CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

Princes Street/Central Edinburgh redesign options

(119 posts)

  1. ht
    Member

    I absolutely agree that a good solution at the Mound crossing would be to paint a red strip to show a safe and sensible line---if it went nearly perpendicular to Princes Street from the exit from Hanover Street until across both sets of tracks, and then along the front of the RSA and around the corner, it wouldn't upset motor traffic either.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  2. blmweb
    Member

    How do other tram/cycling mixes work in other cities? (specifically on where cyclists have to cross tracks)

    Are they better thought through (inevitably...) or is it just a case of learning how to cope?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  3. Dave
    Member

    I remember almost ten years ago getting my wheels stuck in a tram track in Gent. And recently in Krakow, I remember thinking to myself that I was glad not to be on two wheels!

    But, I wonder if it is less common to combine high speed traffic gnarl like the Mound, with a tricky tram crossing?

    @HT - I'm trying to visualise this, but wouldn't it result in a terrible pinch point on the corner of the mound/RSA as bikes try to reintegrate with the traffic flow at speed?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  4. Arellcat
    Moderator

    Try looking at the intersection of Church Steet and Queen Street in Toronto, using Streetview. I was staying quite close to there so I was backwards and forwards over that junction all the time. In the dry it was fine. In the wet you had to go slowly and carefully, but that didn't matter because all the car drivers were doing the same and most drivers were very polite.

    They also use concrete instead of tarmac, with a brushed textured surface that's nice and grippy. To give the Toronto cyclists their due, most were riding bikes shod with 1.5-2.0 inch tyres.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  5. ht
    Member

    @Dave: Wrt "terrible pinch point on the corner of the mound/RSA as bikes try to reintegrate with the traffic flow at speed?", I can't visualise clearly enough, but just maybe there is enough room to swing the line out a bit back towards the 'natural' line before hitting the corner. Anyone got a pointer to the design drawings for that corner showing the tracks, reservations, etc.?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  6. smsm1
    Member

    I've been caught on the Croydon Tramlink before after having cycled across the junction many times. The key is to not race, and make sure you go over the tracks at a big enough angle and you'll be fine. I've found that 30-45 degrees is enough normally.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  7. DdF
    Member

    A few points...

    a. The council is I believe planning a yellow box junction at the Mound - not sure if it is there now, or if it's imminent, or if it's only for when the trams arrive. They were talking about leaving the recommended bike route through it unpainted, and were going to check out if that is allowed in the rules for such boxes. Clearly such things all should have been sorted out before the road opened - a lesson which the council/TIE have already been told from the experience with the Nottingham tram, but clearly not followed in Princes Street.

    b. Cobbles - had never been mentioned in any of the public consultations as far as I recall, and certainly not in any meetings with Spokes. Sounds like another initiative by the streetscape section of the council (Riccardo Marini 'City Design Leader' and the Streetscape Board, etc) with no thought to cycling implications - absolutely typical for them (although when challenged they say they want to encourage more cycling in the city!)

    c. The TPi tram report suggested that certain locations might benefit from road markings indicating the 'swept path' of the tram - i.e. showing how far it sticks out, e.g. at tricky bends etc. Apparently this is done in several UK cities, e.g. with coloured dots on the road. Rumours has it that this has been ruled out for Edinburgh by Streetscape.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  8. DdF
    Member

    If people are falling off due to the tramlines it's very important that each incident is reported so that the seriousness becomes apparent to the authorities, and they can identify particular danger points. Depending on what traffic is around, or even if none, the result of coming off in tramlines can be very serious, as found in other cities. I have just emailed a few relevant officials about what has already been reported on this forum.

    My suggestion if you come off is to send an email to one or more of your councillors describing what happened (find them at writetothem.com) and also copy it to info@edinburghtrams.com (TIE) and to spokes@spokes.org.uk; or at the least record it on this forum.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  9. Dave
    Member

    Will they do anything about it though? I get the impression that with £500m (plus the inevitable overrun) and years of bad publicity already, hacking things about to please cyclists is particularly low down the pecking order...

    Ready to be impressed, but not holding my breath!

    PS. Would it help if we sent repair bills to the council, pothole-style? I suspect not, just asking...

    Posted 9 years ago #
  10. chdot
    Admin

    @Dave - I think "repair bills" might be the least of the Council's problems.

    In a litigious age has the council done enough to make Princes Street (with tram tracks) 'reasonably' safe?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  11. chdot
    Admin

    Apparently

    "some remedial measures are being worked on"

    SOON please.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  12. I think we should launch a guerilla action, making up and placing on the rails a small pedal powered tram capable of carrying, say, 6 or 7 people and running a shuttle service in the mornings. :P

    Posted 9 years ago #
  13. chdot
    Admin

    A@W

    Would it carry bikes?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  14. It would have to wouldn't it? The only difficulty would be having something light enough to lift up at the end and put onto the tracks going the other way.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  15. ravenbait
    Member

    Hurm. I may have to go and take a gander myself. As the tyres on my usual commuter bike are 700x25 I can see them easily becoming trapped. And it's a fixed gear, which would make rear wheel incidents entertaining, to say the least.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  16. Kim
    Member

    A more practical approach would be to record every incident, and we have two here so far, then remind them of the cycle path in Holyrood Park and their duty of care, raising the possibility of a class action. I think we would see fairly rapid action if there was a risk of litigation.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  17. ht
    Member

    I'm concerned at the assumption which appears to me to underlie the trend of this discussion that cyclists are in an essentially adversarial relationship with the Council on this. That seems to me not only unnecessary but downright counterproductive at this stage. After all, this is a new situation where we have a chance to try to work together to find solutions that work for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. I am absolutely not interested in being some kind of poster boy for a campaign to attack the Council, TIE or anyone else.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  18. chdot
    Admin

    I can only answer for myself, though I don't think this thread has an undue amount of 'council bashing'.

    OK I just used the word undue.

    It's always easy to blame 'the council' the goverment' etc. which is clearly simplistically lazy.

    In this instance there are two problems. One is that it's remarkably difficult to pin down responsibilty. Most roads in Edinburgh are the responsibility of the Council. Responsibility for delivering the tram is with TIE. TIE is wholly owned by the Council.

    Somehow there are gaps between these two organisations which 'difficult' things seem to fall down...

    The other thing is that there have been lots of attempts to "work together". The local campaign group Spokes has had many meetings with TIE/Council officials.

    Its agenda is to get the best conditions for cyclists but has also been very supportive of the idea of the tram (which hasn't been popular with some members, particularly when a tram line along the Roseburn Corridor seemed likely.)

    Spokes has been very helpful in pointing out what has happened in other parts of the world. It even part-paid for a tram/bike expert to come from The Netherlands to try to resolve some of the road space issues on Leith Walk.

    To say all this has had little effect on TIE is perhaps an understatement.

    See poster DdF above saying that the cobbled area on Princes Street came as a surprise.

    In short it's perhaps understandable if some cyclists feel a little exasperated with 'the council' - especially if they have had some injury to their body/bike/pride.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  19. LaidBack
    Member

    HT says "I'm concerned at the assumption which appears to me to underlie the trend of this discussion that cyclists are in an essentially adversarial relationship with the Council on this. That seems to me not only unnecessary but downright counterproductive at this stage. After all, this is a new situation where we have a chance to try to work together to find solutions that work for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles."

    DdF and Spokes have been very good at working with the Council on all sorts of issues regrading this and other things.
    Sadly we await action on many items that seemed to have been agreed.
    Things would be a lot worse if some of us weren't adversarial.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  20. Matchstickwarrior
    Member

    Had a look at Princes St when I was along there on Saturday.
    Now, tarmac and tramlines do not mix very well - I lived in Rome for 3 years where this arrangement is quite common (due mostly to its cheapness) and andy tarmac in the vicinity of tramlines breaks down pretty quickly. Lo and behold, at the foot of the mound and at the bottom of Frederick St where traffic crosses the lines at the junctions movement is already occurring. Further damage seems to have been caused along the rest of the street purely due to the buses running over the lines for just ONE week.
    In most other countries, the trams run on lines placed inside pre-fabricated concrete sections with thick rubber shock absorbing strips either side of the rails. As this is a modern development, why has this not been done? Has this really been done on such a cheap level?
    And how long before the street has to be repaired again? Not long I fear.
    And the danger to cyclists from an unstable road surface? Significant.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  21. chdot
    Admin

    Was down Princes Street at lunch time.

    Bit disappointed by state of surface around tracks in some places.

    Not too surprised to see some work continuing.

    Hung around at the foot of The Mound.


    Saw a few cyclists having no problems. Saw one turn left onto Princes Street (without dismounting). Saw a women cycle through red light and turn right!

    Saw a taxi driver turn left (into a green man phase - no pedestrians so he kept going). Another taxi driver turned right from Hanover Street and was surprised to find pedestrians crossing legally.


    A large artic turned (illegally) up The Mound demanding 'right of way' with its horn.

    Meanwhile pedestrians jaywalking all over the place (mostly on both sides of Princes Street across the Hanover/Mound junctions).

    Seems that as soon as you introduce tram tracks you get Continental behaviour.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  22. Dave
    Member

    It defies belief that the surface is already being destroyed - did they put down special "soft cheese" rush tarmac or something?

    Posted 9 years ago #
  23. chdot
    Admin

    I think "rush" is the key word.

    Posted 9 years ago #
  24. Kim
    Member

    chdot I think you should send a copy of that photo to Tunderman Transport (http://www.tunderman.nl/contact/contact.html) they might be interested in having a word with the driver of BP-TT-55...

    Posted 9 years ago #
  25. chdot
    Admin

    Thanks, already did.

    AND this one

    Posted 9 years ago #
  26. Kim
    Member

    That one should defiantly go to the Lothian and Borders Police...

    Posted 9 years ago #
  27. Kim
    Member

    Interestingly the Edinburgh Trams "cycling and trams" leaflet, shows guide lanes to help cyclist cross the tracks on it. So maybe there will be proper road markings when they get round to finishing the job after all. Only time will tell...

    Posted 9 years ago #
  28. chdot
    Admin

    WELL SPOTTED KIM!!!

    No doubt TIE is planning to paint similar lines (I presume this is a real place, not an 'artist's impression') the day before the tram starts running.

    ALSO

    "...on Princes Street the biggest issue is the high pedestrian numbers, hence the need to maximise footway space.

    In setting those priorities, the City of Edinburgh Council and tie Ltd look to take as balanced a view as possible and every effort is being made to compensate other users; in the case of cyclists this means introducing lanes where space permits and providing advanced stop lines and lead-ins where space and
    traffic constraints allow."

    Posted 9 years ago #
  29. SRD
    Moderator

    Then why has no one from Council pointed this out in any of these news stories????? (I still find the 'cyclists dismount' worrying too).

    Posted 9 years ago #
  30. chdot
    Admin

    P.s. are there paper versions of this leaflet?

    Posted 9 years ago #

RSS feed for this topic

Reply »

You must log in to post.


Video embedded using Easy Video Embed plugin