This may just be coincidence, but the evening 'rush hour' traffic flow northbound on Green Lanes has become noticeably slower in the last couple of months, it seems to me. Some days it's about as slow as when Wightman Rd was closed for the bridge rebuilding. Are some car drivers abandoning Wightman Rd on risk avoidance (collision at chicane locations) grounds?
From a post on another thread:
I also find driving through Wightman much more stressful than before. I now prefer to get stuck in Green Lanes traffic than endure the stress of navigating the narrowings of the road with dangerously inadequate markings. There are too many of them and hardly visible, especially in the dark.
Walking up to Harringay station at 8am yesterday, Wightman seemed less busy than normal
I think there are currenty at least two sets of temporary traffic lights along WR at the moment, this will reduce traffic somewhat as whenever a queue starts to form many vehicles will take the next rung road to Green Lanes.
Have been leafletted today about night time road markings works on Wightman, 8 - 14 July. Parking suspensions including vehicle removal will be needed for the old road markings to be removed.
ALSO, the penultimate paragraph states:
"The ongoing works in Wightman Road has [sic] attracted some negative reactions. We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused and to remind all users that the scheme is yet to be completed. As with all major schemes, there will be a post implementation review. The result of the review together with any constructive observations received will be considered and any additional measures that are recommended to improve safety on Wightman Road, will be carried out where viable, subject to funding availability."
I agree with the sentiment that the changes to Wightman Road will (unhelpfully) reduce the number of parking spaces and that the council’s ‘guestimation’ of the reduction is entirely inappropriate
However, I disagree with a few of the comments on here which suggest the changes to Wightman Road will improve safety for cyclists. I’m not sure how many others cycle on Wightman Road, but my own experience is that the stop/start traffic and the narrowing of the road (due to the installation of chicanes) make it much, much more dangerous. Since the changes have been made, I’ve had a couple of close encounters and have witnessed someone else having to jump off their bike because there simply isn’t enough room on the road. Sadly, I used to cycle every day, but recently I’ve been taking taxis as it’s just much less risky.
In my view, the three main effects of the changes to Wightman Road are as follows:
1. Increase in exhaust fumes/pollution due to vehicles stopping and starting much more frequently (rather than cruising at a steady pace). It would be interesting to know if the council even considered this.
2. Decrease in safety for cyclists due to the narrowing of the road in numerous places.
3. Decrease in the number of parking bays.
Quite honestly, I struggle to find any real/meaningful benefit. Depending on how others feel, I wonder if there is scope to challenge the council through a judicial review process.
I agree wholeheartedly. I cycle, but wouldn't date cycle on WR at present. The changes are absolutely lethal for cyclists.
A far more sensible solution would have been to get rid of half the parking (as WR residents are so vocally opposed to driving) and installing a cycle lane and wider pavements.
Current solution is bad for cyclists, and motorists
Natasha, from what you've written, people might be forgiven for concluding that you're concerned to champion the interests of Wightman Road roadway-users (you apparently consider cyclists and motorists), but not those of the people who actually live on the road, or the Ladder (you say half the parking should be removed - or in effect shifted on to Ladder rung roads).
Sadly that's been what's happened for the past 50 years. Wightman Road has been treated by the Council solely as an artery where the needs of the roadway have been paramount. So cars were shifted on to pavements and the junction with Hornsey Park Road realigned to ease the rapid flow of an increasing amount of traffic along the road. Then roads to the east of Green Lanes were closed, driving even more commuter traffic on to the road.
Needs of local residents were of no interest to the Council. During the recent closure of the road for the bridge works, it was estimated by one Council employee that more than 80% of the traffci on Wightman was out of borough through traffic.
It's only in the last decade when local voices have been raised that the Council have grudgingly made some changes that consider the interests of local residents at all.
As to a final assessment of the solution currently being put in place, I'm still willing to wait for the thing to be finished before passing judgement. Then I will continue to spend time working with the local residents' group to bash our heads against the Council brick wall and try and get any improvements that may be necessary. You can rest assured that the needs of cyclists will be strongly championed by members of the group as well as local cycling groups.
The benefits include:
I don't think the road has been narrowed - it is still the width of two lanes of traffic. It used to be two lanes with half a pavement-parked car on either side, it is now two lanes with one whole car parked in the remaining roadspace.
I agree with others who are reserving judgement, at the moment there is still a mix of pavement- and non-pavement parking, pavement build-outs which are not yet serving their intended purpose (i.e. to start and end the new parking bays), incomplete roadmarkings so drivers aren't sure where the new middle of the road will be, temporary traffic lights while the roadworks are being completed, etc.
Incidentally WR is not wide enough for a dedicated cycle lane unless you remove one of the lanes of traffic i.e. make it one-way.
Actually with the parking alternating either side and the chicanes built out on either side to the width of a car, you now have sections of road that are the same width as before, and sections that are half a car narrower than before.
There are still two 2.75m lanes of traffic the whole length of the road, so the width intended for traffic hasn't changed? The remaining 2m of carriageway used to be divided into two 1m widths used by pavement-parked cars on both sides, but is now a single 2m parking bay on alternating sides.
Will they be marking a centre line on the road? I assumed it would be like Drayton Park with no markings to try and slow the traffic down through having to negotiate with traffic coming from the other direction.