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Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route
PlanningPostNovember 2, 2020, 16:13
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April 4, 2018, 13:36
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

The Council is proposing to create a quiet route from the Meadows to Greenbank. This would introduce two barriers to motor traffic on Whitehouse Loan: one immediately south of Strathearn Road; the other immediately south of Bruntsfield Crescent. These 'modal filters' will enable safer cycling on Whitehouse Loan and reflect proposals which have been put forward by local community group ‘Blackford Safer Streets’.

The proposals:

  • open up a route to walking, wheeling and cycling by reducing motor traffic to “local access only” along the Whitehouse Loan, Canaan Lane and Braid Avenue corridor
  • through-motor-traffic (rat-running) is removed from most of the streets along the route by means of planters and bollards, forming strategic closures to through-motor-traffic
  • access to all properties by car is retained
  • the route forms an important connection between the new segregated cycle lanes on Comiston Rd and the offroad cycle network at the Meadows
  • the route forms an important route to and from the local schools in the area

In public meetings, including at the Marchmont Sciennes Community Council, Councillors have explained that the introduction now would be a temporary emergency measure to reflect the constraints imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic. That is why the normal period for public consultation needs to be shortened, otherwise the pandemic will be over before the changes can be made. Parents are currently prohibited from gathering outside schools and the traditional ‘drop off’ and ‘pick up’ cannot be facilitated. For James Gillespie’s school, there is a particular need for parents to be confident that their children can travel to and from the school unaccompanied in safety. If children cannot travel on foot or cycle all the way to and from home, then parents should be able to drop and collect their children somewhere along a safe route such that the children can complete the journey themselves or with other pupils.

The proposal does not involve the closure of any road. You would be able to drive your car to any site along any of the roads. The introduction of modal filters, as shown on this plan, is intended to stop through traffic and reduce the volume and speed of motor traffic to enhance safety for all road users and to persuade parents to let their children walk and cycle unaccompanied along this route. There are alternative through routes available for motor traffic.

Your views on this proposal would be welcome here, so that the Grange Association can gauge the views of members and other residents.
Image

MLewisPostNovember 4, 2020, 11:32
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February 12, 2020, 10:07
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

Before I comment, I wonder if someone could explain what a "modal filter" is. I'm sure I'm not the only person who is unfamiliar with this term.

M.L.

PlanningPostNovember 4, 2020, 11:46
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April 4, 2018, 13:36
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

A modal filter is something like this:
Image

It enables only certain modes of transport to pass through. Using planters like this is a common method which is relatively inexpensive, easily reversed and too heavy for unauthorised relocation.

MLewisPostNovember 6, 2020, 17:22
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February 12, 2020, 10:07
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

So, in this context, a modal filter is a barrier that stops cars and vans but allows bikes and pedestrians? That makes sense. Thanks for the reply (and photo).

Next question: if I decide to make a comment on the proposals, should I post it here in the forum?

M.L.

PlanningPostNovember 7, 2020, 10:08
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Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route
Quote from MLewis on November 6, 2020, 17:22

Next question: if I decide to make a comment on the proposals, should I post it here in the forum?

Your views on this proposal would be welcome here, so that the Grange Association can gauge the views of members and other residents.

Some local politicians are also seeking input, such as Ian Murray's survey. (UPDATE Nov-2020: Daniel Johnson published the results of the survey here.)

But yes, posting your views here will help to indicate the balance of views in the community, so please do.

wandbamoyesPostNovember 9, 2020, 12:09
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April 7, 2014, 16:10
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

I am sceptical that any measures such as these are temporary. Nor am I persuade that proper consultation with the public cannot happen in this case. If CEC really believes that the Covid-19 pandemic will soon be over, why spend the money on these measures ? If, as most of the rest of the world now seems to believe, the pandemic will be with us for very much longer, measures that may inconvenience a section of the public ought to be the subject of proper discussion.
One consequence of these measures will be to force more traffic on to Morningside Road and Bruntsfield Place. I think that is a great pity. I won’t be able to drive down Caanan Lane and through the Braids to reach the bypass. I will have to drive along Newbattle Terrace and down Morningside Road. Or, if I want to drive to Tollcross (and beyond), I will no longer be able to cross Strathearn Road and go down Whitehouse Loan and instead will have to drive to Holy Corner, via Pitsligo Road. Given the way Morningside Road and Bruntsfield Place have recently been constricted, traffic jams are highly likely.
It also seems to me likely that parents dropping off children at the modal filter near James Gillespie’s will want to turn their cars round – they will have to, since Whitehouse Loan will be blocked to through traffic. I don’t think that is very clever.
I don’t think this proposal is well thought through. Consultation might expose some of the weaknesses and perhaps also identify better ideas than these.

neilturnPostNovember 9, 2020, 16:24
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April 10, 2018, 13:02
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

Welcome it. We really need our streets to be freer and safer for walkers, shoppers, cyclists, and this seems a great opportunity to test it out. A trial will give more definite answers than long consultation.
The discouragement from driving children to school, and other short journeys, will hopefully reduce traffic at key times, making the impact on essential journeys smaller?

LesleyPostNovember 9, 2020, 17:17
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July 10, 2020, 11:07
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

I totally agree with wandbamoyes comments above. I don’t think any of these proposals have been well thought out.
Most of the roads mentioned are quiet anyway , but the effect of closing them will be to make car journeys to the west from central and east Grange very circuitous. I drive a disabled parent around so don’t have much choice.
And has anyone considered the level of carbon monoxide being pumped out by the endlessly queuing traffic on the few open routes eg. Morningside Road and Comiston Road?

CommuterCyclistPostNovember 10, 2020, 08:38
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November 10, 2020, 08:01
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

As a confirmed commuter cyclist I would normally welcome any improvement in cycle routes. This suggestion seems to me ill thought out, as it will force more traffic on side roads like Greenhill Terrace and Greenhill Place.

A better solution would be to place segregated cycle lanes on Whitehouse Loan, which is wide enough to accommodate this development.

MLewisPostNovember 11, 2020, 08:50
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February 12, 2020, 10:07
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

I am in favour of the proposed Greenbank to Meadows Quiet Route (and of "quiet routes" in general). It will make travel in the area safer and will improve the environment, especially for pedestrians, cyclists and children on their way to school. The Grange Association should support it.

That said, I think the proposals for Whitehouse Loan are overkill. I use Whitehouse Loan nearly every day, either on foot or by bike. I have never found it particularly difficult or dangerous. It is a wide road with plenty of space. In fact, it is quite pleasant to cycle on. If there is really a danger for cyclists (and I don't believe that there is), a segregated bike lane would be a good solution.

By contrast, nearby Kilgraston Road is terrible for pedestrians and cyclists. The pavements are narrow, the traffic is fast, and it can sometimes take a long time to cross the street. I appreciate that Kilgraston Road is not part of the Greenbank to Meadows scheme, but if there are any future proposals for further improvements in the Grange, then Kilgraston Road should be a priority target.

One other (minor) point, given that Canaan Lane is part of the proposed quiet route, it really needs to be resurfaced if it is to continue to cater for cyclists.

In summary, I think the Grange Association should support the scheme, including the modal filters in Whitehouse Loan. But if the opposition to Whitehouse Loan is particularly strong among the membership, then the Association should still support the scheme, but with modifications in Whitehouse Loan. Any such opposition should not scupper the whole project.

M.L.

bogdanaPostNovember 12, 2020, 16:33
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January 25, 2019, 12:44
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

It is difficult enough to drive West at the moment with the inexplicable lengthy closure of Braid Road and the interminable hold ups on Comiston Road such that travelling to Colinton etc is a major expedition. Whitehouse Loan is relatively traffic free and to move all the traffic onto Grange Road will lead to further congestion. Cycling is all very well but too many concessions are made for cyclists when elderly people or those who transport the disabled etc need a convenient route. 'Temporary' restrictions by the Council are rarely overturned.

ClintonPostNovember 15, 2020, 12:02
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November 5, 2020, 12:04
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

I favour walking routes but am concerned by unintended consequences.
Blocking the north end of Whitehouse Loan would likely divert traffic on to Pitsligo and Clinton Roads, both narrow roads that are already rat-runs for people travelling east-west. I suggest adding traffic quieting measures on these side streets.

PlanningPostNovember 26, 2020, 11:27
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April 4, 2018, 13:36
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

The scheme has been amended and approved to be issued for consultation with Councillors and stakeholders (including Community Councils) until 8 December 2020. The amendments include the removal of any new restrictions south of Canaan Lane.

Feedback will be presented to the Council Incident Management Team for approval. If the proposal is approved for implementation, publicity will then be undertaken so that local people are aware of the changes.

The introduction of, or changes to, any restrictions will be implemented under emergency delegated decision-making powers using a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order.

The amended proposal is shown in this diagram.

Image

SGPostNovember 27, 2020, 14:54
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November 26, 2020, 18:28
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

I am a commuter cyclist I support improvements for cyclists in general. However, I strongly oppose the proposals like this one, which are about spending a lot of money to make already quiet routes with very few cyclist slightly more quiet. It would be a poor use of public funds making very little, if any improvement.
I believe that the focus of improvements should be not on the already quiet and safe routes but on the busy and dangerous one. Actually, it would be a good idea to discourage the Council from making reports like 'this year this many miles of cycle paths had been made or improved'. The focus should be on quality and safety, not on quantity and mileage. Think 'Quality' Bike 'Corridor' which in many places is just a paint under parked cars and serves no purpose.
As a cyclist and engineer, I believe that the improvements should start with the most dangerous junctions and busy narrow uphill road sections.
In the Grange Area and near, the dangerous roads would be Cluny Gardens, Newbattle Terrace, Morningside Road, Kilgraston Road, Strathearn Place, Blackford Avenue.
In the proposal, the most dangerous section is Newbattle Terrace yet no improvement is suggested, while Whitehouse Loan, already reasonably safe, would have severe restrictions which will create problems on the other streets. It is an ill thought out proposal for an improvement where it is not required.
The proposal very much resembles the failed LTN initiatives in England which even the cyclists no longer support: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/20/the-new-road-rage-bitter-rows-break-out-over-uks-low-traffic-neighbourhoods

PlanningPostJanuary 29, 2021, 11:08
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April 4, 2018, 13:36
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

The Council's Spaces for People team has now issued its Assessment Feedback Form, tabulating the comments received and the responses to those comments. The scheme has been modified such that the two closures proposed previously for the northern end of Whitehouse Loan will be removed, and replaced with one closure, between Warrender Park Road and Bruntsfield Crescent. The revised plan is shown below.

Image

This scheme proposes to create a safe cycling route between the south of the city and the city centre, as well as providing a safe way to walk and cycle to school for several primary schools and one high school. It also improves options for safe cycling to Astley Ainslie Hospital. To achieve this, modal filters (where the street is closed to vehicular traffic) will be installed at the following locations:

1. Canaan Lane north of the Astley Ainslie hospital access;
2. Whitehouse Loan immediately south of the junction with Strathearn Road; and
3. Whitehouse Loan immediately south of the junction with Warrender Park Road.

The Council expects that these measures will be implemented week commencing Monday 1 February 2021.

Officers will be monitoring all the temporary measures and will make adjustments as necessary to mitigate any impacts.

Further information about how the Council is implementing temporary road measures to support safe walking, wheeling and cycling is available at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/spacesforpeople

LesleyPostJanuary 29, 2021, 19:08
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July 10, 2020, 11:07
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

It’s good to see that even cyclists think this idea is ill conceived.
These routes are already quiet so what a waste of time and money.
The Braid closure demonstrates that the closures won’t be temporary . so this looks like an abuse of emergency powers.

JohnPPostFebruary 18, 2021, 22:47
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February 18, 2021, 21:04
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

Let me add the voice of yet another cyclist who doesn't approve of what the Council is doing allegedly for my benefit. Why are they spending money on schemes like the cycle lanes in Causewayside? Apart from looking grotty, like perpetual roadworks, they make me feel less safe: you're confined to a narrow corridor with an excellent chance of hitting one of the concrete bollard bases and being knocked off and injured. I know cases where this has happened. And the seemingly inevitable closure of Whitehouse Loan is more of the same: making a gesture rather than actually doing something useful. There is no priority for spending money that comes close to fixing the growing number of potholes: I've seen some new ones on Lauder Road that are terrifyingly dangerous. And yet nothing happens.

What's particularly frustrating about all of this is that the Council is not only taking these wrong-headed actions, it's enforcing them on us without any meaningful consultation. One is tempted to say they don't ask for views because they know they wouldn't like the answer they get. I feel so powerless. Anything the Grange Association can do to push back against this would be most welcome.

EMHPostFebruary 20, 2021, 11:23
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January 15, 2021, 10:00
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

Whitehouse Loan Closure

The closure of Whitehouse Loan originated from Gillespies primary school travel committee, via Blackford Safe Routes; so that parents and children can bicycle to and from school and so that it is safer outside the school gates as children go to and fro and when parents bicycle or drive to deliver and collect children.

Information about it can be found: Blackford Safe Routes http://blackfordsaferoutes.co.uk/
there is also information here:
https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/spaces-people-1 These policies seem relevant to quote when asking for traffic calming on Clinton Road because an unsafe situation has been created there.
More information is here:
https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/roads-travel-parking/spaces-people-interactive-map-measures/1
The tab on the left of the interactive map marked “travelling safely, not yet approved” shows the “new quiet connection” in a dotted line.
As it has apparently not yet been approved this may, possibly, indicate that there is scope for adjustment and cooperation with others in the district.

It seems that:
There is no need to close the whole of Whitehouse Loan every day, all day and all night.
It is questionable whether emergency services have sufficient access.

Instead of complete closure of Whitehouse Loan, reasonable compromises that are as safe and take into consideration all road users and residents are:

● Permanently blocking off only the part of Whitehouse Loan outside Gillespie primary school entrance, only at times when children arrive and depart, and only during term time.
Examples of how to do this are:
- Timed electronic bollards embedded in the street. They rise out of the street for the duration of the arrival and departure times of children, then descend into the street, disappearing for the rest of the day and night. An example can be seen here: https://www.barriersdirect.co.uk/automatic-products-c1276/automatic-bollards-kerbs-c1280/automatic-rising-bollard-new-lux-model-great-for-residential-areas-p34502 This is usual in other countries.
- Barriers similar to this: https://www.grandgates.co.uk/road-barriers/road-barriers_2/
- Manual barriers that are lifted up and down before and after school arrivals and departures.
These will be as safe and the times of the road blocking will always be clear to everyone.
It is reasonable and fair that everyone be considered.

● Putting permanent physically separated bicycle lanes on Whitehouse Loan from the junction with St Margaret’s Road to the T-junction with Newbattle Terrace/ Whitehouse Terrace at the South end of Whitehouse Loan. It is easily wide enough for this, as well as for social distancing on the pavements.

● Creating street tables (long bumps that do not damage cars and ease access by emergency services) near the junctions with Strathearn Road and St Margaret’s Road will slow traffic all the time. Crucially this allows the important junction with Strathearn Road and Whitehouse Loan to remain open to everyone always.

The complete closure of Whitehouse Loan has generated serious problems that were perhaps unforeseen.
The consequences include:

1. An exacerbation of existing traffic problems making the opposite of “Quiet Routes” on connected roads.
Warrender Park Road, Hope Terrace and Clinton Road are busier, noisier and more unsafe. They are unsuitable for heavy modern traffic. Clinton Road is the most convenient cut-through and the narrowest thus suffers most.

2. Forcing all traffic to channel along Clinton Road and Hope Terrace makes them the main thoroughfares between the South East and the South West of the district.

3. Traffic calming measures are now essential on Clinton Road. Such as:
3.1 Installing two street tables (long bumps), one about 16 metres from East end of the street and the other about 16 metres East of the junction with Pitsligo Road.
3.2 Making two sections of the street narrower, so as to allow the width of only one large rubbish lorry to pass, each near to the entrances to Woodcroft: one East of the Eastern entrance to Woodcroft, and the other East of the Western entrance to Woodcroft. They would be properly marked, showing directional priority to traffic, so that traffic would be obliged to slow down. This can be done using cobbles, similar to the speed bumps on Warrender Park Road. Perhaps shallow-rooting evergreen tress that do not shed much, such as Scots Pines, could be planted at these points.

4. Clinton Road is a narrow curved cobbled lane, with limited line-of-sight for drivers who habitually, daily, speed far in excess of the 20mph limit. It is not safe.

5. Clinton Road pavements are narrow. It is impossible to social-distance on them. Even before covid-19, pedestrians, including children, tend to walk on the road. People have had to leap out of the way to avoid traffic that usually touches the edge of and often actually drives along the pavement. Increased traffic now makes it risky to walk along Clinton Road. It is unsafe.

6. Clinton Road is a route to five schools: Bruntsfield Primary, St Peter’s, Boroughmuir, Watsons and Gillespies and the new primary school in Cannon Lane will doubtless also use it, it’ll be six schools.

7. Cars park all along the South side of Clinton Rd all day every weekday, making the already narrow street too narrow for three cars side-by-side, meaning that when traffic moving in opposite directions meets, those on the North side drive on the pavement, daily. It dangerously disintegrates the North pavement.

8. Daily, delivery vans park on the North pavement.

9. The gutters are getting pushed out of position particularly at residential entrances because cars draw in to avoid one another.

10. Already the road surface is sinking in places, becoming uneven because of the increased traffic and cobbles are being loosened.

11. The increased amount of traffic, including large lorries, is likely to be too heavy for the weak old ceramic drains under the ground. They may crack.

12. This is a Special Conservation Area. The ancient stone walls are protected. They are part of our heritage. The whole street ought to be protected from damage caused by increased traffic.

These explanations show the need to be fair by offering safe use of the street to everyone.

People to whom it may be best to comment:
Ian Murray – MP for Edinburgh South ian.murray.mp@parliament.uk
Daniel Johnson – Labour MSP for Edinburgh Southern daniel.johnson.msp@parliament.scot
Jeremy Balfour – Conservative Lothians regional MSP jeremy.balfour.msp@parliament.scot
Mandy Watt – Labour councillor for the Morningside ward mandy.watt@edinburgh.gov.uk
Melanie Main – Green councillor for the Morningside ward melanie.main@edinburgh.gov.uk
Steve Burgess – Green councillor for the Newington ward steve.burgess@edinburgh.gov.uk
Scott Arthur – Labour councillor for the Colinton ward scott.arthur@edinburgh.gov.uk
Ian Perry – Labour councillor for the Newington ward ian.perry@edinburgh.gov.uk
Alison Dickie – Labour councillor for the Newington ward alison.dickie@edinburgh.gov.uk
Cameron Rose – Conservative councillor for the Newington ward cameron.rose@edinburgh.gov.uk
Nick Cook – Scottish Conservative councillor for Morningside ward nick.cook@edinburgh.gov.uk
Blackford Safe Routes info@blackfordsaferoutes.co.uk
It seems that the number of comments and the amount of recipients of comments are both relevant. I think that the more people who do so, to all those named above, the more likely that a conversation can be started with the hope of sensible compromise that takes everyone into account. It apparently doesn’t matter if comments are similar so, some people might prefer to copy some comments.

It was, incidentally, a discourtesy not even to inform far less consult residents of Clinton Road, Hope Terrace and the surrounding streets. We had no inkling that anything was even planned, till it appeared.

EMHPostFebruary 22, 2021, 11:44
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January 15, 2021, 10:00
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

The attached was sent to the City Council by residents of Bruntsfield Crescent.
It was ignored.

EMHPostFebruary 22, 2021, 11:50
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January 15, 2021, 10:00
Very Hot topicGreenbank to Meadows Quiet Route

There is also this http://chg.it/YCpptmS88R and Twitter@Whitehouse_Loan

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