CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

Princes Street/Central Edinburgh redesign options

(119 posts)

  1. Arellcat
    Moderator

    SRD, check out the earlier thread about the left-hand turn. Supposedly, what's in place just now is less to do with CEC and more to do with TIE.

    I had a look at the Hanover St-Mound crossing on Friday. It was lunchtime so traffic was fairly light, I took the entire lot at 45 deg and it was fine. When it's raining, dark, and covered in other traffic it might be a little more exciting.

    Contrary to what ht said, a cyclist could be tempted to cross the first set of rails at 90 deg, then cross the next set at 90 deg but suddenly run out of room to make the right turn to get around the RSA and onto the Mound. There isn't a lot of room for 90 deg turns there if you're being hounded by vehicles, or if you're going at any speed, and anything that encourages cyclists to adopt the primary position through the junction will likely help. Painting a route that takes cyclists out of the natural line of sight of vehicles is like encouraging them to bimble around the periphery of a roundabout.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  2. SRD
    Moderator

    I'll have to go have a look for myself. It just seems to set a bad precedent - and get the idea in the minds of car drivers that there are roads that bikes aren't allowed on. sigh. I had been looking forward to being able to cycle in to shop easily again (at least during the tram works, there were lots of places to lock bikes on....)

    Posted 9 years ago #
  3. LaidBack
    Member

    Agree. Bike lane has to go virtually where road is marked at present. There are some broken lines painted now to lead cars round.
    Bike advance and green 'bike only' light to let bikes get clear? Or would that be too complex?!

    Marshall Poulton (CEC) was talking about something like that at Spokes meeting. He actually asked for show of hands on it. He didn't say where it might be used.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  4. chdot
    Admin

    This seems to be what we want - STRAIL "street meets rail".

    Article from The Greater Manchester Cycling Campaign CYCLE CARRIAGE NEWS Volume 1, Issue 7 November 2009 (PAGE 2)

    Posted 9 years ago #
  5. miggy_magic
    Member

    Hmmm... Just about to resume cycling after a fortnight off but I'm not liking the sound of Princes Street at all with the new tram lines and cobbles adding to the distractions of cycling through town.

    Can anybody tell me what George Street is like now that Princes Street has re-opened? I'd imagine it'll be quieter?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  6. DdF
    Member

    Re. the TIE tram/bike leaflet mentioned by Kim. This was brought out by TIE some time ago (1 year? 2 years?) as advance information for cyclists. Spokes requested copies for our members at the time, and we were given the 900 necessary, so there must be copies around (I'm sure I have one, but haven't found it yet). Unfortunately, the picture of painted guide lines on the road wasn't a promise they would appear in Edinburgh as soon as the tramlines were laid - though that would have been a very good idea. After all, there was until fairly recently a TIE picture showing the tram running adjacent to Princes Street pavement, even though that option was ruled out years ago!

    PS - As far as I can see the leaflet is not on the tramsforedinburgh website.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  7. Arellcat
    Moderator

    Miggy, George St without all the buses seemed to be just as busy but at least visibility was better! The tarmac is now like the surface of the moon, though.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  8. George Street was never the smoothest of surfaces, but you're right Arellcat, it's now absolutely appalling!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  9. paquito
    Member

    Hello,
    In my hometown, Padova -Italy, the same tram project and model have been developed a few years ago. Not only it has revealed to be a useless remedy to traffic congestions, ridiculously expensive to maintain and really awful pilons and wires, but it has also represented a very serious issue for cyclists. It has caused a very large number of cyclist to dangerously fall off their bikes as a consequence of the wheel getting stuck in the rail and consequent loss of control of the bike. Some accidents have been really serious with brain damage following the accident and permanent disabilities and there have been also some deaths. The victims have created an association called "Victims of the Tram" and they are planning to sue the council.

    http://rotaiakiller.splinder.com/

    p

    Posted 9 years ago #
  10. sideshowlinda
    Member

    I've never written on a forum before, but I'm off work with a broken foot due to an encounter with a tram line whilst cycling on Princes Street on Monday evening. Issue? Bus pulling out to overtake another bus at a bus stop, whilst I was in the process of overtaking the first bus. There just isn't room. Princes Street is not safe to cycle along. I'm dreading the thought of navigating Leith Walk, which is much narrower than Princes Street.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  11. chdot
    Admin

    Hi SSL

    VERY sorry to hear about that, thanks for posting.

    As you won't be surprised, there are a lot of e-mails flying about about what TIE/CEC should/will do.

    This was received today commenting on the cycle/tram leaflet -

    "
    In relation to the examples shown, these represent what has been used elsewhere and could be implemented here in Edinburgh, though at the time of publication this was still under discussion between our Designers, tie, Council, and SPOKES. There has been considerable movement on this since then and we do expect to see further measures implemented.

    I trust this provides some clarification.
    "

    Posted 9 years ago #
  12. miggy_magic
    Member

    Thanks for the heads-up Arellcat and Anth. What a fantastic city I live in. My options are:
    1) Princes Street - cobbles and tram lines
    2) George Street - pot holes aplenty
    3) Queen Street - feels like I'm cycling alongside Lewis Hamilton fanboys

    Think I'll give them all a miss and go up the Bridges instead!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  13. chdot
    Admin

    "Think I'll give them all a miss and go up the Bridges instead!"

    I'm sure know that goes the wrong way!!

    (Points 1-3 are a pretty fair assessment!)

    Posted 9 years ago #
  14. miggy_magic
    Member

    @chdot - you're right, but I didn't want to bore everyone with details of my commute after the Bridges!!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  15. Linda, can I just say, OUCH! That was one of the concerns I had. It's wide enough if all the buses stay in the left. But you know that's never going to happen, and all it takes is one bus pulling out without the driver looking and instinct and reactions take over, putting you into the rails!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  16. Arellcat
    Moderator

    On the Edinburgh Trams website's Story So Far posted today, there is a link to the Cycling and Trams leaflet.

    Call me crazy, but under Special features for cyclists, 'Parallel cycle routes removed from the tracks in some areas' either reads very badly (did the author perhaps mean distanced from?) or is akin to TIE shrugging its shoulders, with hands in pockets. Following the statement in which 'a European consultant was appointed to review competing interests', they then go on to say that Princes St and Leith Walk are too narrow and too heavily trafficked or 'pedestriated' to really include cyclists' requirements.

    Is telling cyclists to only cross tram tracks as close to 90 degrees as possible the true extent of their consultation with cycling groups?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  17. Arellcat
    Moderator

    And Linda, I'm sorry to hear that your encounter with the tram rails ended so badly. Hope your bones mend quickly! Three days after Princes St reopened, I wrote elsewhere that I wondered how long it would take before there was an accident. It turned out to be about two days.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  18. chdot
    Admin

    The leaflet only went back on the tram site this morning after various emails.

    It doesn't actually say much about what will happen in Edinburgh.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  19. Dave
    Member

    Linda,

    It's probably too late but if you do know the number of the bus, even if you don't have any witnesses it would be worth contacting Lothian buses. All their buses are proudly wired for CCTV which I think includes some views of the street outside.

    Hope you fix quickly!

    D.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  20. LaidBack
    Member

    Much as we moan about what's wrong in the city the LRT bus CCTV is very useful. Vindicated a recent serious incident I reported.

    Sorry to hear another person has fallen foul. Hope you can get back on bike before long, Linda.

    I don't see training as the answer in this case. I know it allows tie to open up another line of communication and do some PR on the issue so they may think it's worth it.

    Problem is that these sessions will only reach a fraction of the people that use bikes (many of whom could do with help and encouragement to improve their road skills generally) .
    Visitors travel through city all the time and not all come from cities with tram tracks. An NCN route actually crosses the lines too.

    Correct approach is to also have signs and road markings. Some will be temporary but they will warn cyclists and drivers that there is a hazard. They did it for free parking spaces on the Mound so why not for an H&S issue?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  21. Matchstickwarrior
    Member

    I recently had a look at the Spokes downloads page and found they have a link to all the TIE proposed streetplans, up for consulation early next year. Some parts of it are scary (Picardy Place for example), but apart from a few tweaks, not a lot is new. Then I got to Haymarket and all the recent stories (and unfortunate events listed above) flew into my mind.
    http://www.edinburghtrams.com/index.php/story_so_far/view_details/41/

    It's a big file so will take a while to load. Go to page 25 and imagine what might happen to you if you go from Morrison St to Haymarket Ter and happen not to notice the little extra stop line that you could use in front of the station...
    Not that you should be forced to stop again, but it seems the only safe way to negotiate crossing the lines given the angles involved as they leave the main road for the viaduct. Not everyone is going to realise this though, and if it is signed as well as the "cyclists dismount left turns" then it is an accident waiting to happen.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  22. kaputnik
    Moderator

    My £0.02. i think we need to think big. Surely 10,000 gallons of red tarmac is cheaper than a tram set?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  23. chdot
    Admin

    That is truly wonderful!!!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  24. Arellcat
    Moderator

    Matchstick, I did post a link to the latest drawings in what was the original trams thread, but it was quickly subsumed by discussions about the Mound and the rails, so it dropped off the list a bit.

    Kaputnik, that's a ridiculous idea. How can the council afford so much red paint? They still have to build a Ferris wheel!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  25. chdot
    Admin

    "How can the council afford so much red paint?"

    But they'd only need to it once - it would take decades for bicycle tyres to where it away...

    Posted 9 years ago #
  26. Matchstickwarrior
    Member

    kaputnik, you'll need to put in a central reservation to keep the planners happy. Us cyclists might crash into each other, you know.

    We could make it a raised bed and do guerilla gardening in it and borrow the Lord Provost's Christiania from the Bike Station to carry all our lovely veg home. That would be a scene!

    Posted 9 years ago #
  27. kaputnik
    Moderator

    I'm not sure how old this news is, but it's news to me.
    Shandwick place closed for 2010

    Posted 9 years ago #
  28. DdF
    Member

    For attention of 'ht' if you are still around, and anyone else who has had a crash involving the tramlines....

    The official crash reporting line of TIE/Edinburgh Tram has had 5 reports so far - 2 of them are crashes from the early days, and 3 from May/June. Back in Dec/Jan I don't think they'd thought much about how to record crashes, but I understand it is being done more systematically now. So, any reports which were sent in in the very early days (such as Dec/Jan/Feb) may not necessarily be on their new recording system. Possibly ht's crash, for example???

    It is very useful for crashes to be recorded as it helps make the case for improved conditions (e.g. in the promised consultation later this year on Princes St future) and because TIE and the council are (very slowly) still thinking about the future of junctions such as Hanover St to Mound.

    So if you have had, or know of, a tramline crash which is probably not in the TIE records, please do report it - even if it was months ago!! How to report crashes is here...
    http://www.spokes.org.uk/wordpress/downloads/public-transport/tram/

    Incidentally, it looks like about half the crashes are cyclists turning at junctions, and the other half are experienced cyclists going straight ahead on Princes St but then forced by some unexpected situation (e.g. traffic conditions, or seeing cobbles ahead) to move sideways more quickly than they normally would, or without full attention to the road surface because of primary attention being on the unexpected situation.

    PS - a left turn at the foot of the Mound is still in the pipeline, though seems to be quite a lengthy pipeline.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  29. kaputnik
    Moderator

    Just bumped into someone I know from ERC outside TBW who has become the latest in a long line of victims to be felled by the Princes St bike trap tram lines.

    Most importantly, her bike was still in one piece but she just wanted to a professional opinion on it

    Posted 8 years ago #
  30. recombodna
    Member

    .....well at least she knows that they're there now and won't do it again!

    Posted 8 years ago #

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