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Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

(313 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by pringlis
  • Latest reply from pringlis

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  1. pringlis
    Member

    Apologies if there's a thread for this already - I couldn't find it in search.

    First proper map I've seen from the council on the Greenbank to Meadows Quiet route. Looks promising - utilises several modal filters. Looks like Blackford Safer Routes gets a shout out too - good work Also!

    (via https://drscottarthur.scot/2020/09/01/braid-road-briefing-a-full-re-opening-of-braid-road-is-not-proposed-at-this-stage/ )

    Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route
    The Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route is the second half of the proposed route from Frogston Road to the city centre. It will run along quiet roads parallel to Morningside Road.

    In order to implement this proposed route road closures would be introduced at various locations to remove through traffic.

    At its southern end the route runs along Hermitage Avenue between Braid Road and Hermitage Gardens. With Braid Road closed this link is lightly trafficked, however, were Braid Road opened this might require further intervention to ensure it was safe.

    The proposed Greenbank to Meadows QR has been designed so as to cut out rat-running traffic from streets between Cluny Gardens and Comiston Road with strategic closures shown in the map overleaf (below). This would include diagonal closures at the junctions of Braid Road & Braid Crescent, and the junction of Cluny Drive & Hermitage Gardens, as well as a modal filter on Braid Avenue. With Braid Road closed, these further interventions would effectively eliminate traffic cutting through residential streets between Cluny Gardens and Comiston Road.

    As part of Greenbank to Meadows QR It is also proposed to introduce two closures on Whitehouse Loan. One immediately south of Strathearn Road, the other immediately south of Bruntsfield Crescent. These closures will enable safe cycling on Whitehouse Loan and reflect proposals which have been put forward by local community group ‘Blackford Safer Streets’.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. crowriver
    Member

    Basically the same route nearly every cyclist takes currently then. Used to live on Woodburn Terrace many years ago, was always nice and quiet.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. Frenchy
    Member

    Basically the same route nearly every cyclist takes currently then.

    You can pick it out on Strava's heatmap: https://www.strava.com/heatmap#13.83/-3.20969/55.92999/blue/all

    Except for at the southern end, where cyclists (or the ones on Strava, anyway), tend not to use Hermitage Gardens, preferring a simpler route along Hermitage Drive/Braid Avenue.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. Murun Buchstansangur
    Member

    "Except for at the southern end, where cyclists (or the ones on Strava, anyway), tend not to use Hermitage Gardens, preferring a simpler route along Hermitage Drive/Braid Avenue."

    Yep, not sure why they'd make more right turns than necessary?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. Morningsider
    Member

    Interesting - looks like it could be quite good. My only question is how does anyone who lives to the west of Comiston/Morningside Road actually get onto it without having to take a right turn across very heavy traffic?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. Frenchy
    Member

    @Morningsider - does a two-stage "Copenhagen right" into Braidburn Terrace count? One is included in the permanent proposals for Braidburn Terrace.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. toomanybikes
    Member

    Well that's great. Have had a few crazy overtakes on Whitehouse Loan over the years despite the road width. Will make my cycles to the Dominion Cinema much more pleasant

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. jonty
    Member

    Ignoring the slightly odd route proposals, the filters proposed look great and are long overdue given the volume of rat runs in the area and will be widely supported by many, but the stuff going on in West Edinburgh has really dismayed me. There will be a few people who are furious at the very thought of any restriction on their ability to drive, particularly on Whitehouse Loan.

    So who do we start writing to to emphasise our support in order to pre-emptively drown out any loud voices opposing it? It needs to be clear that this kind of thing is exactly what the community wants (and, if anything, doesn't go far enough.)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. Frenchy
    Member

    @jonty - The obvious ones are:

    Councillors for Morningside (Ward 10): https://democracy.edinburgh.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?FN=WARD&VW=LIST&PIC=0

    The Community Council:
    http://www.morningside.org.uk/contact-us/

    Constituency MSP:
    https://danieljohnson.org.uk/contact/

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. mgj
    Member

    What is a modal filter when its at home?

    This is all quite close to home for me, although its not somewhere I often cycle. I can see it creates a nice new rat run for me on the route back from Waitrose to Marchmont (Pitsligo Road to Churchill Place to Greenhill Place to St Margaret's Road and onto Whitehouse that way). Or I can just take an extra 2 minutes on the rare occasions I drive in order to benefit others, including schoolchildren. Tricky...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. acsimpson
    Member

    mgj, a modal filter allows some modes of transport through but not either. Normally it means closing the road with bollards/planters to allow bike but not cars through.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. neddie
    Member

    You make a good point mgj about the need to treat an area as a whole and shut down all the rat runs. For that, "zones" need to be created such that you can't drive between zones without first going to a main road.

    I was not aware of the Pitsligo rat-run, however I think the one formed by Newbattle Tce / Grange Loan is possibly worse - this creates a dangerous short section on the quiet route, where it dog-legs along Newbattle.

    That Pitsligo Rd is really terribly designed - as it has double-yellows on both sides, is straight, and has no speed bumps, hence allowing fast driving. Not good.

    Another bad (and long) rat-run is the one formed by Marchmont Rd / Warrender Pk Rd / Avanley Tce / Whitehouse Loan / Bruntsfield Pl / Leamington Tce. (To avoid Tollcross.) Without shutting this one down, another dangerous section on the QR will remain at Avanley Tce.

    @acsimpson / mgj

    Another example of a modal filter is a "bus gate" that typically allows buses, bikes (and sometimes taxis) through, but not cars / lorries

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. Morningsider
    Member

    @neddie - a good point and I think related to my issue of access in this facility. The Council are still thinking of "routes" rather than a "network". This works fine if you are cycling from Fairmilehead to the Meadows, but less well if you are trying to join from other points.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. neddie
    Member

    This route would really be transformative for kids getting to the schools in the area and forms an important link between the nice new segregated lanes on Comiston Rd and the Meadows paths.

    Unfortunately, it's likely there will be significant "backlash" on this one - at least a couple of local councillors are gearing up to scupper it or water it down.

    Therefore, it's really important that people write to their councillors to support it (particularly those local).

    Luckily, Blackford Safe Routes have created a template letter to help you write in...

    http://blackfordsaferoutes.co.uk/jgps-travel-committee/consultation-responses/greenbank-to-meadows-quiet-route-template-letter-of-support/

    Please do follow this link to write to your councillors and express your support

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. algo
    Member

    @pringlis - thanks for posting this. As neddie says we are actively promoting this now as those that are opposed to modal filters here are already mobilising to oppose it. It's not perfect but to give some extra context which I think is useful to know:

    Parents of JGPS are being asked to encourage their P3 and above kids to make their own way to school, and discouraging parents from attending- asking them to social distance on the links and get kids to cross to meet them.

    A proportion workers will now be working from home and so have a safer route to and from school given this proposal - previously a big argument for the need to drive was onward journeys and time pressures.

    Anecdotally when we run the bike bus (which is this part of this route), some parents say that not only do they not cycle their kids to school and drive instead because they feel it is too dangerous, but the parents themselves are too worried about cycling in the traffic.

    I mention this because we are *already* experiencing extraordinary measures, and providing a safer route for school kids is supporting what we are being asked to do.

    @mgj - I'm not sure exactly what you mean by "creating" a rat run - surely that already exists. I completely agree such rat runs should be considered and prevented, and perhaps this route doesn't prevent that one. In any case it's useful to know since perhaps we should press for a modal filter there.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

    “previously a big argument for the need to drive was onward journeys and time pressures“

    Indeed..

    Sometimes not true, other times not even ‘optimum’ just that people so wedded to their cars!

    WFH is certainly altering things and providing opportunities and allies.

    Worth trying to analyse the who/why of objectors.

    Some are clearly political opportunists who may find they are going to be on the wrong side of (most of) their constituents as well as history.

    There are bound to be some people personally disadvantaged - it’s hard to have change that is better for everyone.

    Whether such people can be persuaded by ‘less traffic past your front door’, ‘cleaner air’, ‘more birds’, ‘fewer road KSIs’ or ‘higher house prices’ remains to be seen.

    ‘It’s for the greater good’ won’t work with some people...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. algo
    Member

    @chdot - thanks. You are crucially right in that change cannot universally benefit everyone immediately - some people may lose out.

    For those who are "concern trolling" (e.g. what about blue badge holders) - my general principled argument revolves around the fact that we are trying to campaign for lower traffic volume - the only real solution to congestion - as such those that *have* to drive will be advantaged even if in some cases routes may be physically longer.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. chdot
    Admin

    “as such those that *have* to drive will be advantaged even if in some cases routes may be physically longer”

    Presume you mean likelihood of ‘less traffic so (probably) shorter journey times even with slight detour’?

    Problem of course is that some people can’t contemplate such unknowns. And anyway ‘why should I change?’.

    As drivers they’ll still be advantaged - with decades of advantage behind them - though I wouldn’t waste time trying to argue that with them.

    Might be worth keep asking objectionable councillors ‘what’s so great about the status quo’.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. neddie
    Member

    As always with campaigns, the best strategy is not to waste too much time trying to convert the opposition (you can't)...

    The most effective way to create social change is to convince, not vehement opponents, but people who are neutral about an issue or passively agree with you to support your cause:

    spectrum of allies

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. neddie
    Member

    So please get writing in...! :-)

    And try to get all your supportive friends and contacts to do the same.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. Greenroofer
    Member

    Writing in now done. Hoping that we can strangle at birth the whataboutery, concern trolling and political posturing seen over the LTN. I also wrote to Lesley Macinnes to say 'thank you' because I felt she needed the love at the moment.

    I wonder if Nick Cook wants to come on a bike ride through Morningside at school drop-off time?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. chdot
    Admin

    Did he actually buy a bike or was it just talk?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. Frenchy
    Member

    He certainly tweeted about riding it. Mentioned using Ellen's Glen Road, as he was saying that there was no need to close Mt Vernon Road, since there was an alternative parallel route.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. algo
    Member

    https://twitter.com/CllrNickCook/status/1257766124869095427?s=20

    "The only danger I felt came from navigating poor carriageways & copious quantity of potholes on main roads."

    Many of us have invited him out for a ride at commute time but to no response.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. Frenchy
    Member

    Worth trying again now that he has a bike?

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. Morningsider
    Member

    Why would an Edinburgh Tory agree to such a trip? They see it as a lose/lose.

    The current group of Edinburgh Tories were elected on a platform that included commitments for:

    Increased targeted provision for pedestrians such as safe school zones, pedestrian zones and addressing casualty blackspots

    Improve the condition of and extend cycle paths

    Link up cycle paths across the city centre

    Clearly, their response to the Places for People programme has shown that they fundamentally oppose their own manifesto commitments. Never a good look in the run up to an election.

    In addition, the local media get to see a Councillor opposed to road/pandemic safety initiatives interacting with articulate, informed parents who support the measures. Arguing against road safety measures for children is not a good look - especially with their parents, who may then choose to point out those manifesto commitments and question their sincerity.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. algo
    Member

    we did - 2 months after his tweet

    https://twitter.com/overlandertheb1/status/1279705010327207936?s=20

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. algo
    Member

    Excellent meeting last night at Morningside Community Council - I was a tad worried when Daniel Johnson started talking about people needing to walk to the shops, and that there's no evidence of that many people on the pavement - I kept schtum as I was most definitely a guest from further north. I wanted to give some wider context to the quiet route, and was pretty delighted when he described it by saying it "looked amazing".

    I think the key point which was conveyed was from the point of view of safety of the kids. Most of the objections are about it being done without consultation - which I entirely understand, but some points I tried to make which are relevant to this in answer:

    -- These proposals will bring about TTROs even without consultation - so Temporary trials.

    -- Modal Filters are cheap and very easily adapted

    -- The emergency services have to be consulted

    -- We are already being asked to do extraordinary things as parents - e.g. advised to encourage our P3 and above kids to get to school by themselves - we need emergency measures to facilitate this requests safely

    -- Traffic volume is the problem and allowing parents and kids a safe route to and from (crucially now more than before) school will reduce traffic volume and benefit everyone.

    -- This quiet route provides (albeit partial in some cases) safer routes for students going to a large number of schools: Buckstone, Boroughmuir, South Morningside, St Peter's, JGPS, JGHS, Watsons and Heriots (?)

    I see there is a Merchiston Community Council meeting coming up so it would be brilliant if we could have positive voices there expressing the benefits - I will email those that I know are in that area but would be great if other folk could support there.

    I'm afraid Neil Ross describing his email inbox as full of people complaining and concerned about the quiet route is only partially true - I know for a fact he has several in strong support.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. Morningsider
    Member

    @algo - thank you. I also imagine that what counts as a "full inbox" for a Lib Dem councillor may differ from that of most other people.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. Greenroofer
    Member

    Neil Ross has had an email from me in strong support.

    Posted 2 years ago #

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