

We cannot have an inclusive accessible city without actively seeking out a range of voices and opinions. Some groups are very vocal and their opinions catered for outwith the impacts on other groups. This goes to all methods of collecting,compiling and presenting plans being accessible as well.If the presentation of the Commissions start cannot be done in an accessible and inclusive manner i doubt they will do anything about it during their work.
Equality Impact assessments need to be treated with proper respect and not with a cursory paragraph rehashed from other plans.

( Update after posting: I completely forgot to say that this design will have to account for hopefully more electric cars that run quieter and the lack of protection for pedestrians become a bigger issue ]

(Update Dec 19th. Sustrans have way too much control over local government choices. They are control too much funding affecting infrastructure and focus too tightly on cycling with "Active Travel" as the buzz phrase that shields them. The farcical competitions they run are contrary to any fair ( legal? someone should really investigate and apply the rule regarding gaming ) system , pushing a mind set without actual competition.
Try to find the Strategic Plan for Pedestrians/Walkers for GCC. This is a scam allowed to continue that endangers pedestrians. Of course the picture with the posting is of people walking.


More Info:
Just because they love using this image i thought i would include it to show;
The lack of controlled crossings at junction on left;
Obscured view for bus passengers using shelter and walking into cycle path.
No drop off for Dental Hospital
In actual drawings pavement is approx same width as cycle path
Seats right next to traffic; Breathe those fumes
Little thought for pram users, elderly, impaired etc etc The people who have to be pedestrians not just a lifestyle choice
No cycle storage/atachments so the seats will become that


Streetmix with sizes

The sign on the pavement to the right is a general indicator of the street clutter that is going to be along the street ( bins,phone boxes etc). This neglects the narrowing due to the additional street clutter and signs nearer the buildings ( A-Frames , chairs, tables , etc )

( Update Feb 1 i made a more realistic streetmix image with tables etc and posted in to twitter
(Updated Feb 21 )

(Feb 20. Checking the Planning app to see if there were speed limits posted for cycle path amongst pedestrians i realised i had forgotten there are trees planned as well. )