Yes, folks, we have a couple of contentious situations in this issue. See Section 3, Consultations Feedback where we discuss whether Elmbank Street will provide northbound access to the Sauchiehall Street cycle lane, but first, see Section 1 for the threat to the so-called “shared space” along Cowgate, the main street in Kirkintilloch.
1. Current Consultations
Kirkintilloch, Cowgate – Catherine Street junction
As reported two weeks ago, consultation is now ongoing about whether to re-signalise this junction in Kirkintilloch, and a public consultation exhibition was held in a vacant property on the Cowgate from Thursday to Saturday 15-17 February. On-line consultation is open until the 28th of February and we would encourage our members to contribute. Two of us visited the exhibition on Saturday to find out what it’s all about, and were told that attendance had been steady, views were mixed, and we were told in response to our question, that there have been no reported accidents at the junction in question. We cycled along Cowgate from end to end and also walked most of it. In our view, it is just what a main street should be: shops, cafes, banks, solicitors etc, with slow-moving traffic and pedestrians able to cross from side to side with ease. It’s clear where pedestrians go, i.e. on the footways at the side, and there are raised tables where people on foot are expected to cross the street, including at the Cowgate – Catherine Street junction, and it’s clear that motor vehicles and bikes are expected to go down the centre of the street. Cars slowed down and stopped for us to cross the road at the junction and, all-in-all, it was a pleasant place to be.
The Kirkintilloch Herald, owned by Johnston Press, has been running a strident campaign against the existing layout, and in favour of reintroducing traffic lights. We note that Johnston Press also own the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald, who campaigned vigorously against the Bears Way cycle lanes.
There is concern that visually-impaired people have difficulty with the current layout, which is strongly reflected in the press reports, however we are aware that Sustrans have undertaken the following measures to assist people with and without visual impairments to navigate through the space:
- Physical measures that slow traffic speeds in advance of each junction
- Re-designation of the Cowgate to a 20mph speed limit
- Reduction in road widths to reduce crossing distances
- Marking out of each crossing point in a high-contrast finish
- Installation of tapping edges leading to each junction
East Dunbartonshire Council are proposing 3 options for the junction:
- Do nothing.
- Signalise the existing layout. Estimated cost £417k.
- Widen Catherine Street to allow space for 2 lanes of traffic coming up Catherine Street from the bypass. Estimated cost £647k.Both signalising options, according to the Council, introduce delays for pedestrians, buses – and cars! Neither does anything positive for cycles.
Please do look at the consultation information and documents on the East Dunbartonshire website and get your views in, if you live or work in, or visit Kirkintilloch.
2. Upcoming Consultations
Jura Street, Craigton, Glasgow, near Bellahouston Park, 28 February
We have been told about a proposal from Glasgow City Council to develop Jura Street, off Paisley Road West, to the north of Bellahouston Park.
“Land and Environmental Services are proposing to make infrastructure upgrades on Jura Street with the intention of increasing the number of journeys completed by sustainable transport methods. These proposals can include, new widened footways, new segregated cycle lanes and new pedestrian crossings. They will link to the existing infrastructure on the north side of the M8 underpass and Bellahouston Park which is a frequently used sustainable transport route.
As part of this work the department is looking to seek the views of your organisation. An event shall take place at the Palace of Art (Bellahouston Park) on Wednesday the 28th of February between 3pm and 7pm where you will be able to view several options for infrastructure upgrades and talk to officers about the proposed works.
In addition to the event an online consultation webpage will be set up to run from the 23rd of February for a period of 1 month, where visitors can view the same drawings and provide comments. The address for the Webpage is : www.glasgow.gov.uk/jurastreet please note this website will not go live until the 23rd of February.”
Meatmarket at Dennistoun / Collegelands, Glasgow, 01 March
Cllr Allan Casey, for the Dennistoun ward in the city has issued this information:
” ** Second Public Consultation Event For the Meat-Market Site**
Interested in the regeneration of the former Meatmarket site between Dennistoun and Collegelands? Then come along to Dennistoun Library on Thursday 1st March (noon-8pm) to find out about Glasgow City Deal plans to develop the site, with housing to be built in the first phase.
Come along and have your say on the proposed development.”
There’s potential here for good active travel access to the city from the east – let’s hope that potential is realised! Do put your views in.
3. Consultations Feedback
Sauchiehall Street – Access to and from Elmbank Street
When GoBike originally commented on the proposals for the Sauchiehall Street cycle lanes we had some comments and questions but generally welcomed the proposals to humanise the street. However, we did have concerns about access to and from Elmbank Street, see our letter of February 2017: GoBike Sauchiehall Street partial support 280217
We had a reply to this letter in December that made it clear that Glasgow City Council wishes to make Elmbank Street, from Bath Street to Sauchiehall Street one-way southbound, with NO contraflow cycle lane northbound. We queried this, since Cycling by Design, the design guide used by the Council, quotes, at Section 5.1.5, that the default on one-way streets should be two-way cycling. They have now come back to us again to say that: “The proposal for Elmbank Street has nibs at either end, with parking or loading bays contained within each nibbed section. Each nibbed section is 2.5m wide, leaving two “running” lanes. The provision of a contraflow cycle lane northbound would result in cyclists having southbound traffic on their right hand side and parked vehicles on their left hand side, also facing south.”
Our latest reply, sent on 13 February, to them includes this:
“We have looked at possible routes from the Charing Cross station area, which includes several work places, the Kings Theatre and the Nextbike station, to Sauchiehall Street should your proposed blockage of Elmbank Street to northbound cycles go ahead. These are:
- Westbound on Bath Street to North Street, then northbound on North Street to join Sauchiehall Street just to the west of the motorway. This is a route with currently no cycle infrastructure and involves a set of manoeuvres that even the hardiest of city cyclists would baulk at in busy times.
- Southbound on Elmbank Street, eastbound and uphill on St Vincent Street, northbound and uphill on Pitt Street to West George Street and then either westbound and downhill to Holland Street or uphill and eastbound to Douglas Street. Again, there are currently no cycle facilities on these streets and this is not a set of manoeuvres for the faint-hearted.
- Northbound, using an informal and illegal route on the footway or carriageway of Elmbank Street.”
We have copied this message to the four Councillors for Ward 10, City, Anderston and Yorkhill, to Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convenor for Carbon Reduction and Sustainability and to Garnethill Community Council.
We are so disappointed that a flagship project such as the Avenues on Sauchiehall Street will be spoiled by lack of access, with space that could be used for cycling given over to stationary cars, when there is a multi-storey carpark at Charing Cross and we await a reply, with interest.
If you cycle in this area, if you live or work in this area, please do ask the local Councillors for Ward 10, to ensure good access to and from the Sauchiehall Street Avenue.
So, interesting things going on, but do let us know if we are missing any important proposals.