Something I wanted to do with this website was provide a place to look at examples of transportation infrastructure and provision from other places around the world, maybe they will be good examples, maybe bad examples, maybe just examples, but the idea is to generally increase awareness of different ways of doing things. For this first one, I thought I'd start with somewhere very close to my home town, so Edinburgh it is. Since I left in 2008, there have been a few changes, a new tram line was recently completed, and they are currently replacing the Forth Road Bridge, lets take a trip with Google Earth at some of the transportation features of Edinburgh.
Here are are two views from George Street, luckily the Streetview images change years as you move along the street, the first image is what I remember, the second is of a recent conversion to turn one side of the street into a bike path, providing a segregated bike route through the city centre. I believe it is currently just a pilot project.
Now that I think about it, there were never that many bike lanes in Edinburgh, bikes often were allowed to use the bus lanes or just shared the traffic lanes, there were definitely a lot of bike boxes at the traffic signals.
One change since I was last there is the creation of a shared surface on some streets, the image below left is Castle Street, which runs perpendicular to Princes Street and George Street, connecting two of these main streets in the City. We can see vehicles are still allowed, there is parking, but all at the same shared level, with the different surface treatments indicating where each should be. You wouldn't want to drive fast on this street. The image below right is Multrees Walk, a new pedestrian shopping street.
We can't mention transit without mentioning the trams, some time back around 2005 there was a referendum to vote on a congestion charging scheme which would fund a whole series of improvements. This was strongly voted against and the result has been much less investment than planned at that time (the same could happen in Vancouver if we vote no), One line was just completed last year, through the centre of Edinburgh at least, it runs along the centre of the roadway with stops in the median as shown below left, below right we can see a tram at the stop with multiple doors, floor level with the platform and realtime information at the stop.
Thinking of unique things in terms of basic road infrastructure, there sure are a lot of roundabouts. The example below left is Gogar Roundabout, a large multilane signalised roundabout on the west side of Edinburgh. The example below right is the M8 Motorway on approach to Edinburgh,