Pedestrian safety

Copenhagen Style crossing: safer for pedestrians and bikes

Some people are concerned about the risk to pedestrians from collision with bicycles.  We investigated the plans and found that the Cycle Route Proposal has pedestrian safety as a priority.

  1. Existing cycle routes such as NCN1 ask pedestrians and cyclists to share the same path, which in places is narrow.  In contrast the Proposal is fully-segregated and much wider.  The cycle path is very clearly distinguished from the pedestrian space, with a drop down curb and different coloured tarmac. 
  2. The Proposal adds extra signalled crossings on Roseburn Terrace.
  3. Pedestrians especially school children are protected by blocking of the dangerous Roseburn Gardens "rat run", which is currently used by over 200 vehicles per hour at peak times.
  4. The Proposal gives pedestrians priority crossing side streets with a continuous pavement (see image).

Pedestrians are at much greater risk from cars, which would hit with around one hundred times the impact of a bicycle.  The Proposal takes the pedestrians further away from cars by putting the cycle path in between.

'Floating' bus stops

The Cycle Route proposal includes so-called 'floating' bus stops where the bikes run between the bus stop and the rest of the pavement.  However the revised design has dropped the one on busy Roseburn Terrace.

We agree with Living Streets Edinburgh that floating bus stops should be avoided where possible, especially on busy narrow streets.  However they can work where space is less tight provided they are designed carefully.  We join Living Streets Edinburgh in backing a pilot on Leith Walk to assess the design.

As noted above, the design is safety-conscious.  The cycle path is clearly distinguished from the pedestrian space with a clearly marked pedestrian crossing point to allow pedestrians to reach the stop safely.

Existing examples

The photo shows a bus stop on Morningside Road in Edinburgh where a secondary road passes behind the stop (Image credit: Google).  Key elements to ensure safety are: pavements are wide enough and clearly delineated; pedestrians can safely cross traffic behind the stop.

Floating bus stops are standard in cycle design in other European cities.  London has recently built many, and there is even a website gallery of them.  The Council needs to learn from existing examples when designing our own stops in detail.