There are now two options for a redesign of Victoria Road in the south side available to view on the Glasgow City Council web site.
The first design has unidirectional cycleways on each side of the road:
This looks like a reasonable effort. I’m very happy to see zebra crossings (replacing two-stage staggered pelican crossings), floating bus stops, and priority for the cycleway across side roads. However, there are a number of things that are wrong. The most serious is the very poor design of the junction with Queen’s Drive (top left) – people who want to cycle straight ahead or turn right will find this very difficult and dangerous with motorists turning left across their path. Much the same can be said for the junction with Allison Street, but the banned left turn here mitigates the problem to a significant extent. The council really needs to forget about useless ASLs and provide dedicated traffic light phases for cycling so that these maneuvers can be made without conflict with drivers.
Another problem is the width of the cycleways – claimed to be a “typical” 2 metres but in reality reduced to as little as 1.5m for very significant lengths. There is no real door-zone buffer next to the car parking spaces, just a little strip of hatching that isn’t wide enough. In these locations, the safe usable width of the cycleways is actually much less than 1 metre.
At the bus stops, the bus shelter should be moved from the footway to the bus stop island. I’m not a fan of the bus laybys – the idea here is that bus drivers will pull into the layby to avoid “holding up traffic” behind them. After it’s finished picking up passengers, the bus will then be delayed as the driver waits for a gap in the cars before pulling back out into the main carriageway. This fails to achieve the promised prioritisation of public transport.
I also worry about the “cycle zebras” next to the pedestrian zebra crossings. I think drivers will be surprised by cyclists here, and I expect many near-misses. The zebras should possibly be put on speed tables to slow down motor traffic.
The second design has a bidirectional cycleway on one side of the road:
This is not my preferred option because it makes it more difficult to enter the cycleway from the road, or get back onto the road when the cycleway ends. Two-way cycleways also present additional dangers at uncontrolled junctions due to drivers not anticipating bidirectional cycle traffic; stop lines have been added to the cycleway at its junctions with very lightly trafficked side roads in apparent recognition of this danger, which is obviously not acceptable.
On a positive note this design has a substantial segregation strip, 1 metre wide, which would be very effective in preventing people cycling from being hit by opening car doors. I would really like to see this feature in the first design.
How it should be done
As you might expect, I’ve altered the drawings to show my ideal design:
If Glasgow City Council takes these suggestions on board, they could turn an okay scheme into an excellent scheme!
Follow @carsickglasgow on Twitter