CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

QBC in The Times

(31 posts)

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  1. cc
    Member

    A colleague spotted this article in the Times about the QBC.

    Scotland speeds ahead on cycling safety

    An interesting point - the picture is of someone cycling along the rutted mess that is Crichton Street - it's not part of the QBC and it has no cycle facilities. If the camera had snapped the guy a couple of seconds before it would have seen him bumping along the most agricultural cobbles in the city.

    PS sorry if this has been featured here already, it appeared nine days ago now.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  2. LaidBack
    Member

    This will be a 'good news' story which basically pleases the pr at CEC and ScotGov. Would have been better if they investigated why the end result seems to not match the aspiration. We'll know we're getting somewhere when some roads are just handed over as green routes... maybe quite do-able as many parrallel roads in town.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  3. kaputnik
    Moderator

    I have tweeted a link to Dave's video of the QBC to the 2 journalists involved in writing that article regurgitating that press release. Will see if I can find an email address for the "Cities Fit for Cycling" campaign.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  4. kaputnik
    Moderator

    One of the journos responsible tweeted back to ask "which article on the QBC" I meant (maybe there's more?) Anyway, at least they have responded! And got a couple of RTs too.

    Someone on twitter got an email address - cyclesafe@times.co.uk. I'll try composing an email to them tomorrow with links to the photos from Anth's flickr group, some of the relevant posts here (for the "word of the man on the Clapham Omnicycle") and to Dave's video footage. (again).

    I think the real story here isn't them recycling the press release as good news, it's digging a little bit deeper to find out what lies under the spin.

    Somewhat related, I was going to IKEA today and took the "route avoiding QBC" route. It's far better than QBC, they should have routed a PROPER QBC down the side streets instead of trying to cram it onto Causewayside.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  5. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Journo 2 got back to me via tweets, apparently the single line "Peter Hawkins, of CTC, the national cycling charity, praised the initiative but said that there were still issues with car parking and that some parts needed extra work" means it is an accurate and balanced article. I have begged to differ on this point. I assume Peter Hawkins is singing the praises of a completely different QBC, he obviously hasn't seen or ridden Edinburgh's one.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  6. cb
    Member

    Assuming it isn't raining then I think I will cycle the QBC route on the way home today. *excited*

    Where does it actually start at the northern end? Princess St?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  7. chdot
    Admin

    " I assume Peter Hawkins is singing the praises of a completely different QBC, he obviously hasn't seen or ridden Edinburgh's one."

    I'm sure he will have ridden it (and most other streets in Edinburgh and beyond).

    I think what he is reported to have said is 'fair'.

    He is saying that it's 'better than it was'.

    I suspect there are more people on here saying 'yeah but it's not nearly good enough'.

    I detect a feeling among some long term cycle campaigners that 'if we criticise too much "they" will say "we won't bother doing anything for cyclists then" '.

    Was it Keith Brown who said 'they're pushing at an open door'??

    Posted 6 years ago #
  8. crowriver
    Member

    Big Wee Eck said that.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  9. "I detect a feeling among some long term cycle campaigners that 'if we criticise too much "they" will say "we won't bother doing anything for cyclists then" '."

    Whereas if we don't criticise then they'll think it's fit for purpose and continue putting in sub-standard infrastructure which will change nothing.

    Of course it could all be avoided if, for once, they pre-emptively approached the people who would actually be using the facilities rather than leaving everything to 'traffic planners' who clearly don't cycle.

    I still find it ludicrous, totally utterly brain-whackingly bizarre, that a 'Quality Bike Corridor' can have large sections without a cycle lane, and even worse, take away a lane where once there was one (east end of Melville Drive heading west, to accommodate the bus lane on the other side).

    Seriously. Quality? 'Better than it was' is a shameful cop-out in my view. As is not ewanting to rock the boat by complaining. Quite frankly you'll get nowhere if you have an administration that won't listen to cyclists and puts in poor infrastructure, and a campaigning arm supposedly representing cyclists that legitimises that poor infrastructure by not wanting to break any eggs.

    Yes. This had annoyed me somewhat...

    Posted 6 years ago #
  10. kaputnik
    Moderator

    I detect a feeling among some long term cycle campaigners that 'if we criticise too much "they" will say "we won't bother doing anything for cyclists then" '.


    I don't think we/they/I should be holding back from an honest assesment of things like the QBC for fear of upsetting "them". "Them" have an obligation to do "things" for cyclists. If "them" can't do it right, or just give us more of the same old cr*p and sell it to the press as something wonderful because it has the word "quality" in the name then that's just not good enough.

    I realise it's much easier to be noisier and objectionable about such things as the QBC if you're not allied to one of the main campaigning groups. However it's quite probably why I've never joined any of them and I really don't think they do themselves much favours by giving an endorsement (however light) to the QBC.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  11. Dave
    Member

    I wrote to the Newington/Southside councillors linking in my video of the QBC, but unusually I've had just one reply (and that from the one who otherwise never replies). Not sure if this is because, ultimately, it's harder to argue in the face of a continuous stream of parked car footage or not? We'll see.

    I suspect it might be more effective (no less ineffective) to keep producing "Quality" bike corridor videos...

    Posted 6 years ago #
  12. I think I'll ride it from South to North tomorrow. Much as many on here don't like him, I'm going to send Mr Colville-Anderson a link to the vid and get a Copenhagen view of the QBC to go with the Dutch view at that event a couple of weeks back.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  13. cb
    Member

    Cycled the QBC home, north to south (joined at the top of Market Street).

    Pretty uneventful actually. The most exciting moment was before I even reached it when someone drove across the mini roundabout in front of me at the foot of Market St. I think she heard my "Oi!" as she was looking the other way when I filtered past at the top.

    On the QBC tonight, between about 18:10 and 18:25ish:

    - 1 taxi and 3 cars parked on George IV Bridge
    - 1 car blocking the lane outside Negotiants, but they moved off just as I reached them.
    - 1 car parked up outside the King's Balti
    - Quite a few cars parked up on Causewayside on the bit-with-no-bike-lane

    Apart from that the bike bits were car free.

    At the south end I turned right into W Mains Road (no right turn except buses, bikes, taxis). I was waiting in the ASL and a car pulled up to my left and sat with his front bumper 1m across the 2nd stop line. After glancing at me he refused to hold my stare for the entire duration of the red.

    Some bad cycling too. Several unlit cyclists but the worst bit of cycling was at the Fountainhall Rd junction.

    Car at the front of the queue was indicating left so I pulled in front of it in the ASL, but the cyclist behind me (who I had just overtaken and looked like a 'proper' commuter) stayed to the rear of the car in the bike lane.

    Fortunately the driver was observant and waited for the bike to pass down their inside after the lights changed.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  14. kaputnik
    Moderator

    @cocteautriplets: @thejohnsimpson issues go beyond that. There are sections that just dont exist, confusing junctions, appalling road surfaces, single yellows

    @cocteautriplets: @thejohnsimpson some bits of paint and coloured tarmac are more of the same old. They're not progress and we shouldn't celebrate it

    @cocteautriplets: @thejohnsimpson has man from CTC singing its praises seen it or ridden it? Why have they put in a "route avoiding" for it if its so good?

    @thejohnsimpson: @cocteautriplets I fully support the points you've made, but think best to go down local press route - they hold council to account.

    (John Simpson is Times Journo)

    Posted 6 years ago #
  15. lionfish
    Member

    Hi,
    We managed to get a bit off topic at the SW neighbourhood partnership meeting, and there was a brief chat about the QBC. I thought I ought to repeat some of the issues people have had (although I don't use it very often - and I didn't realise I was using it when I was ;).

    The two points I raised were: 1. Lots of permitted parking on the bike lane. 2. The section without any lane at all isn't really a QBC.

    The responses from the transport guy were: 1. Local businesses can't have all their parking taken away, and often the bike lane goes around parked cars (with 50cm door zone]. 2. The section without a bike lane is because the road's too narrow and the speed has been reduced to 20mph - is that true people? (do cars obey it if it is?).

    Posted 6 years ago #
  16. cb
    Member

    "do cars obey it if it is?"

    I'll give you three guesses!

    Posted 6 years ago #
  17. SRD
    Moderator

    "often the bike lane goes around parked cars"

    I can think of two sections like this. One is definitely an improvement, the other is still usually parked up with doubleparkers whenever i go through it.

    Are there others? I don't think two sections counts as 'often'.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  18. kaputnik
    Moderator

    "often the bike lane goes around parked cars"

    Yes I can think of 2 occassions also - and the worst offenders are those that park outwith the marked bays, across the section of "lane" that directs you out from being in the gutter to being in the door zone.

    Local businesses can't have all their parking taken away

    Yes but current scenario is they have had none taken away and the QBC is being used as additional parking - with ample evidence that it is the businesses themselves doing this.

    The section without a bike lane is because the road's too narrow

    Did he explain which genius decided to spend all that money on a "quality bike corridor" where the road is too narrow to even fit in some paint, never mind any form of proper path?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  19. cc
    Member

    No, cars don't obey the 20mph limit, and the police don't enforce it.

    Shops need cyclists. They tehd to prosper a lot more where cycling is encouraged and driving discouraged. This council is still encouraging driving far more than it is encouraging cycling.

    The road is too narrow to permit cars and lorries and buses, it's not too narrow for cycling.

    These people have a lot to learn.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  20. fimm
    Member

    Suppose the council had just gone "we're going to do some work on the cycle route in this area" and done exactly the same things - would the reaction be different to the reaction to the "Quality" Bike Corridor?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  21. Min
    Member

    It certainly would from me. I expect we would have been talking about the missed opportunity and coming up with ideas for making it better, perhaps even quality. But scorn and derision, probably not and it may even have been welcomed as better than nothing?

    Posted 6 years ago #
  22. cc
    Member

    Yes it would have been. They did mostly improve things - quite a few of the most broken dangerous bits of road surface were fixed (not all of them though, there's still some appalling potholes in the cycle lanes) and the lanes were realigned in some places to make them less stupid.

    The exception is on Mayfield Road where they introduced extra parking, took a lot of space away from rush hour cyclists and forced us out closer to the traffic than we were before.

    Overall it's positive. It's just several orders of magnitude less positive than it could have been. Not remotely enough to justify anything more than a brief announcement that the existing lanes have had their annual (hah) maintenance and have been improved a little here & there. So much is known now about how to design the roads to produce a massive increase in the number of people cycling, but the council seems to have deliberately avoided any design features that would have a big positive effect.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  23. chdot
    Admin

    No comments for three years.

    Think we must just be accepting that 'that's it'.

    (Think there was a thread about revised parking and various mentions on 'Rubbish Driving').

    Thought I'd revive with this -

    "

    Ross Mitchell (@R0SS_M)
    10/02/2016, 9:15 am
    @Edinburgh_CC Vehicle blocking safe bike corridor at rush hour @ causewayside this morning. @CllrJimOrr @LAHinds 1/2

    http://pic.twitter.com/dHjQcqC5hv

    Ross Mitchell (@R0SS_M)
    10/02/2016, 9:18 am
    Forces cyclists into traffic on busy school/uni route.Council must improve and not be part of problem. @CllrJimOrr @LAHinds @CyclingEdin 2/2

    "

    Posted 3 years ago #
  24. chdot
    Admin

    Had a reply already!

    "

    Lesley Hinds (@LAHinds)
    10/02/2016, 9:45 am
    @R0SS_M @CllrJimOrr @CyclingEdin that is why off road segregated cycle paths are being implemented in Edinburgh

    "

    https://twitter.com/lahinds/status/697355636598837248

    Posted 3 years ago #
  25. wingpig
    Member

    It was a very expensive and embarrassing way of learning that paint doesn't work.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  26. Murun Buchstansangur
    Member

    On that Lesley Hinds tweet - are they? They are proposed for Roseburn-Leith and presumably will be proposed in some fashion for George St but we have already seen the opposition on R-L. Leith Walk seems to be in tram limbo. So is there anywhere in Edinburgh where they've been implemented other than Granton Waterfront? (where the biggest problem with on-road cycling is avoiding the tumbleweeds...)

    NB I am (quite rightly I think) not counting shared pavements.

    Posted 3 years ago #
  27. wingpig
    Member

    @Murun Buchstansangur Meadows-to-Innocent - the small sections on Buccleuch Street and St Leonard's Street. The next bits to actually be built could be the wee bit due in the Canal-to-Meadows?

    Posted 3 years ago #
  28. Roibeard
    Member

    I note that Jim Orr has an Action Plan for rogue parkers on Ratcliffe Terrace - that sounds encouraging, given my previous limited response from the council and outright hostility from the local businesses...

    Robert

    Posted 3 years ago #
  29. newtoit
    Member

    @Roibeard

    Hopefully this action plan includes one or all of the following:
    - Clamping
    - Fines
    - Weight activated spikes that protrude when a car parks on them
    - Dynamite

    Posted 3 years ago #
  30. @newtoit "dynamite": Yes, but you have to be quick otherwise the driver can get away.

    Posted 3 years ago #

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