Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

New east end cycle route – I put my foot in it!

It’s remarkable – all I have to do is make a statement about something…

And I’ll be given the equivalent of ‘A poke in the eye with a sharp stick’.

Yesterday, while considering the ambitious plans for new parks and other goodies running from the river to Kelvingrove Park, I mentioned that plans for a cycle route along London Road seemed to have sunk without trace, after being expected to see a start as early as the second quarter of 2019.

I’m thinking of one project local to me, which I was following, and looked as if it would be underway by now (middle of 2019), but has seen no activity, or apparently any update info regarding its progress, or not.

Sooner, rather than later please (I’m looking at backers as I say that, NOT the council).

Of course, as soon as I committed my thoughts to print, in less that 24 hours I was proved wrong.

Construction on phase one of new sections of the East City Way is due to start at Mount Vernon, in January 2020 and be completed by June 2020. Applications for funding to progress phase two and three designs have been made to active travel organisation Sustrans.

The plan is for East City Way to stretch for seven kilometres from Bridgeton to Mount Vernon, with work carried out over the next three to five years.

NEW 2.2-Kilometre Segregated Cycle Route Proposed For Glasgow’s South Side

Ah well, I may have been a day early with my negative thoughts, but at least the East City Way looks as if it is going to arrive, if a year later than expected. And anything up to another six years for the rest!

Guess I’ll just have to wait that little bit longer before this view becomes a reality.

Proposed Layout London Road

Proposed Layout London Road

 

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13/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Sorry for mentioning cycling again

I feel I have to apologise for some fairly frequent mentions of cycling, which I almost don’t even want to do for fear of sounding like a fan, or worse, a damned activist!

But there just seems to be a lot happening all of a sudden, and this year seems to be very busy already.

Maybe it’s just our ‘heatwaves’ bringing more people out of doors.

My usual routes are already busier than last year – I think I’ve already passed more other cyclists this year than I did last year.

Also notable is the number of Nextbikes (the hired ones), which I hardly saw in use last year, this year already seem to be all over the place.

But what I really wanted to mention was the response to the impending completion of reorganising Sauchiehall Street, to encourage pedestrians and cyclists, and discourage motor vehicles.

For the past couple of years, there was a disappointing level of negativity and adverse comment about the proposals and the work, with some suggesting it wouldn’t work for various reasons, and that it would be the death of many shops in Sauchiehall Street as people deserted it because of the changes.

Seems the naysayers (dare I say “As usual”) were wrong, and it seems that actual traders there are relatively happy.

A number of Glasgow businesses have spoken out about the ongoing Sauchiehall Street Avenues project, praising the impact it has had.

The £115 million Avenues programme, piloted in Sauchiehall Street, will upgrade at least 17 key streets across the city centre over the next six years until 2025.

Work in this area, which extends pavements and cycle lanes and reduces space for vehicles, is expected to be completed by the end of May.

Now, some of Sauchiehall Street’s main business people have praised the project, claiming it will transform the area.

Brian Fulton, co-director and co-owner of the Garage nightclub and chair of the Sauchiehall Street Avenue Project, said: “I think it’s really going to make a big difference to how we use the street going forward.

“Back before the bid started people were really negative about the streetscape in the public realm so we spoke to businesses about what they would want from a street and public realm improvements was the main, overriding thing.

“With the set up of the bid, it put us in a good position to lobby to have this as the first pilot project of the Avenues project and you can see here today the difference it’s made to the streetscape compared to how it was four, five years ago.”

The scheme, which will introduce green infrastructure, extend pedestrian walkways and reduce space for vehicles, have been separated into three blocks – A, B and C.

Block A includes the Sauchiehall Street development but will also oversee the transformation of Argyle Street, Dixson Street and St Enoch’s Centre into a pedestrian and cycle friendly city.

The Underline, which will connect the West End to the city centre via St George’s Place, Phoenix Road and New City Road, will promote similar routes.

Businesses speak out on Sauchiehall Street’s ongoing Avenues project

Why wouldn’t anyone want what this is delivering?

Sauchiehall Street was an ancient mish-mash of outdated layouts and systems until this came along – I didn’t even bother walking along there just for a look. Seeing traffic trying to use the old layout made me glad I wasn’t trying to drive there.

More

The current changes seem set to become still further enhances, with almost £300 k set to be released for more improvements.

Glasgow councillors are expected to support a plan to pump almost £300,000 into footpath improvements on one of the city’s main streets.

City chiefs can approve the use of the money on Sauchiehall Street , as part of the ongoing Avenues programme, when they meet on Thursday.

It has been generated from developer contributions, where private companies behind city centre projects commit funds to public realm schemes.

The £290,000 of funding, from a private development at Buchanan Street/Bath Street, will go towards footway works on the northern side of Sauchiehall Street, between Charing Cross and Rose Street.

Councillors set to back £300,000 plan for Sauchiehall Street footpaths

I was there last week, just for a look, and there’s still quite a bit of work to be completed, but most of the changes have been made and it’s possible to see what the finished street will look like.

My only gripe remains the same – that black tarmac laid for the cycle path is terrible.

The contractor should be sent back in to smooth it off, at THEIR cost.

The surface ripples make it shooglier than the block paving around it!

Sauchiehall Street Avenue

Sauchiehall Street Avenue

19/05/2019 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Pathetic driver of hulking great Mercedes SUV hit all the stereotype buttons

I’m fairly easy-going on the road, but a old guy in a huge Mercedes SUV managed to press all the wrong buttons today.

Location: Entrance into Kelvingrove Park at the junction of Claremont Street, Royal Terrace, and La Belle Place.

I’m coming along the cycle path along Claremont Street, about to cross Royal Terrace and enter the park as I do on most days.

There’s a big Mercedes SUV coming from the right so I adjust my pace to pass behind.

NOPE!

The driver looks over at me – and then just comes to a dead stop directly in front of me (good job I was already slowing).

Then, he gets out, blocking Royal Terrace (and the park entrance) to traffic approaching from Claremont Street and La Belle Place.

Since I had to come to a dead stop while still in higher gears I have to struggle around the front of his road block, and suggest he try harder to block the whole road.

This brings a stream of abuse as he opened both front doors and the rear hatch, as if I was the one that did something wrong.

He could have lied, and claimed he was collecting his sick little pup that had taken ill in the park, which would have been reasonable.

When I made it into the park, got moving and was able to change gears, when I looked back he was carrying his dog back to the car.

Who CARRIES their dog out of a park?

Well, it LOOKED as if that was what he was doing, and put in the back of the car.

Maybe he was a dognapper, and that was why he was upset about having attention drawn to him, as he collected his next pet blackmail subject.

Unfortunately, by the time I could stop and pull my camera, he was all done, so all I got was a pic of the car before he sped off, and his number plate was blocked too. I’ve blurred the face if the guy walking behind, he was just a chance catch in the pic, completely unrelated.

Abusive Mercedes SUV driver

Abusive Mercedes SUV driver

Wonder if his female partner approved of what he said?

Passenger

Passenger

Probably, since she opened her door to make sure the road was indeed completely blocked as well as the park entrance.

Context shot of the entrance and road.

Kelvingrove Park Royal Terrace gate

Kelvingrove Park Royal Terrace gate

One large SUV, doors open, and this junction is all blocked until it moves.

A handy van turning from Claremont Street shows how the road is only one vehicle wide, also the National Cycle Route marker on a pole.

Kelvingrove Park from Claremont Street

Kelvingrove Park from Claremont Street

Footnote

Lest you make the mistake of thinking I wrote this post because I was ticked off by this motoring retard, you’d be wrong. If he carries on like that, karma will deal with him one day, doesn’t need any help from me.

I am ticked off, and did indeed write it to work off some steam, but…

The reason for that is how long it takes for even a ‘quick’ compact camera to ‘wake up’ and be ready to start working and take pics – a delay extended by the controls, including the zoom, all being administered via buttons.

It’s one of the major reasons I still favour the bulkier dSLR and semi-manual lens when I can carry it.

It has no ‘wake up’ delays.

Raise it and you can press the shutter immediately at any time, and the manual zoom works as fast your hand can slide the barrel.

17/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Some cycle fun, and some serious stuff

I try not to mention cycling too often, lest I be mistaken for a loony cycling ‘activist’, most of whom probably do more to harm to cycling than advance it, thanks to their endless whining.

On a serious note, I see a number of mentions for a police campaign to enforce spacing between drivers and cyclists.

Plain-clothes police cyclists are taking to Scotland’s roads to target drivers who get too close.

The officers will use bike-mounted cameras to catch motorists, who will then be pulled over.

Drivers will be spoken to and could face being fined and getting points on their licence.

Cycle police will target risky drivers who get too close

The majority of motorists are not aware that driving too close to cyclists can result in three penalty points, a survey suggests.

The poll of more than 1,000 Scots found 73% did not know the potential consequence of failing to leave at least a car’s width when passing a bike.

Cycling Scotland , which commissioned the YouGov research, is raising awareness of the risks to cyclists in a new nationwide campaign.

It has received the backing of Police Scotland , which underlined that driving too close – classed as careless driving – is punishable with a minimum penalty of three penalty points and £100 fine.

Campaign to cut risk to cyclists on Scotland’s roads

Police Scotland has meanwhile launched Operation Close Pass to make roads safer for cyclists.

The initiative sees plain-clothes police officers cycling with a camera on their handlebars and the back of their bike.

When they are passed too closely by a car, the police cyclist radios details to colleagues further up the road, who pull over the motorist and talk to them about their driving.

While I’m certainly not going to disagree with the campaign, I’m also going to speak up for Glasgow’s drivers (and add that I’m not one of them now, having been priced off the road some years ago).

Over the past year or two, having taken to the road by bike (around 1,500 miles per annum), I was expecting to have the paint scraped off my bike by passing drivers, after listening to the damned cycling activists.

In fact, very few come close, and most stay so far away it’s almost as if they’re afraid of me.

It’s also worthy of note to watch Glasgow’s bus drivers (from inside the bus), who demonstrate remarkable restraint when their large vehicles are baulked by some very bad and very slow cyclists (and drivers).

Recent fun

I was brought up in the days when we were actually taught to drive, rather than how to pass the driving test.

Think about that, there IS a difference.

One aspect which seems to have been forgotten is ‘Defensive Driving’ – to look ahead and act early to avoid getting into a problem scenario before it even arises. I cycle the same way.

A couple of evening ago I was cruising along Tollcross Road, about to arrive at a junction (street on the left) at about 20 mph when an SUV pulled out in front of me.

While ‘Angry Scottish Cyclist’ would have seen this as an excuse to stop, and start banging on the car and shouting abuse at the driver, I had been watching it, and intended just to slide over the left and pass behind it.

NOPE!

When the nice lady driver did spot me (and my lights) she decided to PANIC, slamming on her brakes, and coming to a dead stop right in my path.

I had to stop and shove the bike around the back of her – I wasn’t really looking, but notice she was still having some sort of panic attack inside her SUV, with arms waving, and a little face that looked as if it was about to burst into tears.

I was off as fast as I could 🙂

I find pedestrians on cycle paths are more of a problem, as some of them seem to hate cyclists.

I was on the cycle route through Kelvingrove Park yesterday, when I met one.

I’d spotted a couple walking ahead of me, spaced side-by-side and taking up almost the who width of the 3 metre wide path.

Walking towards them was ‘Mr Denim’.

I like to give people a wide berth, so altered my speed so I’d arrive as ‘Mr Denim’ passed them, and I could slip through the space they’d made for him to walk past.

NOPE!

While I arrived as planned, ‘Mr Denim’ slowed down and almost stopped, deliberately blocking the space I had been aiming to slip through.

While it wasn’t an issue since I’d been cycling at walking pace by that point, the noise of my brakes did startle the person I had arrived behind, which I didn’t like to do, but had to thank to the actions of ‘Mr Denim’. To the couple, unaware of my presence until then, it could have looked as if I was just about to run into them from behind, rather than already coming almost to a stop.

People like him are a real pain – I was almost surprised he didn’t shout something like ‘GET OFF THE PATH’ as he almost stood in front of me.

It’s a shame people like that are allowed out on their own.

Normal people are usually quite accommodating on shared paths like Kelvingrove Park – almost TOO accommodating at times, and it’s almost embarrassing how many of them move out of the way when they don’t have to and say “Sorry” even if I’m 2 metres away from them. But then again, they may have met the types that speed through people at 20 mph+, and shout at them for getting in ‘their’ way.

However, the many good folk make up for the few ‘Mr Denim’ types, and the other various ‘Grumpies’ that occasionally make a point of being awkward.

Kelvingrove Park CCTV twins at big bin

Kelvingrove Park

14/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | | Leave a comment

Don’t see many £3,198 bikes in the east end

It took me a while to track down a bike I spotted in the west end yesterday, and longer to recover after I saw the price!

Probably the most surprising thing was the casual way the owner just left it standing free in Dumbarton Road, not secured to a bike stand, or anything.

Although there was a folding lock around the back wheel and frame, and this make of bike has built-in security, that’s not going to stop the average moronic bike thief from just lifting a free-standing bike left outside a shop, not secured any sort of fixed support.

They’ll steal it first, then bin/strip/scrap it if they can’t ride it, or break anything that locks it.

Anyway…

I grabbed a very quick pic due to the unusual appearance, then, while my back was turned, the owner came out of the shop and released it, and rode away before I could spot the name, or get a decent pic.

Fortunately, I was able to enhance the pic, and get enough of the letters of the name to track it down.

Would you believe VanMoof?

Click on the name to go to the English language version of the maker’s web site.

I’m not going to repeat all the claims and specs, you’ll find them there complete with prices.

I should add it’s an electric bike, not immediately obvious, but betrayed by the front hub (assuming I spotted the correct style).

Currently, £3,198 but with a limited time offer of £800 off for early birds, making it an absolute ‘bargain’ for a mere £2,398 🙂

There is a non-electric version, around a grand or so, depending on options.

No wonder the owner was shopping in a charity shop!

With max discount on my bike, I could have a fleet of TEN for that.

To put the VanMoof (and much more expensive pedal bikes into perspective) consider the price of a new motorbike, and what you’re getting for your money in each case.

VanMoof

VanMoof

Levity aside, interesting to see something different.

 

 

VAnMoof

12/05/2019 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Nextbike stations slowly creep into the east end

As someone who walks from the east end into Glasgow city centre, and wanders around the west end, until recently I always thought Nextbike failed miserably.

Once in the city, or in the west end, I could (if I wanted to) have got onto a Nextbike offering.

But, had I wanted to use that facility to get from home, or even anywhere near home by Nextbike, I’d have walked so far to reach the nearest station it wouldn’t have been worth it.

While it still wasn’t much use to me, still too far away from home, I was pleased to see the system eventually made it as far as Dennistoun, and the end of (populated) Duke Street (at the corner of the former meat market.

It even made an appearance of sorts at the other end of (populated) Duke Street (along from Bellgrove), although that is just a Nextbike dumped on the new bike racks there, rather than an actual Nextbike station.

Duke Street Bike Racks

Duke Street Bike Racks

However, the latest news brings things a little closer, with a new Nextbike station planned for The Forge – so that’s only an hour I’d have to walk for before I could jump on a Nextbike. Or get the bus. And can wait until September.

New Nextbike stations for 2019 are:

Possil Health Centre (Saracen Street)

Maryhill Tesco (Maryhill Road)

Queen Margaret Drive/Maryhill Road

Hyndland Railway Station

Maxwell Park Railway Station

Glasgow Forge (Gallowgate)

Expected installation of the new sites is September.

This came with news of their e-bike arrival.

But that’s not coming as close as their ordinary bikes, so won’t even be as close as them for another year or two.

A fleet of 63 e-bikes will be stationed at the following 21 locations:

Cessnock Subway Station

Queen’s Park Railway Station

Langside Halls

Shawlands

Battlefield

Woodside (North)

Possil Health Centre

Firhill Road

Botanic Gardens

University of Glasgow (East)

Maryhill Tesco

Hyndland Railway Station

Bellgrove Railway Station (North)

Dalmarnock Railway Station

Alexandra Parade West

George Square

St Enoch Square

Merchant Square, pictured

Glasgow Green (Saltmarket/Clyde Place)

Sauchiehall Street

Broomielaw

LOCATIONS Revealed For Glasgow’s E-Bike Fleet Plus New Cycle Hire Stations

So, any Nextbike seen around my area is STILL going to be an abandoned one, not at an actual station.

I can’t help but feel that the upmarket west end is getting preferential treatment, while the peasants of the east end, who presumably need bikes as they live in poverty and can’t afford cars, are left wanting.

I see a lot of tourists seem to like jumping on these hire bikes, something else there wouldn’t be much of in the east end (to generate revenue).

01/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Why no secure ‘Bike Parks’ similar to ‘Car Parks’

While it’s nice to see Glasgow City Council continue to defy activists who claim it’s not doing anything (or maybe enough) for cyclists, with news that some £250,000 is to be spent installing fifty storage units (secure on-street cycle lock-ups for residents to store their bikes) in parts of the city where tenements and flats are predominant, I’m going to put my ‘Grumpy Hat’ on and say that this marks a missed opportunity.

Glasgow has something in store for cyclists living the high life

I’ve read a few articles on this subject over the past few months, and have been disappointed every time.

While I’m obviously pleased for the residents concerned, my gripe is that there’s no similar option for anyone wanting to leave their bike on the street.

We have to lug around decent chains and locks if we want to be reasonably sure our bikes will be where we left them, and strip them of any easily removed accessories lest they vanish when we’re not there.

Somebody is missing a business opportunity, with the equivalent of a car park for bikes.

There was an attempt on Dragons’ Den a couple of years ago, but mistakes were made.

Dragons’ Den firm’s £4,000 street bike lockers installed in Exeter city centre

But that’s not the point – what matters is that others were interested (and the guy didn’t really try, as he really just wanted to get on TV).

They’ve installed their storage at a library.

We’ve also got storage at a library, Glasgow Women’s Library in Bridgeton.

Glasgow Women's Library Secure Bike Storage

Glasgow Women’s Library Secure Bike Storage

I’m guessing this example, from Partick, is for residents.

Secure bike storage Partick

Secure bike storage Partick

So, I’m no longer in any sort of business, don’t have any funding, so all I can do is make the point that there’s probably a nice business opportunity for someone who want to take the chance and get onto this early.

After all, we’re continually being told bike ownership and use is only going to increase, so it’s not a great stretch of the imagination to see that there will be opportunities, especially as some bike owners are daft enough to be parted from many thousands of pounds for their bikes, they should be easy touches for a few quid for safe storage 😉

My bike may only be worth a few hundred, but I can’t afford to lose that, and have spent just about as much on security.

Update

Local media eventually noticed…

On-street bike parking scheme to be launched across Glasgow

27/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Online reviews are false – seems the same is true of comments

I’ve never understood why anybody puts any faith in online reviews.

Most read like promotional literature posted by the subject, and there are too many cases reported in the media where false material intended to harm a business (perhaps by someone seeking revenge) to make positive OR negative reviews trustworthy or believable.

See this recent article if you believe any online reviews (or believe I’m making this up 🙂 ): ‘Why I write fake online reviews’

And that’s before we even get to those business who beg for positive reports and 5-star reviews.

I recently bought some camera accessories online, and was about to post a pic of the note that came with them, begging for positive reviews and 5-star ratings for the items.

Two things meant I didn’t, firstly that it would have given the seller free publicity (not from me), and secondly that they told me NOT to give a review OR rating if it wasn’t going to be 5-star.

Sure, like I am going to do ANY of those things of ORDERED to by a seller!

So, how did ‘Comments’ end up being lumped in with reviews?

If you’ve read any items where I’ve mentioned the few articles that still appear after news articles in the media, you will probably have noticed that I now generally refer to the ‘Comments section’ as the ‘Morons section, and that I will mostly be referring to that section as it appears after articles published by The Scotsman.

The BBC still offers a few online items with comments open, and these are just about as moronic (probably the same people), but I seldom mother even looking, as their comment section is hidden by default, and needs to be clicked on to be made visible, and it’s not usually worth that amount of effort.

The most recent article was a genuinely useful and informative piece on the introduction of cycle spaces on buses.

You might be forgiven for thinking such a sensible move would be relatively free of adverse and moronic comments.

WRONG!

I’ve been forced to use the bus (or sit at home) for almost a month, and the commenters, sorry, morons, have clearly been locked indoors for a lot longer than that, and not been on any current buses – if they’ve even seen, let alone been ON a bus in the past twenty or thirty years.

According to the moron commenters, buses are dirty, drivers unhelpful, too busy racing between stops, don’t run on time or to schedule, and a nightmare for the disabled or anyone with a pram.

In fact, I’ve been shocked to find that I could set my watch by any of the buses I’ve used. In Glasgow, they run almost to the minute, and we have digital displays on our bus stops which countdown to the bus’ arrival.

The buses are new and clean (unless a drunk ned has been on recently).

Drivers stop and help disabled people (and people with prams) get on if needed, manually dropping a ramp to the pavement – if the kneeling bus cannot get close enough or kneel down far enough. There are special places for wheelchairs and prams to sit too. I’ve seen many people in powered wheelchairs get on and off the bus unaided, apart from that ramp, if needed.

There’s no rushing between stops. As noted above, the drivers run to a timetable, and often wait at stops, or just pull in for a minute, if it is quiet and they are early.

Apparently NONE of this happens in the world, or twisted mind, of the moron commenter.

Funny thing is, as I watched the prams and wheelchairs going on and off, the he only thing I began to wonder about was bikes on buses.

And then this story appeared a few days ago…

Here’s Scotland’s first bus you can wheel your bike onto

The story’s pretty much what you’d expect, with space and racking, and supports to suit bikes, similar to that in place already for wheelchairs and prams.

The real subject though, I suggest, is a look at the comment/moron section after it.

It’s hard to believe that some people have little more to do with their time than make up the rubbish and misinformation that fills most of this section.

It’s even sadder to see that some of them are mocking even the idea, and suggesting it is stupid to provide such paces on buses.

They really don’t get out enough, or have any contact with other people.

22/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Byres Road farce defines “Too many cooks”

If you’ve never come across the fiasco that has become the Byres Road “City Deal-funded comprehensive public realm scheme”, then I suggest sitting down with a strong cup of tea or coffee (or maybe something even ‘stronger’ – you’ll probably need it), and doing some background reading of past articles online.

The get ready to keep reading for another THREE YEARS!

This scheme is CURRENTLY not expected to be completed until 2022 – and that will only happen if no more ‘cooks’ come to the table.

In the past, plans such as this were created and imposed on an area.

Not necessarily right, but at least it meant the plan was delivered, something was done, and then the various interested parties could fight it out over the years and have what they thought was ‘Most Important’ installed as a modification in later years, if they could get anyone to listen to their whining.

Now?

Now, schemes can end up delayed for years as those who think THEIR requirements are the most important, and should override everyone else’s needs and wants.

This almost happened in Sauchiehall Street, with various groups whining on and on about how THEY should get priority in the scheme to alter that street, until it just seemed to start and get built, while those people were still whining away in the background.

But Byres Road just seems to be one never-ending collection of ‘Cooks’ determined to have their say and get priority for THEIR group and demands, and stuff any other group.

I’m not even going to TRY to take a representative quote, I’d have to copy the whole article!

But, the bottom line…

The current timetable for the work shows construction starting in summer 2020 with completion in spring 2022, although the programme may be subject to change depending on the nature of objections raised during consultation required to obtain a Traffic Regulation Order.

MAJOR Byres Road Revamp Won’t Be Finished For At Least Three Years

While all these ‘Cooks’ have their fun, the rest of just have to carry on cycling on the same old roads and routes, with the same problems they say exist on them.

Somebody should bang all their heads together, and force the word ‘compromise’ into them – there’s clearly enough space in there!

On that basis, I suspect few them actually use the roads as such, and just whine about what they think they see as problems, as they stand on the pavement and study their belly buttons passing traffic, without ever being part of it.

I have to ‘borrow’ one of the pics with the article as I’ve never take a pic of ‘just’ Byres Road – apart from the find of the now closed Nardini’s a few weeks ago.

I’ll have to rectify that.

Byres Road with cyclists Pic Credit reGlasgow

Byres Road with cyclists Pic Credit reGlasgow

Update

Seems the wider media caught on to this a few days later.

But did have anything to say, just parroted off the plan without noticing the three-year timescale, or all the wailing and moaning that’s already gone on, and might add more years to that timescale if there are objections.

Cyclists and pedestrians are set to benefit from a £9m project to redesign Glasgow’s Byres Road.

Protected cycle lanes will be installed on both sides of the road, while pavements will be widened to make more room for pedestrians and public seating areas.

Meanwhile, the taxi rank at Hillhead Underground Station will be restricted to the hours between 6pm and 2am and a speed limit of 20mph will be enforced for the entire length of the road.

Bus stop bypasses – routing the cycle track behind the bus passenger boarding area to maintain the separation of cyclists and motor traffic – have also been included in the design.

Cycle paths and 20mph limit in £9m Byres Road revamp

Well, we’ll see.

I just hope I’ve got enough time left to see this one delivered, and get to try it one day.

Further update

The media seems determined to release news about this drip by drip.

I’m just adding this to the existing post rather than making another one…

Byres Road is to be transformed after Glasgow City Council approved a controversial £9million public realm project yesterday.

Funded by the Glasgow City Region Deal, plans will see the major west end street revamped to create a more attractive environment for those who live, work and shop in the area – with work to begin next summer.

Following a public consultation last year , a reduced speed limit of 20 miles per hour has been proposed along with additional seating, upgraded pathways and an improved cycle infrastructure to encourage people to walk and cycle.

Further measures revealed by the council include protected cycle lanes and bus stop bypasses to separate cyclists from motor traffic. There will also be drop bollards and kerbed segregation at the Hillhead Subway taxi rank.

Road space will be cut by around 30 per cent to make way for wider pedestrian areas and protected cycle lanes, with on-street car parking to be slashed from 117 to 42 bays. But after local firms raised concerns, the council confirmed they will consider increasing parking spaces in the wider west end area.

Carol Connolly, Head of City Deal at Glasgow City Council, said: “The new public realm at Byres Road will improve the experience of the area for all those who live there or use it for shopping, studying, or going out to eat and drink.

“Byres Road is one of the most popular destinations in the city for both Glaswegians and our visitors, and this public realm work will ensure it maintains this position.  The public consultation saw a wide range of views expressed, and the revised designs reflect this.”

Byres Road – controversial £9m redevelopment plans given green light by council

Just GET ON WITH IT!

Completion is already THREE YEARS away in Spring 2022.

If those concerned keep on whining and seeking ‘perfection’, completion is more likely to be something like Spring 3032.

I’d like to try this one before I die!

20/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The stories cycling activists must hate – and I hope I live to see delivered

I’ve really come to loathe and despise most activists and campaigners, but as with all generalisations, have to be clear I’m only referring to those who see their campaigns as a job, and one they will be out of if they ever acknowledge the delivery of anything they are campaigning for.

I’m not going over old ground, like some sort of broken record – there are enough old posts filed on the subject in this blog.

So…

I was intrigued, but NOT surprised (since I stopped listening to activists) to read that plans for a ‘Green Network’ (to be launched in May 2019) with 500 miles of walking and cycling routes connecting the city centre to parks and nature areas, ALREADY has some 60% of the access network is already in place.

Listening to the whining noises always coming from cycling activists, you could be forgiven for thinking that figure was closer to 0% than 60%.

The network includesCuningar Woodland Park, Pollok Country Park, Glasgow Botanic Gardens, Kelvingrove Park and Castle Semple Country Park.

The Cunningar Loop Bridge was a great addition, over the River Clyde and the Clyde Walkway, as it meant no longer having to go from Shettleston, almost to Rutherglen, to get to the park, as it connected it at Dalmarnock, just past Parkhead.

Cunningar Bridge River

Cunningar Bridge River

The only one listed which I haven’t touched is Castle Semple Country Park, which is simply the furthest from me, and I’d never even heard of. Apart from the Botanics, I can reach all the others via cycle paths or cycle routes.

The Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network has prepared a blueprint, on behalf of the eight local authorities in the Glasgow City Region, which aims to make outdoor areas easily accessible for everyone in the region.

Probably the most relevant aspect is the identification of areas that need to be addressed to ‘Join the dots’, as the most frustrating thing I come across is spots where I find I’m between safe/quiet roads/routes, with no obvious means of connecting the two.

Filling in these gaps would vastly improve the existing networks.

A report to the City Region Cabinet states: “The blueprints identify what already currently contributes to the two networks that should be protected and if necessary improved, and where there are gaps in provision that need to be delivered.

“The blueprint will contribute to delivering sustainable inclusive economic growth and increasing wellbeing by contributing to making the Glasgow City Region a successful, sustainable place where people want to work and where they live healthy lives.”

They also hope the blueprint will make the region a natural, resilient place that improves and protects the environment, a connected place providing opportunities for exercise and mental wellbeing and a place that encourages active travel contributing to a low carbon economy.

Plan unveiled for ‘green network’ in Glasgow linking city centre to parks in the region

I hope they can do this without too many delays brought about from complaints by ‘special interest groups’, who must be heard, but seem to be taking far too much power for themselves nowadays, as opposed to being totally ignored in the past.

A better balance needs to be struck, as projects such as this can seem to spend far too long stuck in the dispute stage.

 

14/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Daft report concludes it’s quicker to cycle than drive in cities

You’ll find I often mention the saying “There’s lies, damned lies, and statistics”, NOT because it’s in the slightest way true, but because it reflects the way people with their own agenda will ‘cherry pick’ the numbers to arrive at the result they want.

While numbers, and the analysis of them, are neutral and merely report facts, HOW that data is manipulated and presented CAN make a difference.

In a way, I can’t really comment on this as I was priced off the road years ago, but I do know how long common trips took me, and what influenced them.

(The following has nothing to do with favouring or decrying any travel method, and is just me moaning about the analysis.)

I find it utterly pointless to compare cycling, where a route can be varied at a moment’s notice (primarily due to the size of rider and machine, and even the ability to get off and walk/push), to driving a car, where a route is difficult to vary, especially if there is any sort of incident on the route.

However, I’m also willing to accept the metric may provide a figure that can be used for comparison, even if it is unreliable.

The source can be found in this link, so you can have a look and come to your own conclusions about the validity or relevance of the numbers to reality…

It’s quicker to cycle than drive in UK cities, says report

What I can comment on is my own recent discovery that it’s quicker to cycle than use the bus.

A recent change of circumstance meant I had to start using the bus to get from home to Kelvingrove, rather than get there by cycling.

While I COULD time this journey in various different ways, and come up with a number of different comparisons, I decided the fairest way would be to consider the trip as a whole.

I define this as how long it takes from the moment I decide to make the trip, to the moment I step through the door of Kelvingrove.

In order to be sure of arriving there before the start of the 1 pm organ recital, I need to start getting ready at 11:15 am.

Without going into too much detail, the travelling time on the bike is less than the travelling time in the bus – preparation for riding the bike takes longer than getting changed to walk to the bus stop.

The routes are quite different, but run in parallel from their start points to their finish

Interestingly, BOTH take about twice as long as it used to take me to drive to Kelvingrove.

However, when Kelvingrove reopened after its long refurbishment, and came back with a Pay & Display car park (which I refused to use), that time went up considerably as I had to find street parking, and walk in from wherever that might have been, so extending the time taken.

Oh look!

My recent pics caught a bit of the car park.

Kelvingrove Kelvin Stitch

Kelvingrove Kelvin Stitch

There’s a cycle rack too.

And a nexbike station, which is remarkably busy, with a steady drip of arrivals and departures if you take the time to watch.

Kelvingrove Cycle Rack

Kelvingrove Cycle Rack

Above was a relatively unusual quiet day. It was almost as if everyone had run away when I walked it the building, then glanced back out the window.

It’s normally looking more like this.

Kelvingrove Bike Park

Kelvingrove Bike Park

04/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

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