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Leith Walk: revised plans

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  1. Dave
    Member

    I haven't seen this discussed; see

    http://greenerleith.org.uk/blog/leaked-council-designs-for-constitution-street-and-leith-walk-2175

    courtesy the Great Big All Too Exciting Bike Blog Roundup

    Although there is a little hope, skimming the document does also highlight many concerns.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  2. chdot
    Admin

    c. LEITH WALK

    The next report on Leith Walk upgrading also goes to the Tuesday Transport Committee. See the report in Spokesworker and email your councillors if you use Leith Walk and are unhappy with the proposals. We are particularly concerned that final plans may be decided without further consultation.

    Dave du Feu
    Spokes 16.3.13

    http://www.spokes.org.uk/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/1303-16-circular-to-all.txt

    Posted 6 years ago #
  3. crowriver
    Member

    A lot hinges on Sustrans coming up with match funding. If I recall from Spokes' analysis, Sustrans have wisely insisted the Council commit to linking Leith Walk to city centre cycle routes as a condition of seeking funding.

    We can only hope that funding is forthcoming. However if not, note this well:

    2.33 Should additional funding not become available, the enhanced scheme for this section cannot be delivered at this stage. If sufficient additional funding is not available, officers will work to incorporate the feedback from consultation as far as is possible, to make improvements to the preliminary design. However the roundabout configuration, two phased pedestrian crossings, and a shorter section of uphill only cycle provision would remain. The downhill section would be removed as this has not been viewed favourably by a majority of cycling consultees.

    As I suspected (see threads passim) if there is a strong negative response to something, the designers will simply not implement rather than improve.

    Apparently, "a majority" of surevy respondents support repaving the pavements with grey flag stones? Well I certainly was not a member of that "majority"...

    Posted 6 years ago #
  4. crowriver
    Member

    Councillors duly contacted.

    I urge you all to do the same if you feel strongly that safer junctions, pedestrian crossings, and segregated cycle lanes ought to be a higher priority than re-paving the Walk with grey flag stones. Regardless of Sustrans funding being secured or not...

    Posted 6 years ago #
  5. Coxy
    Member

    Over on the chip paper:
    Segregated bike lanes on Leith Walk

    Posted 6 years ago #
  6. chdot
    Admin

    "

    Dear Stakeholders

    THE LEITH PROGRAMME - email update 10, 18 March 2013.

    Report to the Transport and Environment Committee on The Leith Programme
    This is a reminder that the Leith Programme - Consultation and Design report will be considered at the Transport and Environment Committee tomorrow, Tuesday 19 March. The report is item 7.6 on the above committee agenda and can be viewed online.

    The report provides links to the consultation findings which can also be viewed on page two of our web pages. The report sets out the way forward for The Leith Programme.

    "

    Posted 6 years ago #
  7. crowriver
    Member

    Another interesting agenda item (8.8):

    Cycling – Invitation for visit to the Netherlands

    Summary
    Following the successful series of ‘Love Cycling, Go Dutch’ conferences in the autumn of 2012 the Dutch Embassy in London (in collaboration with Agency NL) is organising a visit on Cycling to the Netherlands in June for 12 ‘British influentials’. The NL Agency is the Dutch governmental organisation that implements policy in relation to sustainability, innovation and international business. The trip offers the opportunity to learn from good practice relating to; cycling policy, integrating modes of travel and achieving value for money. In addition the visit will help raise the profile of Edinburgh’s leading position in terms of cycling spend and our ambitious targets for increasing cycling rates.

    Recommendations
    To approve a visit to the Netherlands by the Vice Convenor of Transport.

    Measures of success
    A greater understanding of cycling issues in relation to; finance, how changes were achieved, the challenges, and integrated design for all modes of transport.

    Financial impact
    The entire trip will be at the expense of AgencyNL and only the travel costs to and from the Netherlands would be required. Travel costs are within budget and will be minimised and met by Services for Communities.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  8. crowriver
    Member

    Also Item 7.8 - Improving Air Qaulity in Edinburgh - Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) Options

    Posted 6 years ago #
  9. chdot
    Admin

    "To approve a visit to the Netherlands by the Vice Convenor of Transport."

    For those who don't know what he looks like, he's in the middle -


    #KB2Sciennes on QBC (illegal parking)

    Posted 6 years ago #
  10. steveo
    Member

    For those who don't know what he looks like, he's in the middle -

    take a real man to wear pink! :D

    Posted 6 years ago #
  11. Calum
    Member

    The cycle track will be in the uphill direction only? And only between Annandale and Picardy? That is *feeble*. It's one of the smallest concessions to cycling that could possibly be made. I bet it'll be as narrow as they can get away with, too - you'll have had your 1.5 metres then? Genuinely, I do not see how anyone could endorse this. The Council needs to wake up and realise that this garbage is just not good enough. It really is distressing to see a council too craven in the face of the Motoring Lobby to take a bold step forward.

    Take away the car parking and whack in cycle tracks on both sides of the entire street. The bus lanes can used for loading and car parking in the off-peak - that's how it works on every other street. It really could not be more simple. There is no technical challenge. The only challenge is weak minds who cannot imagine how streets could be different - better.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  12. Dave
    Member

    Unfortunately cyclists who responded to the council apparently told them that downhill cycle lanes are of no use. Children, the elderly and the merely timid are only worried about negotiating London Road and Picardy Place roundabouts *uphill*, obviously. Give them an uphill lane and they'll all be dead keen to get stuck into multiple lanes of aggressively maneuvering rush hour traffic going the other way.

    I smell a definite "existing cyclist" bias there (if you're already happy to tangle in traffic, you probably don't want a segregated track).

    It seems to me that putting in one wide and high quality segregated lane on the north side of the street is a total no-brainer - no need to signalise London Road at all, or Picardy Place (the lane can just cross onto York Place on its own dedicated phase, and from there to St Andrews Square delivered in a future phase).

    Ultimately though, what's the council to do? They consulted and were told that downhill provision wasn't wanted, so they're saving that money to spend elsewhere.

    I'm not even sure it's worth lobbying for the north-side solution if other cyclists are against it. However, perhaps people will start using the uphill cycle track to ride down, if the crossing over London Rd is good enough. That might be enough to persuade the council to expand the facility to a proper two-direction one (albiet on the side of the road that required them to spend megabucks on London Rd itself).

    The solution north of Pilrig St seems weak to me. As a Leith Walk commuter I'm thinking that they could just remove the northbound bus lane but maintain cut-ins for the bus stops, moving the parking out into the bus lane. I can't see this having a material impact on the bus (or other traffic) timings.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  13. Dave
    Member

    It's significant too that the design seems to have been informed by current numbers of cyclists (which are restricted to those willing to tangle with pretty extreme traffic), even though it plays lip service to bearing in mind what would happen if the route was traffic-free.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  14. chdot
    Admin

    "I smell a definite "existing cyclist" bias there (if you're already happy to tangle in traffic, you probably don't want a segregated track)."

    There may well be some truth in that.

    BUT

    There may be a degree of selective listening - or at least the 'we don't have enough money to do it "properly" so there's no point in designing something that will just raise expectations'.

    ALSO

    You are slightly making the assumption that 'cyclists' a) have a unified view and b) are listened to more than other groups.

    I was in one of the 'interest groups' that was clearly identified as "cyclist".

    I very much doubt if this was the only one that was taken note of, so I assume that others, either at public events or in written submissions, said similar things.

    Of course the existence of Spokes and CCE means that there may be more people motivated to make their views know than other 'groups' such as pedestrians, local residents, businesses etc.

    At the event I was at there were definitely comments that the southbound lanes as designed were not a good idea unless users had priority at places like Union Street.

    This would mean that 'experienced' cyclist wouldn't use them. CEC said that they would be of use to less experienced people.

    The 'cyclists' present (including me) suggested that few 'would be' cyclists were likely to be anywhere near the short sections of segregated lanes while the two roundabouts still existed.

    There was plenty of talk about about how these were a problem and so was the 'traffic flow' mindset.

    Clearly 'the cyclists' didn't 'win' that one.

    I hope that 'the pedestrians' who complained about crossing London Road near the Leith Walk junction were more successful - though obviously they would probably benefit too without the roundabouts and 'traffic flow mentality'.

    The current proposals are very much constrained by the 'don't do anything that would make it more difficult to install the tram' thinking.

    I suggest that this is more the concern of the politicians than the officials. There was concern that there would be 'criticism' if any cycle infrastructure had to be 'ripped up'.

    I think this is stupid because a) the tram is unlikely to go down Leith Walk b) I don't think anyone imagines that it would happen in the next ten years - by which time the road is likely to need resurfacing etc.

    ALSO

    It was suggested that 'cycling measures' should be installed on an experimental basis - eg using planters and other things that could be (re-)moved/aligned easily. This could be done on a trial basis further down Leith Walk where removal of parking is 'controversial' to see how it worked in practice.

    This idea is clearly too radical for CEC.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  15. Min
    Member

    Considering that nothing is going to be done to improve Picardy Place roundabout - which is just as well since the proposal was the "cyclist blender" then really a downhill segregated cycle lane WOULD be a waste of money since it will still be the more confident cyclists that would use Leith Walk anyway. I think an uphill segregated cycle lane will help cyclists who already use it or who would if they felt a bit safer but there are no proposals to make the whole thing granny friendly. I seem to recall that the downhill lane was only taking space away from pedestrians anyway and may well make it less safe since you would be going downhill and mixing with peds at the same time.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  16. kaputnik
    Moderator

    It was suggested that 'cycling measures' should be installed on an experimental basis

    HEck, the council's been doing that for years with white lines and red surfacing that wear away when the drivers decide they want to drive and park in the cycle lanes...

    Posted 6 years ago #
  17. chdot
    Admin

    "
    Dear Stakeholders

    THE LEITH PROGRAMME - email update 10, 15 April 2013

    Utilities work - update of 15 April 2013
    Leith Walk and Constitution Street

    The contractors have indicated that the utilities works on Leith Walk and Constitution Street are still on schedule to be completed by the planned finish date of 30 April.

    McDonald Road junction

    The work required to be carried out at the McDonald Road junction with Leith Walk will involve the temporary closure to through traffic to McDonald Road along with a partial northbound bus lane closure around the location of the junction itself. The temporary closure will be from Wednesday 17 April for up to two weeks. Traffic diversions will be in operation and the alternative access routes to the street will be via Pilrig Street, Annandale Street and/or Broughton Road.
    Stead's Place to Balfour Street

    The replacement of 25 existing service connections to properties to the new main is currently taking place in the footway between Stead's Place and Balfour Street. 8 have already been completed and the finishing date for the remainder of the replacements to be carried out is estimated to be around 20 April.

    Please pass this message on to any one who might benefit from the above notice. I am available to answer any questions you or others may have; my contact details are provided below.

    Regards
    Alan

    "

    Posted 6 years ago #
  18. neddie
    Member

    "

    Dear Stakeholders,

    The Leith Programme - Work to commence on Constitution Street, 29 April 2013.

    We are pleased to advise you that work will commence on site in Constitution Street on 29th April 2013. The works will comprise the resurfacing of the existing footways and carriageway and environmental enhancements identified during consultation. These enhancements will include the introduction of new tree pits and the reinstatement of old ones, pavement widening, and cycle storage provision at specific locations in the street.

    The initial contract period will be 8 weeks and the Contractor for the works is Lafarge Tarmac Limited. Location plans and a project programme can be found on our webpages. 'Tarmac' will carry out work to sections 11 (Foot of the Walk to Coatfield Lane) and 13 (Old Dock Gates to Bernard Street) and this part of the programme is scheduled to end around mid-June. Section 12 which is the middle section between Coatfield Lane and Bernard Street, will follow this. All being well, should archaeological issues not impact during the work, the aim is for the work on Constitution Street to be complete by mid-August.

    Update information will be put onto our webpages regularly along with our stakeholder emails. We will of course be actively engaging with traders and residents in Constitution Street as much as possible before and during work on site. While recognising that some disruption will be inevitable giving the type of work involved in the programme, it is the intention to try to minimise this as much as possible and it is our hope that any short term disruption is made up for by the improved environment that will be created for residents, businesses and visitors to the street.

    If you have any questions in the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact me.

    Regards
    Alan

    Alan Dean BA (Hons) MSc PGDip I Partnership Development Officer (Stakeholder Liaison and Engagement) I Services for Communities I City Centre Neighbourhood Management Team I 1 Cockburn Street I Edinburgh I EH1 1BJ
    Tel: 0131 529 7519 Mobile: 07739 188 438
    alan.dean@edinburgh.gov.uk

    http://www.facebook.com/cclneighbourhood

    "

    Posted 6 years ago #
  19. chdot
    Admin

    My bold -

    "
    Dear Stakeholders

    THE LEITH PROGRAMME - email update 16, 1 May 2013

    Utilities timescale update

    We have been informed that the utilities work currently taking place at the junction of McDonald Road, the largest piece of work in the programme, originally scheduled to finish on 30 April will take longer to complete than first planned and the updated completion date is now 12 May. The piece of work ongoing at the corner of Balfour Street, the final part in the Stead's Place to Balfour Street section, is scheduled to be complete on Friday 3 May. Apart from these, all other utilities works are finished.

    Constitution Street update

    As the first phase of the main Constitution Street works are fully underway following their start as scheduled on Monday, with the pavement and road resurfacing commencing in the sections between the Foot of the Walk and Coatfield Lane and the Old Dock Gates to Bernard Street, we'd like to thank those who came along to our drop in sessions at Printworks Coffee on Monday afternoon and The Constitution Bar this morning. We hope you found them useful in answering your queries and discussing and helping to resolve any current or future issues you identified.

    In the meantime, if you have any queries, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me.

    Regards
    Alan

    Alan Dean BA (Hons) MSc PGDip I Partnership Development Officer (Stakeholder Liaison and Engagement) I Services for Communities I City Centre Neighbourhood Management Team I 1 Cockburn Street I Edinburgh I EH1 1BJ
    Tel: 0131 529 7519 Mobile: 07739 188 438
    alan.dean@edinburgh.gov.uk

    http://www.facebook.com/cclneighbourhood
    "

    Posted 6 years ago #
  20. chdot
    Admin

    "
    Dear Stakeholders

    THE LEITH PROGRAMME - email update 17, 2 May 2013

    McDonald Road junction works

    This latest brief update is to let you know that, in order to complete the utilities work at the McDonald Road junction as quickly as possible, the contractor will be working overnight tonight (Thursday 2 May) and also on Saturday and Sunday this weekend in order to carry out valve/hydrant replacement works. The additional hours will be as follows:
    Thursday 2 May - 19:00 to 06:00
    Saturday 4 May - 13:00 to 22:00
    Sunday 5 May - 10:00 to 18:00
    Following this, work will commence as normal on Monday 6 May although further additional work outwith normal hours may be required. As mentioned in the previous stakeholder update, the completion date for this work is now 12 May.

    If you have any queries, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me.

    Regards
    Alan

    "

    Posted 6 years ago #
  21. SRD
    Moderator

    Leith Walk: Consultation results so good they can be ignored entirely

    http://greenerleith.org.uk/blog/leith-walk-public-consultation-so-good-ignored-entirely-2573

    Posted 6 years ago #
  22. Calum
    Member

    Quite right.

    According to magnatom (who attended the EDC Active Travel Forum), East Dunbartonshire Council want segregated cycle lanes on the main road in Milngavie/Bearsden. Sustrans should give the money to them - it certainly shouldn't be squandered by giving it to a council that demonstrate time and again that they don't have the first idea what they're doing.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  23. chdot
    Admin

    In response to the Greener Leith view -

    "

    I think it’s really important that for all viewing these designs (that have appeared on an external website to the Council) that their status is properly understood. They appear to be drafts which were produced back in February 2013, but their draft status seems to have been removed from the images shown in the Greener Leith blog. They are not in any way indicative of the current status of the designs and should not be viewed or represented as either final or approved designs.

    The design process for all sections of Leith Walk is still constantly evolving, with the next internal design meeting for the sections between Pilrig Street / Iona Street and the Foot of the Walk (referred to as the northern end of Leith Walk in this blog post) scheduled for the 10th May.

    Work is also ongoing to develop designs for sections between Picardy Place and Pilrig Street / Iona Street (the southern section). One set of designs is being developed in partnership with Sustrans, as the Council wishes to apply for external funding in order to deliver a much enhanced scheme that will deliver significant benefits for pedestrians and cyclists. These cost of developments is beyond the available Council budget for the scheme. A second set of designs is being developed just in case funding for the section can not be identified, this design will not include enhanced elements but is deliverable within the Council’s existing budget. This process was summarised in the report to the Transport and Environment Committee of 19th March, link as above.

    At the Transport and Environment Committee of 19th March it was only final designs for Constitution Street that were approved. This can be verified in the report 'The Leith Programme: Consultation and Design' or in the minutes of that meeting. You can control+click to follow those underlined links.

    Prior to the Committee Councillor Hinds had chaired a meeting on 25th February with key local stakeholders (including Greener Leith who attended) and local Ward Councillors, who were able to discuss the designs for Constitution Street and check their adherence to findings from consultation process.

    For the northern part of Leith Walk, the Committee agreed an outline design only, with the final design to be approved through an oversight group of the Convener, Vice Convener and local Councillors. This meeting of this oversight group is yet to be scheduled.

    However, at the request of Councillor Hinds (Convener of Transport and Environment Committee) last week, ahead of any approval of designs by the oversight group being given, a further meeting with stakeholders and local Ward Councillors has been arranged for 6th June 2013, this time to review the draft designs for northern sections of Leith Walk, and also preview evolving designs for the southern sections. The purpose of Councillor Hinds’ meeting on 6th June will be to seek feedback from stakeholders on the designs, and stakeholders are due to receive an invitation to that event later this week.

    The final point worth noting is that all feedback from the consultation process was published on the Council website on 13th March 2013, so that live links from the report which was considered by the Transport and Environment Committee on 19th March 2013 could be followed. A response to an FOI enquiry in April regarding public availability of this information re-iterated that, and provided these links again. They are and will remain available as downloads (control+click) from the Council website, or from links in the report. Anyone is free to review the content of consultation findings, and they will be able to see the full range of responses.

    As a cautionary note, any designs appearing ahead of the meeting with stakeholders 6th June 2013 should be viewed only as further evolving draft material, even if they do not appear to be marked up as such, and any concerns regarding the status of any drawings which have made their way into the public domain can be referred back to the Leith Programme project team, via the City Centre and Leith Neighbourhood, for checking or any questions, on 0131 529 7061.

    Thanks again for raising your concerns directly with me – please don’t hesitate to pass on this information as you best see fit.

    Andrew Burns

    "

    Interesting...

    Posted 6 years ago #
  24. greenerleith
    Member

    A few points, I'd like to make to follow on from this email:

    1 - AB implies the Greener Leith post takes the designs out of context and present them as final designs. The designs used in the blog post were the most recent ones placed in the public domain. The word "draft" appears five times in the post and it says in the introduction they were released several weeks ago. The post concludes by looking forward to better designs coming forwards.

    2 - Re FOI requests. My memory of when I checked to see what was up on the CEC website is hazy and the http://archive.org/web/web.php won't help on this one.

    Suffice to say, that I look at the Leith Programme pages pretty regularly, couldn't see all the consultation requests, and having asked for them before, decided an FOI request was the quickest way to get hold of all of them.

    I am personally sceptical that they were all published in time for the committee meeting - as the information in the side bars has certainly changed since the "last edit" text on the relevant page. But I happily admit I may be wrong.

    But I should also add, I also felt that an FOI request was the only way to give some certainty that ALL the responses were being published - particularly as council officers were still arguing about "balancing conflicting views."

    @allytibbitt

    Posted 6 years ago #
  25. wingpig
    Member

    "The final point worth noting is that all feedback from the consultation process was published on the Council website on 13th March 2013"

    No it wasn't. Can't see mine anywhere.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  26. Calum
    Member

    I've skimmed through the consulation responses. They are absolutely chock full of the words "Dutch", "Danish", and "segregated". There are no "conflicting views" to "balance" - unless the groups whose views conflict are the Glorious Council and the Great Unwashed. It's perfectly clear what people want - CEC just seems determined not to give it to them. I'm not sure what it is about "put the cycle lane on the INSIDE of the parked cars" that is so difficult for supposedly professional transport planners to grasp.

    Posted 6 years ago #
  27. Tom Allan
    Member

    "However, at the request of Councillor Hinds (Convener of Transport and Environment Committee) last week, ahead of any approval of designs by the oversight group being given, a further meeting with stakeholders and local Ward Councillors has been arranged for 6th June 2013, this time to review the draft designs for northern sections of Leith Walk, and also preview evolving designs for the southern sections. The purpose of Councillor Hinds’ meeting on 6th June will be to seek feedback from stakeholders on the designs, and stakeholders are due to receive an invitation to that event later this week."

    So, this is the key date then...when you properly find out if they are going to listen. Hmm. Is it usual practice to fix a date for a consultation and then ask whether the stakeholders can attend? I hope you are going to be able to go Alastair!

    Posted 6 years ago #
  28. sallyhinch
    Member

    If anyone was to do a flash ride along Leith walk in support of decent provision, then that, or the day before, would be the day to do it...

    Posted 6 years ago #
  29. Roibeard
    Member

    I don't think anyone noticed my previous attempt at a Leith Walk flash ride, so I'm probably not the best organiser...

    No doubt it needs someone with more "followers", "friends", "connections" or whatever!

    Robert

    Posted 6 years ago #
  30. Arellcat
    Moderator

    The purpose of Councillor Hinds’ meeting on 6th June will be to seek feedback from stakeholders on the designs

    Haven't we seen this approach before?

    http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpress/topic.php?id=92#post-333

    Posted 6 years ago #

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