16 May 2013

Why we need to Pedal on Parliament

Map showing detail for this section of the journeyThere's a lot of craziness involved in planning pedal on parliament, but right now, my biggest headache is how to get a group of families safely along the 1.75 miles between Harrison Park and the Meadows. 

All of the route - except the little section that you can see here -is off-road.  But that little section between two wonderful family-friendly routes includes one of Edinburgh's least cycle friendly intersections.

Last year we had some nice policemen come along and stop traffic for us.  Which was great, except that apparently this year, they won't do that.  So, we're stressing and kind of hoping we won't have 120 cyclists like we did last year. Cause it will take us ages to cross at that rate, even if we all dash across on the green man. But the bigger issue is that most days, we all have to negotiate dodgy intersections like this one.

This illustrates why Pedal on Parliament is so essential - it is ridiculous that families with kids don't feel safe cycling between the canal and the meadows.  How can we expect them to go anywhere in the city if they can't do that?  The good news is that the City of Edinburgh recognizes this problem, and it is near the top of planned infrastructural improvements as part of their Active Travel Action Plan.

But this is only going to actually be implemented because the Council is committing 6% of its transport budget to Active Travel, with a planned increase of 1% each year until they reach 10%.

Edinburgh is one of the only municipalities to spend this high a proportion of its budget on cycling.  But the effects are clear - in increased numbers of cyclists every year. This shows what can happen if the Scottish Government also commits itself to a target of 5% of the budget for cycling and 10% for Active travel, as we call for in our manifesto.

But we need to get to the Meadows first in order to ask them to do so - any volunteers to ride with us?   https://www.facebook.com/events/150599691787564/

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