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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

One of the options now being looked at on Hewit Rd instead of changing its direction is to have a No Right Turn out of it on to Green Lanes, so i've wondered a bit about No Right Turns. They seem easier to get done than some other changes and people accept them more readily even though in some places they can have quite a dramatic traffic reduction effect as similar as blocking off a road completely.

There are a few existing ones around Harringay to look at to see how they work, on Willougby RdLothair Rd North and South, and a couple over the tracks at Inderwick Rd and Nelson Rd. The Lothair Rd S one is interesting. it happened relatively recently (2008) and still has documents up on the council website, the consultation and report, which shows us how they got it to happen. They had a meeting between residents and the council in December 2006 asking for it and then it got made in Feb 2008.

So where else in Harringay could use a No Right Turn?

Out of Umfreville to Wightman Rd would stop all the traffic that uses Umfreville to bypass Green Lanes, someone even asked for that in the Green Lanes statutory notification, and it could be made exactly like the Lothair Rd South one.

A No Right Turn from Green Lanes into Falkland would prevent all the traffic it gets from Alfoxton Ave/West Green Rd. That could be done like the Lothair Rd N one and with the new pedestrian crossing going in on Green Lanes by Falkland it would be relatively easy to just extend the central island down a bit to block the right turn. That would be good for the northern Ladder plan too because then we wouldn't need to change the Falkland direction.

Where else? It seems like now might be a good time to be asking, who else wants one?

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the only way to seriously tackle these issues is to examine the Ladder as a whole

Ok lets think about what that really means and what it is asking for. Part of it is finding out about what we have today across the Ladder, the other part is finding fixes.

We do actually already have a reasonable understanding of what we have today. If you look back at all the traffic discussions over the years there is an understanding of whats going on. We don't have the £100k+ professional traffic study with things like traffic counts of all the roads, but if we did get that it would just tell us what we already know - the Ladder gets lots of through traffic coming in and out at each corner and the St Anns junction. That traffic cuts through the Ladder residential streets to get to where they're going and to avoid the congestion on places like Turnpike Lane and Green Lanes.

So how do we fix that? The hard thing is that there isn't an easy fix. There's the gating of Wightman Rd, but thats such a big scary thing no one appears to be seriously considering it. We could focus on pushing for it but because no one with power seems willing to  consider it that could well be the same as doing nothing.

I get the feeling that some people think that a holistic traffic thing might mean that some of the road closures around the Ladder get reopened. Thats just not going to happen. The local residents would not agree to it , and, we don't really want it to happen, we want to make the Ladder as car free as those areas not make them full of through traffic like the Ladder.

So that leaves looking for other smaller fixes for less than the whole of the Ladder.

Those smaller fixes might be found just by happy coincidence  - like Hewit Rd just being in the right place to help the new Green Lanes pedestrian area. It might be where there is a particularly deserving problem and a possible fix - Falkland Rd which has bad traffic going past a primary school and a park, and the new pedestrian crossing being built there makes having a new No Right Turn easily enforceable. It may be where there is a particularly simple fix with a big result - like the northern Ladder gate.

The thing is if every time a fix comes up people just say "you can't do that, what about my street, you must fix that too" then we'll get nothing done. IMHO we need to just try some things, if something looks like it would make more people better off than worse then give it a go, perhaps as an experiment, and see what happens.

We could leave this to the council to sort out, but if you look at all those traffic reducing things going on around us - in Stroud Green, Hermitage Rd, the Gardens, Woodlands Park, Hornsey - none of them came from the council, they came from residents. They did something and got their area through traffic free. Call them NIMBYs but their area now has less traffic than ours.

Anyone who thinks about this carefully enough knows that the gating of Wightman is the only solution. The fact that it just won't be done tells you all you need to know.

Thats probably too cryptic for most of us, what does that it wont be done tell us?

Also, its not the only answer. Just look at Lothair Rd S, they fixed their bit quite recently by getting a No Right Turn. If they'd followed this gating Wightman is the one and only answer mantra then they would still be getting lots of traffic, but instead they've now a nice quiet street.

Insisting that gating Wightman is the one and only thing that could make things better is also saying that what we have now is the most absolutely perfect configuration possible without gating Wightman - that the council did it perfectly last time they changed things. They don't usually do things so well so thats a bit unlikely don't you think?

But the rest of the ladder is different to Lothair Rds. I'm saying that the only way to fix EVERY road is to gate Wightman. I'm also saying that this will not be done. You're saying you can do it in stages but witness the storm caused by Hewit Rd going their own way.

The rest of the Ladder is different, each road has its unique characteristics so we need changes tailored to each specific spot. A gate here, a No Right Turn there, a change of direction...doing a whole bunch of changes together would be one way to help make changes more palatable and avoid it looking like there are winners and losers.

Scoff-laws (Americanism, and it fits) occasionally deliberately drive the wrong way down Umfreville Road to get from Wightman Rd to Green Lanes as the last option before Endymion Rd (and cyclists frequently do, some carefully, others not). Other one-way roads too, I dare say.

With a no-right-turn (as we used to have on Umfreville Rd/ Green Lanes when it was two-way), someone sufficiently cavalier would turn right anyway on the wrong side of the road - yes, I saw it done.

So the traffic flow can be reduced by such measures, but that can generate infrequent but extremely hazardous circumventions.

The Ladder roads can't be as easily regulated as the Gardens roads where there's only one outlet onto St Ann's Road and that's controlled by residents-controlled bollards.

[Declaration, cyclist and driver]

But No Right Turns do work. Eg you can go stand on Lothair Rd North or South to see how effective the No Right Turns are.

To be successful there does need to be a way of enforcing it and ideally thats some sort of physical barrier, so they're only most appropriate in some locations.

This is why the Falkland Rd one is a good idea. The new pedestrian crossing going in just at the north of the Falkland Rd entrance helps provide the physical barrier.

I was trained by a very good planning lecturer back in 1979 on how to design a Traffic Environmental Management schemes.  Few in Haringey get it anything like right.  Road narrowing at junctions is not good practice, there are better solutions.  

The Hewit Road junction issue would be best solved by redesigning the junction and traffic lights at Green Lanes - St Annes Rd, and move the southbound lights back 50m about 55 yds, and control the exit from Hewit Road with traffic lights.  Sadly you cannot stop traffic on these streets, in particular as ambulances need to move west; the nearest hospital for Harringay is the Whittington.  Think about that if you need a 999 call to get you to A&E.

Having Hewit Rd be part of the St Anns junction lights would make a nice orderly controlled traffic intersection, but it wouldn't it also:

-spoil the new Green Lanes pedestrian area and pocket park entrance by turning that bit into one really big traffic intersection

- slow down the overall traffic flow as the phasing's now have to accommodate an extra cycle

- make Hewit Rd much worse as traffic would constantly build up the street waiting for their, probably very short,  green phase whereas today cars can get out in gaps in the Green Lanes flow

The proposals for a raised platform at the junction with St Annes Rd is illogical on such a busy road (and goes against what I was taught).  This is a costly solution that will wreak havoc while it is being installed and it will do more to slow traffic than taking the lights back to Hewit Road.

Cllr John Bevan is picking up a whole can of worms with this scheme, one where there are many simpler solutions.  The pavement widening proposals - only shown on the reduced scale diagram on pp 2 - 3 - will cause many traffic problems, and the bus operators are not entirely happy even though the document has a TfL Target Roundel.  

The diagram on pp 2 - 3 differs from the enlarged plans on pp 4 - 9.  Only one bus stop is shown; what is planned for crossings and other bus stops to interchange with Harringay Green Lanes station.  I could go on and on.  The plans are badly flawed. Seriously.

If you are in a really bad way you will not be taken to the Whittington A&E, it is just "A"... The Royal London at Whitechapel is where you will be taken if you're in a bad way... probably from a traffic accident.

Fascinating tale Claire, the mind boggles not only at your 'Toreador Pants', 'Puce espadrilles' etc., but the taxi ride to John Lewis for sheets ........ Why?  Was the laundry on strike, I worry if the NHS can't supply clean sheets .... At least you get clean sheets in the Whittington.

BUT there is a serious issue here.  A very serious injury that needed either University College or the Royal London.  Taken ill in Wood Green Mall, they insisted on taking me to the North Middx at Sterling Way ENFIELD.

So called Traffic Planners just do not understand the vicissitudes of issues like access for emergency services, or smooth transits for buses. 



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