Welcome to Leith Walk: video style
If a picture paints a thousand words, hopefully a few short videos are worth a million to underline the complete failure of Leith Walk and the improvements that are needed viz. the council’s proposed changes.
Please also see my article “Leith Walk: Council must seize opportunity of a generation“.
“Cyclists can just use the bus lanes”
I wonder if someone at the Council imagines that the fact bus lanes are painted on Leith Walk somehow makes it a pleasant place to cycle. Nothing could be further from the truth, especially as even in rush hour, they are largely obstructed by parked vehicles:
The experience of cycling up the bottom part of Leith Walk is unpleasant enough to put 99% of the population off for good:
“A dab of paint on London Road roundabout, it will be safe and fun”
The current proposals feature no improvements at all north of London Road roundabout (the videos shown above). However, the multi-lane unsignalled London Road roundabout will be “vastly” improved by the addition of some painted white lines. Just imagine, if only there were a few dabs of paint here, your children could cycle to school unattended:
Yeah, whatever. If cyclists aren’t taken across (or around) this roundabout on a protected, segregated cycle track, it seems far-fetched to imagine that use of the street will increase at all, however pretty the rest of it may be.
“We’re going to let cyclists ride between roundabouts on a segregated track!”
The current design proposals do contain a bit of cycling infrastructure: a cycle track between London Road and Picardy Place roundabouts.
So, as long as you’re willing to take your life in your hands crossing the roundabout in the video above, you’ll be able to ride for a hundred meters or so in segregated comfort, before rejoining the road here:
Yes, you really will have to cycle across that (unless you want to risk going up Leith Street), even after the proposed redesign. Picardy Place for kids and grandmothers on bikes? Dream on!
“A dab of paint will fix Picardy Place anyway”
Here’s a video of me cycling home from work across Picardy Place. It’s extremely dangerous and it’s a flight of fancy to imagine anyone who was encouraged by a segregated cycle track on the rest of Leith Walk being able to use this at all:
This junction is horrendous for pedestrians too. It must be addressed by a complete redesign.
A fully segregated cycleway is needed for the whole length of Leith Walk. It’s one of the widest streets in Edinburgh and we’re digging it all up anyway – no excuses.
Do you live, work or play near Leith Walk? Got an opinion? Please feel free to drop me a comment either way.