Manufactured conflict: postscript

When even stupid design goals aren’t met

I posted recently about the redesign of a cycleway in Edinburgh which has manufactured conflict between pedestrians and cyclists.

One prominent part of the discussion around this step back in bike/walking provision is the weird way that pedestrians have to walk out onto the “wrong” side of the road then walk across the road onto the pavement, where previously the path just led them naturally onto the pavement.

Apparently this re-alignment is because there “had been reports of conflicts arising with cyclists travelling on the wrong lane and vehicles manoeuvring at the end of Barnton Avenue.”

Ignoring the obvious issue that Edinburgh Council’s design team seem to have forgotten that legally, cyclists are vehicles, and ignoring the issue that vehicles manoeuvring at the end of a mile-long cul-de-sac are basically nowhere to be seen – the natural line to take to enter the new path is still on the “wrong” side of the road.

The chicane could potentially be reversed, but I think at that point a desire line would open up around the boulders on the right instead. I keep thinking the paved gutter there invites a cut-through.

So pedestrians have to dodge through a chicane and walk over the road to get to the pavement because… planners don’t understand how cycling works?

How ironic is that?

Incidentally, I have no idea who the silver fox on the bike in front is – hundreds and hundreds of people cycle on this route and I know about three of them personally. Someone elsewhere suggested I had a ready supply of actors to try and show up Edinburgh council, but that’s quite unnecessary!

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