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April 28th Pedal to Parliament - Ride Route Required

(107 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by Wilmington's Cow
  • Latest reply from chdot
  • This topic is not resolved

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  1. As has been posted on here a few times there's a wee group of people, which has somehow managed to include me, organising a 'celebratory' protest ride in Edinburgh on April 28th. Something akin to the London Flashrides that have taken place recently.

    The aim is the Parliament, with a giant picnic (BYOF!) in the park afterwards. We're really hoping to spread the word on this and get a HUGE turnout.

    We need to mull over a route. Maybe 3-5 miles or so, and from a logical starting point, and achievable for all levels. I had been thinking of a Meadows start as there's space for congregation; heading up MMW and George IV Bridge (with a wee detour to the Castle to see if we can get a photo op on the Esplanade - NO CYCLING! ;) ); down the Mound, along George Street and round St Andrew Sq; then Regent Road and drop down to the Parliament. I think that might just about come up to 3 miles. It doesn't involve steep up-gradients, though the Mound may be hairy with such large numbers, but there should be natural breakage caused by red lights and so on.

    Any other ideas? We want to put on a show, so would be nice to incorporate the city centre, and a couple of iconic points in the city. But remember, for all abilities (e.g. not round Arthur's Seat!)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  2. wingpig
    Member

    Will half of the Lawnmarket still be closed off on that date? It's also one-way so we'd have to go back down Ramsay Lane...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  3. chdot
    Admin

    "though the Mound may be hairy with such large numbers"

    Not open to cars at moment - though there are tram lines at bottom...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  4. Oh of course, good point, something to check out. Could always go down Johnston Terrace; Castle Terrace; Charlotte Sq; George Street - might actually be nicer than the Mound.

    Oh, and will have to make people VERY aware of cycling in a group over tramlines.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  5. Min
    Member

    George Street might be/is hairy too. The Meadows is the logical start point. I will have a think, it is going to be a bit tricky with so many road closures.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  6. wingpig
    Member

    "Oh, and will have to make people VERY aware of cycling in a group over tramlines."

    Marshals, possibly holding aloft signs so that they can be seen by people in the middle of the group who have never been that way, posting themselves either side of the road at the appropriate points.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  7. wingpig
    Member

    George Street would be a good photo-op point and would allow the passage to be witnessed by many people. Then again, the Mound has worked well as a photo-op point for other marchy-protesty-walky things.

    What about split routes? That way there's less chance of it being a policeable/road-closable event or of motorists missing the point after being held up by a giant road-spanning bolus of cyclists.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  8. crowriver
    Member

    Would it not be more logical to use North Bridge instead and cut out crossing the tramlines? Accident waiting to happen, etc. NOT good for a protest about cycle safety. So many road works/closures around St Andrews Square/Princes Street anyway that choosing a clear route may be better.

    Meadows - Chambers Street - Bridges - North Bridge - Regent Road - Abbeymount - Holyrood

    You can still plan in a diversion via the castle, eg. Lauriston Place - Lady Lawson Street - Johnstone Terrace - Castle - Royal Mile - George IV Bridge - Chambers Street

    Posted 2 years ago #
  9. Had thought about going up Johnston Terrace - wondering if it might be a bit of a slog for people not used to that kind of climbing?

    And really would like to use George Street as a 'centre of the city focal point'. Get seen by more people that way I think... But those tramlines...

    Split routes I think just adds to confusion, and we're aiming (ambitious this one...) for about 500 riders, so two groups of 250 are still going to be fairly immense. And if we have to inform the police (I'm hoping to arrange a meeting with Sgt Quentin) I'm pretty sure they'll want one predictable mass...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  10. Min
    Member

    That sounds like a pretty good plan to me Crowriver.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  11. Morningsider
    Member

    You will probably need to notify the Council at least 28 days before you organise this event. Details at:

    http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/1168/notification_of_public_processions/1060/marches_and_parades_notification_process

    Best to check with them first anyway, even if permission isn't required, as they will be able to put you in touch with the right people at the police etc.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  12. crowriver
    Member

    And really would like to use George Street as a 'centre of the city focal point'.

    Problem is, you cannot physically get from there to Holyrood just now without going via York Place. Access via Princes Street has been closed off completely, they've even painted a wee turning circle on the road opposite Waverley Steps to direct drivers back east, so I assume it will be like that for years. You would then have to go Picardy Place - London Road - Abbeyhill (short steep climb) - Abbeymount - Holyrood

    Posted 2 years ago #
  13. Yeah, we're trying to work out just who we need to inform, so thanks for this Morningsider.

    When I say 'we' it appears to have landed on my screen as the 'lawyer'... ;)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  14. "Problem is, you cannot physically get from there to Holyrood just now without going via York Place. You would then have to go Picardy Place - London Road - Abbeyhill (short steep climb) - Abbeymount - Holyrood"

    Ah, I see. Last time I was along there you could still get from St Andrew Square onto the east end of Princes Street which is then easy up onto Regent Street - so that's obviously been closed up now. Hmmmm, in which case your suggested route is looking more do-able and 'safe'.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  15. crowriver
    Member

    Until late last week there was still a single lane contraflow in operation, which is now blocked off. It's happened quite recently. Not sure how long it will be like that, but I was surprised to see what is effectively a mini-roundabout painted on the street! Which makes me think the carriageway will be closed for quite a while...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  16. Min
    Member

    Really? :-( I had better take my machinations to get round it all without using Leith Street very seriously. :-(

    Posted 2 years ago #
  17. Darkerside
    Member

    From (my somewhat dubious) memory, there was some authority-agreed reason why critical mass type stuff didn't have to notify police. Something about being not political or similar. Would probably ease things along if they were kept in the loop, mind.

    On a faintly related note, I'll have a word with Durham SJA and see if we can get the ambulance bikes out in an unofficial/PR capacity. Might be helpful if someone does come a cropper on cobbles/potholes/tramlines.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  18. It's to do with not being a properly lead ride with a defined route and so on. Bit of a loophole - essentially they're a load of cyclists who just happen to be on the same road at the same time.

    Definitely more hamstrung if you try to do things correctly and by the book!

    Posted 2 years ago #
  19. Darkerside
    Member

    And you don't think that excuse would fly here? "Why officer, me and my 499 cycling chums clearly all thought the weather today was just right for a spontaneous ride about town..."

    Posted 2 years ago #
  20. SRD
    Member

    I'm hoping to get kids etc out from school*, so the shorter route sounds good to me. Don't think johnston terrace is a good idea - do we really want the EEN to picture us all pushing our bikes up the hill?

    * EDIT: meaning: convince parents and kids at school, church, nursery to come along (or at least put up some posters); a short route might be more convincing. Not that I was going to take the kids out of school for the rally.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  21. Roibeard
    Member

    @SRD - 28th is a Saturday...

    Robert

    Posted 2 years ago #
  22. SRD
    Member

    Roibeard - was just trying to say that a shorter/simpler route might be more attractive if we are trying to get a diverse group of riders out, including families.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  23. Roibeard
    Member

    D'oh! Yep, I'd read it as "take your children out of class to be present", not "encourage the children from the local school to attend".

    Good job that, prior to posting, I removed the sarky addendum that I couldn't get worded to be obviously playfully teasing...

    * blushes *

    Robert

    Posted 2 years ago #
  24. "And you don't think that excuse would fly here? "Why officer, me and my 499 cycling chums clearly all thought the weather today was just right for a spontaneous ride about town...""

    Not when there are plans for banners and placards, a website detailing the route, and speeches before and/or after...

    Posted 2 years ago #
  25. crowriver
    Member

    @anth, if you think there will be big numbers on the day it may be worth checking with folk who have organised demos before to see what the process of seeking permission/informing authorities is, eg. Stop Climate Chaos Scotland who organised the St Andrews House demo.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  26. Yep, others are onto that side of things. Better than scrabbling about in the dark! :)

    Posted 2 years ago #
  27. LaidBack
    Member

    One thing with hoped for numbers is how you handle junctions. If you end up 'locking out' junctions in the way favoured by CM I think we could just polarise opinion. Police escort makes it easier. I've seen aggro break out at green man phases at ths sort of thing so route needs to be ridden and assessed. Otherwise you have small bands riding in and coverging somewhere without traffic lights like Holyrood park.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  28. crowriver
    Member

    @Laidback, there will be motorists who will get aggressive upon seeing lots of cyclists anyway. Some kind of Pavlovian reaction. If Kay's show was anything to go by, taxi drivers will quickly take offence, as will Highlanders :-)

    I saw this on the Edinburgh-St. Andrews run in 2010, where due to beautiful weather there was a huge turn out, around 1300 cyclists. Heading through Comely Bank/Ferry Road area quite a few drivers got very frustrated, beeping horns and trying to barge through the column of cyclists.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  29. smsm1
    Member

    In London on the big rides we get agreement with the police to get everyone through in one go rather than getting vehicles in the middle, which works a lot better than breaking up the ride. As a car in the middle can act very aggressively, which the people around it might not be able to cope with. The back stump is an important role to prevent vehicles behind pushing in, or simply just knowing where the back of the ride is. Radios can also help at key points along the ride.

    Getting in touch with the cycling police and making sure they are aware, and getting them to agree the route and escort you will help, however you will still need your own marshals, leader and back stump. The more notice you give them the better, and the more likely they will organise the resources to help you.

    It's also worth thinking about setting up some feeder rides into the main ride to make it easier for people to join from further out.

    Posted 2 years ago #
  30. kaputnik
    Member

    Rumours circulating around the ether that Scotland Tonight news programme (1030, STV) will feature a slot dedicated to cycling safety that may or may not have guest interview with a famous celebrity helmet-cam cyclist from the west :)

    Posted 2 years ago #

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