GoBike was invited to give a short presentation on a campaigning theme at the Transform Scotland AGM 2017 held in Glasgow City Chambers on 26 October. We chose the topic of Contraflow Cycling and a summary of our talk is on the Contraflow Cycling campaign page on our website. Contraflow is essential in our towns and cities to make them permeable for bikes. One way streets were introduced to “improve” flow for cars, but this, as we know, has had the effect of increased vehicle speeds, increased vehicle use, increased congestion and increased pollution; we want our streets back.
At the AGM Transform Scotland launched their Transform 20 campaign: ‘As part of Transform Scotland’s 20th anniversary year we’ve launched a new campaign called #Transform20. This campaign focuses on offering an easy way for the public to communicate their ideas to transform transport in Scotland to become more eco-friendly, safer and easier to access.
Ideas can be simple and don’t require a detailed explanation. To submit your idea, please go to our website http://transform20.transform.scot, where you can submit a brief description of up to 200 words on how you think Scottish transport can be transformed. Your idea must be accompanied by a title (under 10 words) and there’s an option to upload a high quality picture to support your idea. You can also upload supporting documents or provide a link to further information if you wish.’
GoBike has submitted our Contraflow campaign to this page, others have submitted their ideas too. Why not have a look and submit your bee-in-your-bonnet campaigning idea?
If you like our Contraflow campaign please send in your contraflow picture, telling us where it is, to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it to the web page.
Last week we told you about the forthcoming West Glasgow School Run Summit, hosted by Dumbarton Road Corridor Environment Trust, that took place on 14 November. We are pleased to hear that the event was a success, see the press release that has been issued: 20171116_DRCET_SchoolRunSummit_PressRelease So let’s hope that we soon see more school runs by car becoming school runs by foot or bike!
A positive outcome of the event is that Councillor Michael Cullen, for Garscadden/Scotstounhill, SNP, who attended the event, has now been in touch to say that he would like to cycle with us round his ward. We’ll be progressing that and, hopefully, we might get some of his ward colleagues along too.
We have been made aware of this open consultation event. Controlling car parking is critical, but we must ensure that it is not done at the expense of permeability for cycling, thus discouraging active travel. Contraflow cycling lanes are becoming common throughout the city; Gordon Street, Dalnair Street and West Princes Street are just a few examples. If streets that are currently two-way are proposed for one-way to allow the storage of motor vehicles on both sides without exempting bikes, as has happened in Dowanhill East, then please object. The relevant part of the City Council’s design guide, Cycling by Design is clause 5.1.5
If you live in, work in, or travel through this area, do please get along to the consultation:
HYNDLAND / HUGHENDEN AND DOWANHILL WEST
PROPOSED PARKING CONTROLS
PUBLIC CONSULTATION EXHIBITION – Venue: PARTICK LIBRARY
Exhibition Open to View from Monday 30 October to Monday 6 November 2017
On the following dates, council staff will also be present to answer queries & discuss proposals.
Tuesday 31 October, 10am to 4pm
Thursday 2 November, 10am to 6pm
Friday 3 November, 10am to 4pm
Glasgow City Council are writing to inform you of the commencement of a voluntary consultation for the proposed Hyndland, Hughenden and Dowanhill West area parking controlled zone prior to the commencement of the statutory traffic regulation order (TRO) process.
Glasgow City Council is currently undertaking the development and introduction of significant parking control schemes throughout the Glasgow area. This includes Hillhead, Garnethill and the Partick area. Due to its scale, the Partick area has been split into separate schemes to facilitate the traffic regulation order (TRO) promotion and implementation process namely Partick, Hyndland/Hughenden, Dowanhill West areas and the Dumbarton Road/Argyle Street corridor.
The West End of Glasgow has excellent bus, train and subway transport links which unfortunately attracts commuters driving to the area and using the residential streets to park‑and‑ride resulting in the kerbside road space being sterilised by all day parking with indiscriminate and obstructive parking practices commonplace. The introduction of parking controls is an effective way of managing the demand for the finite road space available by preventing all day parking thus reducing the traffic attracted to the area whilst increasing the turnover of parking spaces and improving the safety and traffic flow. Parking controls also maintains access for emergency service, refuse collection and delivery vehicles etc. and also assists the Council in undertaking routine road maintenance such as channel and gully cleaning work and road/ footway repairs.
Prior to the commencement of statutory traffic order process for the Hyndland, Hughenden and Dowanhill West schemes the Council is holding a public exhibition in Partick Library from Monday 30 October to Monday 6 November 2017. Council Officers will be in attendance to answer queries and discuss proposals on Tuesday 31 October, Thursday 2 November and Friday 3 November, as stated above.
A letter will be issued to all affected addresses within the proposed zone providing a brief summary of the proposals and will also inform of the public exhibition.
On the evening of Thursday 19 October, GoBike Convenor, Tricia Fort, and member, Johnston Orr, met with Councillor Martin Bartos, for a short walking tour of Ward 23, Partick East/Kelvindale. We took more or less the same route that we had covered with the other 3 councillors for the ward, from near Byres Road along Highburgh/Hyndland Road to Great Western Road and we walked because Martin is not yet back on his bike following a collision with a taxi some time ago. This is the only ward where all 4 councillors have met with us, setting a great example to all the other wards! Johnston and Martin are pictured below:
From east to west, our discussion covered, first of all, Byres Road, which is currently being considered for redevelopment. Martin is concerned at the lack of ambition being shown in the current Glasgow City Council proposals. We have thus put him in touch with the GoBike grouping that is developing alternative proposals, see: https://space4peoplebyresroad.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/our-vision/ and the photo at the top of this blog is option 2 showing local access and a bus route with cycle lanes both sides. Remember that there’s a ride-out tomorrow along the route – details in the link.
Our next point of discussion was the lack of access into Dowanhill for bikes from Highburgh Road. Caledon Street, Dowanhill Street, Beaumont Gate and Hyndland Street are all one-way southwards with no exception for cycles and the only legal option is to turn right into Crown Road South – which is on a bend, and it’s a busy road. Contraflow cycling on one-way streets is the default position in Cycling by Design (clause 5.i.5), the City Council’s chosen design guide, so why doesn’t it apply here, where there is a toucan crossing to aid the passage of people with bikes up Dowanhill Street? It should also be noted that contraflow cycling would reduce traffic speeds on these streets.
Third, we noted the good intention of providing disabled parking bays, also noted on our walking tour with Councillors Kenny McLean and Martin Rhodes, which extend right out to the cycle lane – potentially increasing the number of disabled people in the area!
Fourth, we looked at the buildout at the end of the row of shops on Hyndland Road. The eastbound painted cycle lane, missing since the junction with Clarence Drive, reappears here, right on the bend and just at the pinch point where the road is at its narrowest. The buildout has been put in place apparently to provide 2 loading bays, which are being misused as parking bays – just where the cycle lane could have been.
Fifth, we noted the blockage in the access provided to Prince Albert Road; why is no action taken against parking at all these cycle accesses?
Sixth, we discussed the potential of access via Hughenden Lane to the sports facilities and Gartnavel Hospital and points further west.
Seventh, we looked at the junction of Hyndland Road with Great Western Road, a scene of constant red-light jumping by cars and constant misuse of the left-turning lane to go straight on to Clevedon Road. Why is no action taken to remedy this?
A further point of discussion was the type of cycle facility needed to encourage cycling. While a segregated cycle lane is needed on either side of Great Western Road, which is a major route into the city, a two-way segregated cycle lane would be far better than the current position on Hyndland/Highburgh Road if the Council persists in allowing the storage of private property (colloquially known as car parking) on the road but reduces it to one side only.
Martin asked about traffic evaporation when roads are closed to motor vehicles, or when access is reduced, and Johnston has provided this information:
We have been sent the following message, which we are pleased to repeat, to encourage you all to ride, and then act, to ensure the revamped Byres Road is cycle and active travel friendly:
If you are keeping an eye on the future design of Byres Road, you may be interested in this event this October.
Byres Road is currently undergoing redesign and it presents a great opportunity to make big improvements to this important street. Currently the road is dominated by motor traffic that makes for an unpleasant walking environment and a hostile cycling experience.
The current proposals lack the commitment and ambition that will make Byres Road a people friendly place. We want Byres Road to have a pleasant walking environment, safe cycling provision, and low volumes of motor traffic.
That’s why we’re Riding for a Better Byres Road on Sunday 22nd October. Show your support by coming on our family friendly ride. We’re gathering at the Transport Museum for 10:45am to leave at 11:00am to ride the length of Byres Road. We’ll then gather at Vinicombe St for 11:15am after which we’ll go for lunch and spend the walking and cycling pound!
Please feel free to pass this on to anyone you think might be interested.
On Friday 06 October Councillor Maggie McTernan, Labour Councillor for Ward 12, Victoria Park, toured part of her ward with GoBike committee members John Donnelly and Alasdair Macdonald and GoBike member Neil Lovelock. Councillor McTernan doesn’t cycle so John took her, and Neil, round in the rickshaw he currently owns. After the ride she posted her photos and a commentary on her Councillor Facebook page; she has very kindly sent us the photos and allowed us to use her words to describe the ride. They are reproduced in bold below:
“The question you need to ask is, would you let your child cycle ahead of you?”
Thanks to Neil, Alasdair and John from Gobike for taking me on a cycle tour of my ward, Victoria Park, today – with an honourable mention for John, who powered the cycle rickshaw for non-cycling me!
If we want to cut emissions and improve health, we need to take seriously the cycle routes across the city – as John said, they should be safe enough for a child to use.
Most of us don’t just use one form of transport – we walk, cycle, drive or take public transport depending on the situation. So our infrastructure should reflect this, supporting us to share our public spaces safely.
Cycle paths don’t always have dropped kerbs – here, the entrance to the cycle path had bollards that were too close to allow the rickshaw through!
Double parking to block a cycle path, opposite a bus stop…
Some of the signage is faded, making it hard to follow cycle routes
There’s good news too – this pavement at St Paul’s Primary was widened in 2014, to improve safety for children cycling to school
On Sunday 08 October Walk Cycle Vote supporters gathered outside the SNP conference venue in Glasgow. The photo above shows a young cycle enthusiast offering the Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, a piece of Rocky Road Cake in grateful recognition of the doubling of the active travel budget. His mum is looking on, as were several GoBike members, plus Pedal on Parliament supporters and other active travel activists. Anna Richardson, Glasgow City Council’s Convenor for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction was there as was John Lauder, Director of Sustrans Scotland and Richard Dixon of Friends of the Earth Scotland. The minister took the time to talk to just about everyone who was there and we look forward to seeing the effects of the budget increase sometime soon.
GoBike member, Johnston Orr, trying to cycle along the Colleges Cycle route on Highburgh Road towards Byres Road. Note the car encroaching on the very narrow door opening zone and the car parked right across the bike lane!
On Saturday 23 September, GoBike convenor, Tricia Fort, and Johnston Orr met one of Partick East/Kelvindale’s 4 councillors, Tony Curtis, Conservative, for a short tour of the ward – but lots of discussion. Tony is very keen that all road users obey the Highway Code and relevant legislation, behave responsibly and respect each other, follow guidance when it comes to staying safe on a bike and he is keen to get Police Scotland to address parking and speeding infringements.
Our route was from outside the bar/restaurant 1051GWR on Great Western Road at Gartnavel, up to Highburgh Road and along into Hyndland and Dowanhill. The points discussed concerning cycle infrastructure were:
The possibility of a cycle link from the western end of Devonshire Terrace through to the front of bar/restaurant1051GWR; this would allow people to cycle from Devonshire Terrace along the existing footway, if it were cleared of vegetation and widened, to access Hughenden Lane or Shelley Road.
The reduced hours of operation of the bus lanes on Great Western Road and the lack of any cycle infrastructure on this major artery into the city centre.
Hyndland Road from Great Western Road to the top of Clarence Drive; this is a main route, as Tony pointed out, and yet there is no cycle infrastructure.
The poor condition of many roads, and many cycle lanes, in the city, and in this ward.
The positioning of the cycle lanes on Hyndland/Highburgh Road from Clarence Drive: currently the cycle lanes are on the outside of parking bays. The door opening zone is too narrow, only 0.5m rather than a realistic 1.0m, and many cars were poorly parked, encroaching on the narrow door opening zone.
Irresponsible parking, such as right across the cycle lane.
The confusion of the signs on Dowanhill Street; had there been cycle lanes here previously? (And why was one car parked facing the wrong way on a one-way street?)
The apparent contradiction between Glasgow City Council’s policy and action on one-way streets, particularly those streets that are changed from two-way to one-way ostensibly to allow parking on both sides, with respect to maintaining access for people to cycle. The references here are: Glasgow City Council’s Strategic Plan for Cycling, page 28 referencing their use of Transport Scotland’s design guide, Cycling by Design which states in section 5.1.5 on page 52, under Contra-flow Cycle Lanes, that “The default position should be to permit two-way cycling on one-way streets.” This is very pertinent for areas such as Dowanhill, where two-way streets have been made one-way under new parking regulations, and for Partick, where new parking regulations – and new one-way streets – are about to be introduced. This means some significant detours for people who wish to cycle.
GoBike’s view is that cycle infrastructure should be provided where people cycle and our analysis of Strava and other cycle-counting data is here on our website. Great Western Road, as a main artery into the city centre, has significant numbers of people cycling along it, as does Byres Road, on the edge of this ward, but neither has any cycle infrastructure.
Partick East/Kelvindale is currently the home of the most cycle-interested councillors in the city. All four councillors have responded to our invitation to walk or cycle round their ward! There has been a nil response from many other wards.
The photo, taken by GoBike committee member, Peter Hayman, shows Councillor Christy Mearns and GoBike member, Tim Pearson, having just crossed St George’s Road and about to tour Garnethill on Friday 22 September. Tim’s brief report of what was a lot of discussion and a detailed tour of the area is here: Garnethill Ward Bike Tour 22 Sept 2017
Time flies when you’re having fun! It’s been more than a week already since #GlasgowCycleInfraDay17 and after such a phenomenal response it has mostly spent reading and re-reading Tweets, whilst staring at a spreadsheet, trying to figure out how best to put them together in to the story of Glasgow’s cycling infrastructure.
As you might expect, most of the submissions were negative. If you’re familiar with cycling in Glasgow you can probably imagine them; pictures of potholes and flooding, of cars parked in cycle lanes, of busy roads with no infrastructure and of barriers blocking access.
Perhaps more surprising was that around one in eight of the Tweets were positive. With so few examples of truly segregated cycling infrastructure in Glasgow, you sought them out and held them up as examples of what you need.
Unfortunately it’s not all good news. Poor maintenance, flooding, and in some cases bad design decisions all meant that the negative feedback for segregated infrastructure outweighed the positive more than 2-to-1.
First up, there will be another blog post here shortly focusing on the details of some of the worst examples from #GlasgowCycleInfraDay17 and how they relate to Glasgow’s Strategic Plan for Cycling 2016-2025.
A similar approach will be taken when communicating this year’s submissions to Glasgow City Council, tying them in to the Strategic Plan for Cycling to help to identify areas which need increased focus.
Finally (for now), where specific safety issues were identified, these will be raised directly, and individually, with the Council to ensure that they are rectified.
Whilst all this is happening, the Tweets for #GlasgowCycleInfraDay17 have (so far as possible) all now been added to the CycleStreets.net. Have a browse; seeing them mapped across the city really highlights how much work people put in on the day to cover as much of the city as possible. So thanks again to everybody who took part.