I have recently been involved in a School Travel Plan in Edinburgh, and I should admit that something is changing in the way the Council is conceiving city streets and public urban space. Perhaps Mrs. Hampson walk home (as depicted in Donald Appleyard Livable Streets book, http://www.worldcat.org/title/livable-streets/oclc/5287126&referer=brief_results)  would be a different one in a near future. 

This incipient optimism does not emerge from a visible change yet. Until zebra crossings "continental style" [ https://aseasyasridingabike.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/the-problem-with-british-zebra-crossings/ ]  would be admitted by the UK Highway code, and other radical solutions such as raised junctions like the  ones in Poynton  [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vzDDMzq7d0 ] could be widespread, the priorities' unbalance between vehicles and pedestrians on UK streets would unlikely be overturned.

However the Council seems to have taken on a different approach to city's streets, now less "links" and more  "places". This is not to deny the value of streets as mobility infrastructure. It is to claim a better balance between modalities of transport, where walking is not only promoted but also valued as the most important. Streets can therefore recover their status of quintessential social public space  [ https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415737296 ].

The gradual implementation of the 20 mph limits citywide  [http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/20mph ] and the recently approved Edinburgh Streets Design Guidance  [http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/info/20089/roads_and_pavements/906/edinburgh_street_design ] are signs that a cultural change is in progress.