Why don't we shut up and just leave it to the experts?
To some within Edinburgh Council we are just a bunch of troublemakers looking for any excuse to keep moaning about the tram project, which they wish to portray as now well on track and heading for success; and we'd be better advised to just get in behind it and give it all our support.
The reason we don't do this is we believe the Council are NOT heading for success but to an ever more serious disaster.
The traffic congestion about which we complain is happening in our streets, but it isn't just about our streets, because it is also happening in more and more streets across the city, something predicted in the Council's initial report (but studiously ignored).
People living in more and more streets don't need a Council report to tell them they are seeing more traffic rat running around the congested, or no-go, centre, they can see it.
Of course most may well believe what we used to believe--that this is just 'temporary' and because you can't make an omlette without breaking eggs one should stop complaining and just behind the city, after all this is only temporary.
Just as we were told initially, people are now being given the impression that it's all just 'temporary' while the project is being completed and once it starts running.......
In fact the next bit is usually left unspoken but the implication is that ......." everything will settle down and get back to normal".
The council know this isn't true though, they know the buses won't be running down Princes street or George street as they do now, let alone any other traffic--but they also know the traffic has to go somewhere.
But they won't tell us where.
This is a deceitful policy, because it's effects are resolutely unacknowledged even though known, and thus also a corrosive one, as the positions the council are forced to adopt become just obviously wrong, if not, like this one over traffic flow in one street seeing enormously increased levels of traffic; totally crazy.
All this is made more serious by the constantly emerging evidence of the effects of pollution, (air and noise pollution), on health while the only (unspoken) policy within Edinburgh Council is to allow the traffic formerly using the main routes to cross the city to 'find it's own way' across in future.
In St John's Road Corstophine, the City's 'worst traffic pollution location' a local spokesperson has already voiced concern about a recent much trumpeted initiative, to monitor traffic pollution in real-time with electronic sensors, hoping it wouldn't mean the main street having it's traffic capacity 'managed down' at peak times in order to keep air pollution readings below the EU statutory (not safety) limit......................................
“However, the question is, how will the council see fit to manage traffic if pollution levels do prove to be too high, which is something they haven’t addressed yet as far as I’m aware. If traffic volumes have to be reduced that usually involves diversions, and a lot of local people are already unhappy about people who work in the city centre using residential streets to try to bypass jams and traffic lights.”
His fear is that because the City's commercial life can't be put on hold when readings go too high, the traffic lights and other measures will be used to choke off the flow, leaving---- the traffic to use adjacent, unmetered streets.
Effectively this is what is happening now in both the West end of the New Town, and the East End as well, as the Council continue to measure air quality and noise in their AQMA (Air Quality Management area) covering the heart of the city, where of course, thanks to enormous traffic reductions in Princes Street the air quality is getting better!! Who'd have thought that!!?
But the streets in an increasingly wider and wider area that are seeing more traffic simply are not being measured, and so the increasing levels there, in Albany Street, or around Drummond Place, for instance, literally fail to register.
Of course these increased levels are going to fall back when the construction phase ends....but what the people have to ask themselves is---- what exactly do the council mean by fall back?
- To what the levels were 'before' ?
- Or 'fall back a little' from what they are now?
The Council fought tooth and nail to avoid collecting data, and then fought tooth and nail to avoid releasing it, and this is because they know that when data is collected and analysed it provides people with the facts and figures needed to tear down the Berlin Wall of bland reassurance that has passed for debate throughout almost a whole decade of this project.
The residents behind this website see themselves as no different from other people now beginning to engage with the Council over their fears about what the ultimate plans are for where the Council expect traffic to go.
Other than perhaps being 2 or 3 years futher down the same road everyone else is now on in respect of trying to get straight answers to straight questions about important policy decisons and the effects of these on the people of the city.