Glasgow Councillors tour their wards with us, Tour 1 Maryhill and Hillhead

Further to our letter to all Glasgow Councillors in June, our first tour took place on Friday 15 September 2017, with Councillors Jane Morgan, Maryhill ward, Labour (in yellow above) and Martha Wardrop, Hillhead ward, Green (behind GoBike committee member, Alasdair Macdonald).  The photo above was taken on Striven Gardens, where leaf-fall and parked cars, plus mis-placed bollards further along can impede good cycle access.

We were able to discuss many items on the tour, such as cars parked in bike lanes, the need for dropped kerbs to facilitate access for bikes, as well as prams etc, plus the need for good cycle infrastructure on Maryhill Road.  Details of the tour, as well as the map of the route are shown here .  It was an excellent way to get our message across to two councillors and we look forward to meeting other councillors over the forthcoming weeks.

Get off the road!”, a GoBike member’s View on Parking, Private Property and Cycle Facilities

We reproduce below the submitted text of a Herald newspaper Agenda item, written by GoBike member, Bob Downie, and  published in the Herald today.  It is just possible that the car owning populace of the land might not like this article, so if you agree with it then please get your letter of support into the Herald now!  Bob has written the item in a personal capacity but we are pleased to publish the views of GoBike members if they are generally in line with our aims. The printed text, as in the Herald, is given here: http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/15483256.Agenda__On_street_parking_should_not_be_at_the_expense_of_cycling_infrastructure/

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“When on your bike, how many times do you hear the phrase “get off the road!”, followed by a barbed statement along the lines of “roads are for cars and you can get your toy onto the pavement”? The answer is more often than many of us would like. Being the mature adults that we are, we sadly shake our heads and cycle on. It is to be hoped that the holders of such ideas will in time pass on to the great motorway in the sky, and be replaced by a younger generation more used to the idea that one’s transport mode depends on the journey, walking, cycling, driving or public transport as the circumstance dictates. We can dream.

However, even enlightened urban car owners consider that they have an absolute right to park on the street outside their property. As a campaigner for improvements in the cycling environment in Glasgow, I keep bumping up against the refusal to install any cycling infrastructure because it could only be built at the expense of on-street parking. This factor, possibly more than any other is the primary reason why we do not, and possibly cannot, have good quality, protected cycle lanes in our fine city.

The desire to park on the road close to one’s property is perfectly understandable, but let us step back and ask the fundamental question, what is a road and what is its function? The online Oxford English defines a road as “a wide way leading from one place to another, especially one with a specially prepared surface which vehicles can use”. The Collins dictionary offers “a road is a long piece of hard ground which is built between two places so that people can drive or ride easily from one place to the other”. However, the most important definition is the Road Traffic Act 1988 which states “a road physically should have the character of a definable route, with ascertainable edges, and that leads from one point to another to enable travellers to move conveniently from one point to another along that route”.

The essence of all the above definitions is that a road is constructed route that people can use to travel by vehicle from one place to another, the RTA of 1988 adding the term “move conveniently”. What is conspicuously missing from any definition of “road” is that it is a place to store your priv2ate property. Now call me picky, but what is a car if not private property?

It thus seems that we cannot have the network of safe, connected cycle infrastructure in Glasgow that we so urgently need, because of the priority given to allowing people to store their private property on the public road. I have no fundamental desire to stop parking where there is room to do so without impeding traffic, but cyclists are every bit as much traffic as are motor vehicles and it is wrong to deny them safe, segregated routes by preferentially prioritising parking. Glasgow, like all urban areas, needs a cycle revolution. The pent-up desire is huge but until safe infrastructure is created the desire will never be satisfied for the many would-be cyclists intimidated by sharing roads with motor vehicle.

So, on-street parking is fine, but should be given the lowest priority and allowed only after the needs of all traffic, including cycling, are satisfied. Roads are routes to travel on and not places to store personal property. I say, “Get the parked cars off the road” and allow the cycle traffic to flow.”

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Parking controls and 20mph for Partick but no contraflow cycling on one-way streets.

Glasgow City Council are currently consulting on a Traffic Regulation Order to introduce a mandatory 20mph speed limit in a significant number of streets in Partick, see https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=18127  This follows earlier proposals to “manage” parking, which introduced some new one-way streets.  Unfortunately parking is still being allowed to a significant extent on many streets, to such an extent in fact that the Council refuse to allow contraflow cycling on these streets.  This is despite contraflow cycling on one-way streets being the default position in the design guide the Council uses, Cycling by Design!  Further details on our Consultations page and our Design Guides page.  Our letter of support for the 20mph proposal includes our concerns: GoBike Partick 20mph support with concern 100717

We have also responded to on-line consultations for Glasgow City Council’s proposed Mini-Holland scheme (details were on view on 23 June), the Green Party’s ambitious proposals to update their active travel policy and the future of the Walk, Cycle, Vote campaign.  We have supported a minor proposal from Glasgow City Council to control parking on Havannah Street/Duke Street.  See our Consultations page for details.

On-street Car Parking – let’s get it sorted – respond to this Scottish Government Consultation

Scottish Government — Improving Parking in Scotland consultation
Deadline: 30 June
The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on responsible parking. Among other things, It invites views on how to provide greater clarity of the laws on parking, and how to stop issues such as pavement parking. To read the consultation, see here. Living Streets Scotland have also put together a consultation response for members of the public to join the call to end pavement parking.
This appears to be prevarication on the part of the Scottish Government in response to the Pavement Parking bill put forward by Sandra White SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin.  The car lobby is obviously very powerful, but random, irresponsible parking is damaging our towns and cities – and our lives.  Please respond to the consultation and let’s get our pavements clear for walking and our cycle lanes clear for cycling.