With very little fanfare, or even a ‘stakeholder email,’ giving a bit more explanation, the City of Edinburgh Council have finally uploaded a design proposal for the Foot of the Walk Junction.
As you can see from the image above – click on it to make it larger – the design is far simpler and a huge improvement for pedestrians.
Gone is the need for a time-consuming ‘island hop’ across the Foot of the Walk to get anywhere, and for the first time there will be a proper pedestrian crossing across Constitution Street.
The pavements have apparently been widened too – particularly on the north western corner between Great Junction Street and Leith Walk, and although it is yet to be confirmed, if the council does implement an “all stop” phase to allow pedestrians to cross all arms of the junction simultaneously this will be far more user friendly – and safer – for people on foot.
This design is also an improvement for cyclists too, as the number of lanes of traffic at the Foot of the Walk has been reduced from five to three. This will make navigation of the junction – particularly those cycling down Leith Walk and onwards Constitution Street – less intimidating. However, it will still fall far short of the aspirations for many cycle campaigners.
If there is an ‘all stop’ phase at the junction, it remains to be seen whether there is any scope to allow for a ‘cyclists’ only phase at the junction, before traffic moves off. Transport for London recently announced that it is to install just such lights at the Bow Roundabout and eleven other locations in London. The busy Foot of the Walk Junction could be an excellent first candidate for Edinburgh to trial similar lights.
20mph speed limits
Regular readers of this blog will know that Greener Leith has backed resident’s in their support for wider use of safer 20mph speed limits on Leith Walk and elsewhere.
In mid-January the council approached a new Transport Strategy that includes a commitment to extend 20mph speed limits to residential and shopping areas and also main roads with significant pedestrian and/or cyclist usage.
Whilst we have no confirmation that Great Junction Street, Leith Walk or Duke Street (Constitution Street is already partly 20mph) will be included in the detailed proposals for this policy which are due to be published in May, but it would be disappointing in the least if Leith Walk were not included given the level of public support for this measure locally.
The new junction design, combined with safer 20mph limits on all the arms of the junction, should make this accident black spot far more appealing for local residents, and contribute to the vitality of the area.
What do you think?
Whilst we await some further detail of exactly how this junction will work, and whether all the guardrail will be removed too, we’d be keen to hear your initial thoughts on the proposals.