Work is underway to solve a seemingly minor – but potentially deadly – issue with the design of the cycle access onto Mckelvie Parade from Lower Granton Road.
Although by far not unique to this junction, for many years the height of the kerb stones where the path joins the road meant that cyclists wanting to leave the carriageway to get onto the path had to first veer out into the road so as to be able to come at the kerbstones at a safe angle. The higher the kerb, the more you have to try and come at it from a 90 degree angle – anything less means risking your bike slipping, especially when it’s wet.
Getting a 90 degree angle means needing to first veer out into the road – difficult and dangerous on a narrow road like this when you might have lorries right on your tail who won’t be expecting you to suddenly swerve out, just to turn left. And if you slip and come off, you’ll be thrown into the path of the fast-moving traffic behind you.
Local residents have been campaigning to have this rectified for years, and they were mystified that this was not done last year – it is barely six months since contractors were at exactly the same spot digging up the pavement to put in tactile paving slabs either side of the path entrance to warn those with restricted sight that they were about to cross a cycle path. Those slabs have had to be dug up and moved.
It is tiny little details like this which, when properly designed or sorted out, make for a seemless and safe transition between road and off-street path. And it is even more vital on a route like this one, which is by the sea and is heavily used by leisure cyclists, families with children and those out cycling who aren’t necessarily experienced road warriors familiar with survival techniques on negotiating ill-thought-out cycling design, and who are more likely to be caught unawares and find themselves under a bus.
Equally, the only signage suggesting to both cyclists and motorists that this is a cycle junction has long-since rusted away – it too looks like it is being finally replaced.
If you want to read a bit more about the science of dropped kerbs, try this here.