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"Moronic" much-ridiculed zig-zag cycle lane now blamed as cyclist injured by shallow kerb crash

The bizarre zig-zag infrastructure was on the receiving end of much social media mockery when pictures first emerged online in the spring

An Edinburgh pensioner has warned the city's now-infamous Leith Walk cycle lane is a "disaster waiting to happen" after he suffered a suspected broken rib and other minor injuries after hitting a shallow kerb.

The city's council says the lane is currently closed, with barriers and signage in place notifying the public, and will not be complete until early 2023, but John Kerr does not believe it will be any safer when officialy open and the "terrible design" could cause someone to be seriously injured.

The 69-year-old told the Edinburgh Evening News he flew over the handlebars when his front tyre clipped a shallow kerb on the side of the infrastructure that was the butt of many jokes when pictures of the "moronic" bizarre zig-zag design emerged online earlier this year.

"I landed on my head but thankfully I was wearing my helmet. I've got an ache in my wrist and it's definitely weaker and I think I might have a cracked rib. I'm not seriously injured but someone might be if this keeps happening," he said.

"It [the shallow kerb] doesn't seem to me to have any effective purpose other than to unseat cyclists. It's a disaster waiting to happen."

Back in April, SNP councillor Lesley Macinnes said criticism of the path, which features sharp bends and obstacles such as lampposts, is "premature" as construction is still ongoing.

And while the council says the route should not be used by cyclists currently, Mr Kerr and cycling campaign group Spokes have said the signage is inadequate.

The injured rider said using the lane seemed the "obvious thing to do because it took us away from the traffic and the tram tracks" and signage advising to the contrary was "not evident".

He also does not think the infrastructure will be any safer when officialy opened due to the variable kerb height that Edinburgh Evening News reporter Neil Johnstone says has been designed in line with the city's Street Design Guidance and is to clearly segregate the cycle lane from the pavement and offer clear ground level detection for visually impaired pedestrians.

A local trader who saw the incident told the local press he has witnessed similar crashes in recent months as cyclists "cannot see" the shallow kerb.

"I don't know what boffin they have employed to design these cycle lanes but it's not working," he said.

"When things are up and running and cars are buzzing about the place, it's only a matter of time that a cyclist will fall of his bike and go into the line of traffic. That is a certainty."

"It is a real shame that people have to suffer accidents like this as a consequence of poor design," Spokes cycling campaign group member Ian Maxwell added.

It is far from the first time the Leith Walk cycle lane has appeared on road.cc. Back in June a rider promised us "you'll never forget your first time" using the route and provided the video below as proof, in which the shallow kerb (and other heavily criticised features) can be seen.

Then in October a cyclist shared footage of them narrowly avoiding a collision when a lorry driver mounted the bike lane and parked in the much-criticised infrastructure.

Dan joined road.cc in 2020, and spent most of his first year (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. At the start of 2022 he took on the role of news editor. Before joining road.cc, Dan wrote about various sports, including football and boxing for the Daily Express, and covered the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for The Non-League Paper. Part of the generation inspired by the 2012 Olympics, Dan has been 'enjoying' life on two wheels ever since and spends his weekends making bonk-induced trips to the petrol stations of the south of England.

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