The message below was sent to a HoL member by Haringey's Head of Operations, Ann Cunningham, in response to an enquiry about the works on Wightman Road. It was dated 4th October.
Unfortunately due to unforeseen circumstances, some features of the scheme such as the tree pits and part of the drainage system had to be revisited to comply with the most up-to date road safety and sustainability regulations and the contractor has been waiting the delivery of specific materials to undertake the work.
We have reviewed the scheme with our contractor and have programmed these works to recommence next week, it is now forecast that these additional works along with the programmed tree planting, will be completed by the end of November 2019.
The build outs (horse-shoe things) , once completed, will have a tree planted and complementary sustainable drainage feature included, to maximise absorption of water by the trees.
We apologise for the delays to this scheme, and will endeavour to complete the outstanding works as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Many thanks to the original addressee for passing it on to me.
It was a Ladder event and I spoke with Ladder locals I know.
I cycle it twice daily and am happier since the changes, feel far less pressure from vehicles behind me. The worst bit in my opinion is still between Harringay station and Endymion Rd, simply because that's where drivers aren't physically hindered.
I can understand the issues with lack of visibitly pulling out of junctions, the photo posted elsewhere illustrates that perfectly.
However, having seen cars of various sizes turning left out of ladder streets just fine, that fact that some people find it difficult or impossible suggest the problem lies elsewhere. Here's a tip - try positioning your car further to the right of the road you're turning out of. The exits of ladder streets no longer have separate lanes for turning either direction (as far as I'm aware anyway), so there's no reason to not use all the available space.
I live on wightman rd between effingham and fairfax and my observations are mixed.
1) During the day their might be slightly less traffic (but doubt that its significant) that moves slower typically because there are so many people who lack any skills to navigate through the chicanes properly.
2) at Night the traffic travels much faster especially after 9 as there is less traffic and people just use both sides of the road at the chicanes.
3) Parking is a nightmare usually have to park on one of the ladder roads. Which of course means every journey is longer as you have to go down the one way systems = more pollution. Also who ever laid out the number of bays clearly guessed as some are way to big for x number of cars and too small for x+1 car. IF you have to unload anything heavy you have to park on double yellows. My elderly neighbour complains that its harder for her elderly friends to visit because they can't get parking.
4) The road is more dangerous crossing with two small kids you have to run the gauntlet half the time as no one slows do to let you cross.
5) The build outs are too big and cause massive blind spots especially if vans are parked there. Spidermans peep and creep is a poor proxy for actual proper design. THis peep method relies on the person who has right of way stopping. Also i have seen plenty of people peep and creep out on cyclists who have to swerve into the middle of the road. All they had to do was make the corners with a bigger radius its not like it's safe to cross at any of these buildouts.
6) Cycling is still a bind but on balance i think its worse as the traffic slows up and down to much and most cyclists easily do more than 20 down the hills. Also i have seen plenty of cyclists mount the kerb and go down the footpath to get around traffic stuck at the chicanes.
7) the scheme looks terrible half arsed crappy workmanship the pavements are a patchwork of different materials the tree things are built over drains, they haven't raised the kerbs where they are at road level (highly dangerous as cars can easily go onto the pavement. The street scape is worse it looks like a highway vs a residential street.
8) "Some features of the scheme such as the tree pits and part of the drainage system had to be revisited to comply with the most up-to date road safety and sustainability regulations and the contractor has been waiting the delivery of specific materials to undertake the work." utter bollocks all they have done is moved the kerbs and created channels and removed the bollards and put plastic signs up. I wonder how much these revisions have cost us?
9) For me this is the kicker, with councils struggling for cash why are they so determined to rip up roads spend loads on consulations and external advisers to come up with schemes that increase congestion and pollution (look at the latest on middle lane). Cars slowing down and speeding up produce way more pollution that a vehicle travelling a constant speed. Also when cars are displaced they have to go somewhere else so ok a few people get less traffic and maybe less polution but what about the people who live on the streets that get more traffic because of the changes. The enviromental impacts of damage to cars dues to speed bumps is massive. All these measures are passive they are there to appease the road safety campaigners, It is possible to still speed between the chicanes and plenty of people do. IF you want to slow people down stick 20 cameras down the road and raise some cash too.
And before anyone says i should get rid of my car, i walk cycle and ride a motorbike too. And use each one where appropriate. And also people are free to live where they want (unless your in council housing) so if you don't like traffic why move there in the first place. I knew the traffic was bad prior to moving there but what they have done is so much worse on every level.
Agreed Tris, and congratulations on your first post to the forum Giles.
The net effect is that there is a build up of potentially avoidable, inessential use of vehicles in the context of more convenient, cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternatives. The bigger picture here is that it's not just about road safety but more broadly, limiting the flow of traffic and giving sidewalks back to the pedestrians.
A lot of the counter-arguments to the scheme appear bourne out of the inconvenience caused to car owners, rather than any substantive environmental or safety concerns. So in that regard the design is a success, though I do note that reckless and discourteous drivers may make it more difficult to cross or cycle Wightman road.
More power to the council for sticking with the design. The proof of all this will be in the post-implementation assessment of the scheme in terms of pollution, traffic and accidents. As a very occasional observer I think the road is doing a lot better than before. Time will tell.
My issue is that it hasn't achieved anything other than being an inconvience for everyone, cycling still is bad, the street isn't a nice place to walk and pollution will be unchanged.
As for car ownership what people choose to spend their money on is up to them, also its not practical for many people to rely on public transport all the time, for example and coach bmx and my kids race. We need to have a car to get to training, why firstly my 6 year old can't ride 5 miles to the track, 2) their bikes aren't street legal as they don't have front brakes (not allowed for racing). 3) i cant use a zip car as no bike racks and only 3 seats in a van 4) public transport no bikes allowed? so point out the alternative.
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