I know the work hasn't finished yet and I've been trying to hold off passing judgment until the road updates are complete but I just cannot see how these changes are an improvement.
I used to cross the road a lot using the island by Mattison Road. I have a two year old with limited road sense and right now I'm heavily pregnant. Trying to cross the road with my son and bags is a total nightmare! Before I just needed to look one way at a time - now I need to check for traffic going both ways and coming out of Mattison Road too. I find it quite stressful!
I don't feel confident weaving between traffic when it slows for a chicane because your view is blocked and I worry that a moped might be weaving through so end up waiting for ages to cross. Motorists are too busy trying to navigate the road to also look out for pedestrians.
On top of that - all the queuing traffic makes the road feel busier, even if there are fewer cars and the amount of angry beeping I hear now has definitely gone up! (although I appreciate there are still temporary traffic lights further down so perhaps this will improve)
What options do we have to lobby the council to make further changes? I wrote to express my concerns about the 'informal crossing' points when they sent details of the road changes but that had no impact. I feel like a few zebra crossing at key points along the road could help - especially where lots of kids are crossing i.e. at Mattison or Pemberton near the school.
But what is most effective way to get the council to listen? Emails and complaints to local councils and councillors might elicit responses - but actual action?
And more to the point - does anyone else share this concern?
That’s good to hear and I’m sure you’d never dream of inconveniencing a road user on foot, let alone endangering them, but there are a lot of issues associated with people deciding when they comply with the law and when they don’t. What about the guy behind you who follows your lead? Will he be as responsible as you?
Taking it further, what about children cycling on pavements? As a kid, I was able to cycle on roads all the time without much concern, but have absolutely no problem with kids cycling on the pavement around here as the roads are just too treacherous, regardless of whether they are breaking the law. Even cycling up the rung roads can be dangerous, with impatient drivers wanting to overtake, and these are side roads.
But getting back on topic, Wightman Road is an absolute nightmare for cyclists, cars, and a danger for pedestrians wanting to cross the road at certain times. Not sure how this can be corrected now that the chicanes have been built. Back to the drawing board?
I’d imagine that most people would turn a blind eye to a well behaved child cycling on the pavement.
Re getting back in topic. At the local residents’ group we’ll be seeking a review meeting with the Council once everything is finished. I’m quite the interests of cyclists will be well represented. Getting the Council to take notice is another matter however.
So to clarify... changes to Wightman has made walking, cycling and driving more dangerous. There's no less traffic and more anger all round. Cyclists are cycling on pavements because the road is so much more dangerous. Honestly, it's difficult to see how this plan could have come off worse. As far as the Ladder is concerned, Haringey Council policy does seem to be figuring out what annoys the residents most, and then going with that. In all things. For ever.
Have been leafletted today about night time road markings works on Wightman, 8 - 14 July. Parking suspensions including vehicle removal will be needed for the old road markings to be removed.
ALSO, the penultimate paragraph states:
"The ongoing works in Wightman Road has [sic] attracted some negative reactions. We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused and to remind all users that the scheme is yet to be completed. As with all major schemes, there will be a post implementation review. The result of the review together with any constructive observations received will be considered and any additional measures that are recommended to improve safety on Wightman Road, will be carried out where viable, subject to funding availability."
In terms of zebra crossings without all of the associated requirements (no parking stretches, belisha beacons, etc) there is some work going on in Manchester at the moment with Chris Boardman trying to get more informal crossings approved as official.
Ultimately though the council aren't going to want too many proper crossings on Wightman Road as that will reduce the traffic capacity and it is very clear that they are against that.