23 August 2013

A pedestrian manifesto?

Yesterday, I was talking to a journalist and I foolishly said something like 'what we really need to think about it is supporting pedestrians'.  So, he asked me what I would prioritize.  While on camera.  Luckily not live. Cause I stuttered and stammered and didn't saw anything very useful.  

But it got me thinking - what would a pedestrian's manifesto for Edinburgh look like?  There are lots of people better equipped to write this than me, but here's my first stab at it - in no particular order:
  1. dropped kerbs
  2. zebra crossings
  3. better timings on pedestrian crossings
  4. guard-railing removal 
  5. more 'permeable infrastructure' (see pictures)
  6. 20mph on all residential + shopping roads
  7. pavement continuing across road crossings
  8. poles, signs, and parking metres in the road instead of on the pavement
  9. rubbish bins + recycling bins in the carriageway, not the footway (it's done in tenemented areas, why not elsewhere?)
  10. ban on pavement parking + enforcement
To be fair, probably most of these are at least as useful to cyclists. Anyway, what would you include? 


Denise Marshall said...

I've been thinking a lot about these things, especially when walking around the suburb I live in -- there's so much pavement parking that it's hard to get around, but then you've got the next big problem... on and on, plenty of room for improvements.

I quite like the list you already have there -- but I think I'd like to propose an order:

1. Enforcement of ban on pavement parking (there's already a ban). This could be easy to implement *immediately* and the money earned from ticketing pavement parkers could be spent on the other infrastructure.

2. Dropped kerbs. After the pavement is clear, THEN it's worth considering how wheelchairs and buggies would get on/off of the pavement. No point in dropped kerbs if someone just going to park on it anyway.

3. 20mph speed limits. Make it safer to cross the road. I'd say this would be a pre-requisite for permeability since you'd be allowing pedestrians (and cyclists) to enter traffic at more points, so you'd want vehicles moving slowly enough to react to that.

4. Zebra crossings. This would be a good way to get vehicles and cyclists more accustomed to stopping for pedestrians crossing the street. But they must be enforced, too!

5. Guard-railing removal + more permeable infrastructure. I'd categorise them the same, in my mind. By removing guard railings, you're making it more permeable.

6. Better timings on pedestrian crossings would encourage pedestrians to cross at designated places, making it better for everyone.

7. Signs, poles, bins, everything should be where makes the most sense given the space. Sometimes a pavement is wide, then they can be placed in an organised way on the pavement. Where the roadside is only used for parking and the pavement is narrow, definitely put stuff in the road instead of car parking.

Sara Dorman said...

Agree with everything you've said here - much more thoughtful than my rushed hotchpotch.

One thing I forgot to include in the original list is pedestrian crossings at roadworks. Too often traffic is given red/green lights, with no scope for pedestrians to get across, even at busy crossings. Or, like at Melville Drive this year, when the effect of closing the junction and lights enabled cars to speed through at above their normal speeds, without any provision made for the crossing, despite it being so well used.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sara

Great blog.

There is a charity called Living Streets which tries to do just that - make streets better for pedestrians.

Sara Dorman said...

Apologies for the delayed publication of the comment above, which got trapped in spam filter.

My more recent posts respond to my concerns about whether or not LS is in a position to really push these issues. I hope the answer is that they will.