Another Missed Opportunity
Posted by chdot on February 26, 2008
From next Monday (March 3rd) Shandwick Place is due to be shut to traffic for utilities work in connection with the tram line. Lothian Buses thinks the work starts on Saturday and will last for eight weeks – though press reports in mid January said nineteen weeks.
Alternative routes for motor vehicles were announced a month ago. Routes for cyclists seem to be subject to ‘discussion’. Merely following the diversion for motors is not an option as it includes the Western Approach Road where bikes are banned.
tie (transport initiatives edinburgh) is the Council owned company responsible for a number of transport projects – particularly the tram. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to have much interest in cycling. It doesn’t favour the carriage of bikes on the trams and has not been overwhelmingly enthusiastic about finding ways for cyclists to travel by bike alongside the trams on Leith Walk and Princes Street.
It clearly has no great expertise in dealing with the needs of cyclists (who make up a significant proportion of the traffic during ‘rush’ hours). tie recently asked Spokes to suggest routes around the Shandwick Place stoppage. Ian Maxwell suggested, for east to west, Rutland Street – Rutland Square – Atholl Crescent – West Maitland Street – Torphichen Street and, in the other direction, West Maitland Street – Coates Crescent – Stafford Street – Alva Street. He points out that Alva Street is one-way and suggests that a “temporary contraflow” is considered.
The ideas were passed to tie’s consultants Faber Maunsell who have reported back that “there is very little option available to cyclists other than a part of what was suggested by Spokes.”
Unfortunately it turns out that both Atholl Crescent and Coates Crescent will only be available to service vehicles (and pedestrians). “For those cycling from East to West we suggest that cyclists use Atholl Crescent Lane as opposed to Atholl Crescent. The only other option is for cyclists to dismount and walk along the pedestrian access routes.”
So the Council that’s run by an administration ‘committed to making Edinburgh a model cycle friendly city‘ can’t even plan adequately for cyclists inconvenienced by the imminent road closure.
It’s ‘advertising’ the fact that city centre shops are open (see photo) but fails to take advantage of the inevitable traffic disruption caused by creating the tram line to ENCOURAGE cycling.