The Council officially opened the "Quality" Bike Corridor, which runs from the King's Buildings Campus in South Edinburgh to George IV Bridge in the city centre, in the middle of last month ... details in the News Release here.
I caused a bit of a twitter-storm, when in response to some fairly robust criticism of the new route, I tweeted that I thought it was "at least a step in the right direction" :-(
Needless to say, I was challenged to cycle the route and find out for myself the error of my assertions!
So - at the end of last week I did just that and, in the company of a few of my on-line critics, cycled the route from Kings Buildings to the City Chambers.
Now - I'm probably about to start another twitter-storm, but I may as well be frank with my assessment of what I found on the ground ... so to speak!
Three problems did stand out:
- the 'chipped' surfacing on most of the route just isn't as clear/visible (particularly for drivers, never mind cyclists) as the more regularly-used red-paint for cycle-lanes in Edinburgh ... was especially evident (or not) as I cycled the route in relatively poor light around 8.30am on Friday.
- a large section of the route is within a 20mph zone, but the signage is not as clear as it could be, and most car traffic (the morning I cycled anyhow) was clearly travelling a lot faster. Better signage could help - as a driver (as well as a cyclist), I'd respond positively to that - but more enforcement is clearly also needed.
- some detail is pretty disappointing ... broken lane, when it need not be; some poor demarcation-lines, when they need not be; and some kerbs and other small infrastructure could be much better.
Overall though, I reckon the big mistake we made as a Council (and that's ultimately my responsibility) was to 'over-claim' just what's been implemented along this corridor: its a cycle-lane, and I can see now why my twitter comments led to such a storm of response.
So - thanks to my critics for cycling with me.
I'll pursue the points above - to see if they can be improved on ... and I've already reflected carefully on just how these developments are publicly promoted.
As ever, I'd welcome any further (constructive!) feedback?