The next two months will see a major improvement project underway at Craigleith Junction – part of which will see it re-named Craigleith Quarry Junction.
The junction is seen as a major entry point to the path network, serving the nearby shopping centre linking it to Maidencraig Crescent, and is the junction between the Roseburn Path and the route to Queensferry and Silverknowes, but heavy use and bad drainage have left it lookiung a bit neglected.
The plans include landscaping the central triangular island, with brick edging round the grass to help keep growth off the path surface, and new trees planted which won’t obsucre sightlines. The Sustrans sign will be sunk into the ground so that the concrete base can’t be used for seating.
The bad drainage will be solved, so that flooding, puddles mud and ice will no longer be a problem (a common complaint) and in places the paths are being widened to 4m. Another common complaint has been undergrowth growing right up to the path edges on the corners, restricting sight lines and visibility – this will be thinned back to allow the verges to be maintained and mown.
To try and solve the problem of conflict between cyclists and pedestrians, the line of the path between the shopping centre and Maidencraig is being resurfaced in a different colour to highlight this heavily used pedestrian route, and rumble strips and give way markings on the paths at the approach to the junction – as used in Copenhagen – will encourage cyclists to slow before reaching the newly-coloured path. The metal chicane barriers at the exits to Maidencraig Crescent and Telford Road are being replaced with artistic railings.
Back in October the Edinburgh Council held a consultation exercise to see which issues local people and regular path users wanted to see addressed at the junction which led to these designs, and hopefully this will be but one of many more improvements to come at key points along the paths.
The project is part-funded by Community Links – a Scottish Government grant managed by Sustrans, and worked on by the city council in partnership with Cycling Scotland – which, as the name suggests, aims to improve community links by bike and on foot. It should all be ready by 31st March – so the next two months will see a lot of activity, so watch out if that is part of your regular commute.