Archive for December, 2007

Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Plan for E

Posted by chdot on December 31, 2007

From the draft

“For more than 30 years bicycling has been an important part of our community. With the help of energetic bicycling advocates and a supportive City Council, bicycling has become part of E’s great lifestyle.

Bicycling is fun and convenient due to a well-coordinated system of bikeways in E. The system includes 30 miles of off-street paths, 89 miles of on-street bicycle lanes.

We encourage everyone, residents and visitors, to try bicycling in and around E.”

Of course that “E” is not Edinburgh; it’s Eugene (Oregon) which describes itself as “The World’s Greatest City of the Arts & Outdoors”. Perhaps Edinburgh only matches this in August and at Hogmanay!-

Part of Edinburgh’s new Cycling Officer‘s job, is to produce a cycle plan for Edinburgh. The process in Eugene involved significant public consultation –

“What began in the fall of 2006 with the Walking and Biking Summit has steadily evolved into a full-fledged strategic plan to achieve the vision of making Eugene a leader in support of pedestrians and cyclists. City staff developed this strategic plan using a dynamic community and stakeholder engagement process with guidance from a 12-member citizen led Departmental Advisory Committee (DAC).”

A similar process has been undertaken in Edinburgh as part of its Core Paths process.

The result is an impressive 30 page document, (prepared for the City of Eugene’s Department of Public Works by the Community Planning Workshop at the University of Oregon), with a wide range of proposals rated with priorities and ‘resource requirements’ (though no actual costings).

As Spokes pointed out in its recent Spokesworker “The Lib Dem manifesto promised to make Edinburgh a Model Cycle-Friendly (and Walk-Friendly) City. The manifesto also promised a number of specifics on cycling [see Spokes Bulletin 97, page 5] but it didn’t explain what a model cycle-friendly city is!!

So far, the new council seems to be following the pattern of the previous council, doing a fair bit for cyclists, but nothing really outstanding that could possibly live up to the promise of a Model Cycle-Friendly City.”

Perhaps an example set on the west coast of America will help.

The final draft of the plan will be released at the 2008 Eugene Walking and Biking Summit on January 26, 2008

Posted in Art, bike security theft, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Core Path Network, cycle parking, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, paths, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes, Sustrans, TryCycling, walking | 6 Comments »

Four Weeks Late

Posted by chdot on December 30, 2007

(But worth the wait).

Unique, Stylish, Entertaining, Made in Edinburgh (and FREE) –

The thirtieth edition of citycycling is now on-line. Creator .ant says “Finally finally finally sorted out my hosting (and email) problems today!!! It’s been something of a frustrating and annoying wee episode…”

Posted in Art, citycycling, commuting, critical mass, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ride, Safe Routes to School, Sustrans, technology, walking | Leave a Comment »

Try Your Christmas Bike in the Park

Posted by chdot on December 20, 2007


A simple Christmas present from Historic Scotland is the chance to cycle in car-free Holyrood Park. Roads are already closed every Sunday but the seasonal addition of next Tuesday and Wednesday is a bonus. As the press release says:

“Holyrood Park is one of the most popular places for children to try out new bikes, roller skates and other Christmas gifts.

To help make sure families can enjoy these pleasurable moments without having to worry about cars, there will be traffic restrictions on 25 and 26 December.

And we all know that kids can be a wee bit wobbly on a new bike, so it’s great that there’s somewhere they can go where families don’t have to worry about the traffic.”

Meanwhile in Bogotá “over 70 miles of city streets are closed to traffic” every Sunday. This brings out thousands of walker, skaters and cyclists. In addition there are organised aerobics sessions.

Imagine even 7 miles being closed in Edinburgh every week – or Holyrood Park as a no through road every day, not just for Christmas….

Posted in ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Cycling News, cycling world, Edinburgh, European Moblity Week, HEALTH, holidays, Safety, TryCycling, walking | 2 Comments »

Kyoto Bali Copenhagen

Posted by chdot on December 15, 2007

Watch the video

The talking in Bali is over. The American Government, having been isolated by all others, finally agreed to remain part of the ‘Climate Change process’: (BBC story).

The next major meeting will be in Europe, in Denmark, in Copenhagen, in 2009.

There is increasing realisation that there is no ‘business as usual’ option. In today’s edition of The Times – once the UK’s ‘establishment’ newspaper, former Conservative M.P. Matthew Parris has a column headed “Please force us to go green“.

Things are changing. They have to change. Whether it will be fast enough to avoid some of the most pessimistic predictions remains to be seen.

Two years for talks about talks may be too long in the face of increasing suggestions that the world only has ten years to start making significant reductions in climate changing emissions. But fortunately it’s not just about waiting for Governments to do things – though it would help if some of them set better examples.

Cycling more and driving less is a tiny step that many individuals could take. Selling the car and joining the City Car Club is an option for some.

Of course the fact that the next conference is in Copenhagen will help concentrate minds. It is probably the best known example of a city taking cycling seriously. The council there has been gradually and significantly improving facilities for nearly thirty years – the results are clear. Keep up with some of the results on the excellent and inspirational Cycleliciousness blog.

In Edinburgh unfortunately the council still isn’t quite so cycle minded, though, at last, it has a new Cycling Officer. One of his first jobs is to write the council’s Cycle Strategy. At least there are people in the city who have recently embarked on the Transition City voyage. Perhaps 2009 will be a useful deadline for showing some of the things Edinburgh and its inhabitants can do to make the city less ‘carbon dependent’.

 Road to Copenhagen 2009


Posted in Bike Week, Bikes on trains, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, Core Path Network, critical mass, cycle parking, cycle training, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week, Safe Routes to School, Spokes, technology, TryCycling, walking, What the papers say | 3 Comments »

Have You Had Your Bike Stolen Recently?

Posted by chdot on December 13, 2007

If so there is a reasonable chance that it’s waiting for you in the Police Lost Property at Fettes (map).

Normally this is only open during weekday office hours. On Monday night (December 17th), between 5.30pm and 7.30pm, there is a special chance to look and see if your bike has been recovered.

A police spokeswoman says: “We hope this event will assist in solving a number of bicycle theft enquiries and help us return some of this property to its rightful owner.” (L&B Press Release).

If you haven’t had you bike pinched it might be worth adding a photo and details to the My Bicycle in Edinburgh Flickr group. IF it’s ever stolen you will have a photo and details of it instantly available (keep the frame number safe, somewhere else).

Of course you can reduce the chance of theft by being careful where you leave your valuable means of transport.

DO lock it something solid (cast iron banisters in tenements don’t count).

DO use a decent lock – 10 – 20% of the value of the bike is a useful guide.

More than one lock is thought to be a significant deterrent – a cable to tie the wheels is wise.

Posted in bike security theft, citycycling, commuting, cycle parking, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, technology | 2 Comments »

Sustrans Wins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by chdot on December 12, 2007

So that’s £50m for new links and improvements to the National Cycle Network adding significant facilities for walking and cycling, (CE.i story). As someone who works for Sustrans in Edinburgh says: “We just heard we won Connect2 so at least the public feels walking and cycling projects are important! We won 42% of the total vote which is pretty significant.” 

The Connect2 site says: “We start work on delivering Connect2 in January 2008. Our local authority partners are poised ready to go, and will be adding matched funding from their own transport and other budgets to the £50 million from the Big Lottery Fund. This is a five year project, and in total we have already identified nearly £100 million of local authority funding to support Connect2, and we are working hard to bring even more funding to the project so that we can ensure as many people as possible benefit from Connect2.”

Posted in Art, bike security theft, Bikes on trains, citycycling, commuting, connect2, Core Path Network, critical mass, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, EducatedTravel, HEALTH, holidays, Maps, paths, ride, Safe Routes to School, Sustrans, walking | 3 Comments »

GNER No More

Posted by chdot on December 9, 2007

From today Edinburgh to London trains will no longer be run by the Great North Eastern Railway – universally known as GNER.

The new franchise holder is National Express East Coast. Somehow N E E C (or even Neec – neek??) doesn’t sound as solid as GNER – though with its plans to rebrand the East Coast Main Line, National Express perhaps considers the previous company’s image to be too ‘stolid’. (NE hopes its tag of NXEC will stick.)

But will cyclists be better or worse off? Probably slightly better. The web site information is clear. There are plans to improve cycle parking at stations controlled by NEEC (not Waverley).

Tandems will still be carried (most train companies don’t) – if you book 2 spaces. It’s now possible to book “bicycle spaces” (still free) on-line, at the time of buying tickets. As some fares have a 10% on-line discount, this is good for people who are able to plan ahead and get sensible/bargain prices for rail travel.

One small (but significant) improvement that NEEC is introducing is free WiFi in 2nd class (previously only free in 1st class).

TRANSform Scotland recently produced a report about the advantages of rail over air which also suggested other improvements that could be introduced.

Posted in Bikes on trains, citycycling, commuting, cycle parking, Cycling News, cycling world, Glasgow | 3 Comments »

In Case You Need Persuading

Posted by chdot on December 7, 2007

TONIGHT at five past eleven on STV is the round-up of the four projects up for The People’s £50 Million Lottery Giveaway. Only one is UK wide and only one is predominantly about better facilities for cycling.

That of course is Sustrans’ Connect2 project.

Telephone voting began today and carries on until 12 MIDDAY on Monday (10 December 2007). “Maximum call charge 10p from a BT landline, calls from mobiles and other operators may be higher. No profits are made by ITV or Big Lottery Fund from your calls.”

Only one call counts from any number. No call – no count.

Posted in Art, Bikes on trains, citycycling, commuting, connect2, Core Path Network, critical mass, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Glasgow, paths, ride, Safe Routes to School, Sustrans | Leave a Comment »

Edinburgh in Transition?

Posted by chdot on December 5, 2007

A fairly new idea in the ‘fight against climate change’ is the Transition Town. The only one in Scotland (so far) is Portobello! Once it really was a town – there’s still the Town Hall – the old one (pictured) is now the Police Station.

The Transition Town impetus here came from PEDAL (Portobello Energy Descent and Land Reform Group. It is also responsible for a meeting on Sunday (9th of December from 2pm – 4.30pm).

The event titled Edinburgh: Scotland’s First Transition City? is described as a talk and workshop on a practical response to Climate Change and Peak Oil.

“It will bring together social and environmental activists, decision and policy makers, business and church leaders and leading academics. We will be asking if Edinburgh is ready to follow their lead, to re-localise our city and dramatically lower its carbon footprint.”


2pm: Mandy Meikle of Reforesting Scotland will talk about Peak Oil, Justin Kenrick of PEDAL will talk about the Transition Town in Portobello; Mark Lazarowicz; MP will talk about the Community Energy Project for North Edinburgh Leith; Ben Brangwyn of the Transition Town Network will talk about the Transition Town movement, and how it might work in Edinburgh.

2.30: Small discussion groups looking at “How to move Edinburgh towards being a Transition City.”

4.00 Discussion groups feed back to the main group.

Venue The Melting Pot, 5 Rose St (behind Jenners).

For further information, or to book a place, contact Eva Schonveld 0131 657 2555

Posted in ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, cycle parking, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, European Moblity Week | 2 Comments »

Cycle Action at QM

Posted by chdot on December 4, 2007

The new Queen Margaret University next to Musselburgh Station already has a reasonable number of cycle commuters. Now some of them are hoping to encourage some more and are also hoping for improvements to the routes to the campus and its on-site facilities.

There’s a covered row of racks near the main entrance and showers and changing rooms available. The cycle path from Newcraighall is due to get solar powered streetlights and a better surface, in places, over the Christmas holidays.

Tomorrow (Wednesday December the 5th) there’s a meeting at 12.30 in Room 55. Organisers Oonagh O’Brien (Institute International Health and Development) and Matt McClatchy (Podiatry student and Security) are inviting “anyone interested in cycling (experienced or returning/would-be cyclists) to an inaugural meeting of a new QMU cycling group. You may be a student, in administration, registry, security, academic staff, senior management, estates and facilities, all are welcome.”

They have the following suggestions for discussions:

* to support all cyclists travelling to QM,

* to ensure people know how the bike-to-work scheme works,

* think about some new systems in the university, for example spare puncture kits in building etc,

* to share skills, knowledge about routes, bike shops, support or buddy new cyclists,

* to ensure on going development of facilities at QM (improve the shower/changing rooms and learn more about the green travel policy)

* Link to Spokes, TryCycling in Edinburgh and other lobbying groups re general cycling issues – improving roads/paths/travel by train etc.

There’s a lot of potential to improve existing routes and create new ones. The campus is in East Lothian – but only just. Newcraighall is in Edinburgh and Midlothian is just across the road (bypass).

‘Cross border’ cycle routes are being developed. SEStran recent put money into a few. With development likely in the Shawfair/South East Wedge area due in the the next few years, there will need to be more.

Posted in Bikes on trains, ChangingPace, citycycling, commuting, Core Path Network, cycle parking, Cycling News, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, HEALTH, paths, Shawfair, Spokes maps, Sustrans, TryCycling | 1 Comment »