We now have the first traffic regulation order for the proposals put forward by Yorkhill and Kelvingrove Community Council. This is a very pro-active community council, working hard to improve the area and keep residents informed (see 1.6). This is also your last chance to comment on the notorious Byres Road proposals, so please read on.
Yes, it’s time for some blue sky thinking in Glasgow. We have been sent a raft of proposals to install speed cushions in 20mph zones across the city, and here’s our response to the first one: GoBike Carmunnock Road traffic calming objection 251017 and the text is below. We recognise that it is counter-intuitive to some to object to traffic calming but please read our arguments:
“THE Glasgow City Council (CARMUNNOCK ROAD) TRAFFIC CALMING SCHEME Order 201_ Objection
Thank you for your e-mail of 06 October and the opportunity to comment on this proposal.
GoBike! objects to this proposed Traffic Calming scheme on Carmunnock Road 20mph. We are, as you know, fully supportive of 20mph speed limits in residential, shopping and education areas, but we cannot support the current approach.
We object to this order on the following grounds:
As currently specified neither the written description nor the plan drawing indicate the limits of the proposed 20mph zone. The Council must make clear and publicise the extent of the proposed 20mph zone and until this is done GoBike will maintain its objection. To be clear, where will the 20mph signs be located?
Without a clear definition of the extent of the proposed 20mph Traffic Calming Scheme it is impossible to comment as to whether the proposed installation of speed cushions will likely achieve the desired reduction in traffic speed.
GoBike also notes that the proposed Traffic Calming scheme is deficient as there is no discussion as to the reason for placing 3 sets of speed cushions on a seemingly arbitrary section of arterial road. It begs the question, is this truly the full extent of road section where there is a speeding issue? This is exceptionally unlikely and GoBike take the view that the budget to be spent on installing speed cushions over a very small area would be far better spent on creating a much larger 20mph zone through the installation of signage only. In this event we would ask the Council to simultaneously liaise with the Police to educate drivers that 20mph zones are created for a very good reason, ie to prevent injury and death as your proposal indicates.
As far as can be determined from the very limited data in the proposed Traffic Calming scheme, no allowance has been made for cycle traffic. GoBike notes that the section of Carmunnock Road where the speed cushions are proposed to be sited is well-used by cyclists, see:https://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#15/-4.25476/55.81795/blue/bike. Whilst the drawing CATHCART_001 is marked as not-to-scale, Carmunnock Road near the site of the proposed speed cushions is understood to be about 12m wide. The positioning of 4 speed cushions across the carriageway suggests that cyclists will therefore be forced to cycle in the gutter if they are to avoid cycling over a speed cushion. Bicycles are as much traffic as are motor vehicles and GoBike considers the proposed scheme deficient on the grounds that no allowance has been made for cycles.
As a constructive alternative proposal, GoBike consider a far better way to reduce vehicle speeds, over a longer section of road, would be to narrow the road by installing a cycle lane on each side using one of the methods, such as armadillos, as installed in the City Council’s trial area on Aikenhead Road. Armadillos, and similar, are cheaper and less invasive to install and far cheaper to maintain than speed bumps or cushions. Reducing the width available to motor vehicles would naturally reduce their speed and such a scheme would have the added benefit of encouraging active travel.
As a final statement, GoBike consider that the money allocated to this scheme, one of many in the city, would be better spent on a city wide scheme. In our view, and as was agreed by the City Council’s Petitions Committee in spring 2015, a city-wide default speed limit of 20mph should be introduced, with exemptions then being made for the main arterial routes into the city. The current piecemeal system is expensive and very confusing for the road user. The national climate is towards the spirit of Mark Ruskell, MSP’s bill to the Scottish Parliament, with an urban default speed limit of 20mph, and Glasgow should be leading the way in this.
and here is Glasgow City Council’s proposal:
MESSAGE SENT ON BEHALF OF ANDY WADDELL
HEAD OF INFRASTRUCTURE AND ENVIRONMENT
LAND AND ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES
Dear Sir / Madam
THE GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL
TRAFFIC CALMING SCHEME 201_
The Council propose to consider the introduction of the above named Traffic Calming Scheme and I wish to establish the views of your organisation.
Background to the proposed Scheme
Glasgow City Council are currently in the process of implementing Mandatory 20mph Speed Limit Zones throughout the City.
The purpose of the Mandatory 20mph Speed Limit Zone is to ensure that vehicle users reduce their speeds to 20mph or less, and therefore improve road safety for pedestrians, cyclists and all other vehicle users. By turn, it is anticipated that this will encourage more people to walk and cycle, which would have associated health benefits.
Furthermore, a report by Department for Transport (DfT), titled, ‘Relationship between Speed and Risk of Fatal Injury: Pedestrians and Car Occupants’, notes the following benefits:
– If someone is hit by a car at 40 mph they are 30% likely to be killed.
– If someone is hit by a car at 30 mph they are 7% likely to be killed.
– If someone is hit by a car at 20 mph they are 1% likely to be killed.
The Council installed two speed tables on Carmunnock Road however; following feedback from local residents, the speed table located east of Madison Avenue has since been removed. In order to encourage low vehicle speeds, the council propose to install three sets of speed cushions between Nos.140 – 178 Carmunnock Road.
Roads affected by the proposed Scheme
The list of roads affected by these proposals are:-
Details of the proposed Scheme
The proposed Scheme (as depicted on the attached plans) will comprise of:-
The installation of 4 speed cushions at a point approximately 15 metres east of the extended east kerbline of Crompton Avenue (approximately 2m in width, 3m in length and 75mm in height).
The installation of 4 speed cushions at a point approximately 5 metres east of the extended east kerbline of Madison Avenue (approximately 2m in width, 3m in length and 75mm in height).
The installation of 4 speed cushions at a point approximately 5 metres east of the extended east kerbline of Fairfax Avenue (approximately 2m in width, 3m in length and 75mm in height).
Please provide any comments you wish to make on these proposals within 21 days (reply by 27 October 2017).
In the meantime, should you require any further information or clarification on any points arising from the proposals, do not hesitate to contact my officer John Telfer on 0141 287 3723 .
Should the Council proceed with these proposals; I will write to you again and confirm this.
If you agree with our view, or even if you support the City Council with this one, do write in and let them know; the e-mall address to write to is LandServices.Mailroom@glasgow.gov.uk but please do this by Friday 27 October.
Glasgow City Council is proposing new rules for the management of parks, see: http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/parkmanagementrules – and note that “park” has a wide meaning and includes George Square in the city centre. 2 of the rules, in particular, are of interest to cyclists.
Clause 1.4 of the proposed rules refers to an “Unauthorised Gathering” which means any gathering, meeting or assembly in a park of 20 or more people, which has not had the prior written consent of the Executive Director of Land and Environmental Services, however it was organised.
This has implications for any group, not only of cyclists, who assemble in an area deemed to be a park, prior to setting off on a cycle ride, or something such as a trip to an art gallery. For example, cyclists from Glasgow arranged to meet in George Square last year prior to cycling to Edinburgh for the Pedal on Parliament event. Go Bike, since it achieved the right for cyclists to cycle through the city parks some 25 years ago, has led several rides through parks, the latest being on Sunday 05 January, when 30 of us did an excellent cycle tour of the parks on the southside of the city. We stopped several times to regroup and, finally, we admired the view once we had all made it to the high point, the flag pole, in Queen’s Park. 30 of us “gathering” together in this way – without the prior consent of the Executive Director of Land and Environmental Services – could thus be considered to be “unauthorised“.
Clause 7.2, second sentence of the proposals states that “Cycle speed should not exceed 5 miles per hour.” Anyone who has tried cycling alongside a pedestrian will know that it is very unstable to cycle at such low speeds; even children, or adults, learning to cycle will be going at speeds above 5mph – if only to try and keep their balance. The average “moving speed” of the Go Bike ride through the parks last month was 7.6 miles per hour, with a maximum of 16.3 mph. A limit of 5mph, if and when enforced, would thus remove our hard-won right to cycle in parks and other parts of the city covered by these new rules.
Go Bike proposes that, if the City Council wishes to ban some types of “Unauthorised Gathering” then they should be specific about the type of behaviour they wish to ban. A blanket ban covers not only cyclists but a group of families meeting together.
Most cyclists cycle at speeds appropriate to their surroundings so the second sentence of Clause 7.2 quoted above should be removed leaving the clause as: “Cyclists must maintain proper control of the cycle and ensure they do not endanger other road users.” Those who don’t would be in contravention of Clause 2.1 “No one shall in any park: (c) commit any act of anti-social behaviour in any park,”
Thus, there is a plethora of rules drawn up to cover almost any eventuality. The Council would do far better to employ park wardens to look after and maintain these “dear, green places” in our city.