Taking their lives in their hands
IT’S FRIDAY lunchtime in Glasgow city centre and the pavements are packed with office workers, shoppers and tourists. But worryingly for Living Streets, so too are the roads. At some of the city’s busiest pedestrian crossings, Glaswegians are taking their lives in their hands just to get to the other side.
Those at the lights between Hope Street and St Vincent Street are faced with a wait of one minute and 50 seconds for the green man to appear. For many, it’s far too long. Instead, pedestrians teeter on the pavement, peering into three lanes of thundering traffic, looking for a gap, wondering when to make a run for it. One couple wait patiently at the edge before becoming so frustrated that they grab hands and plunge into the melee, only just making it to the other side unscathed.
Others choose to run, often in front of one of the many buses that drive this route. One man looks at his watch, rolls his eyes and strides out in front of the traffic, darting between the moving cars.
Those who wait the full one minute and 50 seconds are granted a scant ten seconds of the green man before the red re-appears. Some office workers, clearly regulars at this particular crossing, dash furiously along the pavement, desperate to make the green man rather than wait the almost two minutes before they can cross again.
Up at the junction between Hope Street and West George Street, things are little better. Again, it is a wait too long for most shoppers and office workers. One man takes the plunge and receives an angry rev from a taxi turning the corner in response, while a woman with a buggy and a small child by the hand looks at the relentless flow of traffic, unsure whether to bolt or not.
The woman next to her runs out into the middle of the road, panics at the bus coming straight for her, turns and retreats back to the pavement.
She, like many of these pedestrians, will just have to have patience.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Friday 24 May 2013
Temperature: 2 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 21 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 5 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West