Parking Signs

[Picture of signs inside Queen's Park Glasgow]QUEEN’S PARK has signs intended, one must suppose, to help park visitors find their way to attractions.
Please click on the photograph to enlarge.

The left sign states:

Wildlife Interpretation Area – 100m
Scottish poetry Rose Garden – 150m
Glasshouses – 430m

The right sign states:

Boating Pond – 160m
Children’s Play Area – 260m
Tennis, Bowling, Pitch and Putt – 820m

I suppose the first thing that struck me was the fact that I was so far away from everything! In fact, I must have been in the most remote part of the entire park, even though and oddly enough, I had just walked in from Pollokshaws Road — and was very close to (a) the public toilets, (b) the main bus routes, (c) the Taxi Rank, and (d) Goals – a bunch of 5-a-side football pitches — yet none of these were deemed important enough to put on these signs.

The next thing that occurred to me was the lack of symbols, icons, logos or signs — and for the lack of foreign language alternatives. One has to assume then that the park is meant to be visited by English readers only. Mind you, all the distances were in metres, so one has to wonder what is going on. The tennis was half-a-mile away! The signs may as well have been — I had to put on my spectacles to catch the gist of them. Thank goodness it wasn’t dusk yet.

[Close Up Picture of symbols on the park's sign]There were five (very small) symbols next to the Glasshouse (so one would assume that they pertained to facilities offered at the Glasshouse). That said, I could make out a basket, a teacup, possibly two people, a disabled access symbol, and what might mean baby-changing facilities. The teacup might mean there’s a cafe, and the basket might mean “shop” (but I had to think about that one), the other three simply mean “toilet” — 430 metres away — and yet there are public toilets almost next to this sign! Goals have toilets and a cafe too — as does the main road!

I almost laughed at the thought of some poor wheelchair-bound person craning their neck up to see the sign, and then heading off 430 metres to the Glasshouse to “spend a penny” — then I remembered that the route to the Glasshouse is a gruellingly steep hill that famously kills unwary joggers!

Then you stop and ask yourself — what the heck is a “Wildlife Interpretation Area”? It was only 100 metres away, so I thought I would see for myself — but I couldn’t find it (whatever it was)! Same with the Scottish poetry Rose Garden (although quite why the poetry didn’t merit a capital “P” is unclear).

At the end of the day, though, the signs are too high, too green and too wordy. I’ve seen people asking by-passers for directions to the glasshouse right beneath these signs!

Things are getting worse when we put up with nonsense like this — the signs should be clearer, have useful information, and be prominently located. The main feature of the Glasshouse is the children’s soft play area, and the creatures from around the world. The farmer’s market is located that the Victoria Road entrance, so the signs ought to point out which way that is. The signs should point out the entrances and exits, all toilets, pay phones, picnic areas, allotments, the band stand, flagpole and hill 16, and the park-keepers’ office. It might be a good idea to have a waste bin below, possible a police or park phone number, and some translations or symbols. It might also be a good idea to have the rules posted nearby too! (see article “Queen’s Park“)

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6 Responses to “Parking Signs”

  1. Timea Bradley Says:

    I am the ‘designer’ of these signs and as such feel compelled to respond to a few points. How and where these signs are displayed and what is on them was decided by management. Goal is a commercial operation not run by the council therefore it wasn’t included. Distances are in metres due to legislation and according to the DfT only road signs are allowed to remain yards etc. The colour green was used because it is the council’s corporate colour. I personally done my best to introduce icons where possible to aid tourists and worked very hard to deliver all the fingerpost designs for all the parks in Glasgow. It is disheartening that you so openly vent your anger without any consideration to people like me who had done her best considering all the factors to produce the best possible signage in-house with very limited resources. Alternatively the Council could have hired an agency and spent tens of thousands of council tax on design/production but I suppose you wouldn’t like that either.

    • Benny Says:

      How typical! How defensive! I re-read this article and could not find the “anger” to which you referred. It seems that, instead, this article has hurt your feelings.

      Come on Timea, you know the icons don’t make sense and are too small, you know a lot of attractions have been missed, and the ones that are included are too far away for mothers with prams and disabled people. You know too that you can put distances in both metric and Imperial units.

      You do not seem to understand visual acuity because the font is far too small for the height of the signs, and the background green shades don’t work in a leafy green park, particularly on a high-gloss sign that reflects everything around it. The whole thing is too graphic-designery (trying too hard to be “flashy” and “artsy-fartsy” instead of useful, functional, or helpful).

      I am partially sighted and these signs have given me problems in parks all over Glasgow for too long. My young friends don’t “get” them either, so don’t give us any more of your excuses!

      Your comment reveals that you have a shocking grasp of basic English — you lack an eye for detail, which may explain why your sign failed to capitalise “Poetry”.

      At the end of the day, you have to come clean Timea, you suggest that you were the poorly paid option, which might explain your sloppy work, but whatever you were paid was council tax money wasted in my opinion, and, like you and the writer of this article, I am entitled to share my opinion.

  2. Dave Says:

    @Benny
    You have the wrong end of the stick mate. This wee lassie used inverted commas, so she’s not really claiming to be the designer. It seems that everything was decided by someone else, so there was no designer (and probably too many cooks by the sound of it). The fault seems to be with the council who decided to save money by not getting this done professionally! You make good points, but it should be aimed at those doughballs in the cooncil instead of some wee lassie from the office getting paid washers.

  3. Frankie Boyle Says:

    These signs are fuckin useless and a waste of money. They don’t tell ye where the gay beat is, where to shoot up, where the underage shaggers go, the paedo area, in fact nothin of any practical use for the punters that go there. These signs are obviously done by someone who has never gone into a public park in Glasgow. Fact. And what fuckin tourists? Parks are for lettin your killer dogs shite and run about and for weekend Dad’s to take wee Kylie and Chantelle for some quality bonding time smoking and throwing stones at the ducks.

  4. Big John Says:

    LOL it was a mistake to own up on this blog

  5. Ann-Marie Says:

    The ‘designer’ is dead wrong because other signs of an identical design show the distance and direction to Goals 5-a-side!!!


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