CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

Thoughts on the Quality Bike Corridor

(162 posts)

No tags yet.


  1. Kim
    Member

    I have posted some of my thoughts on the Quality Bike Corridor here, and would be interested in knowing what other people think of it. Is it what you hoped for when you first heard that we were getting a "Quality Bike Corridor"? If you could change things what would you do? Would we be better taking a "Sustainable Safety" approach?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  2. SRD
    Moderator

    My sense is that it is 'quality' only in so far as it is about the minimum of what bike lanes ought to be. Which isn't saying much.

    (ps I agree with more of what you've written here than I did with the STV blogpost, so thanks for developing it further).

    Posted 9 years ago #
  3. ruggtomcat
    Member

    #itsnotacyclelane

    Posted 9 years ago #
  4. Kim
    Member

    @SRD The STV piece was constrained by time and word count, if I were to write again I would write slightly differently.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  5. Uberuce
    Member

    Machievellian of them to use a neutral noun that looks like a positive adjective.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  6. SRD
    Moderator

    Did anyone post this blogpost? Some useful points.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  7. Tom
    Member

    Has the QBC been promoted outside cycling circles? Do local residents know about it? NCN NCR1/76 was recently rerouted past the end of our road. I only know because I saw a new sign and asked a local cycle activist. Is Edinburgh as reticent?

    And how much of the 5% earmarked for cycling will be spent on unnecessary signposts (good blog link SRD) and retro-fitting drop-kerbs that should have been put in first time round?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  8. Roibeard
    Member

    I know that the QBC has had feedback from locals, and particular local businesses seem to be up in arms. Of course, Google streetview reveals that the parking restrictions for which "cyclists" are being blamed, pre-dated the QBC in many cases (Ratcliffe Terrace, I'm looking at you).

    I've had a professional express the opinion that they can't do business without breaking the law...

    I'll let it lie for a bit, but I'd hope that their professional body might take an interest in this opinion!

    Robert

    Posted 9 years ago #
  9. crowriver
    Member

    Of course, Google streetview reveals that the parking restrictions for which "cyclists" are being blamed, pre-dated the QBC in many cases

    However it is clear that most drivers pay them no heed. Hence when their attention is drawn to restriuctions, their reaction is as though the restrictions had not existed previously, because for them, subjectively that was the case!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  10. Dave
    Member

    I agree with Kim, although I've been holding off writing anything to see what the final QBC looks like.

    On the one hand, what's been implemented is sometimes great compared with existing provision in the city, for example the cycle lanes do not go under car parking bays. On the other hand, if the best that can be said about the scheme is that it makes a better attempt to meet minimum standards (but still doesn't meet them) then that's not a very great achievement.

    The main issue I have always had (and still have) is dangerous parking outside of the marked bays. Why can't the council send a couple of scooters to tour Ratcliffe terrace every morning? They'd pay themselves back a hundred times over with people flouting the loading restrictions.

    As one of several parallel roads from the south into the city centre, this could effectively have been pedestrianised (but with bike access) - that really would have been a quality corridor.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  11. Kim
    Member

    @Tom the questing should be: will the QBC encourage people who don't cycle at present to start doing so? From the conversation I have had with people who own bikes but don't cycling in the city (they live in) but would like too, no the QBC encourage them to start dong so.

    @Roibeard shop keepers always complain that parking restrictions will put out of business, however, that evidence for this is thin in the extreme. Retail business are heavily reliant on footfall, not drive past. It is interesting to note that when temporary parking restrictions where introduced on Newington Road, to accommodate the gas main replacement, retailers saw an unexplained increase in customers, with new customers saying things like "I never knew this shop was here before.

    Well the shop keepers didn't know why it happened, but the answer is simple, as driver couldn't park directly out side the one business they knew, i.e. the dry cleaners, they had to walk along the street and this increased footfall also business all along the street.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  12. Dave
    Member

    I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't have cycled before suddenly taking it up because of the QBC. Even with all QBC features implemented, it's still going to be a worse road to cycle on than South Clark / Minto St / etc where you can cruise relaxedly in the bus lanes.

    Causewayside to W. Preston is still very unpleasant, there's so much diving around parked cars on Ratcliffe Terrace, and there's the killer pinch point at Gifford Place (with accompanying parking still in full swing).

    Posted 9 years ago #
  13. wingpig
    Member

    You'd need to speak to some newbie students. Upon discovering that their weekly timetable requires several intra-day switches from KB to GS, would the presence of a nearly-continuous marked zone of potential cycle presence on the most direct road between campuses be a crucial factor in the decision to choose to use a bicycle for the inter-campus journey?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  14. Kim
    Member

    @wingpig that is how I started cycling in Edinburgh ;-)

    But then I was a confident cyclist before I arrived, stand at the but stop and ask why poor students are paying out money to take the bus when they could ride and you will find many are not confident about riding in traffic. Why should they be expected to? Why can't we provide a safe, convenient, direct cycle route between the two campuses? If Edinburgh is serious about being a "cycle friendly city".

    The QBC, as it stands, is as great a waste of money as Cycling Scotland's pathetic "Give Me Space" campaign and just as useless.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  15. chdot
    Admin

    Better than it was, but clearly not 'world class best practice'. Cycle lane not wide enough for a start.

    Maybe it should have been a 'pilot' for 'segregated infrastructure'. I'm still not as convinced as some people that this is a) 'the answer' or b) 'essential - the only way to get many more people cycling'.

    I do know that when it was being planned it was definitely a case of CEC 'pushing the envelope' and trying something 'adventurous'. Bit like the 20mph zone. Key officials and Cllr. Mackenzie made them happen. The Police (and to a lesser extent Lothian Buses) stopped the 20mph covering more roads.

    There would be pressures on parts of the Council to make sure that motorists, buses, shops and residents weren't 'inconvenienced' - too much at least.

    As CEC has its ambitious targets of 15% by 2020 it could be argued that it should have spent (and still needs to spend) more money. But different people - politicians, officials, residents and local media organisations have a variety of other priorities.

    That's not to say 'be glad you've got the QBC' or 'don't criticise because that will help those against such things'. It's too early know if 'lessons will be learned and the next ones will be better' or 'we'll see how it works and modify where necessary'.

    'Cycling' is being taken more seriously. In Edinburgh the recent change of administration should mean that things will improve - a bit. #PoP28 and #bike20 have helped - the first took its cue from a similar event in London which in part happened as a result of The Times' new interest in #cyclesafe.

    The future is bright but slow. We still live in a world where money is more easily spent on trams, Trident and the A9 - and probably always will.

    At least in some parts of town some children like riding their bikes - even on the QBC -

    [+] Embed the video | Video DownloadGet the Video Plugin

    Posted 9 years ago #
  16. lionfish
    Member

    I responded to the initial consultation - I looked at a lot of pdfs (one for every ~200 metres or so of the route). My main response was about parking on the lanes: Maybe some of my concerns were taken into account? :) I pushed for more space for cyclists at some of the junctions..., but I've not seen a final plan.

    Being optimistic for a moment: Even if the QBC isn't of good quality (e.g. just some paint-on-the-road) it does help encourage a bit more cycling, makes people 'think cycle' and hopefully in the long run might lead to further improvements. E.g. in a year's time, they'll get feedback that junction X or parking bay Y is a problem, and they've got the funds to fix X and Y now...

    ...the moral: We need to keep on at the councillors! Make sure each week you've sent an email about a bit of dubious infrastructure!

    Regarding parking/loss of business. I was busy working out the maths of the economic costs/benefits for the businesses vs the social costs/benefits of not having as many obese people and serious injuries... then realised it's a simple ethics issue: Should an (unlikely) drop in profits in a business really take priority over the very likely reduction of injuries/disease?

    Same logic re 20mph speed limits on all roads in the city. - I figure reducing speeds to 20mph would encourage more people to walk/cycle than almost all other infrastructure I can think of. And would probably cost a tiny amount (probably recovered the same year in reduced NHS costs).

    Anyway... [rant over :]

    Posted 9 years ago #
  17. chdot
    Admin

    "
    Regarding parking/loss of business. I was busy working out the maths of the economic costs/benefits for the businesses vs the social costs/benefits of not having as many obese people and serious injuries... then realised it's a simple ethics issue: Should an (unlikely) drop in profits in a business really take priority over the very likely reduction of injuries/disease?

    "

    It's quite ironic that Mr. Swinney is actually quite keen on "evidence" to justify spending but only, it seems, going so far before politics and a whole load of unquantified/able factors are (not) taken into account.

    Tasteless to do the maths, but the 'cost per death' can't really justify the A9 upgrade can it?

    £3bn would buy a £600 bike for everyone in Scotland.

    "Oh but that's silly, and a different budget, and anyway everyone wants to drive and that's the only way to get sustainable economic growth" etc.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  18. recombodna
    Member

    I think the new QOSPL (Quality on street parking lane) has been a resounding success judging by the number of motorists that are using it.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  19. Dave
    Member

    One thing I thought might be good about the QBC is that it's been built as a project with a defined budget. That means you can now write to your councillors to complain that a huge investment (almost £1/3m) is being squandered simply because nobody's bothering to enforce the parking/loading restrictions.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  20. crowriver
    Member

    Good point, Dave! :-))

    Posted 9 years ago #
  21. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Refuse to comment on this, as that would be to acknowledge its existence as a cycle lane, which clearly it isn't.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  22. Kim
    Member

    So that video shows that the QBC is only suitable for children when they are given a police escort...

    Posted 9 years ago #
  23. Smudge
    Member

    That video shows what commuting time *should* look like on a QBC including the visible presence of Police on bikes... of course it would help if there was a properly defined and controlled cycle lane there, but hey, given that cycles horses and pedestrians have a right to use the carriageway and motor vehicles are permitted to share it under a licensing scheme, maybe we should be calling for a car lane instead....

    Posted 9 years ago #
  24. Dave
    Member

    Well, I guess the policeman deterred the subset of motorists who:

    - would be willing to drive over small children
    - but are deterred by a distant policeman
    - whose eyesight and anticipation is good enough to look right down to the front where the policeman is (unless the trail man is also an honest copper?)

    Posted 9 years ago #
  25. Smudge
    Member

    Actually the subset seems most affected by the suspicion that there might be Police there, so regular appearances are far more effective than a one off appearance.
    Of course there are other ways... (ask Splitshift about the driver reaction to dark clothes, white helmet and "official" pattern hi-viz vest during our bikeability training :-))

    Posted 9 years ago #
  26. Dave
    Member

    That only works because it's uncommon, if you think about it. Everyone looking a bit like the police would just mean people cutting up and slamming into real policemen too, once they got used to the idea.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  27. Smudge
    Member

    Which would quickly result in convictions and change ;-)

    Posted 9 years ago #
  28. alibali
    Member

    "Everyone looking a bit like the police would just mean people cutting up and slamming into real policemen too.."

    I saw some of that tendancy on POP.
    I saw a couple of drivers who were asked to stop by the cycle police present react as if a mere cyclist was directing traffic. Nice look of surprise when they realised.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  29. Morningsider
    Member

    So how could it be improved? I would argue that the best change would have been for the advisory cycle lanes to have been made mandatory where possible (at no real extra cost, as a Traffic Regulation Order was already being promoted for the QBC scheme). This effectively creates segregated infrastructure at little extra cost.

    People seem concerned about parking, so that probably needed more thought - although local businesses have to be kept onboard with these things.

    Finally, a massive enforcement blitz should take place, followed by ongoing regular enforcement activity.

    What should the next major bike project look like? Constructive criticism is probably more useful than sniping - the council has plans for many more cycle lanes, lets make sure these improve on the QBC.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  30. crowriver
    Member

    I do think it is worth pointing out to the Council that the QBC, and advisory lanes in general, will only work as intended if motor vehicle parking, loading and waiting restrictions are actually enforced. Otherwise, as Dave says, they've just wasted their (our) money.

    Whether it is the right infrastructure to invest in is a valid question but is a different issue. Like it or not there's going to be no fast revolution in the way the city's planners think. We are looking instead at incremental change.

    It's clear what the Council intends to do with the 5% of the transport budget, it's in the Active Travel Action Plan. So much for the future. As for the here and now, we need to campaign for proper enforcement of bike lanes. Otherwise motorists will just blithely carry on as though all the double yellow lines and wee yellow signs were not there: much as they did with the (mandatory) bus lanes before the cameras and fixed penalties came in...

    Posted 9 years ago #

RSS feed for this topic

Reply »

You must log in to post.


Video embedded using Easy Video Embed plugin