Rather than residents mapping active travel suggestions, the Council should be mapping its progress!

A few weeks ago the Council asked for ideas from the public on how to make walking and cycling safer in Scotland’s capital city – the aim was “quick implementation”.

They received over 200 responses, including a survey from me which was completed by 300+ local people. Rather than respond to these suggests, the Council have now asked residents to map their suggestions. Given that we are now 10 weeks into lock-down, surely we should be seeing real action? Rather than residents mapping suggestions, the Council should be mapping results!

I mailed the Council on the 14th of May asking what actions were due to be undertaken in my Ward – 20 days later I have had no reply.

We were recently told “segregated cycle-ways are set to be introduced on busy routes to Edinburgh’s two main hospitals“. The map below shows how much extra protection a nurse (like my wife) cycling from the middle of my Ward to the Royal Infirmary would get as a result of this measure. We can do better than this.

Please use the mapping tool in the hope that the Council will act to make my Ward safer for everyone. Below is a briefing on how it works.

Briefing
As part of the Council’s plans to deliver short and long-term measures to make it easier and safer for people to get around our streets for essential trips and exercise, we’re today (Friday 29 May) launching an online mapping tool called ‘Commonplace’.

Since the Policy and Sustainability Committee approved the report setting out criteria for measures, we have received around 200 suggestions for road closures, widened pavements, segregated cycle lanes and other possible actions from across the city. These are helping to shape our plans for interventions over the next weeks and months.

We’re now asking people to help us identify further temporary measures across the city that will have the greatest benefit to public health, and that we can implement quickly.

Suggestions will be added to a list of projects that we’re already assessing for quick implementation. All feedback received so far has been recorded and will be used along with responses to the Commonplace tool to inform decisions on prioritising further measures.

While we welcome every response, we won’t be able to deliver all the improvements suggested, with any work dependent on available funding, procurement of materials and the availability of contractors. We’ll soon be sharing information on schemes that have been suggested, alongside those that are being progressed, on our website.

About Commonplace
Provided by Sustrans, Commonplace is an online mapping tool specifically designed to capture feedback on suggestions for temporary road measures in neighbourhoods across the city in response to Covid-19.

The tool will be open until Monday 29 June and anyone can use it to highlight specific areas on an interactive map and provide feedback on barriers they’ve experienced, as well as identify improvements. This, along with ideas already shared with us, will help shape our efforts over the coming weeks and months.

If you have already sent suggestions for temporary measures you would like to see, there is no need to resend them. All suggestions are being recorded and used to inform the selection of interventions around the city.

Immediate measures
As you know, a programme of changes is already well underway across the city. In the members’ brief issued earlier this week we shared plans for the next phase of improvements.

As an update to this earlier briefing, we can confirm that the following measures will now be in place from today (Friday 29 May):

  • partial closure of Stanley Street and Hope Lane between Stanley Street and Christian Grove to traffic provides a low traffic corridor for people to walk and cycle and access nearby green spaces like Figgate Park for exercise
  • closure of Warriston Road to through traffic provides a wide pedestrian and cyclist-friendly space leading to the access for the North Edinburgh path Network. Access to the allotments and Warriston Crematorium will be maintained via Ferry Road.

Further information

Spaces for People programme email spacesforpeople@edinburgh.gov.uk 

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