CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum » Infrastructure

Princes Street/Central Edinburgh redesign options

(119 posts)

  1. PS
    Member

    Genuine question, having observed loads of bikes interacting without any real problem with the many miles of tram lines in Munich:

    What is the problem here? Is it the novelty of the tramlines, ie Edinburgh cyclists haven't got the hang of either what to do in the vicinity of tramlines (eg crossing the lines or when a bus is behind you on Princes Street) or where the tramlines are? Or do cyclists need to be protected by complete segregation (As an aside, I'm looking forward to seeing the results of the Gehl Architects study on the city centre mentioned in the recent Spokes bulletin, which will presumably look at that sort of thing see here ).

    Clearly, the tramlines running in direction of travel on Princes St is not ideal (and I suspect this was avoided to some extent by segregated bikelanes in Munich), but walking along there last night there seemed to be plenty of cyclists merrily steaming along without too much concern about the lines.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  2. spitfire
    Member

    @recombodna - I know they are there and I managed to mis calculate my aproach position on the road from Shandwick and end up between the lines... there will be plenty times as Slideshowlinda says being forced out of the left lane by a bus pulling out to overtake a stationary bus...

    @PS - Having tried the tram lines at the wee test day that was organised back early 2010 I can say that my hybrid tyres got neatly stuck

    Bike Tram by spytfyre, on Flickr

    I find that I get nervous if I accidentally manage to join Princes Street in between them from Shandwick (as happened earlier this week. I can't be certain at what angle I will be able to cross them and if given little space by a tram or bus I could get intimidated into panicking and vacating at the wrong angle and toppling in front of a moving vehicle
    I think bus and tram drivers will need to be educated to be very patient with cyclists and give them plenty space and time to manuever
    Narrow the (stupidly wide) pavement and give us more room to filter past the buses.
    Was just showing a colelague that pic and he just said "they'll ban bikes"

    Posted 8 years ago #
  3. PS
    Member

    Thinking back to Munich, I suspect the German approach would be to mark out in tarmac a separate bike lane on the pavement. That would lead to more pedestrian-cyclist conflict (especially on crazy-busy Christmas shopping Saturdays), but that tends to be less lethal than Tram/bus-cyclist conflict.

    Peds would hopefully learn soon enough to check behind them when stepping onto the bike lane and cyclists would have to slow down compared to the speed we would normally expect to go on the road, but them's the breaks.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  4. chdot
    Admin

    "Was just showing a colelague that pic and he just said "they'll ban bikes""

    It was proposed in the early days...

    It was pointed out that a) this wasn't in any sort of spirit of integrated/sustainable transport and (more importantly..) the Police would not be willing to enforce it!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  5. kaputnik
    Moderator

    What is the problem here?

    Slippery surfaces + wet metal + badly sealed tarmac + darkness + less than 90 degree angle of transit + traffic coming at you with death stars head lamps set to stun kill = potential slipathon

    Posted 8 years ago #
  6. gembo
    Member

    I went down Princes St for first time since tram lines on THursday. Normally, I cut up at Hutchison Xway and go into town south of Princes St but went to Lidl with a colleague who was after their £6.99 Tap and Die set - felt heavy. I meant the Tap and Die set but actually so did Princes St - feel heavy I mean. There were about 20 buses all lined up. We took them all and went down the middle of the tram line. I will stick to Cowgate next time.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  7. wingpig
    Member

    When did the static tram disappear? It wasn't there this morning, possibly connected with the irritating surprise road-closure last night. Whilst the westbound bottleneck was mildly inconvenient for some it did mean that the right-hand lane was usually clear to skip into when reaching the end of the cobblysection.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  8. spitfire
    Member

    @wingpig - When did the static tram disappear?
    Ding Dong The Tram Is Gone!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  9. chdot
    Admin

    The reason for it being moved - "it is all part of the preparation for the winter festival celebrations which the City Council and their partners have planned throughout December and into the New Year"

    Don't know where it is though - don't think the tram depot is finished!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  10. kaputnik
    Moderator

    ah yes. It's getting near wintervalmas again. Must have got a team of magic reindeer in to haul it away. Should have put some wooden slats on it and used it as a Glühwein and tasty wurst bar

    Posted 8 years ago #
  11. spitfire
    Member

    @kaputnik - genius! or make it the temporary toilets!

    Posted 8 years ago #
  12. kaputnik
    Moderator

  13. spitfire
    Member

    Comment # 41

    "24 - I would leave the tracks in place as a reminder. It would also save the cost of lifting them.

    They are also good for cowping the odd cyclist or two."

    Posted 8 years ago #
  14. kaputnik
    Moderator

    They are also good for cowping the odd cyclist or two.

    I suggested at Friday-last's coffee morning that it would be unlikely that anyone would notice if we crept out at night and filled in the tracks with cement at a couple of strategic positions (foot of mound, junctions, Waverley Bridge). Perhaps some cosmetic black (or rusty) dye could be added so as not to draw attention to the fact.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  15. spitfire
    Member

    @kaputnik - Why use cement when we could be environmental and use old ground up tyres and inner tubes - get shredded tyres (like playground stuff) and some of the glue stuff - removable in 15 years time when the trams finally start running for the one day before someone dies and they get removed...

    Posted 8 years ago #
  16. chdot
    Admin

    This is the thread that recorded several bike/tram track incidents.

    According to Spokes they are "continuing at around 2-3 a month known to Spokes (and presumably others not known)".

    Spokes also says "a number of victims have complimented Lothian Buses drivers on their awareness of the problems and their prompt action…"

    http://www.spokes.org.uk/wordpress/2011/01/cyclists-and-lothian-buses

    Posted 8 years ago #
  17. chdot
    Admin

    WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?

    Don't go down Princes Street that much, but it must be fairly recently. At least 18 months after the 'problem' was memorably captured in a video which also got CCE onto the telly!, a small amount of paint has finally been added - obviously wasn't an urgent road safety issue!!

    Above screen grab from last night's STV report on the tram latest.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  18. kaputnik
    Moderator

    It's happened since I last went down that way, which I think was latish Monday night. Or perhaps I just wasn't paying that much attention...

    Posted 8 years ago #
  19. I can't see the pictures, what's in the big empty box???

    Posted 8 years ago #
  20. wingpig
    Member

    Square brackets denoting the start and end of the tracks opposite the end of Waverley Bridge. I usually turn west out of Waverley Bridge in the morning but I've not been looking over at the ends of the tracks enough to notice when they appeared.

    Are there some at the Shandwick Place end too?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  21. Min
    Member

    They have painted white lines round the start of the nonexistanttram lines

    Posted 8 years ago #
  22. kaputnik
    Moderator

    round the start

    and finish. Well, at the Waverley bridge end anyway.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  23. Arellcat
    Moderator

    Gosh, magic paint!

    Mind you, News Biscuit reported last month on the budget cuts in the Army that had prompted them to deploy cycle lanes instead of armour.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  24. Arellcat
    Moderator

    ...we could be environmental and use old ground up tyres and inner tubes - get shredded tyres (like playground stuff) and some of the glue stuff...

    Filling the gap in the rails isn't a new idea, but apparently it's also not as straightforward when the tolerances between rail groove and wheel flange are taken into account with the compressibility of the filler. Lots of interesting contributions, though.

    Some interesting proposals in Melbourne were mentioned in a news article and a fair amount of ensuing debate.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  25. DdF
    Member

    The white lines round the end of the tramlines will almost certainly be one of the immediate responses to the interim safety audit ... See Spokesworker 19.6.11 [Spokes members will have seen it already!]

    Posted 8 years ago #
  26. chdot
    Admin

    From Spokesworker 19.6.11

    'However Spokes has urged that easy items (such as the metal plates with high sides, and the ends of the tramlines) be tackled at once."

    Quite right too!

    @DdF how long did it take them to get round to the "interim safety audit"?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  27. PS
    Member

    I'm pretty sure that the square brackets have been there (certainly at Waverley Bridge end) for a few weeks now.

    Posted 8 years ago #
  28. crowriver
    Member

    Also from Spokesworker:

    "The much better cycling safety rate in the Netherlands is largely due to much better training and testing of car drivers in that country, leading to Dutch motorists consciously watching out for cyclists. [Spokes note: also 'strict liability–seeSpokes110,p8&spokesworker30.5.11] Incomparison, most American and Australian motorists seem to object to cyclists being on the road, and often endanger them, either deliberately, by trying to intimidate them, or inadvertently, out of ignorance about how to safely share the road. "

    Sound familiar?

    Posted 8 years ago #
  29. Arellcat
    Moderator

    I had a look at the tram rails at the West End this evening. There are 'warning' brackets painted at the end of the rails, just like at the Waverley Bridge end.

    However, they're actually almost invisible to a glance -- either from 20 metres back or when moving and trying to avoid buses and taxis -- because the solid white stop line is a couple of feet beyond them. I've travelled Princes St quite a few times in the last week or two and didn't recall noticing them. I usually take the left-hand (and usually bus-free) lane to get onto Princes St and out-accelerate the bus that usually occupies the other lane.

    Posted 8 years ago #

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