CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

Leith Walk (new consultation) on Monday and Tuesday

(43 posts)

  1. lionfish
    Member

    I think this is important. It would be such a shame if this opportunity's missed and Leith walk is just put back how it was.
    @SRD: I wonder if the POP crowd would be interested (is there an email list for that?).

    For anyone who uses (or wants to use!) Leith Walk...

    From SPOKES:

    Following cancellation of tram plans for Leith Walk (or, at least, postponement for many years) the road is in need of major repair, and the council has allocated a large sum (£3m+) with the work expected this autumn or winter. The council's initial proposal was merely to resurface the road exactly in its previous state (including the uphill coloured cycle lane for much of the way). When Spokes last year originally raised the possibility of further cycling improvements we were told firmly that the decision was to reinstate things exactly as they had been.

    However, the spending of so much money is a big opportunity not just to resurface the Walk, but to get many other improvements at the same time. Therefore, as you probably remember, the Greener Leith community group organised a major consultation on the future of Leith Walk. Gathering replies at a public meeting, at Leith Festival, and online, over 450 people voted in all, and improved cycling conditions came top of the list.

    The report of the Greener Leith public meeting is here...
    http://www.greenerleith.org/greener-leith-news/2012/6/7/15-ideas-for-revitalising-leith-walk.html

    The overall survey results can be seen here...
    http://www.greenerleith.org/greener-leith-news/2012/7/5/vision-for-leith-walk-the-final-top-20-ideas.html
    [Note that the total is much higher than 450, because each person was allocated up to 10 votes, of which not more than 3 could be for any one topic].

    For cycling, many people suggested this should be Edinburgh's first onroad segregated cycle route - there would be many difficulties implementing this, including at junctions, and probably the need to relocate much onstreet car parking, but it's what would happen in Netherlands or Denmark. There are also some major danger/fright points at present - notably when cycling uphill at London Road roundabout - an ideal solution there would be traffic lights with an advance cycle light - signalising the roundabout would be costly, but something needs done.

    THE COUNCIL CONSULTATION - JULY 16 AND 17

    The council has now decided that it wants to check if the right views are coming through. They say, "It is important that we check that we’ve heard correctly what is needed, and that our proposals reflect local priorities." They are therefore holding their own consultation, which will include display boards, and council staff will be present.

    Please go along and leave your views - leave written comments as well as speaking to the staff present.

    Where: MacDonald Road Library (Nelson Hall)
    When: Mon 16th, 4-7pm and Tue 17th 10-12am

    We don't know what they will be proposing but we are not expecting any major improvement in cycling conditions - probably just reinstatement of the previous uphill onroad cycle lane with a few tweaks and more bike parking.

    The proposals will also appear online at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk from 16 July - we don't know the exact link, but hopefully there will be a link from the home page in the 'Have Your Say' box.

    If you can't attend the consultation or if you have further ideas or questions, email...
    leithcitycentreteam@edinburgh.gov.uk
    or phone Loraine Duckworth 0131 529 6194.

    If you are emailing suggestions/comments, wait till Monday so that you can see what they are proposing, preferably at the consultation event, but online if not.

    Note that this consultation includes the future of CONSTITUTION STREET as well as Leith Walk.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  2. SRD
    Moderator

    @Lionfish - the POP list (such as it is) is probably too broad. Most of the Leithwalkers who came on Pop hopefully will also hear about it via the tweeters etc. But will flag up.

    The Scotsman/EEN reporter who wrote the story pre-pop lives down that way and would be interested, but I don't have her details. Kim does though.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  3. chdot
    Admin

    It will be very interesting to see how this develops.

    It is a genuine opportunity for something significant/different.

    Edinburgh seldom does 'radical' and is certainly used to paying more attention to parking than most other things.

    It's somewhat ironic that has been created by the failure of the tram to get to Leith.

    I suppose the tram scheme is/was "radical" but it has also spectacularly trampled roughshod over any of the public's views.

    But rather than being an opportunity to 'ignore public opinion' for some sort of 'greater good', I suspect there is a probability that the 'final' proposals will still be based on a fast road with lots of parking.

    Of course 'public opinion' might actually demonstrate that it really wants something different that favours people who live in the area, go to local schools etc. and those who visit the range of shops on Leith Walk.

    So - get down to McDonald Road Library (Mon 16th, 4-7pm and Tue 17th 10-12am) - that is some extensive consultation...

    Posted 9 years ago #
  4. DdF
    Member

    As the person who wrote the above Spokes circular (which was sent to all 100+ spokes members who live in Leith/ North East Edinburgh area) I would definitely urge anyone who uses Leith Walk to go along to the consultation, or to send comments by email once you have seen the proposals. However a couple of points...

    Although we were told last autumn that the plan was to reinstate Leith Walk exactly as it had been before, the amount of interest there has been, particularly thanks to the Greener Leith consultations, emails to councillors from concerned individuals, etc, means that the council is obviously now planning to do more than just reinstate Leith Walk as before. We have no idea what they are proposing - or maybe they will come up with several options - although for cycling it seems pretty unlikely they will be proposing a segregated route or anything too radical because they will also be listening to/ balancing the views of local businesses - i.e. presumably retaining as much onstreet car parking as possible.

    Secondly, if you are making comments it is important to start by giving your connection to the area, and a sentence or two about what you find are the problems - e.g. if you currently use Leith Walk. The council are more likely to listen to views from users and locals than to 'abstract' comments from people who don't use or know the area.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  5. DdF
    Member

    PS - links to a few more documents here...
    http://www.spokes.org.uk/wordpress/documents/members-campaigning/edinburgh/leith-walk/

    Posted 9 years ago #
  6. sallyhinch
    Member

    I've bunged something up on the POP site as well - the more the merrier

    http://pedalonparliament.org/leith-walk-consultation-next-week/

    Posted 9 years ago #
  7. chdot
    Admin

    "or perhaps go out of your way to avoid Leith Walk because of its current condition"

    Good point Sally!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  8. SRD
    Moderator

    heck, we moved house so as to be able to cycle and avoid Leith walk!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  9. chdot
    Admin

  10. chdot
    Admin

    Expected traffic changes if tram had gone ahead.

    So why not use that for planning the future of Leith Walk anyway??

    Posted 9 years ago #
  11. Puzzle
    Member

    It's my main route to work, I'll definitely be heading along.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  12. chdot
    Admin

    Where: McDonald Road Library (Nelson Hall)

    When:

    TODAY

    Mon 16th, 4-7pm and

    TOMORROW

    Tue 17th 10-12am

    Posted 9 years ago #
  13. LivM
    Member

    I went along about 5.30pm and there were about 10 people there, plus all the council workers. There wasn't much in the way of content, just that they're looking for input and community ideas. I had a good chat with Anna Herriman from the council about the opportunities for segregated cycle lanes and the wrong-ness of double-parking (esp. outside La Favorita) and told her I'd send her the link to the Spokes/TIE report on Leith Walk redesign. Which I have.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  14. chdot
    Admin

    Did they get you to 'register' your 'interest' in LW?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  15. Puzzle
    Member

    Went along and spotted at least another four cyclists when I was there. (4.30 to 5.15) Had a great chat to the council workers. Forgot the name of the women I spoke to (she was very keen to hear about my cycle points on Leith Walk) Double parking, lack of any lanes Elm Row, the squeeze at London Road up to Picardy Place and the reverse from Leith Street. She said she hopes to do something 'a bit different' for Leith Walk. They can't make any promises. There is still a hope the trams may make it down the walk!?!

    There will be a further consultation by post to people in the local area.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

    *NOW*

    Tue 17th 10-12am

    Posted 9 years ago #
  17. wingpig
    Member

    Bagh. I'd got it into my head it was 11-2 today. Shall have to email instead.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  18. chdot
    Admin

    "got it into my head it was 11-2 today"

    Well it should be - and the rest!!!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  19. lionfish
    Member

    I think an online reply is probably more important - they asked if I would submit a response online too. Also they both said we should talk to the councillors as they've not got much influence.

    She also said that because the trams might go down LW, in ~5-10 years, a separate bike lane was probably not going to happen. The woman I spoke to seemed to be pushing a pedestrian friendly/slow speed idea. I figure that would keep the cyclists all together as well (as there was lots of griping about the idea of segregation resulting in enforced segregation - something I do understand - I don't like the idea of rubbish painted bike lanes on pavements, for example).

    Anyway, ideas I liked [besides a separate bike lane] were the raising of the road surface around junctions and crossings (switching to bricks or similar). 20mph speed limit. Less parking. Zebra crossings. Less fencing. Lots more trees and greenery. - I.e. make it nice for people again!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  20. wingpig
    Member

    "...the raising of the road surface around junctions and crossings (switching to bricks or similar)..."

    As long as the bricks are on top of an extremely thick bed of well-laid concrete, as opposed to the bricked-up humps along Montgomery Street which have only lasted as long as they have as they don't have to withstand buses and lorries.

    I'll try and go up and down the street a few more times in various modes at various times of day and have a think before emailing. I don't deliberately avoid it on a bike these days but it's never my first choice unless I'm heading to something specific on it.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  21. lionfish
    Member

    @wingpig - yeah, my original suggestion wasn't with bricks because I was worried what heavy vehicles would do - but it was the council person who mentioned bricks would work. So I was happy to support the idea.

    @wingpig also - one thing that's worth doing (and was mentioned a few months ago) is to try out a bit of road at an unhurried speed - don't put 100% power into going up the hill: take it easy. I just tried it and it increased my terror on the way up/roundabout by quite a bit as I wasn't doing my normal must-match-traffic-speed strategy... Especially the huge rubbish lorry half-overtaking me on the roundabout. On the other hand had 2 other random cyclists to give 'safety in numbers' feel. :)

    Posted 9 years ago #
  22. chdot
    Admin

    Well I had a useful chat with two of the council people there.

    There is leftover 'tram utilities' work to redo - i.e. sort some water pipes that were moved 'for the tram' - but not done properly.

    Me - 'that's alright then the contractors will pay.'

    Response - more or less a rolling of the eyes!

    The council people were very conscious that a proper consultation had to be done, or at least continued -

    There is an acknowledgement that - largely because of trams - a lot of trust has been lost. 'I think it would get worse if we close off sections of the road again and the only result is a smooth road surface.'

    What actually happens is genuinely up for discussion - though there are constraints. Cost obviously and also how much 'can't be done' because it might have to be undone when/if the tram comes.

    It seems that people (and I don't just mean 'cyclists') have been telling the council that they want things other than a smooth fast road.

    Apparantly the average speed is 16mph (don't know if this includes time waiting at traffic lights), though this might be used as reason for not bothering with a 20mph limit.

    As 'we' know, there are 'issues' about 'allowing' and enforcing 20mph zones.

    The 'community will be consulted' - the community is being defined as people who live, work, shop or just travel along Leith Walk.

    So Café Culture World Class Cycling Leith Sur Mer is coming - only needs the weather...

    Posted 9 years ago #
  23. lionfish
    Member

    Thanks chdot! I think your post summarises the impression I got too. The woman I spoke to said there was a huge demand for the street to be made nicer for people (and this feedback wasn't just from cyclists).

    I heard the 'average = 16mph' thing too - I've no idea where it came from, and I asked if it included waiting at lights, they didn't know. But I suspect it does.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  24. Min
    Member

    Yeah, I am pretty sure it doesn't mean racing through roundabouts.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  25. wingpig
    Member

    "It seems that people (and I don't just mean 'cyclists') have been telling the council that they want things other than a smooth fast road."

    Smoother need not mean faster, just safer. A smooth (or at least not actively dangerously bad) surface is almost a must-have for cyclists, as it's the only thing which can't be counteracted to some extent by growing extra eyes, being very careful and preparing for junctions a long way in advance (often coupled with just going wherever the lane I ended up in has compelled me to go, on some occasions).

    I've been along it more often as a bairn-trundling pedestrian than a cyclist over the past couple of years and the most striking thing is how striking the overload of street furniture/giant bins/parking/delivery is from the point of view of the pavement along the middle sections on the uphill side. The effect is to make me want to get through those sections as quickly as possible rather than trundle along slowly, perhaps having my eye caught by the shops whose bins and deliveries are forming the suffocating layer between pavement and road. Uphillwise, they could do a lot worse than tidy up the sign-forests, widen the pavement and add a cycling-channel towards the outside, add some proper bin-corrals on the outside of the cycling lane and make sure the bin-corrals are nicely spaced away from bus-stops and junctions/crossings. Bikes no longer have to watch out for build-outs, double-parking, stray bins, stopping buses, giant craters and will be encouraged to climb the hill in a nice leisurely manner to avoid mowing down pedestrians rather than worrying about looking behind whilst accelerating up an increasingly-steep slope to avoid being mown down. Pleasant, until they reach the roundabouts, though Toucanising the ped crossing over London Road would not be impossible. Rearranging/Toucanising the ped crossings along the length of Leith Walk and being clever with the timings rather than just minimising them to maximise vehicular traffic flow at the expense of slow-moving pedestrians could enable cyclists to escape from the shared-use pavement to the various criss/cross roads and have a head start on any motor traffic heading the same way when the lights change.

    Might make the north side of the street jealous, though. Hmm. That pavement's mostly already wide enough to be shared-use anyway, though; it doesn't seem to suffer as much from overparking and deliveries and metal pole infestations.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  26. chdot
    Admin

    ALSO (forgot when I wrote previous post)

    They have done some pedestrian surveying and found that there are a LOT.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  27. chdot
    Admin

    Posted 9 years ago #
  28. chdot
    Admin

    "
    Dear Stakeholder
     
    I would like to thank you for giving up your time to attend the Stakeholder Drop-in Sessions for the Leith Improvement Programme on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 July 2012.
     
    Your comments, input and questions have been carefully recorded, and have been included (anonymously) in an appendix to a report entitled 'Leith Improvement Programme'. This will be considered by the Finance and Resource Committee of the Council on 31 July 2012.  The report will be published on 24 July online - you will be able to search for it on the Council's website: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/811/minutes_agendas_and_reports.

    If you submitted a question at the event, a response will be sent to your contact details.
     
    A webpage has been set up http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/leithimprovements and all questions and issues that were raised at the events will also be published on Tuesday 24 July at this web address. 
     
    We will notify you by email of further stakeholder events at key stages where it is important to seek the views of local people and businesses on the planned environmental improvements to Constitution Street, Leith Walk and Picardy Place. 

    Once again, I really appreciate your input and for sharing your views openly at the events. If you have any further comments, questions or enquiries, please contact the City Centre and Leith Neighbourhood Team on citycentreteam@edinburgh.gov.uk or on 0131 529 7061.
     
    Yours sincerely

    "

    Posted 9 years ago #
  29. chdot
    Admin

    "
    Dear all
     
    My apologies, I miscalculated the publishing date for the report entitled 'Leith Improvement Programme'  - it will be published tomorrow Wednesday 25th July, which is the standard 6 days before a committee meets. Sorry about that, I hope this has not caused any inconvenience.
     
    Kind regards

    "

    Posted 9 years ago #
  30. chdot
    Admin

    "

    Leith improvement programme announced

    Published Wednesday 25 July 2012

    A £5.5 million improvement programme is set to provide a vital boost for Leith Walk, the Council announced today.

    "

    http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/news/article/949/leith_improvement_programme_announced

    Posted 9 years ago #

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