Battlefield Junction Consultation

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    It doesn't look like they've considered cycling.

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    I was there this evening and it seems they're wanting to first decide on the new junction layout before considering how to fit cycling provision. The idea of future proofing the junction for the SCW is on their minds and I was told the cycling provision would be in the detailed design.

    Lets hope they actually do get round to putting in cycling provision.

  • Yes. I spoke to an officer and the chair of the local community council. For the record, some points (my take, not intended to be definitive):

    • The impetus has come from a desire for place-making, a chance for Battlefield to have a 'heart' (no-one used the word, I'm interpreting) in the context of the hospital site becoming residential, also development on the Weir Group site at the other end of Battlefield.

    • The community council chair also chairs/ed the group responsible for reviving the Queen's Park bandstand, and the Mackintosh Society. She's very effective. A view from her that cycle-friendly = desirable place-making would coun (so would the opposite)t.

    • It is an incredibly early stage - all the plans are intended to illustrate is four different ways of turning the island with the tramstop on it into a peninsular. There were assurances that cycling would be considered. It would be more reassuring if they hadn't gone to the trouble of putting in lane markings and ASL boxes on these hypotheticals.

    • The risk IMO is that the thinking about cycling gets left too late, so it becomes bolted on instead of baked in. Perhaps it would be worth lobbying (how?) for the team who've done the SCW plans to be involved throughout the evolution of the Battlefield ideas?

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    @timba said in Battlefield Junction Consultation:

    The risk IMO is that the thinking about cycling gets left too late, so it becomes bolted on instead of baked in

    My concern also. I like your "baked in" description! With Queen Margaret Drive the street improvements are conditional on having cycle path(s). The same could have been done here.

    I didn't know the island was a tram stop!

    I did recognise a couple of the officers who are also involved with the SCW. It feels like we might need to draw up our own designs... "Connecting Battlefield and beyond"

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    @timba were the public realm improvements outside Langside Hall completed? I haven't been past there in a while. Perhaps a worrying parallel?

  • @un - Not only didn't I go that way, I didn't even know there were public realm improvements happening at Langside Hall. I'll pay attention next time I go that way.

  • Letter sent to LES and copied to all councillors concerning inadequate design consideration of options for Battlefield junction.
    ---- COPY OF LETTER ----
    Dear LES
    The poor quality of Battlefield proposals illustrates a city-wide problem

    Following an open invitation from Coun. Richardson in a presentation to GoBike to visit the Battlefield consultation at Langside Library on 30 November I was dismayed to see your poor quality and skewed proposals. Four options were presented, each showing only proposed vehicle routes in detail, with some token bus stops, just a few pedestrian crossings and no cycle facilities except advanced stop lines. See When asked officers explained pedestrian and cycle facilities would be worked out later. Officers didn't seem to want to acknowledge the presentations were car orientated.

    At present pedestrians, cyclists can choose to take direct routes across the area along the roads and bus routes are also direct. Any proposed alteration of traffic circulation can downgrade this provision. This is a primary design consideration. Yet the four proposals show no consideration of cycle and bus routes, and just a few token pedestrian crossings which don't amount to direct routes. It is good practice to display drawings showing the present situation, in particular traffic routes presently in use:
    Pedestrian desire lines
    Cycle desire lines
    Bus routes.
    and a statement of the design challenge in meeting these needs. The options suggest designers do not appear to appreciate these needs or don't think they are important. This appears to be design incompetence.

    This necessary consideration has been omitted even though we are told by the council on a leaflet percentages of people locally not owning a car and percentages travelling by bus, walking train and bike. Most of the time more people are walking, cycling and using buses in the area than are travelling in cars. On what policy basis has consideration of the needs of private vehicles been given priority when considering options?

    In the options LES has gone to the trouble to detail roads junctions to suit vehicles, that is make junctions at ninety degrees skewing road layouts to suit. The designers mind was solely on resolving possible layouts for vehicles. No attempt was made to consider cycle permeability or pedestrian desire lines, with cycle lanes and crossings shown that suit them.

    I understand a local group proposed consideration of improved use of the space. When I asked it was acknowledged that SPT had not expressed any concern about present facilities. However drawings are titled 'bus improvement'. This is not indicative of need it is a budgetry matter, it appears funds will be sought from SPT for the works. No explanation was given about this in the presentation. The proposals show LES's primary concern with any change to road layout is to prioritise the needs of private vehicles whilst describing it as bus improvement.

    It does the city no credit that designers have such a one-sided approach. It does not suit aspirations to be sustainable. In future more people will have to travel by public transport and will want to walk on direct routes to bus stops. Many more will cycle.

    More appropriate options and data presentation and further consultation is surely necessary.
    ---- END OF COPY OF LETTER ----

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    @pat I did wonder if they were trying to be tactful about doing the consultation in stages. First there would be the reallocation of space and the closure of side roads. If that's successful then they will try to introduce cycling provision. It may be that if they did all of it at once it could be too much.

    There's a further challenge in designing safe cycling provision into a junction like this. It's not something that's been done before in Scotland. The recent SCW junction plans do show attempts at designing cycle safe junctions.

    Ideally it would be great if we came up with our own safe cycle junction design. For example, here's a somewhat similar junction in Utrecht. It could form part of the South City Way Friends campaign.

  • My theory is that they were in the early stages of marshalling local support for doing "something" - not about the junction per se, but about creating a more pleasant space. If you can get people to focus on which road to close off instead of whether to close off any road, you're already making progress. Can it me an unfortunate side-effect of the graphics software that it makes everything look more finished than any of the possibilities really are? (Of course with the attendant possibility that the favoured option gets 'set' in the form accidentally polished by the software.)

    I remembered that there was Sustrans paraphenalia there, so perhaps they're already going to be involved in the development of a preferred option?

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    @timba Option 2 has our typical concrete pavement. This is also being done for the SCW. I suspect there's no reinforcement and so the concrete breaks up easily.

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    Commonplace feedback tool going online soon for battlefield:

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