There really isn't anyone to blame for the chaos on Friday. As my video demonstrates the snow came down pretty fast, so there wasn't time for the council to react. Yes, perhaps the roads could have been better gritted before-hand, but the weather is often unpredictable in this part of the world. Let's give them the benefit of doubt.
However.....you knew that was coming didn't you....it's what has happened, or not happened since, that is of concern.
Gritting continues across the city this evening, treating all priority routes before footways and footbridges from very early morningThis is a typical tweet from the council at the moment and suggests that priority routes will be treated first, then footways and bridges. So roads first and then paths....or at least some paths, certainly not all. More interestingly there is no mention of cycle paths.
— Glasgow City Council (@GlasgowCC) January 19, 2015
OK, let's be fair, this could just be because they could only fit 140 characters into a tweet, right?! The will of course grit cycle paths, right?
Hey @GlasgowCC , see when you gritted the roads? You TOTALLY forgot about your award winning cycle paths! @FMcAveety pic.twitter.com/YxWzyTXLwvErrr....
— Bike Gob Glasgow (@BikeGobGlasgow) January 18, 2015
One ofmain cycle/pedestrian crossings in Glasgow into Clyde Tunnel. A wee sprinkle of grit isn't enough @GlasgowCC pic.twitter.com/pJ13SKKqnPHmm...
— David Brennan (@magnatom) January 19, 2015
#glasgow cycle traffic not quite as busy as Cambridge. This afternoon only 8 cycles had passed this main route.. pic.twitter.com/zwky2Aq4zCOk, so it would seem that cycle paths are not looked after at all. Even award winning ones, or ones with counters on them.
— Outspoken Delivery (@OutspokenDeliv) January 20, 2015
But surely things have improved now that it is FIVE days since the snow fell. Surely by now for instance the entrance and exit to the Clyde Tunnel cycle/pedestrian path, one of the main active travel routes for getting people north and south of the city, will be clear?!
Umm, no. This is from today.
To be fair, it isn't just cyclists that have issues.
Another calculated insult to pedestrians from one of the laziest, nastiest councils in Britain pic.twitter.com/jfCIaQUAZwThat's on a hill.
— Car-Sick Glasgow (@carsickglasgow) January 19, 2015
So, if you are a cyclist and you cycle through the winter months, and if there is a hint of ice around, Glasgow City Councils policy, and this is policy as it is their policy not to grit these routes, is that you must cycle on the road. Cycling facilities, limited as they are, are off bounds.
To be fair, no-one in their right mind would ever want to cycle in the winter when it's cold......would they?
So, it would seem that not only does it snow in countries where cycling rates are high, not only do people keep cycling in poor conditions, but that the authorities in these countries understand that cycle and walking infrastructure should be included in the priority routes.
How many cycle routes are specified in Glasgow's priority list? Well according to this document cycle routes are treated as 'priority 2'. That is, a relatively low priority. Actually, it's worse than that. It is priority 2 for paths. That is the roads come first, then priority 1 paths and then, if they can be bothered, cycle lanes and other paths.
Glasgow will rarely provide decent cycle lanes. Unfortunately these rare cycle paths will very rarely be cleared of ice or snow in the winter. It would seem that a decent, clear cycle lane is a very rare thing indeed.
It isn't even the lack of priorities. Look at the Copenhaganize video on clearing snow from cyclepaths. They use the street sweeper trucks and brush off the snow just as it has fallen, this (surprisingly?) means that it is not packed down into an icy block and clears almost effortlessly to a clean surface, which, at the temperatures normally associated with falling snow means no need to use salt. Very often sweeping the snow clear leaves the surface clear to dry-out.ReplyDelete
Of course sweeping and salt spreading with mini tractors and sweepers, means that they need to have a clear access, something which is DESIGNED that way from the outset. Not just cleaning up leaves, clearing snow, but cuttig back vegetation with efficient mechanised plant rather than slow manual labour working piecemeal and a fraction of the output, as I observe on a path I use regularly. So not only bad infrastructure but by its poorly delivered design expensive infrastructure to maintain. Let's not be too hard on the designers though, they often have to do the best with what they get.
our biggest problem (apart from lack of funds) is that councils don't have a pool of directly employed labour anymore to direct as required according to the priorities of the day... everything is sub-contracted out to individual firms and there's no joined up thinking anymore...ReplyDelete
With any sense, bin lorries could be fitted with sweeper brushes to clear local estate roads on their rounds instead of stopping up at the depot whenever there's snow and/or ice...
How often do you hear these days that the bin men aren't coming round because of the snow and ice?