Tag Archives: Pavement Widths

Minute of Living Streets Edinburgh Annual General Meeting

Quaker Meeting House, November 14, 2022
Approximately 25 people were present.

  1. A number of apologies were recorded
  2. The Minute of LSEG AGM 2021 was approved and adopted. There were no matters arising.
  3. David Hunter noted LSEG’S significant activity of the previous year.
  4. Isobel Leckie noted that financial activity this year was minimal. The bank account balance with Bank of Scotland is £1144.36.
  5. DH outlined the current structure of the Living Streets Edinburgh Group having no formal committee structure but individuals taking responsibility for particular aspects. A requirement of Living Streets is that local groups have two named office holders. It was agreed that David Hunter and Isobel Leckie continue in respective posts as Convenor and Treasurer.
  6. Guest speaker Cllr. Arthur made the point that personal transport is about having choices and that these should focus on sustainability. Although walking is the main mode for a third of the population it arouses least public comment. He wanted to get away from an ongoing battle between cyclists and motorists. and to focus more on walking and public transport.
  7. A number of questions were raised from the floor which Cllr Arthur responded to.
  8. DH spoke to a paper indicating LSEG proposed priorities for 2023:
    – Campaign for increased budgets for the pedestrian environment (capital and staffing)
    – Secure better enforcement of controls on parking
    – Support specific local campaigns for placemaking and traffic reduction – LTNs, 20 min – Neighbourhood plans
    – Develop walk friendly- environments at and around schools
    – Influence planning policy and practice to aid walking and wheeling and reduce motor traffic
    – Grow number of our supporters and range of our campaigns.
    – DH described ways in which individuals could become involved with LSEG campaigning and encouraged anyone interested to get in touch.
  1. There was no further business and the meeting was closed.

Living Streets Edinburgh Group response to draft Council plans, May 2023

The City of Edinburgh Council has issued a number of important draft plans related to its overall ‘City Mobility Plan’.  You can read our comments here on the plans for Active Travel, Road Safety and Parking.

You can see the Council’s draft plans, and how to comment on them here: https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/cmp/ The deadline for responses is 9 July 2023: please have your say! We also welcome your feedback on our comments. 

Tollcross Primary School – Travel Survey 2022

Tollcross Early Years Campus is a combined nursery/primary-level educational setting – comprising Tollcross Primary School  (est. 1912), Tollcross Nursery and Lochrin Nursery School – with an approximate combined attendance of 300 students. 

Within this most recent travel survey, the families of Tollcross Early Years Campus sought to reflect on our school run and highlight solutions which place safe, convenient and active travel at the centre of the school run.

Our data highlights that the majority of respondents – 73% – walk to school over a distance of less than 2 miles. However, many respondents reported that shortcomings in the quality of infrastructure made active travel unpleasant at best or impossible at worst. Looking toward solutions, respondents indicated that widening pavements and improving cleanliness (e.g. emptying over-flowing bins) would make them more likely to choose active travel modes to get to school. More ambitiously, overhauling the design of Tollcross Junction to prioritise pedestrian throughput would bring positive, sustainable and long-lasting improvements to the lives of many of our families and to the safety of our children.

The full report can be read here – 2.2mb PDF

The Wisp / Old Dalkeith Road

A Living Streets Edinburgh volunteer paid a detailed visit to this junction following social media reports. She described it as “one of the worse junctions I’ve seen. Truly shocking, and feels unsafe to walk across.
Pedestrian is vulnerable crossing three lanes of traffic with vehicles passing close by at up to 40mph. I would avoid using this crossing, and it would be especially risky for slower walkers, eg. with children, wheelchairs, sight impairment, or elderly, etc.”

Summary:
• Inadequate green man illumination (7 seconds).
• Wide splay, no islands, cyclists swirling along pavement.
• Small crossing signals, poorly positioned and difficult to see.
• Absence or invisibility of road sign for change of speed limit.
• Two cars observed speeding through crossing while woman was walking on Green Man phase.

Details:

Old Dalkeith Road (A7) / The Wisp
Traffic signals
Not automated
No audio (beeps)
Tactile cones – present and workoing
Max waiting time for GM: 59 seconds
Length of GM phase: 7 seconds
Date Fri 23/9/22
Time 12.30

Description:

This is a busy junction designed to ease vehicle flow, not protect pedestrians. The Wisp runs north-south onto Old Dalkeith Road which is in west – east direction (before bending south). There are two lanes of traffic both ways on Old Dalkeith Road travelling at 40mph. It is a complex traffic light system with filters for different traffic lanes going straight ahead or turning.

The speed limit changes at the junction, from 40mph on Old Dalkeith Road, to 30mph on The Wisp. There is a 30mph sign visible to vehicles turning right into The Wisp from east side of junction, but no sign is visible to vehicles turning in from the west. Without visible signage, vehicles turning left into The Wisp may continue to drive at 40mph in the 30mph zone past Danderhall village.

I’ve reported this speed signage problem to CEC and to Midlothian Council (as the junction is on the border).

Junction is splayed wide and traffic turns corner at 40mph.

There are two pedestrian crossings, operating separately from each other – south end of The Wisp, and Old Dalkeith Road at east side of junction. Both crossings span three traffic lanes with no islands offering protection. Pedestrian road markings are not easily visible, camouflaged by colour of road.

People must ‘cross with traffic’ which feels dangerous while vehicles alongside are moving through filter lights.

The new pavement on the west side of The Wisp is extra wide -maybe it is for shared use with bicycles? There are no signs on the pavement, but the pedestrian crossing includes cycle lights. Cyclists were observed using the pavement. (Not surprised – cycling on the road here would be hazardous or frightening, given the multiple traffic lanes and high speeds.)

There is a new housing estate under construction to the north-west of the junction.
The bus stop on the south side of Old Dalkeith Road is accessible only via the pedestrian crossing.

The crossing light for pedestrians is mounted at waist height and faces in the direction of the road, not the pedestrian’s crossing route, so the GM on the far side is not visible when walking across.
The GM is illuminated for only 7 seconds and changes to red before people have crossed the road, even when walking quickly.

By the time the pedestrian light on the far side becomes visible, it has changed to red, which is alarming since you have no way of knowing how long before traffic starts to move again.

Together with vehicles moving through the junction alongside while GM is illuminated, the pedestrian feels feels vulnerable and insecure.

Total cycle time varied from 1 minute to 1 min 45 sec, so the GM appearance was unpredictable. There are no beeps, and the pedestrian crossing light is small and poorly positioned, so it is easy to miss the change from red to green, and then have to wait another minute or more. It is also possible to miss the GM phase because it is so short, especially if watching the traffic to gauge when the lights will change.

I saw a person crossing without waiting for GM light, which is very risky because of unpredictable traffic flow from traffic filter lanes.

In one phase I saw two cars drive fast through the green man while a woman was crossing The Wisp. She was visibly shaken. She was on The Wisp crossing and the cars were turning left into The Wisp from Old Dalkeith Road (west) where traffic was moving at 40mph.

Either the drivers deliberately drove through their light on red, or they were confused by the filter lights (which were red for left but green for ahead). The cars went through the crossing a long time after the GM appeared, as the woman was already half way across.

Spoke to two women with pushchairs who were obviously frustrated with this crossing. They said it had been installed quite recently. The previous system had both pedestrian crossings green at the same time, and all traffic stopped at once, which felt safer as pedestrians could cross without vehicle movement. They miss the audio beeps that have disappeared.

The women were very glad to speak as they feel ignored by council and road planners.

Photos attempt to show poor visibility of pedestrian lights, and wide splay of roads at junction.

Smokey Brae Consultation – LSE Response

LSEG supports the proposals for Smokey Brae in the consultation advertised in April 2022: https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/smokey-brae-improvements-developed-designs/

Smokey Brae is currently at total odds with the transport hierarchy. It feels like a hostile environment for anyone not moving in a car. The current layout puts pedestrians in as an afterthought and is particularly unsuitable for anyone pushing a pram or using a wheelchair. The pavement is too narrow, and traffic moves incredibly quickly and close to those using it. The pavement creates a pinch point that when two adults walk through in opposite directions on foot, they struggle to pass. If a pram or wheelchair is involved, one party must give way. Currently, walkers and wheelers who choose to avoid this junction due to its inadequacies must make a 15-minute detour.

LSEG greatly welcomes the proposals to redesign Smokey Brae and create a space that respects the transport hierarchy more.

We strongly support the introduction of continuous pavement with raised table junctions. We would like you to implement these using pavement materials rather than road material as this will emphasise pedestrian priority.

The designs appear to reduce the overall footway space available for pedestrians by removing the pavement on the eastern side of the road. However, this seems to be a reasonable compromise as there is currently no safe crossing near the railway underpass, and the existing footway is too narrow.

If it’s possible to make the proposed new pavement even wider, LSEG will welcome this. However, we appreciate this may not be easy to do given the overall width available and the welcome introduction of safe infrastructure for cyclists. Perhaps you could achieve this by closing the road from the T-junction to the Meadowbank House entrance to both northbound and southbound traffic, except for emergency vehicles only. This change would allow the fire service quick access to the south and create ample room for walkers, wheelers and cyclists alike.

LSEG members have noted that the Jock’s Lodge crossroads have abysmal pedestrian crossing times. Those who need to cross the road must wait for 2-minutes between signals and only have 7 seconds to cross. People who want to go down Smokey Brae will need to use these crossings. Pedestrians coming from Portobello Road will now have to as the pavement has switched sides. Therefore we think it should be a requirement to adjust the timings of these crossings to give more priority to pedestrians; 7 seconds isn’t enough!

Lastly, we’ve mentioned in our other answers to the survey that we would like the introduction of seating and wildflowers. Due care should be given to the seating positioning so as not to obstruct the natural movement of people through the area.