10 January 2011

International Bicycle Infrastructure: Glasgow

Cycling under the M8
Cycling under the M8 in Glasgow, as seen on Flickr and taken by Ben Cooper.

Any of our readers know this route? Do tell, do tell.


SteveL said...

The very existence of the glasgow M8-M74-M77 motorway complex is a sign of failure. An M-way that cuts through the city, isolating the centre of the town from the places where people live. The M77 was built over one of the loveliest parks in the area. Whenever I visit family in Glasgow, I hear the background noise of cars driving at 60-80 MPH. Adding a bike path underneath is damage limitation.

In bristol, the M32 Motorway provides the service of making non-motorists feel unwelcome

rnnbrwn said...

As pretty as the photograph looks (and it *is* a great pic), cycling in Glasgow is not easy. The City Centre itself is a gridlocked quagmire of cars and buses and terrifying for the novice cyclist.

james said...

At least its not next to te cars like in Australia. Speed = 110 kph. Oddly enough ive found they are often the best cycle lanes in Australia.

FrFintonStack said...

I used to take this route to work every day. It's not pretty, but it's one of the very few genuinely useful and well-designed pieces of cycle infrastructure in the entire city, and gives you almost a mile of high-speed, congestion- and traffic light- free cycling in one of the most congested parts the city. Though as other commentators point out, the fact it exists (or even can exist) is evidence of 50+ of disastrous transport policy and wilful vandalism of the urban realm in a city where most households don't even own a car.

Kim said...

There was talk of "opening a new commuter cycling hub in Glasgow with good quality bike parking with maintenance, servicing etc. while you are at work, showers, laundry, a great cafe that does packed lunches, all on a swipecard system so you can get in and out when you like", but I don't know if it ever happened.

Paul said...

I live in Glasgow. It surely has to be one of the worst cities in which to cycle in the UK. If ever a city was designed for the motorist, it was Glasgow.

The roads are wide and straight, many are 4 lanes as they pass through residential areas. Many of the the 2 lane roads feature very wide lanes, allowing motorists the illusion of space and safety, and thus speed.

Pedestrian crossings (even in the very centre) tend to allow the road traffic two cycles before allowing pedestrians through the melee.

There are cycle lanes, like this one, but the vast majority are awful, even downright dangerous. I cycle every day in Glasgow, and every day I am afraid for my safety. An expensive motorway extension and link is being built as we speak, destroying yet more of the city. You'd laugh if it wasn't so horrendous.

sheffield cycle chic said...

Finally, a fast way to ravel down the M8!

Dave Telling said...

I don't know this path; I cycle to Glasgow from Johnstone area most week-days and have to say that the roads could be far worse for cyclists, although they could be a whole lot better of course. Please feel free to say "Hi" if you see me - black Sirrus :-)

I see more and more cyclists, even now in the winter months, going up and down Paisley Road West, the more the merrier - surely this is a road that could easily fit a bi-directional cycle path; if only . . .

Good to see Glasgow mentioned on a global site like Copenhagenize!

Another Paul said...

Yes I know this path (wow, you're talking about Glasgow, amazing!). It runs under the M8 near St Georges Cross, just North West of the City Centre. This is actually quite a good route between central Glasgow and the West End, some off road, some on road with cycle lanes, some just on side streets. As a result, a lot of people in the west end of the city use their bike.

Two issues though. Firstly, it's poorly lit at night, being a motorway underpass in all, and it could also take a more direct route.

As for cycling facilities in the rest of the city, pretty abysmal sums it up. Cycle lanes (where they exist)can be confusing, are neglected and full of pot-holes at times, and whilst there were some ASLs for cyclists at certain cross-roads, these are sporadic and never enforced.

And the first post says it all. Glasgow prefers to drive big motorways right through the city instead of proper separated cycle infrastructure. And yet our car ownership is a really low percentage just like Copenhagen. Glasgow would be a brilliant cycling city if the city council only stopped their obsession with motorways.

Emily said...

I live in the East End of Glasgow and I want to cycle with my two little girls, but am seriously concerned for their safety on the route to school. Last year my daughter was at a different school further east and we cycled with a tag-along through residential streets, but the route to her new school has 3 huge junctions with no cycle lanes.
I'm actually glad to see the comments here, as I sometimes think I should just be braver about cycling.
The council have put up lots of banners and posters in the East End, encouraging walking and cycling, but there is no infrastructure here, it is bad for both pedestrians and cyclists.
A couple of weeks ago I was walking down Pollokshaws Road (South Side) with my 3 year old, she was on her scooter and it was a lovely sunny day and I thought we might be able to scoot all the way into town, but guess what, the pavement suddenly came to a halt where they are building the new motorway and I had to pick up my little girl, and her scooter and cross a very busy road, with no crossing.
Copenhagen cycling looks amazing - how do we get closer to that dream in our city?