Not Seeing Red
Posted by chdot on April 29, 2009
According to the News “road chiefs have agreed to focus their efforts on residential streets due to the already “exceptional” level of roadworks in the city centre as a result of tram project.”
This is understandable – there’s rather a lot of digging between Leith and Haymarket at present. Unfortunately it also increases the danger that suburban side streets, that aren’t in a particularly bad way, will get priority over longstanding, outstanding, needs closer to the centre where cycle use is high and provision is (literally) patchy.
The Council still can’t make its mind up over whether or not to use red surfacing in the ‘sensitive’ World Heritage area. (A year ago it seemed that this had been resolved when a brand new red Advance Stop Line appeared in Heriot Row – but it was some sort of ‘mistake’.)
Meanwhile in areas where there is no problem of principle, there seems to be no mechanism for doing regular, basic, maintenance of cycle lanes and ASLs – both the red surfacing and white bicycle logo and lane markings.
Some Council officials claim it’s a matter of ‘resources’ – but it’s clear that’s it’s more to do with priorities. In spite of Council policies that aim to encourage walking and cycling, it seems that the basics of marking on-road cycle lanes are too difficult to deal with.
Well maintained cycle lanes (e.g. painting the markings before they fade to invisibility) would indicate that the Council takes the encouraging of cycling (and the safety of cyclists) seriously.
The photo shows a newly surfaced section of Marchmont Road designed to increase the safety of pedestrians using the Zebra Crossing. The vibrant red section of cycle lane is most welcome – but it serves to show how shabby the rest of the lanes are (see video).
At a recent Cycle Forum (where representatives of local cycling organisations meet council officials) it was pointed out that the Clarence hotline (Freephone 0800 23 23 23 firstname.lastname@example.org) was the place to report problems. Small ones, such as missing white markings, are apparently likely to get fixed quite quickly. Seeing red may take longer…