A new online platform launched today will empower people to share their suggestions for creating safer spaces in Glasgow for walking, cycling and wheeling, as COVID-19 restrictions are eased.
In collaboration with Sustrans Scotland, the council is launching the Commonplace Mapping Tool which will allow 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 council recently announced a far-reaching set of suggested measures as part of our Spaces for People programme, to make it easier and safer for pedestrians, wheelers and cyclists to move around Glasgow. As well as providing extra space for distancing, the proposals also acknowledge the recent surge in active travel which we wish to encourage in the longer term. To help deliver on these proposals, the council was recently granted £3.5m Scottish Government Spaces for People funding, administered by Sustrans; with plans to make further bids to the fund.
The council has already received suggestions for road closures, wider pavements and segregated cycle lanes. Now, the public will be able to highlight specific areas on an interactive map and provide their feedback. This, along with ideas already shared, will help shape our efforts in the near future.
Cllr Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said "It is essential that people have the space, and confidence to maintain physical distancing as lockdown restrictions ease so they can move forward with their lives and our recovery can progress at pace.
"Plans are already underway to introduce temporary widened footways and new cycling infrastructure across our city, however we are keen to hear from people about where they would like to see safer spaces created. The availability of the Commonplace mapping tool is a quick and easy way to make suggestions about those public spaces in Glasgow where introducing short-term travel infrastructure measures could help people maintain physical distancing and suppress a resurgence of the virus.
"Our communities know their streets best and we want to tap into that local knowledge as we develop and shape our Spaces for People plans."
Dave Keane, Infrastructure Manager, Sustrans Scotland, said: "Glasgow City Council has shown great ambition to make it easier for people to get around safely on foot, by bike or wheelchair as we transition out of lockdown. We hope people living in Glasgow will engage with the Commonplace mapping tool - it's really simple, clear and easy to give feedback. Most importantly, it will help the council get a clear picture of where temporary interventions are needed most."
Responses received through the Commonplace platform will be recorded and used to inform plans, 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.
So far we have already introduced temporary measures such as the closure of Kelvin Way to traffic and the creation of a temporary cycle lane along the Clyde Walkway to ease pressure on pedestrians on adjacent footways.
All measures that are introduced will be closely monitored and refined or adapted in response to any issues, where necessary. The design process for any interventions will consider all road users, particularly people with mobility or visual impairments, with engagement already underway.