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TOPIC: What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like

What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like 24 Feb 2017 17:32 #2826

Thank you for the analysis Paul. When we are designing civilised roads I don’t think we should fixate too much about where collisions or accidents, as you wrongly call them, happen. They are by their very nature random acts but it is true that they are more likely to happen on main road because of the simple reason that they carry more traffic. I have seen enough cars buried in garden walls around the local area to know what could happen if a vulnerable road user was in the wrong place. Statistics are hard to understand and easy to manipulate. Look at rapid decline in the accident rate from a peak of about 7000 in I think 1967. Brilliant except we now have fewer people walking and cycling and every time we make our cars safer some drivers compensate by taking more risks. An example of how this all ends can be found in the ABD handbook and an argument I had with somebody on Twitter who was criticising the Police for catching a driver doing 106 mph on the A10. His argument was, much like yours, that there hadn’t been a fatal “accident” on the A10! So you can see why I didn’t even bother to read your definitions of injuries. The real problem is the insidious nature of people speeding and the effect it has when you see it. I am genuinely scared now my children are teenagers and gaining their independence. For example about 15 years ago I was picked up by a mini-cab driver very early in the morning. He was quite distressed as he had just passed Bounds Green Road and seen bodies (teenagers) scattered across the road post collision. Any civilised country should be working towards a vision zero approach rather than being too scared to confront car drivers. I think we will look back at this time and ask what were we thinking?

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like 24 Feb 2017 19:14 #2827

Hal Haines wrote: Any civilised country should be working towards a vision zero approach rather than being too scared to confront car drivers. I think we will look back at this time and ask what were we thinking?


Spot on, Hal.

I'd like to reinforce this point by quoting from the writings of a traffic cop in Birmingham - someone who admits to enjoying the thrill of a high speed chase, but only too familiar with the consequences of the current widespread lax attitude towards speeding and other forms of dangerous driving. He thinks that drivers have had their chance to behave but too many have failed to do so and it's time to take action: "The long and short of it is drivers who pose the greatest threat of harm on our roads need to get their house in order, or we’ll do it for them."

His blog is at trafficwmp.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/driving-an-extinction-event/

And for those who are screaming “it’s just the big brother nanny state telling us what to do and how to live our lives” just remember, drivers were trusted to do the right thing, but alas can’t, just stand at the side of any road with a speed gun and see how many cars actually exceed the speed limit, most do. Some may complain of the nanny state but it’s become increasingly necessary when it comes to motorised road use, just look at the comments by most drivers regards road safety on social media, attitude says a lot about behaviour, if you went on some comments seen on social media regards sharing the road and improving safety you wouldn’t let these people drive a child’s pedal car around your garden, let alone a vehicle on the road with all the risk that carries. You see many like to blame someone else, blame the victim, many just don’t have the attitude or demeanour to be on the road in the first place, modern day personalities and priorities just don’t mix with being in charge of a potential killing machine.

You see the modern motor vehicle is a fine feat of engineering, it can be driven into a brick wall at 50mph and the occupants can walk away relatively injury free. This “security” has however endangered vulnerable road users where it protects the driver. Drivers with their subliminal feeling of safety relax, pay less attention, start practicing poor driving, they speed, don’t pay attention, release their frustration that’s been compounded by sitting in slow moving or stationary traffic with an aggressive driving demeanour, all to the detriment of vulnerable road users.

We need somewhere in the region of one in four compliance for the [20mph] limits to be effective given urban traffic levels, the one in four slow everyone else down and produce safer roads. We will achieve this through enforcement, we will even use covert speed checks if necessary in the most vulnerable of locations, the loss of life on our region's roads is unacceptable to our communities, some drivers may be dismayed and distraught at the idea of us getting all “sneaky” to catch dangerous drivers, but they had their chance, “the gloves are off” as they say when it comes to the fight against the dangerous motorist in our region. But remember those who can drive to the required standard, “the law abiding motorist” have nothing to worry about, quite the opposite their journeys should become more pleasant as a result. Whilst we are on the subject our region does have some very good drivers, our plain clothes cyclists used in #OpClosePass have been overtaken by tens of thousands of very good, considerate drivers on our regions roads, and they are in the majority and should rest easy in the knowledge that we target only those who pose a threat, those doing the speed limit, not using their phone, not driving without due care and attention never get stopped, funny that………and they never complain when we start prosecuting those who do not comply with the law either, only poor incompetent drivers complain about enforcement campaigns, because they are the ones who are the problem and need to worry.

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like 25 Feb 2017 06:51 #2828

Paul Mandel Paul Mandel's Avatar
Hal, sorry for using the term accident, point taken. But, the term is still used in government data and documentation and you used it yourself.

Quote:“Look at rapid decline in the accident rate from a peak of about 7000 in I think 1967. Brilliant except we now have fewer people walking and cycling and every time we make our cars safer some drivers compensate by taking more risks.“

Some clarification here. I assume the 7,000 figure if you are referring to is the number of fatalities. For the number of personal injury accidents, you can probably add 2 zeros, which basically means that everyone could expect to suffer on average one road traffic injury in a lifetime. Although, 90% of those will be minor, be treated at the roadside and not require hospital admission.

I do not completely accept that as cars become safer, people compensate by taking more risks. Having experienced in Turkey (and in other countries at a similar stage it its social development) where wearing a seatbelt is an anathema many terrifying taxi rides, even though it is a legal requirement, I can vouch for this.

What I do believe is that as we have developed the population has generally become far more risk adverse. The mostly old men in the ABD hall has been engaging with on Twitter are a curious group of people. But, good luck to them if they have embraced Twitter. I do not understand how any of my own arguments or opinions correspond with those ladies and gentlemen. Indeed, I understand that many of them oppose compulsory seatbelt wearing and crash helmets for motorcyclists using the same arguments you have advocated on “risk compensation.” By the way, at least nine fatal collisions on the A10 between the M25 and A406 in the past 18 years and numerous serious injuries – tell them that – when they attempt to justify the road racers.

For me, very happy with a default 30 mph on urban roads, 40 mph on those like the A10, - Enfield section 60/70 mph on rural roads and motorways, and for these to be rigorously enforced, especially in residential areas and anywhere that has a particularly high casualty rate. But, not adverse to more selected 20mph zones in towns and villages where appropriate.

But, as someone who these days is generally a advocate of moderation, cautious change, reasonableness and wanting to strive for a consensus, I find discomfort with Basil's view and feel it marks the opposite extreme to those in the ABD a and encapsulates an overzealous outlook. How about being more positive and acknowledge that we are on the cusp of a technological revolution in vehicle collision prevention technology. Too much zeal often discredits. Leads to reasonable people reacting the other way.......

.....just as we are witnessing in the Western political landscape the moment, particularly in the US, but in much of Europe too.

......and sorry if we have veered somewhat away from Quieter Neighbourhoods, but it is not entirely my fault.

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like 25 Feb 2017 09:13 #2829

Thanks for the clarification, yes it was about 7000 death when I was lad and many more injuries. Basil's post is interesting as it just reposting a policeman's blog - presumably you think that his view is going too far? In terms of road policing West Midlands are the best in UK. It shows what can be done and I would be really interested to see if it impacts the collision rate. If it does then other forces will have to take the same measures - there will be unbearable political pressure to do so. There is absolutely no chance of the Met doing any road policing at the moment so let's hope so. Yes all a bit off topic - both our faults I suspect.

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like 27 Feb 2017 11:24 #2834

This discussion is becoming a tad esoteric.

All I know is that my once quiet residential street, Lakeside Road, is now a rat run and the situation is getting worse. I agree with Clare. Whatever the argument about accident statistics, Walthamstow is now a pleasenter place to live for many of its inhabitants, thanks to the traffic management schemes. (I grew up there too.)

I doubt that Enfield would have the guts to do something as radical for Palmers Green. I also get the impression that the Council gives priority to traffic passing through the borough rather than to its own residents.

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like 24 Mar 2017 00:17 #2901

Paul Mandel Paul Mandel's Avatar
Enfield Council has efficiently responded to my FOI request on traffic counts and I attach the data.

The results of my mini surveys of Devonshire Road (showing ave. 1 vehicle per minute) so disparagingly commented on by Basil Clarke, was identical to the Council’s more extensive survey.

So, I do hope Basil will show some contrition, or else eat his hat in private.

If you compare the Devonshire Road surveys traffic volumes seem to drop the further up the one way street you go.

Any one got any theories on this? Many people than visibly noticeable turning round part way up an driving back down the wrong way? A black hole? Or something more prosaic like an inaccurate Council survey.










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