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Pedestrian Cells (Proposed in Mini-Holland bid)
04 Aug 2014 13:01 #366

David Hughes David Hughes's Avatar Topic Author

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Unless you’ve been blindfolded and worn ear muffs you can’t have missed the fact that under the banner of the Mini-Holland bid (now incorporated into Cycle Enfield) the council has proposed lightly segregated cycle lanes along three important routes through Enfield – including Green Lanes – and the removal of cars from Church Street in Enfield Town. But strangely there seems to have been no debate at all about what I see as an equally fundamental change: the creation of 37 so-called Pedestrian Cells. And what, you might well ask, are they?

In boundary terms they are areas of residential streets bounded by what are officially known as Secondary Roads (locally probably better known as through routes); for example: Green Lanes, Bourne Hill, Aldermans Hill, Cannon Hill/High Street, though not having seen the details we cannot know whether that is one of the areas the council has in mind. Inside these areas the rules and features of the streets will be tailored to be much more resident, pedestrian and cycle friendly. For example.

• No access to through traffic (the death of the so-called rat run);
• Low speed limits;
• Calmed traffic;
• Possible cyclist priority over cars on some streets (no definite decision at this stage).

Furthermore in the Dutch version of these cells Shared Space principles (equal priority for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers which can be ‘negotiated’ because the design speed is low, certainly at 20mph or a little lower), are often applied. Contrast this with the long-standing British arrangement of separation i.e. confining pedestrians to pavements and dragooning them onto pedestrian crossings. (Though this is beginning to change – see Colin Younger’s piece posted on 30th July which describes a packed meeting about Shared Space at the Council Offices on that evening.)

When I first read about these cells, my mind went back to about 10 years ago when the Fox Lane and District Residents’ Association, working with council officers, was instrumental in securing a promise of several million pounds from Transport for London to create a 20mph limit area on the Lakes Estate (unfortunately rejected by local councillors). In that case the prescribed area was a natural community not an area defined by through roads, and I’ve wondered whether that would work better than an area defined by roads. But, looking at a map of the area described earlier in this piece, I can see the logic of the council’s approach because, in terms of dealing with traffic, it would be so much easier to do.

Clearly there is room for further thought.

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Pedestrian Cells (Proposed in Mini-Holland bid)
08 Aug 2014 00:07 #372

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The Mini-Holland bid document actually calls these Residential Cells, rather than Pedestrian Cells, and this is more appropriate, as the aim is to improve conditions for residents living in side streets between the main network of through roads.

This is what the Council was proposing in the bid document (page 28):

The effect [...] is to create a grid network of primary and secondary roads for through traffic with appropriate facilities for cyclists, and within the 'grid' residential cells comprised of tertiary roads are created (as shown on our network map, we have identified 37 residential cells). The Dutch approach to these cells is as shared spaces where speeds and through traffic are reduced to ensure cycle safety. The outer edges of these cells have consistent signage and design features, such as entry treatments that signal to motorists to lower their speeds (as shown in the photo). In the Netherlands, these cells provide a safe network for cyclists, including children cycling to school or to visit friends.

Our long term goal is to create this Dutch-style network of residential cells across Enfield and we propose to start in one of the cells along the A1010, cell 26 which includes Brettenham School (see Case Study in Section 2) and Fleecefield School, as well as the Edmonton Unity Hub (see Case Study in Section 5) and is already a 20mph zone.

We will then work with five to six residential cells per year, throughout the duration of the mini-Holland project to treat residential areas, particularly those where speeding traffic and rat running is a problem.

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