Following the re-opening of Princes Street, quite a few cyclists are known to have come off due to skidding on tramlines or getting wheels trapped in them.
Tramlines and cyclists co-exist in many cities across the world, but there is a clear intrinsic danger. Some early decisions were very good for cyclists – keeping tramlines in the centre of the road rather than against kerbs; others were extremely bad – such as the central island which narrows the remaining carriageway width.
Now that the design is fixed, probably for many years, danger can be minimised partly through advice, training and familiarity (of motorists as well as cyclists). Minor road works/markings can also help hugely – several should have been installed by the council/TIE prior to Princes Street reopening, and are still badly needed – and many more will be needed as the tramlines are extended. Now that crashes have happened, the Council and TIE are said to be working on remedial measures, but none are yet in place.
So far the worst injury we know of is a broken foot – which can be painful and disabling for many weeks – but worse could happen if traffic behind didn’t stop in time.
Our downloads tab [at the top of the screen] now has a page of bike/tram-related documents. These include the following…
A Spokes Advice Note on cycling near the tramlines [with background info]. This is a first edition – we welcome suggestions to improve it.
A link to a video of the TIE/BikeStation tramline training session held on Princes Street on 13 December.
The results of the Spokes survey of cyclists at the training session – their views on Princes Street as it now is, and on options for the future once trams are running.
A link to the draft Traffic Regulation Order drawings on which objections/comments will be sought by the Council in early 2010 – probably Feb/March
… and other background documents on bike integration in the Edinburgh tram system.