Look, fair dos, I don't live in Glasgow in any more. I now haunt East Dunbartonshire, so I don't get into town as much as I might. If any of these dreadful examples ever gets upgraded you must e-mail me, as good work must be rewarded.

Content updated 21 Jun 2000

Glasgow - City for Cycling...*

Glasgow is trying to be seen as a cycling city since it's co-hosting Velo City 2001. Lots of bizarre green patches have been seen appearing on the roads and pavements. I think these are supposed to be bike lanes, but they aren't wide enough, and not properly placed for visibility. Worst of all, when the lanes cross the pavements, there's nothing to tell the pedestrians that bikes have right of way there. All it would take is a too-fast cyclist meeting a too-slow granny, and cyclists would be Public Enemy #1 again.

Oh, and before you go, "He's just another of those whiny cyclists; can't even be bothered to complain through the proper channels..." --- I have. Several times. At best, I get a generic reply which misses the point. At worst, I get a letter aflame with incandescent rage, berating me for my audacity to complain. I just want proper facilities for cyclists, so that we're not embarrassed to show Velo City delegates around them.

By the way, it's worth reading the ALT fields that appear if you let the mouse pointer hover over the pictures...


Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

On Cambridge Street, onto the pavement towards Buccleuch Street

Cambridge Street: this new lane seems to be getting a lot of respect from other road users. It deposits you on unmarked pavement, which may have shared-use permission to take you down the nearby underpass. There are no signs to tell you this.
Update Oct 2000: This drop-kerb has been dropped a bit more to make it less of a bump.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

Mind the doors at Buccleuch Street!

Buccleuch Street: I doubt that phone box users would expect cyclists to scoot by so close, and "doorings" might occur.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

Cambridge Street at Cowcaddens Road; where to go?

Cambridge and Cowcaddens: this ped crossing, not (yet?) a toucan, has become a bike lane. But the lane out at top right is blocked by a railing and a bollard.

The Colleges Cycle Route

In 1996, Go Bike members designed the Colleges Cycle Route. This was a proposal for a bike route linking the higher learning facilities in the north of the city. The city took it on, and officially opened it in late 1999.

I decided to follow it to see if I could, and to see what Go Bike's dream had become.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

Cowcaddens Road at Port Dundas Road

Cowcaddens Road at Port Dundas Road: this lane narrows, then splits at a junction, then feeds into an advance stop line (ASL) at the traffic lights.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

clue: head left by the trash can off McPhater Street

McPhater Street, by the Piping College: there's no clue as to where you're supposed to go here. The keen-of-eye might spot a greenish patch by the trash can. This peters out half way down the pavement, leaving you confused as to where to go.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

insane chicane on bridge from New City Road

New City Road ped fly-over: this has a bike chicane with such a slope and camber it makes you fall off. There's no CYCLISTS DISMOUNT sign here; it wouldn't be an instruction, more a statement of fact.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

St George's Road; this is supposed to be a *cycle* route...

Pushing to West Prince's St: at the end of the ped fly over, we have to deal with this; get off and walk. I must be confusing this with a cycle route, where you kind of get to pedal every now and then.

West Prince's St has occasional blue bike signs, but it doesn't tell you where you're supposed to turn into Montague Street, and then on to Park Road

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

A useful facility on Kelvin Way/University Avenue

University Avenue: where there is a lane, the buses block it. Also, beware of traffic carrying straight on into Kelvin Way as you curve to the right up the avenue. Since the bike lane encourages you over to the left, it weakens the cyclist's position in the road.

I came this -> <- close to being doored on University Avenue up on the hill. Beware of narrow roads and dozy drivers in a hurry.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

All these cars are parked on the Highburgh Road bike lane

Highburgh Road "car park": I cycled past this line of cars before I realised it was supposed to be a bike lane. Some driver education is needed here.

Someone can put me right on this, but as these lanes have dashed lanes, they're only advisory, so drivers can do pretty much anything they want in them. Seems a shame to spend money on something that's rendered useless by a few cars.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

Highburgh Road car park; oh sorry -- bike lane

Highburgh Road "car park", #2: the same, viewed from the other end. It's just big enough to park a Mini on, so I'm sure the local Saab drivers will be petitioning to get it widened.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

Crow Road -- proper protection from being doored

Crow Road: What's this doing here? This is, in fact, quite a nice cycle lane. Notice the strip separating you from the car doors. It also asserts your place in the road. So this is in no way a crappy lane. It would have been great if the lanes on Highburgh Road were like this.

The trouble is, however, that this part of the Colleges Route wasn't in the original Go Bike design. It missed out Clarence Drive and Crow Road (with its horrific junction) entirely, taking you down the quiet Hughenden Lane and Shelley Road.

As it stands, the lanes on Clarence Drive get parked on by shoppers, rental vans, and traffic for the Post Office depot.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

Southbrae Drive; more cars in the bike lane

Southbrae Drive: yes, more cars in the bike lane. Nothing new here, until you see this little number:

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

Southbrae Drive; a nice wee parking space

Southbrae Drive: see how one thoughtless driver can destroy a well-intentioned cycle facility.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

Southbrae Drive; beware of cars at these junctions

Southbrae Drive: it looks to me that traffic coming out from this junction would tend to use the edge of the lane marked out by the islands as their stop line. This would help their visibility, but block cyclists, who really should be further out at junctions so drivers can see them.

The South Side

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

Allison Street with a truck in the ASL gulley

Allison St at Victoria Rd, heading east: This looks like a pretty standard kerbside advance stop line (ASL) entry lane, if there wasn't a great huge truck parked in it. The only thing (apart from the truck) is, it's only around 65cm wide from the kerb to the outside edge of the white line. The kerb is where glass bottles go to die, and hence no place for cyclists.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

Victoria Road; world's narrowest bike lane?

Victoria Rd at Allison St, heading south: This one's really special. Not merely is it the same width (65cm, kerb to outside of white line) as the one on Allison St, but half its width is taken up by cobblestones. A couple of metres back from the end of this are car parking spaces, so the chances of getting into this ASL in the correct way are nil. Good work, Glasgow!

In a letter from the Director of Land Services on 28 April 1999, the council says:

. . . the advanced stop lines at Victoria Road and Allison Street are well used by cyclists. Local cycle-user groups have endorsed the Council's practice . . . and are keen that this practice is extended throughout the city.

To which a well-known Glasgow bike activist very succinctly replied:

Yes, it's true that Go Bike endorses the practice of ASLs, but it doesn't endorse the practice of sh*te ones!

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

a nice place to natter on Bowman Street

Victoria Road "pavement patches": What are all these green patches on the pavement, like this one behind the bus stop at Bowman St? Drop-kerb bike lanes aren't such a good idea for those of us with narrow tyres. How are we supposed to maintain a decent speed (and sight line) here -- especially when members of the Strathbungo Social Club use it as a gathering place.

The Niddrie Road / Torrisdale St / Pollokshaws Road Fiasco

Picture updated 30 Mar 1999, checked 20 Jun 2000

Torrisdale St at Pollokshaws Road

Torrisdale St at Pollokshaws Road: You have to climb a tiled hump to get out of the lane. Why?

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

Nithsdale Road and Pollokshaws Rd; more blocked than before

Lane & Toucan at Nithsdale Rd and Pollokshaws Rd: On a wide pavement at the blocked end of Nithsdale Road, a vaguely greenish bike lane does a dog-leg. It gets very close to the wall of the 'New Regent' pub, which helpfully blocks the remaining pavement with its dumpster. It's interesting to note that the 'bike sign' bollard was a later addition, causing more blockage than when the lane was put in.

I consider the toucan crossing dangerous, as southbound cars from Pollokshaws Road can still turn into Torrisdale Street while the cycles and peds have the crossing.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

lock block (and yes, I'll clean my drivetrain someday)

Lock block: Have you noticed that the many new Sheffield-style racks that have appeared (for which, thanks) have a crossbar (for which, no thanks) that stops you locking through the frame and the rear tyre? It's at exactly the right height to get in the way. It's also too high to be felt by a blind person's cane, which is why many of these stands have crossbars.

Cleland St

Presto-change-o! See how to instantly double the amount of bike lane by making what was a safe one way bike lane by the side of the Citizens Theatre into an unsafe two way! And all by the use of inexpensive road signs!

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

The sign on Cleland Street says go west

East End of Cleland St: Looks like a bike lane going solely west, even if it is on the wrong side of the road, because it's so narrow. If you met something going east, it would be difficult to pass.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

but the sign on Cleland Street now says go east. I'm confused.

Middle of Cleland St: but a sign half way along says it's eastbound. Who to believe?

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

Cleland Street: I'd go along this east or west if I could...

Reality: all the above is academic, since it's completely blocked by road-works, with no signage to warn cycle traffic.
(Since road-works are transient features, I award myself a Boo! No fair! award for this picture.)

The council seems to be unaware that this lane has been signed as two way. They think that it's still just a contraflow lane. Maybe they should get on their bikes and see what their contractors are doing in their name.

Bell's Bridge & environs

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

These tubes are still on the south side of Bell's Bridge, 
	more than a year on

No Wide Loads: Bell's Bridge, on National Cycle Route 7, is one of the main bike and ped crossings of the Clyde. At the south end, the entrance used to be a full road width. It has been blocked by huge concrete pipes to the width of about a metre.

How's that bad for bikes? For a slow-moving unloaded bike, it's not. But on a trike, with a trailer or wide panniers, you can't get through.

There's also a very useful sign on a completely open piece of road just next to the tubes:

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

why do we never see DRIVERS GET OUT AND PUSH?

Why do we never see DRIVERS GET OUT AND PUSH?

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

cheers to the Helpful Tippexer! We'd never get through NCN 7 otherwise

Give me a sign: North of the SECC and Bell's Bridge, NCN 7 takes a sharp right over Pointhouse Road. No expense has been spared on the signage; no expense spent, either. I'm glad a helpful type left a note in Tippex® to guide the way.

Picture updated 20 Jun 2000

Notional Cycle Route 7: bikes don't like stairs; planners please note

Stairway to Heaven (not): Why have stairs on a cycle route? This is supposed to take you over Pointhouse Road. If it has to be a "get off and walk" route, at least supply a gutter that we can push our bikes up.

Conclusion: With facilities like these, we don't deserve Velo City. Maybe we can convince the Velo City delegates that it's all a massive surrealist prank.

The End . . . ?

Picture updated 21 May 1999

West Street at Scotland Street

I know this wooden wall blocking the bike lane was only temporary while the unsafe corner building is being demolished, but hey, it's the image that counts. It's going nowhere; it's symbolic.


*: Best said with a Sean Connery accent.

Stewart C. Russell , Kirkintilloch, Scotland