Connecting People to Places

A Missing Network

We have a network of pavements allowing for people to walk in safety. Virtually all roads in Glasgow have pavements. They keep people separate from moving motor vehicles and, for the most part, connect people to places they need to go.

The same cannot be said for pedal powered transport. There is no network. Instead there are a limited number of safe routes that are often convoluted and inconvenient. To cycle directly to the places you need to go, you are faced with the danger of mixing with fast moving motor traffic or cycling on the pavements in conflict with everyone walking. Naturally, not many people choose to cycle.

GreatGeorgeSt_pavementCycler_adj_smudge
Avoiding a difficult Byres Road junction, understandably so

The answer is to create a safe, direct and convenient cycle network. We can connect together the places people need to go by creating continuous safe environments for those opting for pedal power. This can be done through the provision of protected space or restricting motor vehicle speeds and volumes for safe interactions.

bus_separation
Safe environment for children to cycle, Utrecht, NL (Mark Treasure)

If we invest and commit to such a network, then we’ll be giving people an additional transport option that’s ideal for city travel.

Existing and Planned Routes

On the map below we have drawn in green the existing safe cycle routes in the north-west of Glasgow. These are limited in number and are often indirect and on unmaintained surfaces that are likely to be icy and unlit. They are also not very well joined together, which limits their usefulness.

For the above reasons, many people chose not to cycle the existing routes but instead put-up with the hostile on-road conditions for a direct journey. The purple lines on the map represent some of the existing cycle traffic, much of which is on direct routes. This data was taken from STAVA.

The continuous red lines represent safe routes that are currently being proposed, including Byres Road, and the dotted red lines are missing links.

NW Cycle Network – existing and proposed routes

When it is dark, the safe cycle routes during the day can feel unsafe and dangerous; a combination of out-of-the-way routes and lack of lighting.

StravaDataHighlighted-40Night
Glasgow’s usable Cycle Network at Night

The big exception is the cycleway by the Clyde, it is safe and relatively direct and has the highest recorded STRAVA traffic. The new proposals in red are direct and have the potential to be safe, and that will draw in lots of cycle traffic in the same way the Clyde route has.

Connecting Byres Road

Our vision for Byres Road will allow for anyone to use Byres Road with pedal powered transport. It will also mean Byres Road will form an important part of Glasgow’s developing cycle network and keep up with the rest of the city’s developing pedal friendly high streets.

Getting more people cycling to Byres Road requires tapping into the wider network. Glasgow currently lacks a comprehensive network but there are several existing routes that could be connected into: Clyde, Kelvin, Canal. The latter two require the use of Queen Margaret Drive (QMD).

Fortunately recent street design proposals for a section of QMD incorporate safe cycling provision.

QMD_Option_2_Overview
Improved QMD Streetscape

If the QMD proposals were connected into our Byres Road designs, then we would have the makings of a safe north-south cycle route. There are not yet any proposals for this short section, and so we’ve illustrated how this could work. The right side would connect into the QMD proposals and the left side into our Byres Road designs.

QMD-ByresRd_Bipath
Missing connection from QMD to Byres Road

Combining the above images into one continuous path:

QMD_Option_2_and_GWR_connector_2
Makings of a north-south route

There are two other missing connections for the formation of a safe north-south corridor: from the canal to QMD, and from Byres Rd to the Clyde. Shown in red dotted lines below.

North-South corridor

Byres Road is an important route in Glasgow’s developing cycle network. Making it safe will provide people who live, work and shop at Byres Road a realistic additional transport option. Safe cycling gives a tangible way to make a cleaner, safer and more people friendly Byres Road.

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