The LCSP (traffic sub-group) and Living Wightman have contributed recently in the development of a resident led submission to Haringey in relation to traffic and the Ladder. I am pleased to share the "Fresh Start" document with you below. I have also copied the email circulated to the LCSP membership setting out the context of the Fresh Start document.
I am also pleased to share a joint letter from the LCSP and Living Wightman to Haringey setting out a request to extend the current Wightman closure until the Green Lanes Traffic Study reports back in December.
We welcome any constructive feedback and thoughts, and importantly ideas!
Chair LCSP Traffic Sub-Committee
You will no doubt be aware of the fact the Green Lane Traffic Study is in progress. To contribute to this process the LCSP has coordinated with the Living Wightman Campaign to prepare a resident led submission document that has gone to the council. The “Fresh Start” document aims to characterise the problems faced by many Ladder residents as the Ladder has increasingly become a sacrificial zone as a result what has historically been weak traffic management planning on Green Lanes.
The document sets out the impacts of this weakness in planning, and how the application of ever more pressure on a narrower subset of roads in the borough to act as a relief valve has affected the Ladder.
The document is designed to provoke thought and offer insights to decision makers and influencers who may not be familiar with the area. The document goes further in proposing a partnership between the council and residents in what will hopefully be a long term effort to fundamentally change the profile of traffic flows across the Ladder and surrounding areas.
We also jointly make recommendations as to actions that can be taken to begin making meaningful progress in reducing the traffic burden on the area. We recognise the solution may not be a result of a single intervention, and as a result, as the Green lanes Traffic Study progresses, the Fresh Start document is designed to be a living document, which we hope to add to at appropriate moments and re-circulate to keep the discussion alive.
For those of you with feedback you are welcome to contact myself in the first instance.
Please also see attached the joint Living Wightman letter agreed at the last LCSP meeting requesting a temporary extension of the Wightman closure until the Green Lanes Traffic Study reports back.
Please note, the traffic sub-group will aim to meet next week. We do not have a date yet. We welcome the ongoing participation of Ladder residents, and if anyone would like to come along, or represent their road please let me know. You will be most welcome.
Fantastic piece of work - well done, all! I think everyone, surely, can agree the main aims!
a) a low traffic Wightman Road, which also has the benefit of resolving the high traffic volumes on the Ladder rung roads and protecting two of Haringey’s Schools,
b) the restoration of Wightman Road pavements to appropriate widths for pedestrians, wheelchair users and joggers,
c) the mitigation of any unintended consequences of the above.
What an undertaking. Thank you so much Justin and everyone involved.
I'm really pleased that you touched upon the mental health issues of the traffic too. As someone who has caught himself stepping out into the road to stop skip trucks racing down his street in sheer angry frustration at the mini explosions they create flying over the speedhumps, I can attest to this.
I will let you know. I need to circulate something and get agreement, possibly Tues or Thurs at this point- but I need to see what the availability of the rest of the group is too.
On the numbers I will check and get back to you.
On the playing out, this I definitely have an opinion on. This is something that folks who have grown up in a city or do not have kids may not fully get their heads around. I grew up in an urban environment, but I was very lucky that is had considerable green (often wild) space around me. We were rarely in the house!
I am a big fan of kids playing out. Its why I work so hard to promote the Pemberton Play Street, and others do the same locally (Fairlands Park, Falkland Play Street, etc). When you have kids in the house the whole time they tend to mope around ('I am bored!'), bicker and default to being on screens. This leads (I feel) to a potential reduction in ability to socialise and develop social skills, tension in the house as parents try to do what parents need to do and kids become immobile (obesity?). Do not get me wrong, I am not saying kids kept indoors becomes socially inadequate.
Kids playing out get better vitamin D levels (sunlight), are inventive as the development of games and play, learn to socialise and resolve disputes, get out from under their parents feet (reducing household tensions) and exercise.
Kids playing out also bring a sense of security and sense of community to an area- and I do not mean hooded teenagers, I mean kids. We have a cohort of kids that are always playing out on Pemberton. When kids on Pemberton went out a week or two ago and sold lemonade to passers buy the number of people that stopped for a few moments, talked, chatted with each other etc was amazing- I met 3 new neighbours on Pemberton I did not know were there.
Wightman is a fractured community, divided and people driven away by the aggressive road and the noise and the pollution and the lack of space. It is a place to move through rapidly to get to nicer areas. When kids play they act as a catalyst to break down all sorts of barriers and get adults talking, only through mechanisms like this will a community begin to come together!
I also do not understand the argument for kids playing in the street. There will still be vehicles passing by, even with a 'filtered' road. I think it breeds a false sense of safety, when instead we should be educating children about the dangers of roads.
I live on the Gardens and have never seen children playing on the street. The area is well served with parks within walking distance. It just doesn't seem a logical argument.
Nick, I have a 6 year old, the chances of me allowing him to go freely to Chestnuts or Fairland's is remote. Outside, he is free to come in and out of the house as he pleases...
As to educating children of the dangers of the road I would say two things:
1. Why should we accept that our roads are dangerous, can we not aspire to reduce the dangers in the first place?
2. Where better to educate children as to the danger of roads but in the outdoors- we cannot wrap them up in cotton wool forever. Do not get me wrong, I am not advocating we use our kids as some form of traffic calming or throw them into oncoming traffic to see if they can get away quick enough, but they will not learn road sense indoors!
I also have young children of a similar age to yours. I don't let them play on the (no through) road outside my house. Roads are for cars (and bikes etc). Unless all vehicular traffic is totally eliminated then it is not 'safe' whether you accept it or not.
Cars and motorbikes did not exist when the Ladder and the Gardens were laid out. They were just for access. I played in the street as a child, as did my neighbours, any traffic was local so far more respectful and mindful of our safety.
True, I played outside (on the Gardens) growing up as well, racing bikes along opposing pavements. Though I imagine there wasn't so much traffic back then.