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.
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.
( 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
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
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
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.
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.
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.