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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 10 Feb 2017 15:38 #2717


Paula Mandel writes " You may not mind standing in the middle of the road, risking life and limb and/ causing an obstruction trying to strap your toddlers in. But, I'm pretty sure that most people would regard that as utterly reckless and selfish behaviour."

and continues:
"It's not about being negative; it's about having some commonsense, a quality that seems hopelessly lacking in some quarters ".

I wonder if Karl laughed as much as my wife and I did reading this. For once Karl is not at the receiving end of Paula's diatribe. Anyway I slept deeper and peacefully knowing that the Lakes Estate has one with so much common sense that we can all call upon via this forum - I would suggest you offer some of this common sense to SOGL as the colour yellow seems to have been unlucky for them, in addition some accountancy services wouldn’t go amiss as they are probably wanting to save some money as its been quite expensive for SOGL lately.

As to me risking life and limb crossing the road (language of SOGL campaigns)..perhaps I can borrow your elderly frail parents to hold my hand, given were neighbours?

On a more serious note, as the originator of the drawings has written this is intended to prompt constructive discussion, share ideas etc and I also note in the notes they wrote " ensure sufficient road width for all vehicles exiting driveways" - enough said on that point!

I like the idea of staggering recreational areas as suggested by Peter. On reflection i think the road might not be wide enough to have cars parked in the middle all the way down, as where I have seen this implemented the road tends to be wider. Having said that there is a road in Muswell Hill (Springfield Avenue) which has plants in the middle of the road and is successful in slowing the cars down (you are forced to drive carefully as its quite narrow - might be another option? - see pic
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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like 10 Feb 2017 22:02 #2727

Paul Mandel Paul Mandel's Avatar
Ibrah Dar. I've had far less insulting comments taken down by Basil Clarke on this forum. But then, Basil does have a certain bias so yours will no doubt stay on.

Glad you agree that the original idea is impractical. That is all I was saying.

The section of road in Muswell Hill has a slim island down the middle, a verge with bushes, is no longer than 50 metres but is wider. So what? Good the kinks at either end slow down vehicles. I'm all for that.

As, for SOGL, if you must know, I have not been on the committee since last May. I resigned for two reasons. One being because the legal challenge was a poor use of donors' money. Thw very high quality written legal advice I had seen said it would fail and it was IMHO waste people's money including mine, on it, And secondly, the lack of discipline and control within the committee .

The whole thing about mini-Holland is that it was a very fine idea in principle , but totally impractical. All the Council's hyperbole is truly irksome. Most local people have seen right through and few want it.

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like 11 Feb 2017 22:31 #2736

I don't have anything to say about the the designs offered on this thread, but in the light of the getting the kids into the car example I feel it is important to stress that purely residential streets are for ......residents. The needs of vehicles will/should be taking second place to pedestrians/kids for designed convenience, and in the easiest streets to modify nobody will be at risk from fast-moving cars - in many cases 10kph would be an appropriate speed limit. If Mum or Dad is getting the kids into their car, moving cars will take second place (subject to the normal courtesies).

Somebody's bound to scream that this is not The Netherlands, and no one will go that far, but that's not the point. The point is to look at proposed plans from the point of view of pedestrian and kids, not primarily for cars, which I'm afraid is usually the case now . And I haven't forgotten the needs of emergency vehicles: arrangements can be made for them.

This has always been a question of quality of life and the freedoms of children, but now we are faced with health problem of an under-exercised society. Governments will be getting behind these sort of moves; even today ours was pointing out that it is spending millions on cycling. Not least the 100 million it spent to fund Mini-Holland.

In future space, as in Mini-Holland, will taken from cars and given to pedestrians and cyclists because, you've guessed it, pedestrians and cyclists take so much space less space than cars, and London is short of space and has a growing population. The pressure for Quieter Streets is growing by the day.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Clare Rogers

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like 12 Feb 2017 10:51 #2737

Paul Mandel Paul Mandel's Avatar
Where is the shortage of space for pedestrians on the streets of Palmers Green? We are blessed with wide pavements and lots of green space. The only problem is that many of the pavements on residential are in a decrepit condition. That is the real issue. We are not far off the day when most of the cars on the road will be zero emission and will be driverless and equipped with all sorts of tools to make them virtually collision proof. I would also suggest that car ownership is not a function of obesity and you will probably find that there is in fact an inverse relationship between car ownership and poverty. Mainly because obesity is closely correlated with poverty and car ownership is closely correlated with prosperity. In developed countries you may even find that populations who drive more, also exercise far including walking and cycling . Population that are more more prosperous. You will also find that poverty is associated with poor diet, leading to obesity. Not because of the affordability of wholesome nutritious food, but because of a lack of knowledge and motivation to do something good with it. Basically, we have the good old Liberal Elite campaigning for changes to benefit them, not the population as a whole

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like 15 Feb 2017 11:30 #2747

I’m told the design started from the common sense start point of where the Council left the workshops, ie with the street seeing either Modal Filtered or Point No Entry traffic. As the debate between street residents has homed in on this aspect it has been seen as practicable, on that point at least. The discussion of Quieter Neighbourhood / calmer and safer street life intra the street, its key purpose, continues.
The author is a Master of The British Association of Landscape Industries, indeed their 2016 UK prize winner. However both parties could doubtless learn from the rapid fire common sense approach to issues shining out from the Lakes Estate - again.
Attached is a good example of residents looking to work together on this very subject. Pro-active, collaborative, helpful, open. I’m sure there’s a lot to learn and benefit from.
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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like 16 Feb 2017 17:31 #2762

Paul Mandel Paul Mandel's Avatar
The part of Walthamstow Karl highlights is nothing like the Estate or any other substantial part of Palmers Green. It was originally developed in Victorian times, built to house what in that era would have been called the skilled working class, artisans and the like. The streets are significantly narrower and the housing denser.

Typical of the era, there are small squares, corner shops and other small retail clusters. Gardens were just small yards for utilitarian activities such as doing the washing, maintaining tools and accessing the toilet. Privacy wasn’t considered that important and much life took place on the streets. And pretty rough it was too.
I can see why some might want to reinvent this, but rather more refined and for the modern relevant world.

Despite all this 6,000 people signed a petition calling for the closed off roads to be reopened, which for one London Borough, perhaps with respondents concentrated in the most affected part is quite astonishing and perhaps shows a council bulldozing through a policy, popular with an elite few.

www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/15091979.6_000_people_call_on_Sadiq_Khan_to_reopen_roads_closed_by_Mini_Holland/?ref=mr&lp=13

Back to the Edwardian Lakes Estate, build for an aspirational lower middle class. Of course, it is unlikely the designers imagined or planned that one day there would be a car parked in front of every house. That came in the interwar period. But, the streets are certainly laid out to facilitate passing traffic and delivery vehicles and there is ample room for private cars, even if that was not the intention.

Generously proportioned houses and large gardens meant people could live comfortably in privacy. You chose who you would socialise with and would make sure all the family was smartly dressed in public. Since then, personal privacy has become an even more highly valued asset.

With wide pavements walking is easy and safe. I cannot help feeling that a small number of people are imagining a non-existent problem. Even though there is some nuisance issue with the speed of traffic much of it could be generated by locals

As far as “Quieter Neighbourhoods” goes, the official term “residential cells is more apposite.

Karl refers to the design workshops and the two options presented at the second one, supposedly based on what residents asked for at the first, road closures or width restrictions.

This is most definitely not what most residents were calling for. At the first workshop very few supported this idea. Road closures seems to be an agenda promoted by council officers supported by a few activists
I for one like the idea of making the roads bendy to slow traffic, but, there does not appear to be a practical way to make this happen without a significant loss of parking. All the personal injury RTAs in recent years have been at junctions, so to make the roads safer, junction treatments are all that are necessary.

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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like 20 Feb 2017 13:25 #2780

The problem we have on our residential streets is not 'non-existent'. There is a very real sense that even on streets that are purely residential, drivers have priority. Our road in Palmers Green is used a cut-through by people doing short local journeys in their cars who often exceed the speed limit in their haste to cut out the lights. It is not therefore possible for elderly people to cross the road, for children to play on their own street, or for anyone but the most assertive to feel safe on a bicycle. I'm sorry, but that is wrong. That is a real problem.

The Dutch addressed this by creating 'Woonerfs' or living streets where the design clearly signalled to drivers that people on foot, on bikes or at play took precedence. It is now a Dutch principle that roads have to be classed as one of three types, 'access' being the usual type for a residential road, and on these roads clear priority is given to people over traffic. Cars are 'guests', not rulers, as we see on our streets. The same thing has been acheived in Walthamstow by the use of modal filters, preventing any through traffic in a given residential area, and this has only resulted in a mild increase in traffic on main roads, as much of it has 'evaporated' rather than being displaced. No surprise there - on streets without through traffic but just residents leaving/entering, it is blissfully easy to walk, cycle and play. Children do now spontaneously play outdoors now on those streets.

Conclusion: we need the quieter neighbourhoods, we need them to be radical, we need them to priorities people, especially the most vulnerable, over motorised traffic.
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What a street in a Quieter Neighbourhood might look like 21 Feb 2017 09:49 #2790

It seems the original approach for Quieter Neighbourhoods, one very clearly communicated at every public meeting, that the council would be “hands off” but instead have ideas come forward from local residents via workshops and other channels based on street-specific challenges may no longer be the final way forward. But that said, the second workshop had started to generate a wider pan-area understanding of mutual issues and their reverberations across almost all street representatives, and the Council did go away with requests for pilots to stop all rat-running on a number of our streets, including but I can’t say limited to: Devonshire, Old Park, Amberley, St Georges, Burford and I believe Grovelands. Meadway were also very much in that frame as a Southgate 5-ways bypass, while Selbourne sought a mid-point closure. There was a small minority alternate view, as is the case on most local matters.

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