CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

George Street Improvements

(913 posts)

  1. fimm
    Member

    Having skimmed through some of the massive document DdF links to, it also seems to have been about where the traffic that used to go along Shandwick Place should go now, and whether more of it should go through Charlotte Square. Also there are quotes like
    "Charlotte Square does not represent a pedestrian desire line and current levels of pedestrian and cyclist usage are very low. There is thus no present need for action in relation to increasing the space for pedestrians and cyclists within the Square..."
    and
    "Current cycle usage is extremely modest, and is unlikely to increase significantly. The volume of cyclists would not of itself justify the changes proposed."

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. fimm
    Member

    @SRD I think what the objectors were saying is that the traffic is currently going through their residential streets and ought to be going through Charlotte Square instead. I think that's what all the stuff about "Moray Feu" is about.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. SRD
    Member

    @fimm indeed !

    http://www.morayfeu.com/information/traffic/

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. kaputnik
    Member

    Amused to see a new dimension to class warfare with the Moray Feu committee having a dig at the "boutique bankers and hedge fund managers" of Charlotte Square.

    I suppose all those cars parked in the Moray Feu are largely nothing to do with the residents there, as they simply teleport in and out as is required.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. PS
    Member

    It is an unfortunate truth that Princes Street was the one street in the New Town of appropriate size, directness and paucity of residents to carry the East-West traffic that currently traverses the city centre.

    I have some sympathy with Moray Feu residents that Ainslie Place, Great Stuart Street and Randolph Crescent are not designed to take the pounding they get from trucks, excessively heavy Lothian buses and such and such.

    [To be clear, however, I have no sympathy with their love of strawberry* cords.
    *or salmon. or mustard.]

    Solution is clearly to do something about the traffic. Ban big HGVs and trucks from the city centre, bollard off strategic streets, etc.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. chdot
    Admin

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. kaputnik
    Member

    What is it about modern workies that means they are unable to undertake their duties further than 2m from their parked Transit van? Have they forgotten that wheelbarrows exist?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. kaputnik
    Member

    I have some sympathy with Moray Feu residents that Ainslie Place, Great Stuart Street and Randolph Crescent are not designed to take the pounding they get from trucks, excessively heavy Lothian buses and such and such.

    Very few of the residential streets of central Edinburgh were...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. Arellcat
    Member

    I came upon the Scottish Gas van and associated works this evening as well, before I attempted South St David Street. To be fair the workmen did seem to be Actually Working, but the way the van was parked just took the biscuit.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. chdot
    Admin

    "

    SGN (@SGNgas)
    30/10/2014 09:32
    @CyclingEdin @Edinburgh_CC @LAHinds @AndrewDBurns Hi, I'll speak to the manager to see what we can do to keep it clear. Thanks for tweet.

    "

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. wingpig
    Member

    "...When entering from Charlotte Square, you have to watch for a drain cover right in the middle of the painted "funnel" / mouth of the lane.

    It's pretty inconvenient to have a slidy metal cover right where you're expected to make a turn..."

    There's quite a muddle of slippery metal things covering quite a bit of the turning from Queen Street into North St David Street, which you don't want to go over on when there are impatiently-driven buses and taxis right behind you. I shall therefore finally attempt to reach George Street from the path beside the gallery at lunchtime. I've tried it once or twice but have given up at the first crossing and went all round the square on the road rather than attempt to identify the intended cycle-infra route.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. crowriver
    Member

    "I shall therefore finally attempt to reach George Street from the path beside the gallery at lunchtime. I've tried it once or twice but have given up at the first crossing and went all round the square on the road rather than attempt to identify the intended cycle-infra route."

    Which, as far as I can work out, is the way you're supposed to go. The shared use is just one way, i.e.. downhill/north, isn't it? Going uphill/south/west you are supposed to mix it with trams, taxis, etc. N'est ce pas? Maybe Sustrans can advise...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. PS
    Member

    I think that's right, crowriver, despite the fact that there is loads of space for a segregated (and direct)cycle lane along the north side of St Andrew Square towards George Street. It could be placed between the parking and the pavement on the gardens side or between the pavement and the tour bus stops on the building side.

    It's a very lightly used bit of road (as is all the square - even the St David Streets and the west side of the square tend to be vast swathes of empty tarmac, even at rush hour) so would not be very disruptive at all.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. chdot
    Admin

    "

    SGN (@SGNgas)
    30/10/2014 13:14
    @CyclingEdin @Edinburgh_CC @LAHinds @AndrewDBurns Hello. We're sorry for the inconvenience. We had to work with temporary lights ...

    "

    Headlights??

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. chdot
    Admin

    "Which, as far as I can work out, is the way you're supposed to go"

    Seems so.

    I quite often come up Dublin Street (good test of my fitness and if bike I'm riding has enough gears!)

    I have been known to go straight up the contra-flow (which may or may not be illegal), then right which is illegal (but SHOULD have a proper segregated route).

    I sometimes go the 'proper' way which sure is the long way round.

    Sometimes I just head south to Princes Street (which becomes tram only) and (push a) cross to Waverley Bridge.

    Yesterday I turned right onto Queen Street then left and right into George Street. This may or may not be illegal as it's turning out of the crossing...

    Oh the luxury of choice.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. gembo
    Member

    I went along tonight East west until the crossover and then I went along the road instead of round the statue the wrong way. Traffic tonight was mental also note the trains are off on the slow Glasgow line

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. Charlethepar
    Member

  18. cb
    Member

    From that article:

    "
    Marcina Thomson, who works at fashion boutique Mint Velvet, said: “Our delivery drivers really have their work cut out for them.

    “They have nowhere to park, so they have to bring everything across on trollies.”
    "

    So it is possible.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. kaputnik
    Member

    Did they previously park the van in the shop itself?

    I'd hazard a guess that they've always used trolleys, they're just miffed at having to push them slightly further than before.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. I were right about that saddle
    Member

    If they have nowhere to park the trollies must be coming all the way from the depot. Or the factory?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. nedd1e_h
    Member

    Not sure how much the EEN have twisted SRD's words, but are we not shooting ourselves in the foot, by telling CEC the changes are useless & dangerous.

    Agree it's not connected up, but you have to start somewhere...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. kaputnik
    Member

    Twisting - or plain old misrepresenting - the words of interviewees and the insertion of unnecessary hyperbole is a Chipwrapper specialty.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. SRD
    Member

    Bah. Lost post I had written and don't have time to rewrite.

    Short gist is, nope. Not misquoted, although he did edit the bit where I said it was 'half-arsed'. .

    Still Dont see the point to it. http://deceasedcanine.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/getting-to-jack-browns.html

    Cycled it last Saturday with camera (and 7yo). Will try to get the blogpost done.

    (If anyone would like to have EEN to contact them for comments on the next cycling story, please send me your details and I will happily pass it on to the reporter - or you can contact him directly himself - his details are on the web )

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. Morningsider
    Member

    Tricky one this - I agree with both SRD and edd1e_h. I really want this to be a success, but the scheme as it stands has some outrageous flaws. Surely no-one thinks having the start/end of the bike lanes on traffic islands in the middle of the road is a good idea.

    Given George Street is 100 foot wide, it should be easy to fit one way cycle lanes on either side, regardless of which side the decked areas are on. This would ease access problems and do away with the confused junction treatments.

    I think the main constraint has been a refusal to move the central parking areas, not necessarily get rid of them - just move them. I suppose the scheme is (for Edinburgh) ambitious - just not ambitious enough for it to be hugely successful.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. crowriver
    Member

    I thought this was highly amusing:

    'One motorist turned into the cycle lane while the Evening News was canvassing the street. The man, who did not want to be identified, said: “There are no signs. I was following the satnav.” '

    What a moron! Clearly this is the standard of driving that is sadly becoming the norm. Following the sat nav, and not looking where you are going...

    I cycled along George Street twice on Sunday.

    Getting to it is still the main problem, but I'm becoming used to it now. The traffic signals at Hanover Street are better than they used to be, also the traffic signals at Charlotte Square seem to have improved. I don't like the switchover junction: this really needs to be signalised for safety. Also it's very stupid having to ride round the roundabout (at Castle Street?) then continue on the same side. Again it would be better to have a dedicated cycle phase of traffic signals, and route cyclists straight across, as happens at Hanover Street. Eastbound is better than westbound, it must be said, as you go straight across at Castle Street.

    On the way back east there was a moronic driver blocking the narrowed junction east of Hanover Street. Looked lost. At least he had the decency to pull over to the side as I proceeded across the junction. Bollards can't come soon enough at St Andrew Square end. Also agree with chdot that a segregated route could be provided on the north side of St Andrew Square, which currently is largely an informal free parking/loading area for Multrees Walk boutique shoppers (blinks on, driver at wheel while partner roams the boutiques).

    Despite its flaws, I much prefer cycling on George Street than mixing it with the buses, taxis and trams on Princes Street. When travelling east-west or west-east it gives a valuable route option. Not good to be in a hurry when cycling George Street however.

    I reckon the pedestrianisation will become permanent as it is clearly in the interests of restaurant and cafe owners. We just need to ensure that the scheme for cycling is improved. I think a constructive criticism approach will be more productive than dismissing the scheme out of hand.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. stiltskin
    Member

    One motorist turned into the cycle lane while the Evening News was canvassing the street. The man, who did not want to be identified, said: “There are no signs. I was following the satnav I am an imcompetent driver, who should not be allowed to control 1.5 tons of potentially lethal machinery on the roads.”

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. LaidBack
    Member

    I reckon the pedestrianisation will become permanent as it is clearly in the interests of restaurant and cafe owners.

    I suspect that this first stab at re-allocation of street space is worth it for business and CEC. During festival times* this 'bike lane' is bound to be used as a loading, building, temporary structure area though.
    Whatever else you think about Princes St it's less likely to have a Spiegeltent built on it - although intense busification has similar effect.

    *whole year!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. chdot
    Admin

    "I think a constructive criticism approach will be more productive than dismissing the scheme out of hand."

    I'm up for that.

    As I suspect are most people on here.

    I'm (genuinely) not clear what the scheme is.

    Ok perhaps that's slightly disingenuous. The problem is the scheme is trying to do too many things and is perhaps not doing any of them very well.

    Or is it that 'we' are only/too interested in the cycle bit(s)?

    So it's about (not pretending this is everything) -

    Improving GS.

    Improving the 'environment' - traffic, noise, pollution etc.

    Improving 'trade'.

    Making it nicer/more fun for diners and drinkers.

    Not removing much parking.

    Making it better for pedestrians.

    Making it better for cyclists.

    Obviously 'we' have concentrated on the last one - and why not?

    I suppose the question is did we imagine/assume that this was/is about (partly) an alternative through route to Princes Street and a way of encouraging more/(more timid?) cyclists into the city centre?

    There is an additional 'assumption' - possibly only in the minds of (some) CCE type people - that it should be a route suitable for commuters (i.e. an expectation that it would be convenient and suitable for a bit of safe speed).

    I think it's reasonable to say that it doesn't feel particularly safe - certain E-W if you follow the 'round the statues route' - which I certainly don't.

    I don't think it's unreasonable to say that the start and finish of the cycle part are inept.

    It would be better if there was some indication of what would happen if 'the experiment becomes permanent'. Perhaps I missed it, but then if I didn't read CCE and/or the EN I wouldn't know any of this - which may or not be better.

    Ignoring any benefits for cyclists and looking at 'the pedestrian experience' I'm not sure it's great. Clearly some think the (supposedly) car free bits are 'pedestrianised'. Of course if there were the numbers of bikes that GSt 'deserves' there wouldn't be so many people wandering about.

    The new lights at Hanover Street right next to the Zebra (and nearby plinth/hoardings) don't add to any idea of a 'worked out scheme' and improving things for pedestrians and cyclists.

    So maybe the problem is that I can't see the improvements as 'positive' enough because of the elements of compromise and various 'curious' decisions.

    In cycling terms George Street could be great for pottering and visiting the attractions along the street. It would help if there was any prospect of getting to and from there. BUT there doesn't seem to be much chance of it being part of a serious through route.

    That can't be Princes Street - unless all buses are removed (unlikely, and not really desirable) - so how about Queen Street?

    Well clearly that's for all the other traffic which MUST pass through central Edinburgh.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. crowriver
    Member

    "Whatever else you think about Princes St it's less likely to have a Spiegeltent built on it - although intense busification has similar effect"

    Spiegeltent has moved away from Geo St, hasn't it?

    Festivus tents don't pull out without looking; try to squash you between them and another fast moving tent; nor do they execute close passes, cut you up, tailgate you; nor brake abruptly in front of you blocking the carriageway and forcing a potentially hazardous overtaking manoeuvre. Neither do they belch out noxious fumes (except perhaps those created by Festivusgoers quaffing lager).

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. Arellcat
    Member

    I don't think it's unreasonable to say that the start and finish of the cycle part are inept.

    I was discussing this with Laid Back the other day. I was of the opinion that while the connections at the eastern and western ends are inept, if not absent entirely, the reason I use the George Street cycle lanes is to avoid the buses on Princes St, particularly eastbound. In the immediate environment I would actually rather compete with cars, which at least are smaller and moving just as slowly, and put up with the ridiculous dog-leggery. It's not that I daren't play cat and mouse—I'm quite confident at that—but I certainly don't enjoy it; I'm not entirely sure I ever did, to be honest.

    But in a similar vein to a point I made at the Canal-Meadows consultation, about route displacement occurring not at the point of 'obstruction' but over a larger radius, when the obstruction is known about and factored into one's planning, the fact that George St has a shiny new cycle lane is made somewhat redundant (at least in my world) because at present there are more direct and contiguous routes to choose instead. But this is standard route planning. Forget the big three streets. Use Lochrin, the Meadows, the High St, the Pleasance; divert through Ravelston, the NEPN, Craigleith; Abbeyhill and Abbey Mount: in essence, trading spot safety for flow.

    However, we—and especially CEC—shouldn't forget that George Street has cycle lanes at all in this Grand Experiment, and what the purpose is of those lanes. Why do we build cycle lanes and cycle routes? Is it safety? Is it 'improving the public realm'? Or is it (supposed to be) about getting people out of cars, by providing a high quality and efficient alternative? That's why the Stenhouse-Balgreen route, MMW and NMW are so good: they're direct and fast, dogs and walkers notwithstanding. Filling a cycle lane with miscellaneous infrastructure, and to boot not linking it to anything, removes every shred of efficiency and reduces it from bikes=transport to bikes=pootley fun, and not necessarily that much fun.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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