Contraflow Cycling, and a new Transform20 campaign

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 campaigning@gobike.org and we’ll add it to the web page.

Today is #GlasgowCycleInfraDay17

#GlasgowCycleInfraDay17
It’s Friday!

It’s September 8th!!

It’s #GlasgowCycleInfraDay17!!!

Yes, the day has finally arrived for us to take to the streets of Glasgow and show the world exactly what our cycling infrastructure is like.  Some of it will be good, some of it will be bad, and we need to see it all so we can show it to the Council and help to make ours a true Cycling City.

Keep your camera with you today and when you spot any cycling infrastructure that you want to highlight (good or bad) – or if you spot somewhere that’s crying out for infrastructure it doesn’t have yet – take a picture and Tweet it with the hashtag #GlasgowCycleInfraDay17.  Don’t worry if you don’t have Twitter, you can still take part by emailing your pictures to us at CycleInfraDay@gmail.com.

You’ll be able to watch the gallery build throughout the day by keeping an eye on the hashtag on Twitter (you don’t need an account for this – just click this link), or by following the Twitter account (@CycleInfraDay).

Remember, this is supposed to be an easy way of documenting a day in the life of Glasgow’s cycling infrastructure.  So please be sensible; don’t go dashing across busy roads to get an ‘action shot’, or exploring the collapsed section of the cycle lane along the Clyde to show the damage after the weir jammed last week.

Most importantly… have fun!

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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New Cycling Scotland Strategy

GoBike is a member of Cycling Scotland and we have been informed about the new Cycling Scotland Strategy 2017-22 which has been approved by the Cycling Scotland Board.  Here’s a copy: Cycling Scotland Strategy 2017-22 – FINAL

(the online version will be available on the new website, which will be going live during the summer)

The Board and all the staff look forward to working with us all, in GoBike and the other member organisations, to achieve the aims and ambitions in this strategy, helping pursue our vision of a sustainable, inclusive and healthy Scotland where anyone, anywhere, can enjoy all the benefits of cycling.