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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

I'm assuming that most Harringay residents will now have received a copy of the local traffic consultation leaflet through their door (scanned copy attached). On the leaflet you'll see four options for the future of how traffic is managed on the Ladder. These are copied in below, exactly as they appear on the leaflet.

Alternative package WL1: Minor improvements: Minor improvements relating to Wightman

Road and the Ladder area, but with lower traffic impacts and costs

Alternative package WL2: Wightman Road one-way (northbound): An intermediate alternative (with intermediate traffic impacts and costs), that would make Wightman Road one-way northbound, with the opportunity to create a continuous cycle facility along Wightman Road

Alternative package WL3: Wightman Road one-way (southbound): The opposite of alternative package WL2, that would make Wightman Road one-way southbound

Alternative package WL4: Wightman Road closed (filtered): The most radical and transformational alternative, that includes the closure (filtering) of Wightman Road, similar to the arrangement that was in place during the bridge replacement works in 2016; this alternative would have significant traffic impacts and costs

When people first heard about the one way option, it seemed to them to be a good option - not too radical, but radical enough to make a difference. 

I have to put my hand up and say that I've been against the one-way option from the outset. Across the world one-way systems are being abandoned because they can cause more problems than they solve. Recently Haringey removed the Tottenham Hale one-way system.

Essentially one-way systems create an environment solely based around the needs of the car. Whilst the approach may have a role in certain areas, places where people live are not the right place for it. One way systems favour the movement of the car against all else. They dehumanise an area and make it much less liveable. 

I'm told that the one-way option is the solution favoured by the Council. I have to admit to being somewhat suspicious about the reasons for this. Is it a coincidence that this comes at the same time as their plans for Wood Green have revealed that they want Wightman Road to be part of a new primary route to serve a revamped Wood Green? I can't say I'm thrilled about the Ladder being sacrificed as part of Wood Green traffic feeder system. (By the way you have two days left to comment on this, or any other aspect of the Wood Green Plans in the current Wood Green Consultation).

From various studies, I've gathered the following information about how one-way systems impact on neighbourhoods. 

1. Studies show that speeds tend to be higher on one-way streets. Two-way streets tend to be slower due to "friction"

2. Safety tends to be lower with  studies suggesting that drivers pay less attention on them because there's no conflicting traffic flow. One study showed that collisions are twice as likely in one-way streets as in similar streets with two-way traffic

3. Livability: vehicles stop less on one-way streets, which is hard for bikers and pedestrians.

4. Traffic flows on one-way streets are often significantly higher than on two-way streets.

5. A US study showed that one-way streets are associated with higher crime rates and lower property prices than two way streets. It says that two-way streets  "bring slower traffic and, as a result, more cyclists and pedestrians, that also creates more "eyes on the street" — which, again, deters crime. A decline in crime and calmer traffic in turn may raise property values.

South Gloucestershire Council recently issued the following warning:

Many streets suffer from ‘rat-running’ or high volumes of traffic. Creating one-way streets is one way of solving this problem. However, there are also disadvantages to altering the direction of traffic flow in this way. Residents should be aware that the following may occur:

  • Some through traffic will simply be diverted onto other, less suitable streets
  • The new one-way street may attract more traffic, albeit in the remaining direction
  • Residents may have to access their street by an alternative, and less convenient, route, which may involve the use of other neighbouring streets
  • Traffic speeds may increase due to drivers’ perception that there is no on-coming traffic
  • Without physical traffic calming, there may be an increase in accidents and their severity
  • Some short sections of one-way street are likely to be contravened by drivers – which may require police enforcement.

With a possible hint about Haringey's wider agenda, they added "The council is unlikely to create a one-way street in isolation, due to the costs and resources required to carry out such a scheme. It is much more likely that it will consider changing the direction of traffic on a street as part of a wider review of traffic management in an area."

One US Study said, "If your goal is to move traffic quickly from one place to another, then one-ways are a great method to accomplish that. But, if your goal is a productive place with thriving local businesses, then slowing traffic with two-way streets is a much better plan. It's a tried and true method."

For me there's no case at all for a one-way street other than it serves the Council's plans for Wood Green.

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I agree with you Hugh. I think one way would benefit through traffic much more than it benefits residents and local traffic.

I've been giving a bit of thought to the idea of one way on Wightman so I went back to first principles. Why do vehicles dive on Wightman is the first place?

1. To start or end their journey in Haringey ward (so the area bounded by Endymion, Green Lanes, Turnpike Lane and Wightman)
2. As the shortest route. So that would be from roads immediately to the north and south of Wightman.
3. To avoid the most congestion bit of Green Lanes. When I'm on GL this normally is the bit from the Endymion/Arena junction up to the St Ann's junction by The Salisbury

From the traffic data collected by the consultants, an awful lot of vehicle movements are from outside the immediate area and do not have a destination within it. So looking at the third category (vehicles avoiding the most congested bit of The Lanes) behaviour on a one way Wightman might be a follows.

Northbound - straight up Wightman as far as the next "down" road that takes them onto the "quieter" bit of The Lanes. Roughly Warham Road (which it is proposed to change the direction to one way down) and any of the down N8 roads
Southbound- straight down the "quiet" bit of The Lanes until just before The Salisbury and then up a Ladder rung road to continue the journey south on Wightman

So either option could easily end up with one or more of the rung roads from about Warham north becoming feeder roads from Wightman to The Lanes or from The Lanes to Wightman and those roads in the southern section of The Ladder could end up as cut throughs when traffic gets tired of waiting to move north or south in the congested part of GL.

Unless I'm missing something I'm not seeing the rung roads being better off and also see Wightman looking forward to even higher vehicle speeds than they already experience - there were a surprising number of vehicles going at over 50mph on Wightman when the trafic survey was carried out before the bridge closure.

So either option could easily end up with one or more of the rung roads from about Warham north becoming feeder roads from Wightman to The Lanes[.]

Pemberton currently runs in the same direction that Warham would if the proposal is carried through.  It wouldn't be full relief from Warham, but certainly better than now. If Wightman Road is made one way then I hope it is south bound as there *seems to me* less motivation to rat run though the Ladder to Green Lanes than if WR ran northbound.  What do you think?

The packages selected between Green Lanes and Wightman don't really make sense to me. There seams to be a missing package somewhere for Green Lanes as what ever option is selected for one has a large impact on the option selected from the other.

I can't see us having a cycle lane on both Green Lanes and Wightman unless prehaps one is northbound (which is what GL2 mentions) and the one on Wightman is southbound (which is WL3).

I certainly worry about the points you've made in relation to making Wightman one way.

Personally I prefer WL4, however, I'd want to see this combined with No Parking on Green Lanes (with Loading during restricted times) or something that is going to help with traffic movement along Green Lanes. Without this I would worry that WL4 isn't viable.. WL2 and WL3 both on paper seem like improvements, but I expect they are likely to either keep the status quo or make things worse.

The more I think about it the more the conspiracy theorist in me sees the Green Lanes Traffic initiative as window dressing for the Wood Green Shopping District initiative.

Evidence of this is having been told that the Green Lanes Steering Group is really a nothing group without much teeth.

Then comes page 73 of the Wood Green proposal and Green Lanes/Wightman Road are designated key points of access.

Now for the first time we also hear "southbound one way" for Wightman as a possibility. This would seem to favour the sense of foregone conclusion that the council has always and only intended one way.  

It strikes me that if Green Lanes got the cycle lane then it would effectively be something like a one way and I wouldn't be surprised if we are also informed Wightman Road is to run one way in the opposite direction.

(Caveat - I don't live on the Ladder)

I agree with all of this Hugh.

I've not seen the consultation document but the assertion that package WL4 'would have significant traffic impacts and costs' really needs to be challenged. The implicit suggestion here is that impact on 'traffic' (by this I assume they mean the drivers of private cars) will be negative. The evidence from other well-managed traffic filtering schemes shows that the overall traffic impact is likely to be positive, as has occurred in Waltham Forest recently when through traffic was removed from resid.... Filtering is particularly positive for other forms of 'traffic': people on foot or bike who will also be making journeys they could have taken by car. Also the suggestion that this is the most costly option is undermined somewhat by the speed and ease with which the road was filtered during the bridge works. It can be very quickly and cheaply filtered with a few bollards or a concrete block. The carriageway realignment needed to deliver a one-way system is likely to be hugely more expensive, particularly with the kerb realignment that would be necessary to deliver a high quality cycling facility.

Also note that WL2 & 3 say there is an opportunity to create a continuous cycle facility along Wightman Road. The use of the 'opportunity' suggests it's something that might be considered, at some point in the future, should funding become available. In other words, it might never happen.

Traffic includes buses, lorries and emergency vehicles all of which need to make progress on the road. It's not all about private cars. I don't use a car Monday to Friday, I go by bus. And I want my bus to be able to move.
I'm certainly with Antoinette on this one. Those of us from "the wrong side of the tracks" (ie to the east of Green Lanes and not on the Ladder) endured months of misery when Wightman was closed - GL was solid with clogged traffic and buses took almost twice as long as normal at peak times to move from Manor House to the Salisbury, a position I'd hope would never recur. Sympathy for Ladder residents on pollution issues and an understanding that the world would be a better place if everyone walked or cycled doesn't alter the fact that many Harringay residents need a working GL that lets public transport, taxis, bicycles and even the dreaded private cars move, rather than a solid phalanx of crawling, polluting vehicles that causes stress and frustration. None of the solutions outlined at the start of this thread seems to deal with this.

How about you chaps on the "wrong side of the tracks" (in the Gardens) show solidarity by giving up your blocked and cul de sac-ed roads to allow some of the traffic pressure to come off of the "solid phalanx" on Green Lanes?

I didn't think so.

How do you know he means the Gardens and not the 'St Ann's' area?  The Council's plans include nothing for that part of the area, because filtering traffic travelling north/south from WGR to St Ann's Road would be too much to bear. 

As Charlotte correctly infers below, I'm not a Gardens resident but in Glenwood. During the Wightman closure, traffic here was little affected directly, but my point was about GL, which those of us who are not car drivers and not always physically able to cycle or walk long distances need to operate as an effective means of accessing public transport. The Gardens are regularly vilified on here for their effective campaign to have barriers and road blocks that divert "through traffic" and "rat runners" onto GL, but this appears to be pefectly acceptable as a preferred solution by many of those who want to implement exactly the same measures on Ladder roads and Wightman -- where, of course, no resident would ever dream of driving down any other residential street and being a "rat runner" themself!

Don - The traffic flow data before and during the bridgeworks shows a generally small impact on the residential streets east of Green Lanes - e.g. Glenwood and Avondale stayed the same, some streets further east showed a decrease:

(One mystery to me is the bottom of Woodlands Park Road is unchanged, but the top half shows a significant increase. Maybe vans were trying to cut through and then having to head back when they reached the width restriction?)

As I said on another post, I don't know the area well but would be happy to support ratrunning protection measures in the East if the residents want them. But the local streets which are currently most in need of protection are Wightman and the rung roads.

Also note that there was an overall 8% evaporation of traffic and  the pollution recorded on GL actually decreased during the bridgeworks:

Filtering Wightman - obviously with mitigation measures (none of which were in place during the bridgeworks) to ensure buses etc. are reliable - would benefit residents on both sides of Green Lanes.

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