New Social Art School Projects - No Mean Streets

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Cycling in the City of Glasgow

Rush Hour at Charing Cross, Feb 2010. Photo: Merz

In Glasgow, as in cities the world over, cyclists form a silent minority and relatively few people are willing to use the bicycle as a means to get from A to B.

Bodies at both national and local governments are keen to promote the many obvious benefits of city cycling, but posters and promotional packs need to be backed by infrastructure and investment.

New Social Art School produced a publication about cycling in the city of Glasgow; offering interviews, insights and written statements by some of Glasgow's hidden pedalers...

The publication was distributed during Bike Week and Glasgow Cycling Festival, June 2010

Police pals reading at Bike Week Event on George Square, June 2010. Photo by Gregory Chauvet


In Glasgow it seems like more people have taken up cycling over recent years, but cyclists are still an overlooked minority and, we think, amongst non-cyclists, there exists a real fear of cycling. Many people believe that this is an activity better practiced off-road. We believe that cyclists should enjoy equal rights with other road users and adequate space on existing roads.This project is about promoting cycling as an effective, healthy and fun means of transportation in the city. We want more cyclists on the roads, which means increased safety, reduced traffic congestion, less pollution, better public health and freer, less mediated social interaction within the city.

There does seem to be an increasing awareness of cyclists, and both national and local governments are keen to promote the benefits of cycling. Bike Week 2010, took place in several UK cities, including Glasgow, involved mass bike rides, commute to work schemes and family events, all in order to encourage "... everyone to rethink their everyday journeys and switch to cycling as the most convenient way to get around." However, we think that the promotional initiatives need to be backed by action, otherwise there will be no real change.

With this project we hope to open up a dialogue between road users, with the aim of improving the provision for, and attitudes towards, cyclists. As they say, THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE MOTORISED.


Project by Eva Merz in collaboration with RSAMD student Edd Crawley.

Funded by Culture & Sport Glasgow, Visual Arts Award Scheme