/ Petition to close Edinburgh's Holyrood Park to through traffic
I thought forum members might be interested in this petition which has been lodged with City of Edinburgh Council. I hope that some of you would support the proposal outlined below. The aim is to get a debate started in the Council about Holyrood Park, which is currently blighted with rat run traffic.
Closure of Holyrood Park to Through-Traffic
Holyrood Park is an important green space for Edinburgh which should have as its main purpose the recreation and leisure of the people of Edinburgh and tourists in the city. The use of the park by 25,000 vehicles per day as a through-route conflicts directly with the recreational use of the Park, and Historic Scotland's legal duty to, "... protect Holyrood Park, its significantly important cultural and natural heritage, and promote its benefits for recreational users".
As the roads are Crown Property, and do not form part of the wider road network, with no direct funding for the upkeep of the road network in the Park, the roads should be closed to motorised traffic (using existing barriers which enforce Sunday closures), while access to the various car parks is maintained, so that the Park can become a haven for individuals, families and children (and swans) to enjoy, free of the noise and danger of motorised traffic. This would see Holyrood Park regain a status as one of the most pleasant and dramatic urban green spaces in the world, that could rival Central Park or Hyde Park, something which the city can be truly proud of.
Historic Scotland, explaining closures of the Park roads over the festive period, stated that this makes the Park a 'safe' place for children to take new bikes. This situation should not be reserved for festive periods only, and should be the default state for what at the moment amounts to a missed opportunity.
To sign, follow this link:
You could try the Meadows if you want a safe place to take kids on bikes?
Aye, post your real name then I'll think about it.
The bit of the park the main road goes through isn't that nice anyway and there's a perfectly good bike path I take my daughter on without any problem. Getting rid of the cars might have the unwanted side effect of increasing crime.
I wouldn't mind them shutting the smaller road that goes up to Dunsapie loch so it takes a bit of effort to get to the nicer bit of the park and discourage those that drive up, sit in their car eating take-out and chuck the remains out the window.
Not really appropriate for a hillwalking forum either....
Except there's a couple of....er....hills in the middle of the park? Folk like to walk up them, oddly enough.
That bit of the park isn't very nice because of all the cars. perhaps?
Yeah because more traffic along North Bridge or though the Pleasance would be great. Anyone know of a way of opposing the petition? This is a useful, efficient way of getting around town. Why shut a perfectly serviceable road.
Be interesting to see some sources for the claims made in the petition.
I think it's silly to describe it as a rat run. It's a useful road, and as someone has said it takes you through a nice place. Quite like it when it's closed on Sundays too, and for other occasions.
Rat runs are through residential streets, which this isn't. Apart from shunting the traffic onto the surrounding roads it provides parking for walking, cycling, running etc.
personally, I enjoy a drive through the park from time to time and so does my wife who is less than perfectly mobile.
Don't forget to add those vehicles that are not using the park as a thro route i.e. using the park for leisure, and there are a few of them. Gosh it must be the busiest area anywhere in Edinburgh if you believe it. Strange I have never noticed it that busy. Wonder of the op actually lives locally and has some personal axe to grind?
From Wiki: "Rat running, cut-through driving or Shortcut, is using secondary roads or residential side streets instead of the intended main roads in urban or suburban areas. People do it to avoid heavy traffic, long delays at traffic signals or other obstacles, even where there are traffic calming measures to discourage them, or laws against taking certain routes."
Sounds like what's happening in the park. Some posters here freely admit they like to drive though the park on their way home. Not stop and visit mind you, drive through.
As to where all these vehicles would go if the park were closed to through traffic, one cannot assume they'll all end up on the Pleasance or bridges. It surely depends on the start and end point of the car journeys.
There is no 'proposal' at all, just an anonymous petition. Unless of course the petitioner is the government or historic scotland (which I seriously doubt) in which case I withdraw that statement.
Got a link? It is clearly nonsense - that is busy motorway traffic volumes.
I used to live in a flat next to the Pleasance and the traffic noise was terrible during morning rush hour: moving more cars onto that road would not make the local residents happy. The road through the park is taking the traffic away from where the people live and pretty much everyone, residents and drivers, would object to it being shut.
Don't know how old it is. Interesting article to read. No mention about closure to thro traffic from HS.
Again, why assume the traffic would end up on the Pleasance?
Part of the through route in the park connects to Holyrrod Road, which connects to the Pleasance, so one could argue a fair bit of the traffic that uses the Pleasance is coming through the park at the moment. If the park were to cease being a through route, traffic on the Pleasance might actually decrease.
i reckon crowriver is really HM the Queen and she's become a bit of a NIMBY.
That isn't how it works! Opening new roads creates new traffic.
Closing them gets rid of it.
> I wouldn't mind them shutting the smaller road that goes up to Dunsapie loch so it takes a bit of effort to get to the nicer bit of the park and discourage those that drive up, sit in their car eating take-out and chuck the remains out the window.
v Good idea.
Clearly you have never tried to cross any of the park roads on foot, nor cycle in the park. You might see things differently if you had.
Well I spent five years with it as my routine running route and I regularly cycled round. Never had a problem.
Why would you cut through the park to get to Leith? Portobello/Craigentinny maybe, but then if you're starting in the Southside you can just go via Craigmillar/Duddingston/Willowbrae. But then, you might have pesky traffic lights and pedestrian crossings to deal with...
> Why would you cut through the park to get to Leith? Portobello/Craigentinny maybe, but then if you're starting in the Southside you can just go via Craigmillar/Duddingston/Willowbrae. But then, you might have pesky traffic lights and pedestrian crossings to deal with...
Have you started this thread merely to show off your encyclopaedic knowledge of Edinburgh? I'm trying really hard to be impressed.... But i'm not.
> Have you started this thread merely to show off your encyclopaedic knowledge of Edinburgh? I'm trying really hard to be impressed.... But i'm not.
I currently live on St. Johns Hill and can tell you that when the park road is shut on Sunday, there is significant traffic diverted onto the pleasance. The road system struggles to cope with the extra demand, and I suspect it would be far worse during weekly rush hour. I won't be signing the petition as a resident in the area.
Just to speak as general Edinburgh resident, I use the park to go bouldering, as place where I run several times a week and also as loop to ride my bike on and I agree with the suggestion that shutting the road up to the top loch would be a better idea than closing the bottom roads to traffic for creating a "haven" for families etc.
You're assuming the extra traffic on Sunday is caused by the park closure, but it might equally be because lots of folk like to shop in town on Sunday, because they can park for free, in the bus lanes, etc.
You may get more favourable responses on here if you stated any interest, such as authoring the petition. If you're not prepared to do this then fill in your profile a bit so folk know a wee bit more about you. At the moment you come across as a single issue campaigner.
I would actually assume that if your reasoning was correct then the same thing would happen on Saturday. It doesn't.
From the Edinburgh Council web site: "You need to pay to park between 8.30am and 6.30pm, Monday to Saturday, in the West End, New Town, Old Town and on the Southside to the Meadows."
That's why the town is busier on a Sunday.
So you're part of the problem, then?
What problem? So far you have come up with having to wait occasionally to cross the road. If this really concerns you, how about proposing a zebra crossing or similar that might get some support - there is one already near Holyrood which works well?
All the evidence suggests that the more road capacity is opened, the more traffic it generates. Closing roads appears to lead to up to 40% of traffic "evaporating", ie. people choose not to make certain journeys, or find alternatives that don't involve private motor vehicles.
Aye, I can spout googled stats if I wanted too.
Declare your interest or away and weesht.
Pollution, noise, and danger to pedestrians and vulnerable road users. Then again, if you mostly see the park from the inside of a steel and glass box on wheels, you might well find it hard to understand what the problem is.
Declare what interest exactly? What is your interest, if you have one? Or is this an argument just for the sake of it?
It's a bit funny how many Yorkshiremen are on here spouting off about Edinburgh and Scotland. If the issues highlighted in the petition don't affect you, then perhaps you can spill your bile on a different topic?
Another troll from the north of England with plenty of opinions on matters that don't affect him. When I start giving my opinions on Yorkshire, feel free to wade in. Until then, what exactly is the point of your intervention?
> Declare what interest exactly? What is your interest, if you have one? Or is this an argument just for the sake of it?
I recon you wrote the petition. Either that or you are closely involved with folk who did. Can you tell us or will you continue to spout anonymous p1sh?
I'll declare my interest for balance. I live in Edinburgh. I use the park quite a bit. I'm happy with the way things are now (apart from the climbing ban).
.....Now please feel free to have the last word on the matter.....
> Pollution, noise, and danger to pedestrians and vulnerable road users.
These are issues on all roads. Edinburgh has particular problems with air quality on busy roads in the city centre, due to the high density of traffic and the topography of the buildings - lots of narrow streets with high buildings. The Old Town is obviously the worst part of town for this. Banning cars from the park, whilst attractive on some fronts, would transfer traffic to built-up areas and would increase the problems of poor air quality. If you're going to propose a ban on traffic in one part of town, I think you have to offer some kind of explanation as to why other parts of town should have a further burden placed on them, and why local residents should see a further reduction in the quality of life.
And if you're bothered about someone from Crieff making a comment, I grew up in Edinburgh and lived their until a few years ago, and have spent many many happy hours on foot and on my bike in Holyrood Park.
For the third time on this thread. Traffic doesn't transfer it goes away.
So why are you & others opposing a measure that would improve the overall air quality in Edinburgh
given the points you make?
I live just outside Edinburgh. I use the park quite a bit (not just in a box). I'm happy with the way things are now (apart from the climbing ban).
As for Yorkshire - close the M1 and turn it into a trotting track (it happened at least once)
You can only sign it if you have an Edinburgh address anyway. I'm just a bit puzzled why people who are not directly affected by the issues are wading in, that's all. Unless they're just on the wind up, of course, in which case that is textbook trolling.
Craig, yes I am involved with the petition though I did not write it I helped to frame some of the issues it seeks to address.
If you are happy with the park the way it is, I won't attempt to persuade you to otherwise. What I am trying to do is respond to any substantive points of criticism.
I can't sign. Not a resident but I am a frequent visitor for work & wouldn't mind a bit less pollution to breathe when I'm there.
Your reluctance to state your interest does you no favours and your arguments are limited, at best. But, I don't know why you're petitioning the Council as they have neither interest in nor responsibility for the Park.
In 26 years of bouldering, running and cycling in the Park and living near it, I've never been bothered by traffic. The only bit I find busy is the section at Horse Wynd / Holyrood Gait which is only a problem because a bit of Holyrood Road was cut off to build the Parliament.
If that is your aim, then with respect I don't think you have been very successful. Ad hominem attacks do not refute arguments.
> For the third time on this thread. Traffic doesn't transfer it goes away.
Really? How does that work? All of a sudden those thousands of people who use it decide they can manage without? That doesn't sound very likely.
> For the third time on this thread. Traffic doesn't transfer it goes away.
Even the unreferenced random claim above only states that it "Appears that 40% of traffic disappears". Even if you take that at face value - where's the other 60% going?
It seems counterintuitive, but it has been known for a long time that more roads create more traffic. Conversely, closing some routes can actually decrease congestion.
"Does closing roads cut delays?
A recent study has found that closing off certain streets can actually improve traffic congestion."
"Even car company executives back in the 1920s understood that new roads quickly fill up with new traffic.
Since the advent of the automobile.... the amount of traffic carried by a main thoroughfare seems to be dependent largely upon how many the thoroughfare can carry. Increasing the width of roadway and making possible an additional lane of travel each way will in many cases find the added capacity entirely taken up within a few months, either by diversion from other less favorable routes or by actual increase in the use of cars by those living in and passing through the city in question.
---Alvan Macauley (president, Packard Motor Car Company), in a pamphlet produced in 1925"
"For each point of a road network, let there be given the number of cars starting from it, and the destination of the cars. Under these conditions one wishes to estimate the distribution of traffic flow. Whether one street is preferable to another depends not only on the quality of the road, but also on the density of the flow. If every driver takes the path that looks most favorable to him, the resultant running times need not be minimal. Furthermore, it is indicated by an example that an extension of the road network may cause a redistribution of the traffic that results in longer individual running times."
> Pollution, noise, and danger to pedestrians and vulnerable road users.
Can you read? As above I regularly used the park for recreation until moving a little further out of town and I still do occasionally. There really isn't a problem beyond having to cross one road to get "in".
> It seems counterintuitive, but it has been known for a long time that more roads create more traffic. Conversely, closing some routes can actually decrease congestion.
"The experience in a number of European cities is that:
• traffic problems following the implementation of a scheme are usually far less
serious than predicted;
• after an initial period of adjustment, some of the traffic that was previously
found in the vicinity of the scheme ‘disappears’ or ‘evaporates’, due to drivers
changing their travel behaviour;
• as a result the urban environment becomes more liveable in many respects."
> "The experience in a number of European cities is that:
> • traffic problems following the implementation of a scheme are usually far less serious than predicted;
Were you in Edinburgh last time they tried to change traffic flows in Edinburgh city centre?
"There is a growing body of evidence that where well-planned measures to reduce road space for private cars are implemented in congested areas and where no alternative network capacity is available, over the long term the predicted traffic chaos does not occur. This evidence is most notably presented in an important report commissioned by the UK Department for Environment, Transport and the Regions and London Transport.
‘Traffic impact of highway capacity reductions — assessment of the evidence (1998)’ S. Cairns, C. Hass-Klau and P. B. Goodwin
Data taken from nearly 100 locations showed traffic chaos to be limited to a ‘settling in period’.
• Wide range of results, with a 25 % average overall reduction in traffic and a 14 % median reduction in traffic (i.e.‘traffic evaporation’).
• A proportion of traffic which had previously used the affected road(s) could not be found in neighbouring streets.
Traffic evaporation is likely to occur where road space has been reduced for private cars and where, due to general traffic levels or the design and area covered, drivers cannot find:
• an alternative route, or
• an alternative time of day to travel, without experiencing severe congestion (recognising that driver behaviour will also be affected by additional factors such as the availability of alternatives including avoiding the need to travel or making use of public transport).
Contrary to widespread assumptions car drivers adapt to changes in road conditions in highly complex ways which computer models cannot accurately predict.
• initial cramming of roads was followed by searching for alternative routes and times to travel.
• More varied and flexible trip-planning;
• changing mode of transport;
• reviewing the need to travel;
• trip combining.
• switching locations of activities or even home or workplace.
Individually or in combination these diverse driver responses to congestion can result in a proportion of traffic ‘evaporating’"
Yes I was.
A a nightmare
B a horror story
C a well-meaning but deeply flawed policy which had to be reversed
D whatever else you fancy
Anyway, about that traffic survey data? Must have a bit tough logging cars and getting useful data given the way the weather's been over the last few months. With that much hard work, I would have thought you'd be happy to show it off. Unless of course you don't have data ...
What do you mean "the last time"? They seem to be doing it pretty much every week at the moment!
It's worth emphasising those two little words, I think. (OK, one very little one and one rather bigger one).
> A a nightmare
> B a horror story
> C a well-meaning but deeply flawed policy which had to be reversed
> D whatever else you fancy
Actually, there might have been be some useful information to be gleaned from that exercise if any after-the-fact traffic flow data was ever collected relating to some of the changes which were not reversed. In particular, the closure of Belford Road at the Dean Bridge end should, on the face of it, have raised traffic levels on Queensferry Road and Drumsheugh Gardens.
A very loaded multiple choice selection there.
As you probably know all too well, the Council collects data on traffic at key locations. This data is not made public, and I suspect would only be released for a fee. You are welcome to spend your cash on that if you want to try and prove any adverse impact from the proposed closure of Holyrood Park to through traffic.
On the other hand, if you want me to make your case for you, nice try but I don't think so. Why don't you come up with some evidence that the impact of these proposals on Edinburgh would be negative? "Common sense" and intuition do not count.
> A very loaded multiple choice selection there.
I did give you the option of whatever else you fancy ...
> Why don't you come up with some evidence that the impact of these proposals on Edinburgh would be negative?
Because I'm not the one proposing a change. If you're going to promote and propose a change to the way Edinburgh road users get to use the roads, I think it's incumbent on you to demonstrate the range of consequences. As with any such scheme, there will be pros and cons and the idea of a traffic-free Holyrood park has its attractions. But to try to pretend, as you seem to be doing, that there will be no adverse consequences, particularly with the history that Edinburgh has with traffic schemes, seems a rather dismal cul-de-sac down which you're heading.
" This would see Holyrood Park regain a status as one of the most pleasant and dramatic urban green spaces in the world..."
When did it last have this and who granted this "status"?
I believe that not only does the petition seek to set out what the positive changes resulting from the proposal would be, but also I have pointed towards traffic models, history and case studies which (at least in part) rebuff the rather apocolyptic scenarios being painted by critics of the petition.
Now, instead of presenting any evidence to counter the proposals, you ask me to provide Edinburgh traffic surveys which will prove zero consequential impact on any other part of the city.
You present a red herring, then decry it as indefensible whilst demanding I defend it.
Interesting to see what other forums have been spammed with this. Cycling ones mainly.
> I believe that not only does the petition seek to set out what the positive changes resulting from the proposal would be, but also I have pointed towards traffic models, history and case studies which (at least in part) rebuff the rather
Not really. They are very vague and some date back almost a century. You can not claim the effect of shutting the park would be minimal without proper, specific data. I see you have managed to garner all of 5 supporters in the last 36hrs, which suggest to me you are not making a very convincing case. Maybe rethink a bit and come up with something that has fewer downsides but still meets your objectives. Some options would be more zebra crossings, better cycle paths (although they aren't bad now) and lower speed limits. I, and I suspect quite a few others could support such ideas.
> Longer term
> • switching locations of activities or even home or workplace.
Does that mean if people can't get to work because all the roads are shut they'll go and live somewhere else?
> Another troll from the north of England with plenty of opinions on matters that don't affect him. When I start giving my opinions on Yorkshire, feel free to wade in. Until then, what exactly is the point of your intervention?
1. I'm not from Yorkshire. Nor do I consider Yorkshire to be in the North of England.
2. I don't live in the North of England, I live close enough to Holyrood to be able to use the park every day should I choose so I feel eminently qualified to comment on a matter which would in fact affect me.
Perhaps, as has been asked several times, if you were to provide a profile and give us some background as to why you feel so strongly about this issue we may take you seriously. In the meantime, you're just a very poor troll.
Once or twice a year the Queen shuts the park on a working day for her garden parties. There was a time a while back when the road past the parliament was dug up for a couple of weeks and you couldn't exit or enter the park at that point. There's no mystery about what happens when the road through the park is shut: tailbacks everywhere and lots more pollution than normal.
Not necessarily: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?categoryID=704&documentID=375 They can charge a fee if they incur a significant cost in retrieving the information requested (the standard rate set by the Ministry of Justice is £25 an hour), but they can't charge anything for the information itself.
As tony says, you're the one proposing a change to the current status quo, so the onus is on you to provide evidence that it will be beneficial in the expected ways and not excessively detrimental in others.
The petition being talked about here was lodged by Anthony Robson - see http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpress/topic.php?id=9697 for the initial announcement.
Now, any petition on the City of Edinburgh website is officially open to be signed only by 'anyone who lives in the City of Edinburgh area and is on the electoral roll' (see http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20232/petitions/1829/petitions/2 ).
But two people contributing to the same CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum thread as referred to above appear to say that they have subverted those controls - i.e. that they have signed using falsified information. (I note that nobody on the CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum publically censures them for these claims, either.) So there is a possibility of the vote being rigged.
(For the record, and in case the CityCyclingEdinburgh Forum is 'sanitised', I've copied the posts of these two people verbatim to the end of this post.)
The Edinburgh Council 'E-Petitions' system is new, and the Council considers it in trial. It seems to me that the above casts doubt over its democratic usefulness. If you live in Edinburgh and share my concerns, you might want to contact the Council about this: see the above-mentioned Council website for the contact details.
Note that a petition only needs 500 votes in order to be eligible by further consideration by the Council.
Possible false submissions to the petition noted from http://citycyclingedinburgh.info/bbpress/topic.php?id=9697
1. A direct admission of falsification:
"Done, although I had to do a fair bit of (perfect legitimate to me) lying to be able to submit it. Being a Fife resident, my address wasn't on the list. But I work in Edinburgh, although my employer's address isn't there. I assume the list is populated from the Council Tax or electoral register. So I picked an address adjacent to my office.
"But seeing as I contribute to the taxes that fund 80% of Edinburgh City Council and most of Historic Scotland, I feel pretty justified in forcing my signature in."
2. Not a clear cut case, but sounds questionable:
"Glad I have a long term 'landlady' and a flat in Edinburgh. One more vote."
Hello! First post and I'm defending myself about claims of being some sort of loon maniac. Ah well. Right, statement of interests (since that seems to be popular). I travel through Holyrood Park either on bike or on foot every single working day (from Duddingston to Morrison Street and back). Oh, and in case there's some sort of tofu knitting weirdy beardy persona in many people's heads (and again because there seems to be a thought that 'disclosures' must be made) - I'm a 36 year old solicitor who has lived in Edinburgh for 13 years, and as well as owning four bikes, one cat and two chickens, I've got a two year old Mini Clubman Cooper S. And a wife, though I don't own her, obviously. And no kids (life is complicated enough thank you very much).
Sooooooo... The petition. Well, as I mentioned I travel through every day. Primarily on the south side, and generally on heading from west to east. The reason being, there isn't a cycle lane/path at that point, and heading east to west is uphill, ergo slower, and has involved so many daft passes (especially on the short sharp uphill with two ninety degree bends at the east end) that I just frankly can't be bothered any more. The main roads feel less needly than that bit. Hell, heading home I can cruise at 30mph there, especially if the wind is doing its prevailing thing, and still get passed by people (it's a 30 limit of course).
Travelling on the north side, along the flat it's easy to head along at 20mph - which is the speed limit there, not that you'd know it. Now 20mph on a shared use path is, generally, regarded as a bit fast. But given the road limit is 20 you'd think that would mean you're keeping pace with traffic, so there's no issue. Well... Hmmm... And of course travelling from west to east you've got to cross the road to access the cyclepath, then cross it again at the end just as the way up to the high road starts.
There's a similar multiple road crossing issue heading west to east from the Commie down to the Parliament, and that's a FAST downhill with a blind bend on the cyclepath, and pedestrians straying (as they are allowed) into the path. Not safe for either party. And yet I've been passed by cars doing 50 down there (next time you're driving through the park try driving at the speed limit - it's remarkable).
But this isn't all about cycling either. Like I say, I walk in the park a lot. And I LOVE Sundays when you can saunter and actually listen to the birds (I'm a bit of a wildlife photographer as well). When there were works on the south road for a few days last year everything just came out. It was such a fantastic way to come to work. And then at Christmas Historic Scotland released a press release about Christmas closures, and stated that with the roads closed it made the park a pleasant and safe environment. I couldn't help but think "it's a park, shouldn't it be pleasant and safe all the time?)". Seriously, this isn't just about making it 'safer' to cycle; it isn't just about pollution in a park; it isn't just about having a noise free wild area in the city; it isn't just about encouraging families to get out there. It's about all of that and more.
Thing is, if you disagree with the petition? Fine, don't sign it, no-one's forcing anyone (and quite frankly even with 500 signatures I have my doubts this would become any sort of official proposal - but even if it did there would be a consultation at which people could make official representations). We live, thankfully, in a country which allows people to hold opposing views, but also a world in which people can try to start things that they personally think might improve a little piece of the city. Equally, there is absolutely nothing stopping anyone starting a petition for the speed limit there to be increased or the road widened. Not petitions that I'll sign, but quite frankly also not petitioners that I'll then research and slate and, essentially, try to bully.
Anyway, was just popping by to say, yes, I'm a real person, a little bit about why the petition was started and my personal motivations. People will disagree, that doesn't upset me, I don't expect everyone will in the slightest. But, as Bill and Ted used to say, 'Be excellent to each other'.
I'm not even sure I should express that much of my opinion without a full disclosure (would my recent one from Disclosure Scotland be sufficient? I'm not sure, as it doesn't include a comprehensive register of interests).
How have you reached that conclusion? is it because most respondants don't agree with the petition?
Or perhaps it's because the original poster has constantly avoided giving us any clues to his (or her - who can tell) background whilst at the same time assuming that someone with an English background cannot possibly have any interest in the issue.
You might wish to research alternatives then. The Innocent cycleway bypasses that and gives you a more consistent gradient. I use it frequently to avoid precisely the issue you describe.
Generally in the mornings I either take the Innocent, or just head in along the main roads and back streets then up the Royal Mile. The Innocent is great, though depending on time it adds about 3/4s of a mile to the journey (though at the moment I'm taking an even longer winding commute, taking in the high road in the park (closed at that time in the morning ;) ) so time isn't an issue just now).
It's just a little galling that, in preference to using a 'park road', I prefer to take a 'main road' or a longer route (additionally, in the dark evenings I've had things thrown at me on the Innocent as it passes through Bingham, and a couple of years back wire was strung across the path at night).
Should have mentioned in the disclosure that it's 6 years this May that I've been commuting this particular route, and all of those around it. I've got plenty of favourites, the lower roads of the park just aren't amongst them.
Anyway, if you see a chap on the Innocent wearing a grey woollen cycling cap, on a sand coloured bike with brown mudguards and moustache bars.... shout hello!
Thanks for the civilized post; it's appreciated.
Part of the problem (for me, anyway) with your colleague's initial post was that it was an anonymous advertisement to a then-unattributed petition. (The lack of attribution on the petition was an oversight by the Council and not by you, I assume; it's since been rectified in any case.) So we were left in the dark about the people behind it, and any vested interests they might or might not have.
Yes, I'm quite happy with that. But what about the fake signatures you've acquired for your petition, as I mentioned above? Are you personally happy with those? Certainly, on the CCE Forum, your supporters seem not to mind. But that's cheating, isn't it? How can anybody know which of the signatures you've acquired are actually valid?
My own general conclusion is that this shows that the E-petition system is technically broken. It was based on goodwill but, since there will always be self-justifying cheats like 'instography' around, the system is useless as it is - both in this specific case, and in general.
I appreciate that taking the direct route isn't always the safest, but that's the choice. I routinely took a slight detour in favour of safety making a 25 mile round trip into 27. But that's more cycling, which makes it good.
When driving, the direct route isn't always the best either and that's just what happens living in a city. Penalising other users because you're uncomfortable with their use isn't the solution. You might be better petitioning Historic Scotland for some traffic enforcement on their roads.
Well it's not something I'd personally condone. As you say, it's an inherent flaw in the online petition process. One thing I would say is that it's not going to bring the whole democratic process crashing down.
'If' 500 signatures were to be obtained it would then be discussed at some council meeting (and probably to a sub-committee first who 'might' then pass it to the full council). It would then have to go through a consultation process, which would have more robust residence controls on it. The consultation then becomes a proposal (I think) which again has time to object, and stronger residence controls.
Actually, thinking of it that way I don't think there's a chance of seeing this in my lifetime!
As an aside, I've checked, and I don't think there's a way even for the petition starter to ask for removal of specific signatures. I do also think that the restriction on an Edinburgh address is kind of odd. You might get someone from a postcode in Edinburgh who is never anywhere near the park ever; while someone else lives in Midlothian but works right beside the park and is in it every lunchtime. I guess the way to think about it is... Say there were plans for a major hotel development on the side of your favourite hill. You go there to walk every month or so, but live 50 miles away. You have no right to answer a petition calling for a block on the hotel development. Though, and I'm tying myself in knots here, opening it out wider to anyone is plainly ridiculous as even more people who don't have a connection could answer.
Don't know what the rules are for students - I'd assume living in halls in Edinburgh would qualify them? I only did one Public Admin postgrad course at uni, so my knowledge of the intricacies is somewhat lacking!
Didn't quite know what I was letting myself in for here! But I tihnk the biggest thing that's clear is the online petitioning system could do with... refinement.
"Penalising other users because you're uncomfortable with their use isn't the solution"
But it's not just about me....
And looking at it from the flipside (if it 'was' just about me), aren't I being penalised in having to take the longer route? Why is one penality abhorrent, and the other acceptable?
But really, as I say, this isn't just about me wanting a nice commuting route. It's about a park being a park (in my head anyway, seems that gets sidetracked a lot).
But you don't condemn it?
Looking at the comments on the CCE Forum, the faked submissions (and the detailed instructions on how they were made) are treated as a big joke. I disagree.
But, obviously, the Council can look at the CCE Forum too, and draw their own conclusions in this case: they're not stupid.
That isn't the point here: the rules are the rules.
They are covered by the rule I quoted above: petitions are open to be signed only by 'anyone who lives in the City of Edinburgh area and is on the electoral roll' (see http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20232/petitions/1829/petitions/2 ).
You're playing semantics now, but yes, I would condemn it (which obviously means I don't condone it). I'm also not in control of anything anyone feels they should do, and as mentioned above, I'm not in a position to remove those signatures.
This place gets frosty. I think I'll pop off now - I've tried to explain myself in a lucid and friendly manner. I wasn't coming here to convince anyone of the actual merits of the petition itself - that's for each individual to decide; nor was I expecting to have to carry the can for others playing the system which I didn't create nor have any control over (and as mentioned the system is entirely fallible, which would suggets people think petitions should simply never be lodged - I can't imagine this is the only one with some people breaking the rules); and I've got no desire to add unnecessary stress to my life.
The invitation above to say hello if anyone thinks they've spotted me on a bike around the city is open to all (less distinctive when hillwalking ;) ).
Have fun folks, it's almost the weekend.
That wasn't my intention. (Nor was I trying to play at semantics.) You've explained your position well enough - so thanks. I'm also content to leave it at that.
No, you're not being penalised. A route has been created for cars and cycles to use. Commercial vehicles are already excluded. You can use that or have a cycleway as an option. The cars have a much greater detour as an alternative and everyone has to get around. It works as it is.
It is a nice Park. With or without the traffic.
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