One of the less barmy claims by some anti-20 campaigners, which has featured in the local paper, is that we're targeting the wrong streets...because other streets have higher rates of accidents. On the face of it, this seems a huge blow to the council and 20splenty supporters.
But let's think about this a little. Firstly, the story is discussing all accidents, not pedestrian accidents, and it is pedestrians, especially child pedestrians, as this article from the BMJ shows who really stand to benefit. While there are gains for everyone will benefit : "The introduction of the 20 mph zones was associated with a reduction in casualties and collisions of around 40%" there are particular benefits for child pedestrians: The observed reductions were largest for the youngest children (0-5 and 6-11). "
The council's focus on streets that have dense housing, such as tenements , or shopping areas is exactly the same logic that currently justifies our 20mph zones around schools and in quiet residential streets.
It's not that there are more accidents in bungalowland, or around schools, but they are areas that we want to make feel safe, as well as being safe.
If we want to keep Edinburgh a living, breathing city, we need to keep mixed populations living in and around the centre of the city -- families, older people, professionals and students. They will only do this if the city continues to be a welcoming and enjoyable place to live - for all, including those with pushchairs, wheelchairs and zimmer-frames.
By all means, let's also look at ways of making our most dangerous streets safer, but ignoring the streets that we live on is not the way forward.