Last Thursday, 25 October, there was an event on Jawbone Walk promoting safety in the Meadows. Representatives from Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links, Edinburgh Police, the University of Edinburgh and the City of Edinburgh Council attended.
Much of the event was focused on bike safety, with stations for bike registry and repair. The police were registering bikes with numbers for bikeregister.com. They explained to The Student that permanently adding these numbers increases the recourse available once a bike is reported stolen, as they are able to check bikes matching the description for the number. BikeRegister is used by every police force in the UK and purports to reduce bike theft by 75 per cent.
The police also urged cyclists to lock their bikes and to be mindful of the entry door shutting properly when locking bikes in the common stairwells of buildings. The information they provided emphasised that insurance schemes tend not to cover the full expenses incurred with theft.
The City Council was more focused on bike etiquette and safety. They provided pamphlets on best practices and examples of signage requested by community members, which has proven to be effective in urging caution in other areas of Edinburgh. They encourage anyone with safety concerns to get in touch with council members as they do take action based on community feedback.
Also available were free maps of South Edinburgh, with quiet route options for students looking to get into biking as a sustainable alternative to motor vehicle transport. All of their maps can be found online at http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/cyclewalkmap.
Environmental Wardens of the city drew attention to pedestrian safety, with information available on taxi services and other alternative transportation methods for navigating through the city at night. They urged caution when walking through the Meadows alone at night, emphasising that there are other ways to get home.
The Friends of the Meadows and Bruntsfield Links took a different tone altogether, inviting members of the community to join them in planting bluebells on 17 November. They have 1,000 bulbs to plant and encourage those interested to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Their voluntary organisation focuses on maintaining the Meadows through the community, with three meetings annually and regular voluntary projects related to wildflowers, shrubbery and information boards.
Image Credit: Magnus Hagdorn via Flickr