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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like
21 Feb 2017 10:36 #2791

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I attended both of the workshops, and have a slightly different view of the issues on traffic control. Although, quite understandably, those suffering from current rat running pressed for road closures, the view from the council officers and those in other roads was that no solution for those roads which merely displaced traffic to adjoining roads would be acceptable. This might mean that the request for road closures would not be so easily granted.

Another difference might be about how to deal with locally generated traffic as opposed to through traffic. A full residents' survey might throw up a different view to that evidenced by a self-selecting group such as attend workshops (which includes me). I can imagine that those at the meeting and those living on current rat runs would be more willing to accept constraints on use of their cars than those not at the workshops or living in roads relatively unaffected by rat running, who would be content with relatively less intrusive calming measures. I can see that there might be some "evaporation" of local traffic, but it won't go away completely.

I also wonder what the emergency services views are of a much wider constraint on their speed of response and ease of access than the A105 scheme might involve.

What is required is a much more nuanced approach using a combination of physical barriers and visual cues to divert and slow down traffic. Key to this in the Fox Lane cell was to interrupt traffic running along Fox Lane, for example by changing priorities at cross-over junctions or raised tables, and to slow down traffic between Bourne Hill and Aldermans Hill by a range of physical and visual/psychological barriers, but not permanent closures, which would export the problem. Combined with the ability to create periodic play streets this should have a significant effect across the whole area.

What I'm not clear about is whether the Council is committed to the line taken at the workshops that changes would be trialled, by for example, temporary portable barriers, signs, obstacles, and the results monitored for overall effect before they were instituted.

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like
21 Feb 2017 10:47 #2792

Paul Mandel Paul Mandel's Avatar

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Totally agree with Colin.

BTW. Have just spent 5 minutes standing at the entrance of Devonshire Road. In that time five vehicles entered. One per minute. None of them going too fast, not even the BMW. And none was a bicycle.

One of these five was a shopper who parked in the bay outside the security equipment shop. Some of the other drivers may well have been residents in the street. What reasonable person could resent them?

To me, that not does not seem to be a lot, right next to town centre shops and taking the location into account the problem appears to be exaggerated out of all proportion, though I expect it will become real when the cycle lanes works starts in that part of PG.

Drivers don’t have priority on the street, only on the carriageway, along with cyclists. Pedestrians have a wide pavement, albeit in dire need of renovation to use.
What you should all be asking is why there is so much new housing development beside the A406, where there really is an awful lot of traffic? That area needs greening, not concreting.

By all means have a raised entrance to strengthen the priority pedestrians already have there. But, leave the rest alone. History has shown that radical solutions to non-existent or vastly exaggerated problems make matters worse, not better.

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like
21 Feb 2017 19:13 #2796

PGC Webmaster PGC Webmaster's Avatar Topic Author

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Paul Mandel wrote: Have just spent 5 minutes standing at the entrance of Devonshire Road. In that time five vehicles entered. One per minute. None of them going too fast, not even the BMW. And none was a bicycle.


How did you select the particular five minutes in order to ensure that it was typical of all periods of five minutes during say a typical day/week/month? Do you not think that a slightly longer test (say between 7am and 11pm every day for a week) might have produced more accurate results?

And do you think that your methodology is as accurate as that employed by the Council, ie to put a sensor strip in the road (there is one in Devonshire Road at the moment)? If so, they could save a lot of money.

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like
21 Feb 2017 21:23 #2798

Paul Mandel Paul Mandel's Avatar

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Basil, I know as well as you, it wasn't scientific, but a simple illustration. But, as a local, I would bet my bottom dollar it is not untypical. If there is a traffic sensor in Devonshire Road, I will put an FOI request for the data to be released as soon as possible, once the survey has been completed.

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like
21 Feb 2017 21:54 #2799

Richard Crutchley Richard Crutchley's Avatar

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I appreciate you looking at Devonshire for 5 minutes, but it's not really akin to living in the street. The problem of rat-running in the street is real. We get many cars dropping people for the station at the end of the street in the morning and driving down it or reversing out. We have people parking in the street at all times in the week week to use Morrisons and the fast food places in the Triangle (often chucking their rubbish onto the street when they leave). The juice bar attracts a certain clientele of young men in fast cars, many of whom have ignored parking restrictions at that end of the street (raised with the juice bar, Council and the police). The bin lorries know this road as a short cut. At night, the speed of traffic becomes a problem and the number of cars parking in the road to use restaurants, pubs and clubs in the high street increases phenomenally, such that residents who work shifts, lates or nights often have to park several streets away. Unlike other parallel streets, the road is one way (so no need to worry about stopping for traffic coming in the other direction), dead straight and without barriers or cameras. We regularly see speeding traffic, particularly after midnight in the early hours and, with the high number of families on the street, many parents are concerned about accidents (not in the early hours so much, obviously). Also, with our regular street play events (which I know you don't like) we're well aware that many non-residents still think they have a right to use the street, despite there being THREE 'road closed' signs in the street entrance (they don't - we have a legal order, but we tend to be leniency much to our detriment). We've had to call the police twice to these events to deal with drivers who have ignored our stewards and put the lives of children at risk. I'm not against cars on roads and I believe there's a right to drive. But rights bring responsibilities, and I'm all for the removal or curtailment of rights where drivers cannot be responsible themselves. I also think cycle lanes will be fabulous (having spent much time studying North Holland) and welcome the disruption it takes to bring them in.

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like
22 Feb 2017 07:30 #2800

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Paul Mandel - also not scientific but yesterday I sat with my wife for about 45 minutes having a coffee in the cafe next to the exit of Devonshire. Car after car came out of the exit. Almost exclusively they shot out of the exit if they could or braking hard if they couldn't - typical ran running behaviour as you must surely understand as a keen driver. Why do people have to prove their rat run is saving time by driving fast? Also last time I visited that road I witnessed a hot hatch going over 40 - I can give you the date time for your 0928 on 11th Feb for your FOI :) It must be a horrible road to live on and needs to be filtered to stop the rat running.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Clare Rogers, Maire Harris

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like
22 Feb 2017 14:11 #2801

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Although I raised possible problems resulting from road closures in my earlier posting, I think that Devonshire road probably is a unique case where closure might be carried out without a detrimental effect on nearby residential roads.

In essence isn't Devonshire used as a slip road around the traffic lights at the Triangle junction for traffic intending to go north bound on Green Lanes? Closing it won't obviously push traffic on to the nearest alternative, Old Park Road, the more so as in future there will also be traffic lights at the Fox junction to slow things down. I should have thought that traffic monitoring during a temporary trial closing of Devonshire would soon provide the data (that's assuming that the information isn't already available to add hard acts to this debate).

I wonder what the effect might be on Devonshire when the Triangle and the roads around it are realigned? Might the traffic on Aldermans Hill wanting to turn left to go north on Green lanes queue less given that southbound traffic will be be funnelled along the south side of the Triangle? If so it might conceivably reduce the temptation for traffic to use Devonshire as a slip road. I guess it will be influenced by the timing of the various traffic lights.

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like
22 Feb 2017 15:34 #2802

Steve Rawlinson Steve Rawlinson's Avatar

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I can't speak for the residents of other roads but Devonshire Road acts as short cut which allows cars otherwise travelling down Aldermans Hill and then North along Green Lanes to avoid the lights at the triangle and two pedestrian crossings. There is no oncoming traffic, no speed bumps and quite often you even get let out straight away because northbound traffic on Green Lanes is held for you by the crossing.

That is an enormous incentive to use Devonshire Road and it's no surprise that so many people do it, especially during rush hour. While most people drive sensibly a significant minority drive much too fast for safety, because they can.

Closing Devonshire Road would have the effect of pushing more traffic into Green Lanes, which frankly is where that traffic should be. Whether it would push traffic into Old Park Road is open to question. It would be very easy to try it and see.

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