The Green Lanes Area Transport Study has taken two years, and cost about £200,000, to complete, and was intended to address the longstanding problem of excessive traffic in the area, and consequent issues of safety, pollution and (in the consultant's jargon) "loss of amenity" to residents. The final report was published today without much fanfare.
The above photo from the cover of the report shows motorists, cyclists and buggy-pushing pedestrians apparently co-existing in harmony at the tree-lined junction of Burgoyne Road with Green Lanes, with Stanhope Gardens (one of the side streets on the eastern side of Green Lanes which enjoys protection from rat-running) receding quietly into the distance. I assume the subliminal message here is that everything is already hunky-dory, there is little room for improvement and all we can do is tinker around the edges?
I've attached a copy of the report to this post or you can download it and various other documents from the Council's webpage at http://www.haringey.gov.uk/transport/green-lanes-area-transport-study.
I actually think £200K would be good value if the report recommended measures which would significantly improve the quality of life of local residents - measures to reduce traffic and pollution, measures to make walking more attractive, or make cycling safer so that more people would choose those "active transport modes" and have healthier lives. Unfortunately I can't see many measures that will make much difference.
I'm sure it's hilarious, were it not for the fact that lack of significant action on pollution is (a) illegal and (b) killing over 9000 Londoners every year. Not to mention the public health crisis of inactivity (not enough people are walking and cycling) causing obesity which is linked to diabetes and numerous cancers.
My understanding by the way is that the councillor who initiated the Green Lanes study - Stuart McNamara - seemed genuinely keen to find solutions. But he moved on and the project was inherited by current "cabinet member for the environment" Peray Ahmet.
Indeed I'd be happy to see measures to remove cars and vans from the City and more electric buses etc., my sense though is that local councils/councillors hide behind those solutions as an excuse for their own unwillingness to implement solutions - "we need a London-wide or nation-wide policy" etc.
And so year after year they trot out the same measures - bicycle maintenance training or walk-to-school initiatives and so on - which are really important (and great photo opportunities for the councillors) but in the absence of measures to reduce traffic will never significantly shift the emphasis from cars to people.
One week of cycling on the New River would turn the pathway into a muddy morass unless it were tarmaced which I don't think would be popular.
I've heard a rumour that the Mayor wants the Enfield cycleway to join up all the way in to Islington. I've also heard that Haringey are really scratching their heads because it's not allowed to go through Crouch End because of the hills and they currently deliberately filter all this f'ing traffic down through us, where the hills are cycleable by mortals. So that's where I think the New River rubbish comes from.
Rather than dumping everyone onto Wightman Rd below the crest of the old Harringay House hill, they could compulsorily purchase enough space for a cycleway through to Endymion Rd from the enormous back yards of those people on Wightman Rd south of where the New River is culverted. ;)
"the Mayor wants the Enfield cycleway to join up all the way in to Islington" Well it would be daft to have a north-south cycleway in Enfield that fizzles out once it reaches Haringey...
The (yellow) cycleway becomes a (purple) quietway somehow down to Hornsey High Street, up to the police station and down one of those roads - maybe Inderwick which is already a marked cycling route. I haven't tried cycling up the southern bit of Inderwick Road is it possible? The Quietway is supposed to attract "cyclists who want to use quieter, low-traffic routes, providing an environment for those cyclists who want to travel at a more gentle pace". If they have to get off and push their bike up a steep hill it's not going to attract them.
I'm not sure where the New River cycle highway proposal came from. I think that would be a real pity. For minimal gain it may well turn a much needed quiet spot into a place where pedestrians end up coming second again. I can see a constant steam of bicycles flying along there. Cyclists, like drivers, are a real mix. There will always be enough inconsiderate ones who will see it as their highway to use as they wish. This will the proposed change unpleasant for pedestrians Unless otherwise convinced, I'm against it.
With regards to the proposal to open the currently closed section of the New River between Seymour and Endymion, I'd love it to be open for pedestrians. However, as far as I'm aware, it was previously floated and rejected following objections by the properties neighbouring the river.