The intention of this regeneration framework is “to enable the district to become a high quality, people first place” through new planning policies, strategic visions, and projects. The current Sauchiehall and Gartnethill district is part of 9 districts that form the Glasgow City Centre Strategy and Action Plan 2014-2019. Each district will go through its own development framework.
This blog may be helpful those who wish to take part on the consultation (deadline 15th Jan 2016). Access to the full PDF can be found here. Note it’s a very large PDF and if you’re having trouble viewing it you can try the compressed images instead.
Here is an aerial view highlighting the Sauchiehall and Garnethill district with Sauchiehall St shown in red:
To get a gist of the philosophy of the framework:
“…a more sustainable approach to regeneration with a
clear focus on the notion of ‘placemaking’ with a more sustainable
And they seem to have a grasp of some of the current challenges:
“But at the moment the District has limited and
poorly connected provision for cycling.”
The framework also demonstrates an understanding of what makes a liveable city and the way in which transport modes should be prioritised. Further in the report it goes into some detail about what constitutes cycling infrastructure and even mentions “Comfortable and safe bicycle lanes suitable for bi-cyclist at the age of 8-80 years.”
One of my favourite parts of the document is on the M8 and I’m going to quote this in full with a bold statement at the end.
“The M8 affects the daily life of much of Glasgow with a negative effect on development, connectivity, community, and the environment. Pedestrian desire lines are in conflict with the quality of the environment. Conversation is impossible in some routes, and at some logical staying places such as bus stops.
The disconnection of the city fabric can be partially healed with careful hooks and improved routes across the M8, but in the longer term the decision needs to be made either to invest heavily in replacing existing infrastructure or change it to reflect changes in expectations for liveability, mobility, sustainability and city quality. Parts of the existing infrastructure is nearing the end of its design life, and planning for future investment needs to begin now, and be linked to the greater aspirations of the city and the regeneration framework.”
Suggestions have been made to modify to a A road the portion that moves through central Glasgow, with a long term view of creating a green linear park in its place. Even without a secure decision, moves can be made now to reap rewards for the city and its people.
It’s something that we ought to be discussing more of and yet rarely do.
This shows some of the proposed changes and timeframes for when.
The designers have tried to illustrate what the proposed changes could look like and the map below shows the location of each key project. There is a summary page briefly describing each project and there are more detailed descriptions of each of the projects.
In summary it involves covering part of the M8 at Charing Cross, introducing a pedestrian bridge at the Mitchell library across to Charing Cross station, improving the link from Sauchiehall St to Great Western Rd, and generally new cycle lanes/tracks, improved pedestrian crossings, continuous footways, improving the urban realm and reducing motor traffic lanes.
There have been references to good quality cycling infrastructure in this framework but it has not been clear about having protected infrastructure on busy roads and junctions. For example what has been said is there will be “cycle lanes/tracks” on Cowcaddens Road which is currently a busy dual carriageway and in need of protected space for cyclists. Junctions are stated as being improved by “New pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities on all junction arms” but it’s unclear what that means for cyclists. I think it’s important that the framework clearly sets out the standard to which the cycling infrastructure will be built to ensure that it is good quality.
Here are my comments for the consultation under ‘Connected and Mobile’:
I’m assuming “Connected and Mobile” refers to transport. It’s heartening to see the transport pyramid being inverted to put pedestrians and cyclists at the top and to see references to the building of cycling infrastructure. My concern lies with what constitutes good quality cycling infrastructure. In the report it mentions “cycle lanes/tracks” but some of the roads with this mentioned, e.g. Cowcaddens Road, have high traffic volumes and so would require protected space for those on bikes in the form of uni-directional bike tracks. It’s also unclear how junctions are going to be designed to accommodate bikes “New pedestrian and cycle crossing facilities on all junction arms”. Does this mean toucan crossings? High quality cycling infrastructure would involve bicycle controlled traffic lights to separate people on bikes in both space and time.
Unfortunately in Scotland and in the UK we don’t have high quality cycling design standards. The cycling Embassy of GB has attempted to summarise the main design details of the Dutch: http://www.cycling-embassy.org.uk/wiki/dutch-cycle-infrastructure
I realise the scope of the framework does not allow for detailed design, which will come later, but I’m concerned that unless the framework clearly states the standards to which the infrastructure will be designed to then we could end up with the current situation on the road with no meaningful protection and a scary cycling experience.