Douglas Street Parking Chaos

douglas_streetROAD PLANNERS HAVE GOT IT WRONG ON DOUGLAS STREET, GLASGOW.

Douglas Street is a steep hill, it is one-way going up. Nevertheless, the designated car parking bays are angled awkwardly.

This causes chaos at rush hour as cars wanting to park have to drive up beyond the bays and reverse in to the angled spaces.

It would be far simpler if the angled bays were the other way, of if parking was parallel or perpendicular (there is sufficient space).

Things are getting worse when the obvious is missed by so-called town planners and traffic managers!

Bollards

[Picture of a Golf bending a bollard]BOLLARDS ARE SOFTER THAN YOU THINK.

The council put bollards up to try to stop cars being parked in particular areas, but it is not working on account of the fact that bollards are made from cheap soft plastic rubbish!

[Picture showing close up detail of bollard bending parking]

The moral of the story is to drive slowly at the bollards to bend them out of your way, allowing you to park wherever you want.

Council tax money well spent!

Car Parking Twist

[Picture of angled car parking in Glasgow]IN GLASGOW’S IRONICALLY NAMED PARK AREA, CARS ARE PARKED AT AN ANGLE TO THE PAVEMENT.

The entire enterprise seems to be to narrow a wide road to aggravate drivers and perhaps slow them down.

There can be no other explanation; if the cars were “normally” parked in a parallel fashion to the pavement, there would be just as many cars parked, but the road would be much wider for cars and vans driving past.

[Diagram of cars parked]Consider the diagram above.  Fig 1 shows the current angled parking. Fig 2 shows normal parallel parking, and the top figure shows both combined.  Hopefully, this diagram shows that the cars take up the same length of kerb regardless of the angle of parking.  The only difference is how much car is sticking out into the road.

Not only does this restrict a perfectly wide road, but it creates a couple of new dangers: cars parking in like this often touch the very high kerbs at the offside bumper, and parked cars have to reverse into oncoming traffic to leave the parking space.

Each bay is a pay-and-display earner for the council.  It would make no financial difference whatsoever to change the angled bays back to normal parallel ones.  It would widen the road for vans, improve road safety and reduce bumper scrapes for car owners in icy conditions.

However, common sense does not prevail in councils, and so the people who have to suffer are the ordinary tax-payers.

Hidden Car Parking Costs

THE COST OF CAR PARKING IN GLASGOW IS OBSCURE.

A city centre street meter is shown in the picture (click on the picture to enlarge).

It stated the costs as follows:

Sat 18:01 – Sun 07:59… Free;
Sun 08:00 – Sun 18:00… Free;
Sun 18:01 – Mon 07:59… Free;

Mon 08:00 – Mon 18:00… £4.00 every 2 hours;
Mon 18:01 – Tue 07:59… Free;
Tue 08:00 – Tue 18:00… £4.00 every 2 hours;
Tue 18:01 – Wed 07:59… Free;

Wed 08:00 – Wed 18:00… £4.00 every 2 hours;
Wed 18:01 – Thu 07:59… Free;
Thu 08:00 – Thu 18:00… £4.00 every 2 hours;
Thu 18:01 – Fri 07:59… Free;
Fri 08:00 – Fri 18:00… £4.00 every 2 hours;
Fri 18:01 – Sat 07:59… Free;
Sat 08:00 – Sat 18:00… £4.00 every 2 hours;

Although it states that the maximum stay is 2 hours, this merely means that you have to feed the meter every 2 hours between 08:00 and 18:00 Mon – Sat inclusive, which is £40 per day (hence the penalty charge is £60).

Now, consider parking a few metres away at the Sauchiehall Street Car Park.

This is clearly far more expensive that street parking at night or on Sunday.

Sunday all day is £2.00, whereas the street is free. Overnight on the street is also free, but here it is £2.00.

Now, if you stay for 2 hours, the car park will cost you £2.40, compared with the street bay’s £4.00 — but are you really going to be there for 2 hours?

Let’s say you wanted to park for 15 mins.  That would cost you just 50p on the street, but a whopping £1.20 in the car park.

This is true of half and hour too — £1.20 in the car park versus £1.00 on the street.

  • It is only after three-quarters of an hour that the car park becomes cheaper than the roadside.

Some people might think that, compared with the street, £2.00 is worth paying for a secure car parking space — but the small print states that after 06:30 in the morning, you start getting charged £1.20 per hour until you arrive to pick up the vehicle! And consider that most of the streets are brightly lit and covered by CCTV paid for by your council taxes, and the street looks like the better option.

Three Cars Use 14 Car Parking Bays!

CAR PARKING IN A CAR PARK SHOULD BE PART OF THE DRIVING TEST.

Not just in multi-story car parks, but in ALL car parks; people just do not seem to understand them!

I thought I’d seen it all when I saw kids abusing disabled spaces (see Asian Youth Flexing), and when I saw folk who couldn’t be bothered to find a parking bay abandon their four by four in a car park (see Urban Off-Road Adventures).

However, these pale into insignificance with what I saw at the weekend [Click on pics to enlarge]. Yes, things are getting worse!

Unusual car parking inside a car park A better view of daft car parking

For some unknown reason, three cars were found in a car park, parked neatly across the access roadway — completely avoiding the car parking bays! This meant that cars (coming both ways) had to drive AROUND these cars — by using proper car parking bays as a route.

This workaround route meant that between five and seven car parking space ON EACH SIDE had to be kept free and clear to avoid a blockage — thus three cars managed to effectively take up between 10 and 14 car parking bays! Brilliant!

Kerbs

[Picture of high pavement]THE COUNCIL SPENDS A FORTUNE on fences and bollards in an attempt to stop people parking up on the kerb when all they had to do was make the kerb higher.

There are plenty of examples of high kerbs, especially up in the Park Circus area, but also on Paisley Road West (see picture) , the West End and in Giffnock too.

The high kerbs were originally to do with getting into and out of horse-drawn carriages.

If the council really was serious about putting a stop to kerb parkers, then they could raise the pavements or sink the roads — but then the bollard company might go out of business (I wonder if any councillors have vested interests in fences and bollards).

It’s a bit like the speed camera idea — instead of allowing cars that can exceed the speed limits, governments could quite easily pass a law so that no car could go too fast — but that would not bring in any revenue. Having high kerbs would solve a ‘problem’, but there is income to be had from ticketing offenders — and even moreso when there are double yellow lines.

New Restrictions in Shawlands

ROADS ARE SO BADLY DESIGNED AND TOWNS SO POORLY PLANNED THAT MOTORISTS HAVE TO RESORT TO PARKING ON KERBS AND PAVEMENTS.

My post from 18 May 2007, entitled Parking on Pavements explained this in more detail. In Shawlands in recent weeks double yellow lines have appeared at junctions which already have fencing and bollards, so quite what effect they might have is beyond me. [pdf of Shawlands’s Traffic Plan]

The yellow lines at other junctions seem to be there to make the council money — especially from people who park right up on the pavement.

  • My earlier post of 26 April 2007 entitled Traffic Calming explains why the council has caused the parking problem in the first place!

[picture of a parking on a pavement in Shawlands]OK, let’s look at the most ridiculous example — which I would guess would be a car completely or almost completely parked on the pavement — Is this a serious problem? Well I went out with my camera today to find out. Because of all the fences and bollards, it is no longer as widespread as it once was, in fact it is downright rare. But I found one and took a picture.

As you can see, even though the car is almost entirely on the pavement, there is no impediment to pavement users. In this particular case, I can see nothing wrong with the effect, but everything wrong with the cause (the design of the pavement). This car is not a problem to anyone — but now, sadly, there will be a ticket on the windscreen.

picture of wide pavement in Shawlands]

Look at the picture above. It shows a very wide Shawlands pavement that has been WIDENED. The old pavement kerb is now a rainwater gully. Note the fences to stop parking on the kerb, and note the dimpled surface for the partially sighted that is such a problem for skateboards, rollerskates, prams, luggage and anything else with wheels. This is appalling town planning! The pavement is far too large — better use should have been made of this — I include the picture to show how bizarre it has become in recent years.

It seems that, evermore in this country, we refuse to use common sense. There is no understanding or consideration any more, just road-raged angry people jabbing their fingers at the letters of the law.

Rather than adding double yellow lines so that the council can fine this person, wouldn’t it have been better to look at the underlying problem? This is a pavement of twelve feet — that is the same as the width of the road itself!

[picture of obstacles to pedestrians]Is this car causing more of an obstruction than litter? I took a picture from a different angle just to make this point. Once you have imagined pushing a pram, walking a dog, or using a zimmer walking frame, I am sure you will agree that the cars are not causing as much of a problem as everything else.

I will say it again: the council is anti-car and anti-pedestrian. It is patently obvious; we have to put rubbish out the front onto the pavements, we have to cope with huge wheelie bins from the shops, and there are all the bollards, fences, traffic lights, zig-zags, speed bumps and now double yellow lines.

[Picture of Pollokshaws rd]In conjunction with the double yellow lines, the council has removed about a hundred parking spaces at the back of the arcade, on Pollokshaws Road, in the picture you will see the new bollards on both sides of the road and the in-filled parking bay. This road is not terribly busy, and parking was never a problem — what a massive shame! Naturally, the cars that used to use this area have to go somewhere else — so it is no solution. All this just means that it is increasingly difficult to find a parking space and it is increasingly difficult to use the pavements too. Shawlands is being choked, and it feels more oppressive and claustrophobic nowadays — like the West End in fact. Soon we’ll all be buying resident’s parking bays, you mark my words.

%d bloggers like this: