Help support strong Sauchiehall St regeneration plans

A bunch of cycle-campaigning posts coming at you over the next few days. This one explains how you can support the surprisingly good regeneration plans for Glasgow’s Sauchiehall street, and why you should support it (hint – proof-of-concept for the regeneration of the whole city).

You’ve got until 10 March 2017 to do so.

Sorry for the short-notice. That Scottish sickness bug that’s been going around? Not a huge amount of fun, I can tell you…

Anyway, enough of my digestive distress, and on to the potential future of Glasgow!

What are the Sauchiehall Street regeneration plans

To set the scene, here’s what we have at the moment, looking eastward from the very western end of the regeneration area:

Sauchiehall streetview eastbound(I know you know the source of that, but just in case a Google copyright lawyer strolls by – it’s Streetview.)

Lots of tarmac for the combustion engine and not much space at all for shoppers, especially once you take the street furniture and bins into account. Nothing at all for those on bikes. A pretty typical Glasgow street, you’ll agree.

There are four drawings of the proposed new street layout. I’ve embedded images below (click for big-ness), but if you want to zoom in you’re better off with the council hyperlinks below each one. Just be aware they’re pretty chunky pdfs…

First, the key!

Sauchiehall Street drawings keyAnd then the drawings. They overlap at the dotted lines. At the west from the intersection with the A804 (the vertical gap in the centre-left of the image that you’d hope would be a river is in fact the M8 running through an underpass…). The cycleway is on the top/north side of the road and the two-lane, one-way main carriageway is on the bottom/south.

Sauchiehall Street regeneration drawing west(hyperlink to original pdf)

then moving right/east:

Sauchiehall Street regeneration drawing west(hyperlink to original pdf)

and again:

Sauchiehall Street regeneration drawing east central(hyperlink to original pdf)

and finally (leading up to the existing fully pedestrianised section of the street):

Sauchiehall Street regeneration drawing east(hyperlink to original pdf).

If technical drawings aren’t your thing, you’ve got the cover image at the top of this post, and then this from the other side of the road:

Sauchiehall St CGI image 2

And if you’re a no-image-at-all-thank-you-very-much kind of person, here’s the spiel:

The proposal is to introduce an avenue of trees in a multi-functional verge down the centre (to avoid underground utilities) of the street with a bi-directional cycle track and footway to the north. The southern half of the street will have two through traffic lanes, accommodating loading facility and bus stops along with a footway. Th e footways will be de-cluttered and repaved in Caithness stone with more room for licensed tables and c hairs space. In addition to the trees the `multifunctional verge’ will also incorporate new lighting columns, to which street and decorative lights, banners will be attached. Between the trees, seats and bicycle stands will be located to create an unimpeded pedestrian route along the footways.

All the existing facilities such as the three bus stops; the two taxi ranks and the various opportunities for kerbside loading will be re-provided in the new layout, close to their existing positions.
Sauchiehall Street Avenue – Design Statement

Why do the plans need support?

Well, they’re pretty good to start with. Despite maintaining kerbside loading and taxi ranks, you’ve still got:

  • nice, wide, attractive pavements for people shopping, encouraging the use of local, independent shops rather than Silverburn and Braehead shopping centres;
  • a three-meter wide dual-direction cycleway (sloped for proper drainage)…
  • which is being safely segregated from moving traffic;
  • benches, trees and other green things;
  • space for bins and outside seating without blocking the pavements; and finally,
  • a street layout for motor vehicles that encourages compliance with the 20mph speed limit in place throughout the city centre.

So, it’s good for Sauchiehall Street and all those who live, work and shop in the area.

More importantly, these are concept plans. Take note:

As part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal, Glasgow City Council is investing over £115 million in its city centre delivering on the Enabling Infrastructure – Integrated Public Realm (EIIPR) programme. Improvements will initially be undertaken on Sauchiehall Street between Charing Cross and Rose Street and will act as a proof of concept for the overall plan.
Sauchiehall Street Avenue – Design Statement

(My bold).

Read another way – if you support this, we’ll get more streets like this elsewhere and hopefully, eventually, a city that’s pleasant to live, work and shop in. If, instead, this fails to get off the ground, expect our current four-carriageway shrines to the private car to be the future as well.

Finally, if you don’t make time to comment, then the council is going to be left thinking stuff like this existing comment on the designs speaks for everyone:

With parking on both sides being removed, this plan effectively cripples business alongside this stretch of Sauchiehall St as it discourages potential footfall to the area. Shop keepers have nowhere to unload goods/park their car. … The only “solution” would be to double park on the main road, creating congestion as one lane is left to operate. … Traffic will be limited to one lane whenever a bus stops for passengers, or indeed breaks down. … Public transport is not a viable option for many of the affected stakeholders here and the benefits of a cycle track are I believe greatly outweighed these problems remain unaddressed. … Parking dependent business will be driven out leaving more empty units. Car dependent commuters (myself in the past) in the area will also be affected.
Existing comment against the planning application

Ok, how do I support the design?

Excellent stuff.

You’ve got until the 10 March, 2017. You need to go to this Glasgow City Council page:

Create an account if you haven’t done so already.

Then select “make a comment”, and go wild (bearing in mind this is a public comment…). Remember to select “support” under the stance bit.

Submit, and rejoice in the part you’ve just played to support liveable streets and active transport in Glasgow.

Then spread the word…

PS, if you want to make some constructive criticism…

OK, so long as you promise to emphasise your support for the design even as it is, here are some bits on the cycle element that could be made even better.

PSPS: My copy of Visio has expired so you’re going to have to make do with MS Paint I’m afraid…

The entrance from the west is a little awkward

Sauchiehall street entrance from west

A bit or permeability to the entrance to the cycleway would help folk joining from the west. Otherwise people on bikes are going to be in conflict with those on foot at the single pedestrian crossing.

Losing the kerb for a stretch to allow folk to cycle over it would be fine.

The continuity of the cycleway over side roads should be visually indicated on the roadsurface

Sauchiehall Street continuity over junctions

Different coloured roadsurface between the green lines please. It should be obvious to vehicles using the side road that they need to give way to the cycleway.

The exit from the east could also be improved

Sauchiehall street entrance from the east

Yup, a nice expanse of shared use paving isn’t bad as a workaround, but it’s not hugely obvious how one turns left or right out of the cyclelane (or indeed, carries straight on into the pedestrianised area).

None of these are major faults (and all really come down to the fact that this is an isolated spot of potential goodness in a grim city for cyclists). However, the side road continuity one could be easily fixed for a solid improvement.


Right, I’m done. Remember to comment!

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