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Roseburn to Leith consultation begins (and the debate continues!)

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  1. SRD
    Moderator

    Please find attached a letter regarding the launch of the consultation for the proposed Roseburn to Leith cycle link and street improvements for your information.

    The Council would like to get your feedback on these proposals. This is your opportunity to comment, request changes and provide suggestions for improvement. Please review the information on the website http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/roseburntoleith, and give us your feedback. Please pass on details of the consultation to anyone who may be interested.

    The period for comments is between 17 November 2015 and 5 January 2016.

    Comments can be submitted by email to cyclingprojects.consultation@edinburgh.gov.uk or via the online survey at the website http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/roseburntoleith .

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. SRD
    Moderator

    SP9/01/036/001/AH
    Dear Sir/Madam

    ROSEBURN TO LEITH WALK – CITY CENTRE CYCLE ROUTE

    The City of Edinburgh Council is currently developing a scheme to create a new cycle route linking the Roseburn path towards Leith Walk via George Street.

    The aim is to provide a cycle route which is designed for less confident cyclists and those who may be concerned about cycling in busy traffic. The route will be mostly segregated from traffic and will link together planned cycle facilities on Leith Walk with the off-road path network at Roseburn. There will also be links to Haymarket Station, Rutland Square, Lothian Road and North Bridge.

    As a stakeholder to the project we would like hear your views on the proposals. Details on how organisations and individuals can comment are provided below.

    The route proposals will form a key link in the city’s on-road cycling network. The proposals include:
    • New, cycle routes with protected cycle tracks on main roads.
    • Cyclist and pedestrian priority at key junctions to reduce conflict with other traffic.
    • Making the cycling environment more pleasant through Streetscape/Public Realm and Quiet Street improvements.
    • Improved pedestrian and cyclist facilities.
    • New or relocated pedestrian and cycle crossings to help people cross roads safely.
    • Use of quieter side streets where possible.
    • Resurfacing of some setted side streets not currently suitable for cycling.

    101226_Roseburn to Leith Walk - City Centre Cycle Route
    Consultation

    The Council would like to get your feedback on these proposals. This is your opportunity to comment, request changes and provide suggestions for improvement. Please review the information on the consultation hub and detailed scheme drawings, and give us your feedback. The period for comments is between 16 November 2015 and 5 January 2016.

    Comments can be submitted by email to cyclingprojects.consultation@edinburgh.gov.uk or via the online survey at the website http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/roseburntoleith.

    More detailed plans of the scheme are available on our website at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/roseburntoleith. However if you would like to review the plans in person, we would be happy to arrange a meeting with you at our offices.

    Should you wish to take up this offer, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    A summary of the consultation results will be published on http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/consultations in February 2015. We will consider all comments made and may make changes to our proposals based on these. After the period for comments has closed, we will begin the detailed design of the route and begin the legal processes necessary to implement the changes. This will then give any interested parties the right to formally object or express other views. Subject to funding we expect the project to begin construction from April 2017.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. nedd1e_h
    Member

  4. PS
    Member

    Am I over-reacting to think that the following exposes a certain lack of ambition and may explain things like squeezing a cyclepath onto the pavement on York Place?
    The aim is to provide a cycle route which is designed for less confident cyclists and those who may be concerned about cycling in busy traffic.

    A cycle route which facilitates and encourages safe cycling by a direct route through the city centre suitable for all people who want to cycle, whether confident or not, would be better.

    May just be semantics, but...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. Klaxon
    Member

    I'd like to nudge towards facilities on the main roads through Haymarket and not hiding them away weaving through the lanes. It avoids fixing the danger where it is greatest, and Haymarket has people on bikes coming from all directions.

    But I'd rather this than the status quo.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. SRD
    Moderator

    @PS at least it doesn't say 'women and less confident cyclists' as earlier docs did...

    @klaxon yes, direct is important.

    I did hear someone recently ask if 'indirect but faster' was better than 'direct but with lights'. suspect the proper answer to that would be getting light sequences fixed so that it is easier/faster to cycle/walk. but as fountainbridge has said elsewhere, council vehement that trams get priority.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. chdot
    Admin

    "I'd like to nudge towards facilities on the main roads through Haymarket"

    I'm not convinced that this is fixable without doing things that CEC clearly doesn't want to do.

    I hope that the Spokes proposals if/when implemented will improve things.

    Obviously with an 'alternative route' in place there is some danger of 'CEC complacency' (aka 'you've got a new route, use it'), but it's no use if you're coming down Morrison St. from Tollcross etc.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. chdot
    Admin

    "Am I over-reacting to think that the following exposes a certain lack of ambition"

    I think the answer to that question is no!

    The problem with all this is that while there is a genuine desire to "provide a cycle route which is designed for less confident cyclists" - not least to get more people cycling - it allows 'acceptance of the rest'.

    Clearly there 'ought' to be more restrictions on traffic and better design/facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, until then it must(?) be better to do (some of) what is being done.

    Real problems come with things where 'compromise' is 'necessary' eg cycling on pavements in York Place!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. crowriver
    Member

    Having had a look at the proposals, which feature some quite detailed designs, overall I think it is very positive.

    For the most part, the routes provide a much safer alternative for most cyclists travelling along the East-West axis of the city centre.

    However, the devil is in the details. On a number of occasions space has been taken away from pedestrians rather than motor vehicles. For example, York Place, Princes Street. I am assuming this is to retain bus lanes (York Place) and bus stops (Princes Street). However the effect is to preserve multiple motor vehicle lanes at the expense largely of pedestrians: 3 lanes on York Place, 4 to 5 lanes on Princes Street (with or without trams). Okay the pavements are quite wide on York Place, and very wide on Princes Street, but then the streets themselves are very wide. Conflict between motor vehicles and cyclists may be removed or at least much reduced, but conflict between cyclists and pedestrians will surely increase, particularly at bus stops or tram stops.

    I can't help feeling this is another case of conflicting priorities, where the 'need' to retain facilities for general traffic leads to pedestrians losing space once cyclists' requirements are taken into account.

    That said, I don't really see how another design solution can be achieved, unless the number of traffic lanes is reduced, general traffic excluded from certain sections, or bus lanes are dispensed with.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. chdot
    Admin

    "I don't really see how another design solution can be achieved, unless the number of traffic lanes is reduced, general traffic excluded from certain sections, or bus lanes are dispensed with."

    Well yes.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. Klaxon
    Member

    I've panned thru the detailed designs a little more.

    I hope that Copenhagenize design agency can somehow become involved in the design. It's not awful, but it's got all the hallmarks of not wanting to rock the boat with motorists where it really matters.

    Lots of toucans, 90 deg bends and other low volume junctions that echo the innocent scheme. We need to nip out these 'cyclists are pedestrians' choke points before they become ingrained. They're alright for local links, but not on a flagship high volume route that needs 'green wave' not 'foot down and wait'

    Scary amounts of car lanes being reserved around both squares. It's an unambiguous treatment of public realm in key festival spaces. And it's as if Leith to the bridges isn't counted as a desire line at all.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. Morningsider
    Member

    Lots to look at, but from a quick glance these look pretty good. Don't be put off by the "less confident cyclists" wording - that's exactly how I would put it if I wanted politicians to approve the budget. You have to make it clear that this will be used by everyone, particularly under-represented groups (which does include women). If you say "We hope to develop a high specification cycle super-expressway linking our top financial, Government and Council offices with the city's premier residential areas" - then it seems to be a harder sell, can't imagine why!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. chdot
    Admin

    "We hope to develop a high specification cycle super-expressway linking our top financial, Government and Council offices with the city's premier residential areas airport"

    Well that's how they got money for the tram...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. chdot
    Admin

    Could be the "exemplar" SG says it's looking for(?)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. Stickman
    Member

    The segregated section from Roseburn Park to just before Haymarket looks good. Minor improvement would be to make the section of Roseburn Place segregated as well.

    Beyond that then section I simply don't know. As has been said above, improving Haymarket would involve changes that aren't likely to happen without a massive change in attitude.

    I'll be waiting until nearer the end of the consolation closure before responding, as I'm sure people here will make suggestions that I will want included in my response.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. Morningsider
    Member

    chdot - that's what they ended up with. The cash was actually secured on promises of linking jobs, new developments at the Waterfront, the Western General and existing residential areas (particularly deprived parts like Granton, Broomhouse etc).

    Also, most Ministers and Councillors can just about imagine travelling on a tram, particularly after a few "fact finding trips" - so an easier sell.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. chdot
    Admin

    "secured on promises"

    Can 'we' "promise" healthier workers, happier tourists, less money spent on fixing the roads, etc?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. crowriver
    Member

    "I hope that Copenhagenize design agency can somehow become involved in the design. "

    Hmm. Maybe not them. Coat-tail hangers and hype merchants IMHO.

    Anyway, CEC have already involved one the world's leading architects, Jan Gehl (who actually helped to design the car-free areas in Copenhagen and coined the phrase "Copenhagenize"), to produce example designs for Edinburgh city centre. Clearly his vision (remove all the buses, heavily restrict motor vehicles, segregated cycle lanes everywhere, widespread pedestrianisation) was a bit too radical for the powers that be.

    Instead, we're going to end up with a somewhat messy compromise and a city centre that will remain clogged with motor traffic for the foreseeable future.

    Still worth supporting these proposals, as they are better than nothing, which is what cyclists currently have.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. Klaxon
    Member

    Perhaps I have conflated Gehl and the copenhagenise people as I was thinking of the group that have consulted in the past. Probably what the latter want.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. Rob
    Member

    The Princes Street/St Andrews Square tram line crossing doesn't look ideal (~45o over the first line heading West->East). Likely to cause conflicts with oncoming cyclists who're also taking evasive manoeuvres (swerving).

    Though it is definitely an improvement over the current terrifying experience.

    St Andrews Square->York Place appears to have tactiles (slippy wheel ones?) around a couple of corners.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. acsimpson
    Member

    Interesting that they are still happy for confident cyclists to take their chances with the Tram track crossing at Haymarket. I'm not sure the demographic of falls there would agree that it's a good plan.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. Stickman
    Member

    Nearly missed on the website that there are three drop-in sessions:

    Murrayfield Parish Church, Thursday 26th November 3pm-8pm
    Haymarket Station, Wednesday 2nd December 3pm-8pm
    St Andrews & St Georges, Tuesday 8th December 3pm-8pm

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. drnoble
    Member

    To help view the proposals I have combined the plans from the council website into 2 files for the west and east sections of the route (I have also added in the plans at the bus station entrance onto the east plans for comparison).

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/kxj8tyi8ggdtszd/Roseburn%20to%20Leith%20Walk%20cycle%20route%20%28west%20combined%29.pdf?dl=0

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ok4496s2ukfpk0/Roseburn%20to%20Leith%20Walk%20cycle%20route%20%28east%20combined%29.pdf?dl=0

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. drnoble
    Member

    Some initial thought from me looking at the proposals:

    • 2.5m for a bi-directional track is narrow. Appreciate this might be all that is possible in places, but there are sections where it looks like it could easily be wider without compromising pedestrian width.
    • At the junctions it is nice to see that cyclists get some sort of continuous priority, but the corners either side look overly sharp. Possibly this is to keep speeds down, but it would be nice to smooth the line wherever possible.
    • The junction of Haymarket Terrace and Rosebury Crescent looks a mess. The road markings seem to suggest a right turn only, but there also appears to be a no right turn traffic sign! The scheme seems to be designed for bikes to use Rosebury Crescent, but yet there is no obvious turning point on the cycle path, which will surely create lots of conflict.
    • Surely Grosvenor & Landsdowne Crescents should be one-way. Makes sense, and gives more space for vehicles to pass cyclists (although might increase speeds). Perhaps another speed bump required at the west of Grosvenor Crescent?
    • Hopefully the tie in between the street and cycle tracks at east end can be better, maybe with a build out to make corner tighter for vehicles approaching zebra crossing
    • Junction between Bishops Walk and Manor Placenees resolving - currently a gap in the scheme, but space to do something.
    • Surely the corner with Melville Street can be smoothed, there is no need for a right angle if all vehicles are turning.
    • EAST
    • The junction at north side of St. Andrew Sq. has a wide sweep to the cycle track, why can this not be done elsewhere?
    • Would be nice to see visual continuity of the cycle track along Queen St across N. St. Andrew Sq. given that traffic cannot turn up here anyway (tram only).
    • Junction at Bus Station being discussed on the other thread, but doesn't look great for cyclists.
    • Nice to see some segregated provision for bikes on Princes St. but by taking away space from pedestrians, I suspect there may be conflict.
    • not clear how you enter the 2-way section at Waterloo Place going westbound? And probably not easy to get across the junction at the top of Leith Street as it will be blocked by vehicles as usual.

    I hope this doest come across as being overly negative about the plans, as I think they are a good start and worthwhile, but could definitely be improved.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. tk
    Member

    I'm not a huge fan of the Copenhagen style junctions if the one next to St Leonards police station is any indication of what they will be like. That's a minor side road and a few times, whilst bikes appear to have priority along the cycle lane, I've had card fail to respect this and come hurtling through the give way. Likewise entering or leaving the path on Hermits Croft gives better visibility for the cyclist but other road users dont seem to respect some of the road markings. I'd be concerned that the new path both has awkward angles for cyclists entering the junction but may also have similar right of way issues

    Posted 1 year ago #
  26. SRD
    Moderator

    "the one next to St Leonards police station"

    pretty much every time i've been through that intersection, or the other one, there've been pedestrians standing or walking in the bike lanes.

    how many do you think we need before people actually start paying attention?

    I've just hung back and then gone through, but can only assume some cyclists are tempted to ding / ride aggressively through. or just stop using them...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  27. Stickman
    Member

    A reminder that the first consultation event for this route is this Thursday.

    Murrayfield Parish Church,
    2B Ormidale Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 6EQ
    3pm-8pm, Thursday 26th November

    Posted 1 year ago #
  28. nedd1e_h
    Member

    Today...

    Posted 1 year ago #
  29. HankChief
    Member

    Another night another consultation... :-)

    The atmosphere at this one was less positive. A few locals complaining they hadn't got any postal notification the consultation was going to happen.

    One was a local business woman in Roseburn who was concerned about disabled customers not being able to reach her shop and neither would deliveries given limited loading spaces. They were also concerned about emergency vehicles getting through as it is already tricky for them.

    They also made the point that there already exists a cyclepath from Roseburn to Haymarket via the yards.

    Made me realise that we will have much more of a fight to get this one through. So let's give constructive feedback and not forget to show support for the principle.

    One thing I would like to see (slightly off plan) is the cut through at the top of Murrayfield Gardens to Lennel Rd have the steps replaced so you get a route up to Ravvy Dykes using the new bit of route they are putting in at the Old Colt Bridge.

    (I had thought they would only have designs for the Roseburn to Haymarket section but they had complete designs for it all)

    Posted 1 year ago #
  30. Stickman
    Member

    I went along this evening. It's interesting to understand why certain decisions have been made.

    Most of my questions were about the route up to the west end; I don't cycle the east side very much so can't really comment on details there.

    - Roseburn shops have been concerned and in some cases opposed to the plans. The council chap said that he expects a similar reaction from the Haymarket shops at next week's consultation
    - they are really having to squeeze things in at Roseburn as there is very little space
    - they'd thought about making Grosvenor Crescent/Landsowne Crescent one way but thought that drivers would probably ignore it coming out of Grosvenor Street, so will instead be using traffic calming and road redesign to improve things
    - Charlotte Square is just a temporary solution at the moment. Looks like they'll take away the parking from the inside of the square and make some kind of shares pavement route round it. Apparently there are plans for a major "civic space" redevelopment of the square but it relies on getting funding via one of the developers so is on hold, hence the temporary plans
    - they said there is no way that the council will consider making changes to Haymarket junction at the moment; trams are too sensitive

    They also had the Roseburn-Dalry plans on show, so I asked about that as well. I got the same message as UtrechtCyclist: there will be a consultation in the spring on plans to put in segregated cycle ways along Dundee Street to Semple Street and then round onto Morrison Street to Lothian Road.

    I got the sense that the council guys really really want to make this work but it's going to be a struggle to claim road space for cycling.

    As HankChief says, we need to give this project all the support we can. I've seen some comments on Twitter from some people basically taking an absolutist view and saying "it's a compromised design, it's crap, I'm not supporting it". If the choice is a compromised design which can be improved in future or nothing at all then I know what I'm in favour of.

    Posted 1 year ago #

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