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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

In my last post on this subject which covered the first meeting, I wrote "This really is a great opportunity to make some significant quality of life enhancing changes to our neighbourhood."

That meeting was on 13th October. Last week, on 24th, there was a follow up meeting. We were presented with a summary of the first meeting interpreting what the consultants described as "what people think they want". (Yup, I picked them up on that one.).

You'll see the range of ideas covered is quite broad, but then we were encouraged to be broad. We were also told to think about plans for the Green Lanes Corridor, not just the road itself.

At last week's meeting we were presented with three plans. Copies of the diagrams representing them are attached below. In each case I was at pains to get a very clear articulation from the consultants of what the objective is for each plan. I have recorded these below. The plans are:

1. Duckett's Common

Primary objective: Though not clear from the diagram, the primary objective is "to create a safer" pedestrian crossing at Frobisher Road".

Secondary objective: To create more public space (in the area opposite the Queen's head, by moving the point that the feeder road from West Green Road joins Green Lanes).

2. Salisbury/Warham Street improvements

Primary objective: "a better shopping environment"

This plan involves widening pavements between Hewitt and Warham. Buses will be prioritised. This will have the effect of constricting the flow of all other traffic along Green Lanes.

3. Sainsbury's

Primary objective: Ease traffic flow (by eating in to the Arena Car park sufficiently so as to 'indent' the bus stop)

Secondary objectives:

a. to make it easier for pedestrians to move about (through shifting crossing opposite McDonalds to north of the Bridge and by improving the crossing at the Green Lanes end of Williamson Road).

b. to improve the entrance to Harringay

So that's yer £1.2m gone. At the first meeting expectations were raised that the safety, quality of life and health issues created by high levels of traffic in residential streets could be addressed.

This time round - who knows why - all options on that score have been closed down.

I'm aware that the Green Lanes crossing at Frobisher has been a key concern for local people fro a number of years. So that one gets a tick from me. But, actually the major money in that plan will be spent creating a public space. Very nice; laudable idea, but this is in in an area where we already have public spaces Duckett's Common and Green Gate Common. More would be nice but are not a priority at that particular point. And for that reason, newpublicspace, you're fired.

Wider pavements and stuff between Hewitt & Warham. Again nice, but not my priority.

Moving the bus stop in? I can live with that as a reflection of resident's priorities. Since the council messed up that end of Harringay we've needed something improved. This will help somewhat. And I can see the sense of easing/changing pedestrian movements in that area. Sure why not.

So in summary I see a couple of nuggets that reflect what residents have said in several surveys that they want, but I don't see these plans taken as a whole as reflecting the priorities of local people.

Ach, who cares.....only £1.2m......it's not our money......let's just let them spend it how they want, eh.

Anyway, let's try something new to comment on & discuss this issue:

Vote and comment on the plans and add your own ideas here

Tags for Forum Posts: consultation, green lanes corridor, harringay regeneration 2012-13, traffic

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Now that it interesting... We really need to do a proper survey before any more road reconfigurations to see what effect they have.


Need an organiser and about 60 people all for an hour one weekday morning...

I'm afraid I have two reasons for not being able to get behind this petition, even though I do live on a road (Umfreville) which gets a lot of through traffic, though not as bad as Warham which seems to take the brunt.

The first is that if all the cars passing through the area end up queuing down Green Lanes it will either grind to a complete halt, or at the occasional less busy time be even more of a race-track than it currently is. Buses would be caught up in this jam and those of us who live on the Ladder and use our cars from time to time would find it very hard to get around if the only "escape" route is via Green Lanes. I am very close to the GL end of the street and I can't see how this would achieve the goal of reducing air pollution.

Secondly, I think that part of the problem locally stems from road closure schemes already in place - the Gardens, Hermitage Rd, and also the closure of Lothair Roads (N and S) to through traffic. All done piecemeal under pressure from residents - very nice for the people living there but it simply funnels traffic onto other, already crowded streets. Endymion road is also residential, and as someone pointed out, a lot of people  live on Green Lanes above the shops. I agree that we live in a problem area but I don't want just to make that someone else's problem.

An overall strategy to rethink traffic in the whole area, with a mandate to remove existing schemes if necessary, that would get my backing, but not a further "kettling" of through traffic by sealing up the Ladder.

Just a further thought - the one-way Ladder streets presumably increase journeys by local residents (and visitors and delivery drivers), because every time we go out or come home, we have to drive down a neighbouring street in order to get to ours. But it was a bit of a nightmare here before it became one-way - are streets like Umfreville wide enough to allow slanted parking on one side (as Maria suggested) and two-way traffic as well? Or does it amount to the same thing?

Maddy, then I think we've failed to communicate the petition clearly. Read my comment below. At no point does our petition suggest a particular solution. It merely demands that solving the Ladder traffic issue is a part of the scheme. As I've said below,

All we're asking for is equitable treatment. One solution would be one that you might favour - remove all neighbouring traffic restrictions to put things back to how they were in 2001.

If you read the petition wording Maddy it's all there. But thanks for pointing out this interpretation. We'll need to do our best to correct any misunderstanding.




This is about using funds to examine an issue: not deciding in advance the solution.


It has already been pointed out that a return to previous set-up might be one solution.



Can we use the 1.2 million to part fund a project to dig up and move Harringay into the countryside? Surely that's the only way to cut down traffic - while we all live in a metropolis, we are bound to see a bit of traffic no matter where we live...


Why anyone thinks that traffic shouldn't be on "their road" and should be moved so that it is someone else's problem is a bit of a mystery to me. While there are indeed shops on Green Lanes, it's also quite residential too. And poor Wightman - hardly a shop on it, yet it is seen as a more worthy target for pushing traffic onto than the side roads which are in my opinion less residential as individually, they house less people!  The same is true for Muswell Hill Road as another example - near on no shops, yet it's a "classified" road which in effect means that traffic calming measures are pulled out rather than put in, to aid busses driving way above the speed limit without wrecking their underside without concern for the vast number of residents that live on these roads.


Must be that community spirit in action.


Slightly confused by an email I received this morning from HoL which lead me to find this thread. The email subject was something like Stop Rat Running on Allison Road.


Not sure that I see any evidence that there is currently rat running on Allison, and I'm not sure what the petition http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/harringaytraffic is asking me to sign my support to either.


Confused! Why can't people stop messing with London roads. They're not SO bad, and traffic does need to go somewhere.


Thanks for the post Joe. I'm glad for you and your neighbours that Allison Road has no traffic problem.

You're not the only one to voice a sense that we should just accept whatever traffic comes our way. I respect that viewpoint.

However the issue with the Ladder roads is that they suffer from much increased traffic levels, partly as a result of council instigated changes to traffic flows in nearby areas like the closure of the Gardens roads and of Hermitage road.

(By the way, Wightman Road is a Ladder road and is very much included within the scope of our petition.)

The petition we've asked you to consider highlights the fact that local residents' surveys have shown that rat running in the Ladder roads consistently tops the list of people's concerns. There's currently a fund of around £1m to deal with traffic problems in our neighbourhood. Despite the levels of concern on the rat running issue, addressing it as part of the plans to use the fund, isn't being considered in any way.

What we're asking is far from unusual. Dealing with high levels of traffic in residential roads is common because of the significant negative impacts of high traffic levels. Read the plans of our local police sergeant to get an idea of what these are. These include harm to kids' health and the findings of a recent study which found "the weight of traffic in urban areas largely determined people's quality of life". This is not incidental stuff we're dealing with here. It's critical to the quality of our lives and to the lives of those we love.

The Council has spent significant time and resource on dealing with traffic in residential roads elsewhere. All we're asking for is equitable treatment. One solution would be one that you might favour - remove all neighbouring traffic restrictions to put things back to how they were in 2001.

But time and time again the Council file traffic problems on the Ladder roads in the 'too difficult to deal with tray' and seem to refuse to even consider dealing with the very real concerns of local people. This is precisely the reaction we got at the recent meeting on plans for the  current funding. For whatever reason there's a 'not on your nelly reaction' from the council whenever the suggestion of dealing with Ladder traffic is raised.

The 'do nothing option' will NOT leave us dealing with a status quo, Joe. Ladder traffic was impacted badly by the closure of the Gardens - and we did nothing. Ladder traffic was impacted badly by the closure of Hermitage Road - and we did nothing. Plans were afoot to channel all the traffic from Wood Green High Road down Wightman. We fought and got a reprieve on that.

The plans currently being considered for Green Lanes with the available funding may already mean that we end up with even more traffic on the Ladder roads. Then we have a whole host of local developments that will generate still more traffic for our roads. The do nothing option doesn't mean that things won't change. They will change - for the worse.

The choice for me is simple - sit back and do nothing or demand that the council helps us protect a quality of life.

We're not proscribing solutions;  we're recognising that with some funding available, there's what may be a once on a lifetime opportunity to deal with how our lives are impacted by heavy traffic.

We're asking the council to figure dealing with Ladder traffic levels into the current plans. In signing the petition, that's what you would be putting your name to.

Sounds reasonable to me! It's the "addressing the issue" that's important and will shed light on the options and what might be an improvement.

I don't think that it's a matter of accepting Hugh, whilst I urge the council to review traffic on the Ladder, there will not be a perfect outcome and people will continue to push (others say moan) for more as they are striving for something that is never going to be become reality. There are many who will never be happy with Harringay and it several warts (growing and then culling again), but they may well have moved to the Shires by then, as many do.


I'm not saying that we shouldn't strive for something better, but we have to accept a degree of reality that Harringay and the Ladder is smack bang in the middle of a massive overcrowded, over populated, under resourced city.


Lets push it, but also let's be realistic about what is achievable. Just my ten quids worth, again.

I must admit, Joe, that I found the way this email was targeted - mine said "Stop Rat Running on Umfreville Road" - made me a bit cross as it reminded me of those personalised junk mail shots and also seems to be designed to appeal to NIMBY sentiments.

Apologies to have offended you in any way Maddy. It's design was absolutely aimed to personalise because as well as having a community aspect, this issue a personal one. It was aimed to offer people that complimentary perspective, but the last thing I wanted to do in sending the emails was to offend.

I'm becoming very wary of the word 'NIMBY'. it's seems to be fast becoming a word that's flung about disparagingly without qualification. What I'm keen to understand is the point at which ones crosses the line and it becomes wrong to stand up for your community and quality of life. In other words, for people who choose to use the Nimby label,  when does an activity pass from something that is more likely to be given the value judgement of 'good' to one that gets labelled 'bad'? Were people wrong to fight against the cement factory? Were we wrong a couple of years ago to fight against Wood Green's traffic being diverted along Wightman?



Did you say it wasn't too bad on Umfreville? Actually, it's not something ruining my life on Fairfax!


However, I very much object to local bodies spending money without regard to local opinion.


I do come out of a family who's always thought local activism important: indeed, perhaps TH most important political involvement. It is how things are done and the process creates community.


I think it WAS made clear several times that the issue here is addessing the issue, while different solutions may be proposed. THe issue of cars and traffic is not a NIMBY issue but an extremely important environmental one.


I wish I had more time to be involved but anyway would definitely put my name to any petition or ideas supportive of public transport and getting rid of cars. The less cars anwhee the better! As been said: trying to be realistic.


But back to the point: no local government should disregard the opinions and issues of its community. We keep getting diverted to discusing whether one idea would work or not. I, for one, don't know but would sure like those who know more to look into this more to find possible solutions. Seems odd to dismiss such things in advance, before one can know!



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