Temporary measures to provide additional space for physical distancing in public places for people to walk, wheel or cycle as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions ease, are being introduced Glasgow.
Supported by £3.5m funding from the Scottish Government administered by Sustrans Scotland, Glasgow's Spaces for People programme is seeing short-term travel infrastructure implemented in our city centre, city neighbourhoods and active travel routes, forming a key part of the city's strategy for economic recovery.
Spaces for People will see footways widened at pinch points to facilitate safer pedestrian movement and easier access to shops, businesses, community facilities and public transport hubs. Consideration is also being given to the positioning of temporary strategic cycling routes to highlight active travel as an attractive, viable choice for everyday journeys.
A street-by-street approach is being taken, with temporary measures introduced to allow priority to be given to pedestrian space around our transport hubs, core shopping streets and any identified pedestrian pinch points.
Work completed so far includes footway widening around Glasgow Central Station High and Low Level entrances to provide additional queuing space, as well as footway widening and road closures in and around George Square.
A bus/cycle/taxi gate has been added to George Square (south) and South Frederick St (north), and a bus/cycle/taxi lane on Cochrane Street, to create sustainable transport corridors. This work was completed in tandem with pavement widening on Hope Street, Union Street and Bath Street and the build out into the road of temporary bus boarders to ensure continued accessibility onto and off, local service buses.
Footways have also been widened on Renfield Street and West George Street (between Wellington Street and Renfield Street).
Other initiatives in the city centre to ease pedestrian movement include traffic light automation which removes the need to touch the button to prompt the green man to display. The automated traffic lights will also where appropriate, be set to either minimise pedestrian waiting time or increase the duration the green man is displayed; with both adjustments made where possible.
Full details of temporary City Centre projects already in place, and ongoing can be found here.
This workstream enables the temporary re-allocation of road space for physical distancing outside shops, and will primarily involve the removal of kerbside parking.
One of our earliest Spaces for People projects at the height of lockdown restrictions, saw Kelvin Way closed to vehicle traffic to allow greater space for people undertaking daily exercise in and around Kelvingrove Park.
Future work will be undertaken in Finnieston, Byres Road, Berryknowes, Cathcart, Croftfoot, Gorbals, Govan, Duke Street, Possilpark, Shettleston and Springburn.
Full details of temporary Neighbourhood Space projects already in place, and ongoing can be found here.
Active Travel Routes:
This workstream looks to create temporary cycling infrastructure that encourages active travel to be considered as an attractive, viable choice for everyday journeys.
So far we have created temporary pop-up cycle lanes at Broomielaw, Dumbreck Road, London Road (Phase 1 and Phase 2), Great Western Road (Duntreath Avenue to Lincoln Avenue), Gorbals Street, Cumbernauld Road and Provanmill Road.
To further encourage the uptake of active travel, the first 30 minutes of standard nextbike cycle hire is currently at no cost to the hirer. Available until 24 August 2020, this free hire offer is funded by Transport Scotland through the Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme. More details can be found here.
Full details of temporary Active Travel Routes already in place and ongoing can be found here.
Every effort will be made to ensure the needs of disabled people are fully considered in the planning and delivery of Spaces for People measures and the project team will endeavour to ensure that these reflect the considerations identified in the recent briefing paper issued by the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS) as well as taking existing guidance into account in their design.
Areas of high pedestrian footfall where space is limited, are under consideration for the introduction of short-term Spaces for People measures.
Longer term, and once restrictions begin to ease, it is anticipated that walking and cycling will continue to be considered a safe and convenient mode of transport that benefits health and air quality.
Full details of all implemented and planned initiatives are available on our Spaces for People programme page.
In collaboration with Sustrans Scotland, we made available a Commonplace Mapping Tool which enabled users to highlight 'pinch points' across the city centre and neighbourhoods, where emergency temporary measures such as pavement widening and new cycle lanes could be introduced to help people maintain physical distancing and suppress a resurgence of the virus.
The platform closed on 10 July 2020 after being open for suggestions for several weeks.
Over 16,000 contributions were received and these will be used to inform future Spaces for People plans as COVID-19 restrictions ease, with temporary interventions prioritised that offer the greatest benefit to public health, balances the needs of all users, and can be delivered in a short timeframe. Updates will follow as soon as possible.