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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

Are the works current happening near Jewsons at the moment, the implementation of the results of the traffic study?

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

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Good to hear that you’re looking closely at this. Your scrutiny is very welcome. 

Thank you William. My thoughts exactly. The current arrangements make it dangerous for cyclists. 

I would have hoped that WR residents would be in favour of encouraging cycling and walking, as alternative modes of transport that reduce traffic and air pollution. 

These changes were made with absolutely no regard for the safety of cyclists, and encourages motorists to make dangerous overtakes.

I maintain that a cycle lane could have been introduced, if parking had been reduced. This would be beneficial, helping to both discourage driving and encourage cycling.

In terms of local residents, I cannot see that the changes are beneficial either, as it will encourage congestion, and therefore increased air pollution, which is also bad for cyclists and pedestrians.

Parking has been reduced. If instead of alternating parking on either side, it had all moved to one side, there could have been a bike lane. As it is, there's bum all parking left and no particular benefit to anyone.

As someone already said yesterday, the road isn't wide enough for two lanes of traffic and a cycle lane. However it's configured you can only fit in two motorised lanes. So you could either be have two shared traffic lanes or one motorised and two cycle, ie making Wightman one-way. That was an option on the consultation. Personally, I'm dead set against making Wightman a one way street for motorised traffic. It would make it an even more impersonal barrier and less of a living street than it already was and horrible for the people who live on it. 

The parking has been reduced. For me that's always been the biggest issue with this scheme. The residents' survey showed that three of the mid-Ladder roads already have pretty much zero spare parking capacity. The current changes will make a bad situtaion worse. Sadly het Council didn't want to listen. 

My understanding is that the reasons it wasn't all put on one side was to create the chicanes - a fairly orthodox bit of traffic management. Right now there are questions about the implementation of the chicanes on this scheme. Whilst they don't actually narrow the road at at given point by much, if at all, they do affect its navigability. As to whether they've got the balance right between traffic management and navigability, I'll withhold final judgement till everything is in place (although I hope the scheme's planners were in a better position to judge the outcome before pick hit tarmac!).

The council did propose a bike lane but it would have meant making WR one-way:

Natasha, a cycle lane couldn't have been introduced without making the road one way to motorised traffic.

As I understand it Wightman has been avoided by cyclists for many years because it was considered dangerous. The traffic islands came in for particular criticism. The Haringey Cycling Campaign take the view that the bad situation for cyclists on Wightman hasn't been improved by the current changes. They're withholding judgement on whether it's been made worse. 

The only option that takes into account the needs of both Ladder residents and cyclists would be to apply some sort of road closure. The political will was found to implement closures on Hermitage Road and then in The Gardens, but it could not be found for the Ladder. 

In the 1970s, Wightman in effect replaced the failed Wood Green bypass that had been planned to run to the east of Green Lanes. The alignment of Wightman and Hornsey Park at Turnpike Lane was intended to make the route a feeder road for the newly constructed Shopping City. When the eastern bypass scheme failed, Wightman took on the role of both feeder road and bypass. Subsequently, it became an established borough through-route. Its closure for the bridge works put a lot of noses out of joint, and, with the resignation of Haringey's only bold traffic supremo for a generation or more, any spark of political will that existed to implement a solution that was tough on cars was extinguished and the hope of real traffic management expired. 

So, with the option of even limited or partial road closure excluded, a narrow 2.75m width has to serve a lot of roles. Given the choice, I'd opt for making Wightman unusable as a cross-borough route and throw the floodgates wide open to cyclists. However, that's not an option. So, as things stand, the current scheme may need some tinkering, but for me it may also be the least worst option from those available. My hope it that the chicanes will slow traffic and perhaps even restrict its flow a bit. I'm also pleased to see the back of the 20th century solution which shoved parking out of the way of passing traffic and into the way of pedestrians - about time.

I think a big issue for cycling is going to be whether the (hopefully reduced) amount of car traffic is forced to go much slower, so that cyclists are able to 'take the lane' without being harassed by the drivers behind them. This is made more difficult by the hills on parts of Wightman though, as they will slow down the cyclists.

Wightman is basically a pretty terrible road & I agree that making it one way would not be an improvement. I think the best solution would be to close it in at least one place - or maybe two places next to adjacent ladder roads & then pedestrianise the bit of Wightman in between the two ladder roads (with a through cycle route of course).

I've ridden the full length a few times and the driving really hasn't improved - yet. Being tailgated up a hill is par for the course as a rider but the usual stream of white German saloons and Transit Vans make the whole thing pretty scarring.

I'm still withholding judgement until the last of the pavement parking is abolished and the chicanes are marked out properly - I still don't think this will make it "good", but will improve what's currently there (On Saturday, in a classic local authority move, I observed double yellows laid down on stretches **around** cars legally (at the time) parked - the confusion of a marked bay not being burned off whilst double yellow lines run through it are a litigation nightmare)

Haringey hamstrung themselves by closing other parallel roads - a route for St Ann's bound traffic around the perimeter of the Gardens would ease the traffic on Green Lanes, which could further encourage cars away from Wightman on to GL, but I can't imagine the Gardens residents would be happy with that (nor should they have to suffer it)

Ultimately the only way to do it is force the issue to reduce car use in the borough - if there's no one at the council with the will to do so we're stuck with a sub-optimal solution across the piece.

You're right, I felt very uncertain about a full closure, but I was talking about a partial closure that would allow for full navigability for local trafic but frustrate cross-borough traffic. 

I think the problem is always going to be stopping cross borough traffic on Wightman is going to push more traffic onto Green Lanes, and with out a solution here it will be difficult to do something proper with Wightman. I mean the fact there is parking on Green Lanes which really impedes the progress of buses along there seems crazy, although from what I understand that is unlikely to change.

Tris, 61% of residents supported filtering in the council's consultation in 2017: http://www.livingwightman.org/2017/07/61-of-harringay-ladder-households.html

The council did decide that was insufficient resident support and have gone with the current "minor improvements" instead (supported by 22% of residents).

Indeed. The council effectively allowed non-Ladder respondents to veto our right to clean air.

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