Modern street-life is rubb-ish

I regularly cycle to from Queensferry Street to my work at Edinburgh Napier University’s Merchiston campus. Having recently cycled from IJmuiden to Köln, I wanted to compare the two experiences.

In short, cycling in Edinburgh is utter rubbish. There is no way to avoid mixing with heavy traffic. Potholes abound. Cycle-lanes begin and end with no apparent reason, and lane-markings have faded out. Compare this nonsense with cycling in Dutch and German major cities.

To show this, here are videos of the journey to and from Merchison. They were taken on 26 August, using a GoPro camera strapped to my helmet – hence the frequent turns to look behind me when I manoeuvre.

I’ve listed the worst parts of the experiences below each video but just about all of the journeys are marred by poor road surfaces, apart from new surfaces at the top of Bruntsfield Place. I believe I’m suitably critical of the road surfaces and layout, powered vehicles and cyclists (including myself) but comments are welcome.

From Queensferry Street to Merchiston

Time Comments
00:20-00:23 Bus-damage to tarmac on Queensferry Street
00:52-00:53 If I have right of way (green light), hasn’t the white van emerging from Randolph Crescent broken a red light?
00:55-01:00 Some cobbles at the exit of Randolph Crescent are loose and hence unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians
01:00 Pothole/broken surface just past the pedestrian crossing
01:03 Pothole/broken surface
02:18-02:20 Car breaks red light
03:50-05:20 Crossing tram tracks to get to Lothian Road. (Even if I went around Charlotte Square I’d need to cross tram tracks. Many cyclists use this shortcut but few get off and walk on the pavements
05:4 Private car blocking bus-lane
05:58-06:00 Poor road surface at junction of Lothian Road and King’s Stables Road
06:33-06:35 Poor road surface at junction of Lothian Road and Castle Terrace
06:42 Fallen drain-cover
07:34-07:44 Bus-damage to tarmac on Lothian Road
09:12-09:13 More bad road surfaces
09:34-09:38 Long pothole at left of bus-lane
10:16-10:21 Poorly- or un-repaired road surface
10:23-10:34 Poorly- or un-repaired road surface
10:39-10:41 Poorly- or un-repaired road surface
10:51-11:00 Poorly- or un-repaired road surface
10:14-10:16 Why is parking permitted in bike-lanes?
12:01-12:05 Bus-damage to tarmac on Leven Street
12:15-12:20 Cycle-lane marks worn away
14:58-15:26 holes and and bumps in road-surface next to patches
15:01 van parked on double-yellow lines

From Merchiston to Queensferry Street

00:30-00:34 poor road surface on Colinton Road
00:40-00:46 poor road surface on Colinton Road
00:52-00:58 poor road surface on Colinton Road
01:01-01:39 Delivery lorry blocking both lanes. Is this allowed?
03:48-04:04 Poor road surface on Bruntsfield Place/Leven St
05:04-05:10 Poor road surface on Leven St
05:13-05:20 Poor road surface on Leven St
06:50-06:55 Poor road surface on Lothian Road
07:06-07:09 Poor road surface on Lothian Road
07:28-07:29 Poor road surface on Lothian Road
08:51 Sunken manhole cover on Lothian Road
08:54 Damage around drain-cover on Lothian Road
09:34-09:44 Some cyclists walk their bikes on pavements but many don’t
10:10-10:12 Crossing tram-tracks
10:45-10:50 I admit I’m slow to start.
11:50-11:59 Worst excuse for not having bike-lights: ‘I didn’t expect to be out this late’
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