Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Leith Walk - Pilrig Street Junction

Recently the council updated its proposals for the revamp of Leith Walk between Mcdonal Road and Pilrig Street. There are some very welcome aspects, including much widened pavements, but the northbound cycle lane is a mess. In particular, the designers seem to have given up on taking the segregated cycle route safely through the Pilrig St junction and instead are asking cyclists to cross a lane of left turning traffic in order to be able to go straight on, it's dangerous and not dissimilar to the hugely unpopular and ill used cycle lane for right turning cyclists on Bristo Place. There is no real provision for cyclists turning right from Leith Walk southbound into Pilrig Street. If this project is done well it will be superb, so I just wanted to indicate that taking the cycle lanes safely across Pilrig street can be done easily without needing more space or slowing down the junction.

I'm not a road engineer, and what we've drawn probably falls well short of best practice, but it seems to me that the following back of an envelope sketch that Aspa and I came up with is a major improvement.

In particular, without causing any conflict with pedestrians, slowing down cyclists or requiring an extra phase of the lights, it eliminates the risk of northbound cyclists being taken out by a left hook or having to cross a lane of traffic. It also makes turning from Leith Walk into Pilrig St much safer and cycling southbound on Leith Walk considerably quicker as one only has to wait for pedestrians.

The traffic light phasing goes as follows:

Stage 1: all pedestrians cross. Right turning cyclists from Leith walk southbound cycle lane turn into Pilrig St but stop before the Pilrig St. pedestrian crossing.

Stage 2: Traffic on Pilrig St turns into Leith walk. Cars on Leith walk northbound turn left into Pilrig St. Cyclists on Leith walk northbound turn left onto Pilrig St. Cyclists on Leith Walk southbound go straight on.

Stage 3: Cars on Leith Walk northbound continue through the Pilrig St. Junction. Cyclists on Leith Walk northbound continue through the Pilrig St. Junction. Cars on Leith Walk southbound, including those turning right into Pilrig St, continue. Cyclists on Leith Walk southbound continue. Cyclists on Leith walk southbound who wish to turn into Pilrig St. proceed only as far as point marked A and wait for stage 1.

Anyway, as I said this might not be the perfect solution, but it's what we came up with in half an hour on the back of an envelope. The point is that cyclists can be taken safely across the Pilrig St junction, and that the council should make sure that this happens.

P.S. The only point of conflict that we can see is between traffic from LW southbound turning into Pilrig Street across the cycle lane, but this is a standard issue with cycle lanes including with the council's current plan (and indeed all on-road cycle lanes). Sight lines are clear since the left turning traffic from LW northbound to Pilrig has been made to wait long before the junction.

1 comment:

  1. There's an excellent graphic of our plans by CityCyclingEdinburgh user @i,