There are three signalled crossings in the area audited, all across Home Street. We recorded a significant amount of data on the crossing times and pedestrian phases which are attached as an appendix. These are our chief conclusions (from south to north).
Home Street/Tarvit Street/Gilmore Place
‘This crossing works very well for pedestrians crossing Tarvit Street, and is the best example of pedestrian prioritisation in the audit area (with 75% of time allocated to pedestrians). We want to see no deterioration in this when the cycle route is implemented (this will block off Tarvit Street to vehicles, meaning a new sequence of pedestrian phases at the traffic signals). At present, there is a ‘green man’ for people walking south on the east side of Home Street across Tarvit Street for 75% of the signal cycle (because there is a ‘red man’ phase only when vehicles are exiting Tarvit Street). However, the 15 seconds of ‘green man’ provided for the diagonal crossing (from the Kings theatre to the Killer restaurant) gave insufficient time for slower pedestrians to cross (including the user of a powered wheelchair). Consideration should therefore be given to extending the green man phase. Ideally, Gilmore Place should be widened at this junction, as the pavement is too narrow to accommodate the pedestrian traffic at Home Street.
Home Street Pedestrian Crossing (William Hill to Ladbrokes)
The middle pedestrian crossing appears to have no phase activated by a pedestrian pressing the button for the green man; the green man phase is determined entirely by the sequence at the Gilmore Place/Tarvit Street junction. We anticipate that this crossing will be replaced by a cycle-friendly signalised crossing as part of the cycle route, and would expect that this should provide an opportunity to introduce an on-demand green man phase for pedestrians.
Tollcross junction (A702)
We would like to see a strategic review of this junction, which is very hostile for pedestrians (Figure 17). While our focus was on the crossing of the A702 (Home Street), there are important issues affecting the other pedestrian routes which crossing (West Tollcross, Earl Grey Street, Lauriston Place and Brougham Street). We appreciate that such a review must also take into account the flows and volumes of traffic as well as of pedestrians. We recorded detailed timings of pedestrian crossing routes across all roads at the junction; these are set out in the Appendix together with comments.
In essence, we would like to see a greater emphasis on ‘place’ over ‘movement’ (4) and a reduction in the time it takes for pedestrians to cross the junction: it takes almost 4 minutes to cross this junction on foot through the ‘green man’ phases at present, and many pedestrians currently take short cuts through ‘red man’ phases as a result. We suggest investigating the possibility of installing a central refuge where the clock is, combined with new timings on the green man in all directions at once to allow pedestrians to cross diagonally as desired.
There are also some more immediate improvements we recommend. The traffic islands are small and narrow; this makes pedestrians feel very exposed to the traffic, and was especially uncomfortable for a wheelchair user. The ‘red man’ light on the northerly traffic island on the A702 (the first as seen from James Morrow) is out. As noted above, the ‘dropped’ kerb on the crossing (Figure 13 above) was measured at 40mm – a huge vertical drop – making it entirely unfit for purpose – and should be relaid.