Author Topic: Edinburgh Tram Tracks  (Read 875 times)

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« on: March 17, 2017, 01:25:57 pm »

Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, 01:58:36 pm »
Should take more care. Trams are used all over Europe. I am sure our euro counterparts have no trouble.

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2017, 01:58:43 pm »
Interesting gender ratio amongst the cycling injuries (38% female), I wonder how that compares to the population of cyclists as a whole...
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2017, 05:05:13 pm »
Should take more care. Trams are used all over Europe. I am sure our euro counterparts have no trouble.
Probably because they're not designed by fuckwit councils who come up with innovative cycle farcilities such as:
Haymarket: https://goo.gl/maps/fpJDn2fszpG2     https://goo.gl/maps/yfTcsNwoHDJ2
Princes Street : https://goo.gl/maps/JCkqqCG15cA2

and that's only a few of the highlights.
It didn't look at all like that in the photographs

Arellcat

  • Velonautte
Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2017, 05:55:51 pm »
Should take more care. Trams are used all over Europe. I am sure our euro counterparts have no trouble.

City of Edinburgh Council consistently ignored all the technical advice that was offered by Spokes and related cycle-friendly engineering minds during the design and planning phase.  CEC also maintained its policy of a saturation level of buses using Princes Street, while simultaneously constructing an unsegregated city centre on-road tram route.  Trams are often delayed because of the number of buses and taxis occupying the tram route in the city centre.

The many people who have been injured while cycling parallel to or across the tram tracks are largely not at fault.  The circumstances leading to these incidents is a direct consequence of the lack of available space to manoeuvre, which was designed in from the beginning, and the manner in which people drive, or are encouraged to drive, in close proximity to the cyclists.  If motor traffic was removed from the city centre, I expect the number of cyclist-tram rail incidents would reduce to nearly zero.

The ameliorative measures that CEC has put in place are little more than signs saying "Warning: Tram Rails in Road", and painting advisory lanes here and there to encourage cyclists to cross at a better angle, which is not always possible, nor does it encourage more people to cycle when those measures entirely favour motor vehicle flow, at the expense of time and energy of cyclists, permanently inconveniencing their journeys.

Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2017, 07:05:51 pm »
The remains of Bristol's docks railway include a section in front of what is now a museum (originally a harbourfront warehouse) where the tracks are open to pedestrians and cyclists but not motor vehicles. The rest of the railway tracks are completely off-road, trains only. Several cyclists have had serious injuries getting wheels stuck in the tracks or slipping on them, and one or two have even died (from falling into the docks and drowning). Many more, including me, have had non-injury incidents there (wheel got stuck but immediately popped out). So much so that cyclists are now heavily dissuaded (but not, I think, legally banned) from using that section and an alternative route has been made (round the back). I also recall an occasion when two cyclists of a group I was in were injured, one seriously, in falling on disused tracks at Sharpness docks, with no other vehicles anywhere near. So I think rails can be a problem without any traffic pressure.
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2017, 08:00:40 pm »
I've certainly had a "Woah!" moment on those Bristol ones.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2017, 08:23:11 pm »
Off topic, I once went on a very interesting ride with Bristol Cycling Campaign (who now seem to call themselves just Bristol Cycling) visiting sites connected with Bristol's tram system and learning about its history. The rails in the docks are nothing to do with this whatsoever.

And vaguely back on topic, if 38% of cyclists injured on Edinburgh's tram tracks are female, I'm guessing they might be very slightly under-represented, so possibly women are just more cautious when faced with visible hazards? It would also be interesting to know how often rain was a factor and see the time of day spread. And alcohol!
Pleasure spreads out on the map and the knapsack is full of joy.

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2017, 09:33:44 pm »
Croydon avoids tram track-related cycling injuries by simply not having any cyclists.
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Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2017, 09:44:33 pm »
Croydon avoids tram track-related cycling injuries by simply not having any cyclists.

This is the model Brimingham has been following, fending the cyclists away with an assortment of confusing magic paint and blue sign bollocks.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2017, 09:49:14 pm »
I wonder what the stats are in Den Haag in the NL? I cycled through with my daughters last summer. My oldest (now 15) had never seen a tram track before. She managed just the one yawn while I coached her on the perils of the steely stuff.

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2017, 10:52:30 pm »
I'm fairly sure our Continental cousins engineer their cycle tracks so that cyclists cross tramways safely, which is something Edinburgh has failed to do.

Auntie Helen

  • 6 Wheels in Germany
Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2017, 05:55:25 am »
Mostly but not always.

When I cycle to Uerdingen near Krefeld to visit the Rhein, there is a very dodgy tram track section. There was also a significant case of Velomobile suspension destruction at the beginning of the HBKH Audaxer two years ago because of tram tracks. I try to avoid cycling where they are as much as possible.
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Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2017, 09:12:09 am »
Over the course of the several months that I was working in Devonport Dockyard I had a couple of bad offs on the train tracks that run through the base. On both occasions it was a section of track that bisected the road at a very shallow diagonal.  Lethal when wet, the only safe way to cross them was at a right angle to the track. This meant you had to make a rather odd maneuver a little like zigzagging along an otherwise straight section of road.       

Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2017, 09:26:19 am »
Should take more care. Trams are used all over Europe. I am sure our euro counterparts have no trouble.
Probably because they're not designed by fuckwit councils who come up with innovative cycle farcilities such as:
Haymarket: https://goo.gl/maps/fpJDn2fszpG2     https://goo.gl/maps/yfTcsNwoHDJ2
Princes Street : https://goo.gl/maps/JCkqqCG15cA2

and that's only a few of the highlights.

I wouldn't be so sure, here's a couple in Prague:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.0632486,14.4162612,3a,75y,139.92h,64.83t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sXPoV2Fpfu5i249gVLXq1qA!2e0!7i13312!8i6656!6m1!1e1
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@50.0862853,14.4145158,3a,75y,34.4h,62.09t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6rGfSwTAu7j2TTl7wgjNAQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Though, to be fair, a lot of the cobbled streets in the centre have bigger gaps than tram tracks between the cobbles.
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Kim

  • An appetite for the epic, but no real stamina
Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2017, 01:28:47 pm »
I found plenty of nasty tram tracks while getting lost in Ghent.  The main difference between them and their British counterparts was the lower level of motor traffic, and tram drivers giving cyclists more room, rather than any physical aspect of the tracks themselves.  Meant you could take time to do the necessary zig-zag manoeuvres without being pressured into making progress.

I wonder if there's a bike trend too, with Europeans being more inclined to ride sensible city bikes with wider tyres than the road bikes and sporty hybrids that are common in the UK.  But we have plenty of MTBSOs, so maybe that cancels out.  Also, you need a pretty wide tyre to ride over tram tracks with confidence, 40mm isn't enough.
Watching the TV without subtitles is like riding up a hill without using the gears :)

Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2017, 02:58:34 pm »
Princes Street : https://goo.gl/maps/JCkqqCG15cA2

and that's only a few of the highlights.
Holey muther

A cycle path down the middle of the tram track. How in the name of the flying spaghetti monster (forever may his noodles be aldente) did that get past the approval of the police?
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Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2017, 06:01:08 pm »
That's a criminal level of negligence.
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Arellcat

  • Velonautte
Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2017, 09:36:30 pm »
A cycle path down the middle of the tram track. How…did that get past the approval of the police?

Strictly speaking, that's not a cycle path: it's simply the road, marked for use by buses, taxis and cycles.  The safest way to negotiate it is to ride in the centre, and then go sharp left over the left-hand rail once past the West End to move to the nearside lane.  Alternatively, and if it's raining or snowing, you're better to stay left of the rails and maintain primary as best you can through the junction.  The problem is that the ideal westbound cycle route eventually has to return to Haymarket, and currently the recommended quiet route is very much round the houses to the north.  There is a proposal, overshadowed rather by the earnest anti-campaigns of certain residents of Roseburn, much further west, to build a fully segregated, two-way route from Roseburn/Corstorphine into town, using the eastbound side of Shandwick Place and Princes Street.

At any rate, the westbound route for use by cyclists peters out before you get to Haymarket, because the tram track is rather close to the kerb and cyclists are expected to go around three sides of a rectangle and three sets of traffic lights.  Needless to say, the section that is signed 'buses only' sees a fair number of bikes1.

1 But not mine.

Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2017, 08:31:08 am »
Croydon avoids tram track-related cycling injuries by simply not having any cyclists.

This is the model Brimingham has been following, fending the cyclists away with an assortment of confusing magic paint and blue sign bollocks.
Are the cycle lanes between the tram tracks and pavement appropriate? Any team that passes a cyclist here will pass too close, as per all police close pass initiatives. Do they expect the tram to progress at the pace of cyclists?

ian

  • fatuously disingenuous
    • The Suburban Survival Guide
Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2017, 09:17:07 am »
Croydon avoids tram track-related cycling injuries by simply not having any cyclists.

This is the model Brimingham has been following, fending the cyclists away with an assortment of confusing magic paint and blue sign bollocks.

I'm not sure Croydon is that sophisticated, they've just created a town centre that's effectively impossible to cycle through (you have a choice of multilane motorway or the pedestrianized precinct). The latter has the benefit of Croydon's only cycling facility, which is a cycle-only traffic light at the end of the precinct where the road intersects the tramways. The waiting area is where pedestrians stand and the crappy mobile phone unlockers put their signs. If you find space, and wait for the light to change you can zip across the tramlines. And then stop immediately, because the cycle light is 180 degrees out of phase with the pedestrian lights on the other side of the junction. So you get to wait twice to travel 10 metres.

This, as far as I can tell, used up the council's entire budget for cycling.

I always take care to cut across the tracks (my route takes me over two sets) at a very sharp angle and I'm not convinced super thin tyres are conducive to comfortable London commuting.
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Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2017, 09:31:43 am »
I can't agree with this statement:
Quote
all one-way streets should be contra-flow for cycle users as a default

Having a cycle lane (that is contraflow) on some one-way streets works, but not on all. And making a one-way street contraflow for cyclists without a lane is, IMO, dangerous.
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Pingu

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Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2017, 10:05:36 am »
Seems to work OK in Belgium.

Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2017, 10:41:42 am »
Should take more care. Trams are used all over Europe. I am sure our euro counterparts have no trouble.

On my visits to Bordeaux I ended up just getting off and walking thanks to the the dreaded tram tracks.  I also noticed quite an unusual number of people with slings and plaster casts but they may have been co-incidence.

Bordeaux does have some excellent cycle routes so maybe there's no need to clash with tracks if you know your way around.
Sic transit and all that..

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Edinburgh Tram Tracks
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2017, 11:07:01 am »
One way streets that are two way for bikes, without marked lanes, work well in Paris.
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