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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Without warning, two weeks ago my Ladder road was closed to facilitate the Wightman Road project.

There was some confusion initially because no warning was given and no information nor signage was provided about temporary two-way operation of the road.

Once that wee hurdle was surmounted, the experience has been a tantalising glimpse of how things could be. 

in the ordinary course of events, our road is no longer as awful as it once was, but there's still a regular hum of traffic. Now, all of a sudden, peace reigns.

Another outcome of the closure has been parking. Recent Ladder parking surveys parking have shown that our road has near 0% free space in the evenings and overnight. It's quite odd because it all changed very suddenly about two years or so ago. We went from a situation where parking was reasonable to one where it became almost impossible to find a parking space after 5 or 6. With the road closure, suddenly it's back to how it used to be. I can only think that this means the excess parking comes from people who don't live in our road.

You'd think that all this upside would come at a price of inconvenience to vehicular traffic. If it has, it's been very well hidden from me. Residents have managed just fine executing a three-point turn on arrival or departure. Deliveries by van have continued unabated, the milk still lands on the doorstep, the Veolia carts have still come and gone and we've even had large lorries delivering: this morning a huge earth-moving truck arrived to dump fill on a two-metre square hole dug by Carillion (I've no idea why such a huge lorry was required for such a small hole, but it proved that a large vehicle was able to navigate the current set-up). Yesterday a long scaffolding lorry came to retrieve some scaffolding, apparently without any problem.

Litter seems to have reduced and the dumping spot at the bottom of the road has been strangely empty.

So life has gone on, apparently with little disruption. And for the duration, it's been an absolute pleasure for many of us. The street is quieter, cleaner and emptier.

It's tempting to ask, if it's so easy to close one end of the road and for life to go on so smoothly, why can't this be made permanent across all rung roads?

I'm expecting comments by people who haven't enjoyed their own road closure for one reason or another and for others flagging-up of issues I've overlooked.

Anyone else had the same reaction as me?

Tags for Forum Posts: harringay traffic study, wightman road improvements

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And for the perfect segue, I've just received this email from Haringey:

Transport Forum Members, 

Its International Car Free Day on Sunday 22nd September. We are encouraging residents to celebrate this occasion by holding a play street on their road !!!

As well as closing off roads to traffic, play streets increase the sense of community by bringing neighbours together, allow children to play near home and gives children the space to play energetically and promote activity and friendships.

For more information, see the links below or email smarter.travel@haringey.gov.uk





Please forward this email to your friends, families and colleagues who might also want to close off their road J .

Kind Regards

[A Person]

Transport planning

Do you think they'd wear the idea of holding a play street for a year or a decade?

Solidarity with Wightman. No to no right turns.

We had this bit of fun on Warham this afternoon. A community effort eventually got it shifted (thanks Drac if you’re reading this)

And that's not the first time it's happened of late is it. Here's a photo Karen Alexander tweeted on July 2nd. I think this took an hour or two to resolve. You, Marek and your neighbours must be becoming lorry navigation experts!

There was also a hoo-haa with a coach last week (I was away in Northumberland for that one fortunately).  I’ve written to ward councillors about it and Cllr Sarah James came back within minutes to let me known that she has asked Highways to take urgent action with signage.

I wonder if the rung roads need signage now that they are unsuitable for large vehicles.

I had a look at the bottom of Warham.  There is a sign prohibiting vehicles over 7.5t which is visible from pavement opposite.  However, for a vehicle approaching from Salisbury Road it is completely obscured by the traffic light to the right of it.  I’ve written to everyone I can think of asking for urgent action to re-site it.

I'd probably have the same reaction if the argument I'd read (even a bit of it) had been about clean air and safe streets.

Now, I'm not saying that those aren't laudable and desirable traits that should be shared by all streets in an ideal world. But they aren't the only things that people want and they weren't my point of focus on this occasion.  What I pointed out having enjoyed, has been a more peaceful and less litter-strewn environment and being able to park in our street after six.

Having said that, even though cleaner air and safer streets wasn't my point, all the closed streets have no doubt been safer and had much cleaner air due to the drastically reduced number of vehicles. It’s certainly worth highlighting those additional benefits to road closure. 

"It's tempting to ask, if it's so easy to close one end of the road and for life to go on so smoothly, why can't this be made permanent?"

I guess life would go on smoothly if you closed one (or even a few) of the rung road(s) as the traffic would just simply shift to other rungs. I think any strategy has to look at the area as a whole (which i'm definitely in favor of)

It could be interesting, a few points to thing about:

  • Would be be closer at the top, bottom or midway?
  • Would combining that with one way only exits on Wightman discourage through traffic there as well in combination with this.

We all, of course, had six months of this bliss when Wightman was closed. And similarly, the world kept on turning. The vast majority of residents on the Ladder want this. Can we not all work together to put continual pressure on the council to get this done? I bang on about this, but our long term health is being adversely affected by the constant pollution delivered by people that don't live in the borough who find it convenient to drive down our streets. We can't park because people who don't live in our road park in our streets. These are our streets and it's time we took them back. Maybe even a little bit of (entirely legal) peaceful protest might be in order? A co-ordinated morning "park in" (moving our cars just slightly into all the roads to block them at the same time of day for ten minutes might get our cause noticed? There's a lot we can do. 



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