OpinioN8

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Railings outside FotoPlus - gone - all part of the Niddle Noddle changes @imajkemp

I think the streetscape (the way the street looks) is improved but I din't know what effect the removal will have on road safety. The railings were put in not all that long ago to improve road safety. Now they've been taken out to improve road safety.

Puts me in mind of Flanders and Swann

Tags: fotoplus, niddle noddle planter, railings, road safety

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I believe the railings are due to be replaced with bollards to prevent vehicles overrunning the pavement, so safety has been considered and shouldn't be compromised.

There are obviously therefore arguments as to the purpose of the change.

This may be a small step towards 'shared spaces' whereby the boundary between road and pavement  becomes less clear. It is a notion currently beloved of traffic engineers, highways departments etc and may form part of the Liveable Neighbourhoods Initiative. The claim is that such shared spaces make everyone safer. But as we see, fashions change. In 20 years time perhaps we can employ gangs of navvies to restore kerbs and railings which today we are taking away and replcing with a load of new bollards. This article in the Times suggests that railings make us complacent  . 

You didn't say - they've kept the ugly fences on the Monkey Nuts side of the road. Sigh.

They've also installed two sign posts on the New Road modal filter. Though the signs themselves have not materialised. It's a curiously fitful approach to roadworks. Anyway, what d'you reckon the signs will say?

"Modal filter ahead, go slow"? "no cars"? "low flying motorbikes"? (or whatever that joke was) "concealed entrance"? "heavy plants crossing"? or perhaps, "the gate that used to be here has been removed"? 

This is why the posts were added in advance of the signs being ready: https://twitter.com/luke_harrison/status/1020312185111810048

Signs are to follow I am told.

You put your left leg in,
Your left leg out:
In, out, in, out, shake it all about.
You do the hokey cokey,
And you turn around.
That's what it's all about!

In an effort to better handle traffic, a large area of Tottenham was for many years converted to a huge, one-way Gyratory (the A10, Monument Way and Broad Lane).

After several years experience and in an effort better to handle traffic, the council changed it back again.

The traffic experts at Haringey Council started to build something a similar but a little smaller, based on Wightman Road N4. For some while, they intended to inflict a Gyratory on Wightman Road's long-suffering residents.

The lesson that has still yet to be learned, is that it is futile as well as a waste of public money, to try to accommodate the insatiable demand for roads, for cars.

We should enjoy the challenge of the Netherlands’ town-centres: a surfeit of bicycles!

The bollards went in.

The state of the paving, the damage wrought by the removal of the fencing, and the quality of the new work leaves just a little to be desired. This is a conservation area apparently.

Let's hope the work planned for the improvements under the Liveable Neighbourhoods Initiative aims a tad higher. Apparently there's a visit to Crouch End planned for the great and good of TfL, the Commissioner, the council and the councillors (no, the local peasants are not invited). I wonder what they'll cook up for us.

So, let's recap.

A half destroyed planter (completely needlessly as it didn't interfere with anyone's sightlines), half the safety fencing removed creating nonsensical visual crapola, and pavements of near complete dilapidation.

Oh, and the overall effect will be to speed up traffic, which is exactly the opposite of everything we've been led to believe is necessary.

Haringey's own diagram shows that the only sight lines which improve (pink lines) come from moving the zebra crossing. The works are not finished yet - the crossing has still to move and the raised roadway to be installed. So the traffic may yet be slowed.

Given that the purpose of the bollards is to prevent bad driver behaviour it seems harsh to make the footpath narrower. Surely these should be installed just the other side of the kerb stones.

The re-siting of the zebra crossing should improve things for pedestrians, especially against speeding bicycles whipping round the corner.

However, is it necessary to maintain the width of the road at that point? The reason it becomes three lanes is to allow vehicles to filter right and thereby improve traffic flow...  but this is entirely against the stated intentions of the main Liveable Neighbourhoods improvements, which seek to narrow roads into two carriageways, calm traffic, widen footways and enable easier pedestrian crossing. None of which they've done here. A big fat missed opportunity.

PS. We really must think of a better moniker for the LNI. The "Calmer Crouch End" project perhaps? Or maybe "Crouch End for People". I heard that before somewhere...

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