Centralised discussion space for TfL plans and cycling in London

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  • I was looking for signs on the left lane

    That's where one should be, but for some reason they seem to have been reluctant to erect one there.

  • What did you say was problematic with the Brooke Road junction design again (Downs LTN)? I forgot your opinion.

  • It's not that easy to summarise. That one's not as bad as the above example, but with Hackney Downs it's more a problem of methodology first. They haven't defined the cells to start with, and there is a question of how large the cells should be. You don't want to make them too large, because then you'll get people driving faster inside the cell to get somewhere inside it. For the size of the cell that's supposedly been filtered under the current scheme, there are far too few filters, and it also leaves plenty of rat-running routes open (ones that engineers probably disregarded because measured through motor traffic levels there were low at the time of investigation). At the moment, because of COVID-19, you don't see the effect of that so strongly just yet, but were 'normal' motor traffic levels to resume, it would soon become noticeable. There is the question whether that location is the right one. I don't think it is (debatable; it goes back to the above question of how big a cell should be), but if it were, it shouldn't be a diagonal filter, but a (camera-enforced) 'Culford filter'. There's still plenty of rat-running along Brooke Road and Evering Road to avoid Upper Clapton Road, as well as along Evering Road and Brooke Road. Again, all a bit muted at the moment, but we'll see how it develops with the prospective Reopenings of Everything.

  • I've been up and down Tottenham Court Road a few times since they redid it. It's better, but I didn't realise that it was only half of the road that they were banning cars on. It improves that junction onto Howland St where you always used to get cut up but the big junction with Euston Road is still pretty crappy.

  • That's normal. You need a line (real or imaginary) in the middle of every LTN that cars can't cross. The St Peter's (Angel) LTN in Islington was created mostly by bollarding the canal bridges.

    Missed this at the time. The line also blocks pedestrians, there's only one route through on foot which is why they feel like quite different zones.

    New developments in Haringey aren't car free? They need to change that if they're serious about this

    I think they're no street parking but the big development being built at the moment (Clarendon Yard) still seems to have car parks for residents.

  • We've just published our #ClimateSafeStreets video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_vSWIxQ­hGM

    If it seems like a sensible video and you'd like the next Mayor of London to commit to our plan for a zero carbon road network by 2030, write to the candidates here https://www.lcc.org.uk/campaigns/email-t­he-candidates/

  • Thanks Amey <3

  • Not sure if there is a better thread?

    Southwark Council have opened a consultation on the Dulwich streetspace scheme, so if you've been through there then please share your opinions

    https://www.southwark.gov.uk/transport-a­nd-roads/improving-our-streets/live-proj­ects/dulwich-review

  • Plans that I've posted about before (2+ years ago) are about to be realised:

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/o­xford-street-green-new-plans-pedestrian-­piazza-environment-b940883.html

    In a nutshell, north-south Regent Street will remain a through traffic artery, whereas the east and west semi-circular sides of Oxford Street, as well, at a guess, as the sections of Oxford Street between Holles Street and Oxford Circus (west) and Oxford Circus and Great Portland Street (east), will become 'pedestrian plazas'. Buses and cabs will be re-routed north to Margaret Street and Cavendish Square.

    I can't seem to find any details of proposed traffic schemes or any clear drawings. There only seem to be some illustrations ('artist's impressions'), including the one above. Some more illustrations, plus a bit of guff, here, on Westminster's page:

    https://www.westminster.gov.uk/unveiling­-our-plans-iconic-oxford-circus

    There's also an 'Oxford Street District' site, which likewise doesn't seem to have anything concrete in their 'framework':

    https://osd.london/framework/

    To be fair, the plans encompass a lot of issues and aren't limited to traffic schemes. Until there is more information, I'll have to go on what is contained in the announcement and the article.

    As I've said before, I think pedestrianisation of Oxford Street is a very bad idea. Yes, Oxford Street is busy, and yes, it's unpleasant at times, but if pedestrian volumes turn out anything like what they've been predicted to be, pedestrianisation, in this case of a short stretch, will mean that it'll effectively become impossible to cycle along there at most times of the day. (The pedestrian traffic pressure added by the delayed mistake that is Crossrail was completely unnecessary, and while it is clear that this needs to be addressed, I don' think this is the way to do it.)

    There are, of course, a lot of claims to want to facilitate active travel, but the main travel that will be facilitated will be for people spilling out of the Crossrail stations, for commercial reasons. The illustrations dutifully show riders going along Regent Street, which of course they will do, but I can't spot any riders among the illustrative pedestrians in the 'pedestrian plazas'. The article also says 'pedestrian only'--let's hope that this is just journalistic laziness and that there will continue to be permission to cycle through.

    As a bit of background, pedestrian zones, of the kind implemented in virtually all town centres in Europe post-war, generally excluded cycling and definitely contributed much to its decline--planners stopped considering it and only considered driving and walking, with cycling 'the forgotten mode'.

    The idea behind pedestrian zones was to enable people to drive into the centre (from a larger area than before, leading to the decline of commercial activity in suburbs and smaller places, much as in London the introduction of the Underground system did that), park in one of the corona of car parks surrounding the pedestrian zone, and then walk to the shops, loading up the car afterwards and driving back. That way, post-war planners thought, sufficient/larger numbers of customers would come into the centre, and they'd be able to buy loads of stuff because they could carry it in their cars, while the actual small core of shopping streets would be much improved because of the absence of cars.

    This didn't work pretty much from the word go, as traditional town centres could never accommodate the number of drivers wanting to come into the centre without significant congestion, not even in Germany where the major cities were 90+% destroyed in the war and new arterial roads were built, and American-style out-of-town shopping soon followed, denting the profitability of city centres and worsening congestion (owing to a greater need to travel--out-of-town centres can never match the virtue of traditional central places in being well-connected and easy to reach--some people can reach out-of-town shopping easily, while others have to drive all the way around, or through, the city). This in turn led to more ring roads, bypasses, and the like, causing people to bypass smaller centres and driving to the bigger centres, where they hoped to have greater choice and a better shopping experience, leaving the centres of smaller towns, and employment there generally, to suffer. Rinse, repeat, unless you're left with a significant shift of economic activity to only the largest places.

    In London, all of this played out in a slightly different way. There was generally strong opposition to road-building, so that in London we never had anything on the scale of the motorway-building seen in smaller cities, as much though the A406 and the M25 are big, they are only two of the five concentric rings proposed at one time, and of the proposed arterial roads, only the Westway and the Eastway were realised. Obviously, there are other major dual carriageways, like the A102(M), but compared to the size of London, we've been lucky, and owe a lot to the people opposing all this road-building in decades past. (Sadly, with the Silvertown Tunnel, and possibly the proposed underground orbital motorway along the Inner Ring Road, new/old road-building plans have come back and will be an increasing issue in the next few years.) As above, over-centralisation in London happened mainly courtesy of the Underground system, and to a lesser extent non-Underground urban rail.

    The main impact on London of mass motorisation was the creation of one-way systems, which are very bad for cycling, as people hate being sent on long diversions. Where permeability is increased, cycling immediately goes up. The biggest impact to date was when the Shoreditch gyratory was partially returned to two-way operation. Here, in this present scheme, the plan seems to be to send vehicular through traffic up to the Margaret Street-Wigmore Street/Cavendish Place/Mortimer Street one-way system. I'd welcome it if this were returned to two-way, but I'd be surprised. I can't see any detail on cycling in the plans, although one of the maps shows a 'cycle route' that goes along some back streets to the north. I hope that won't be the only thought spent on cycling, and that cycling across the 'pedestrian plazas' will be permitted instead, or we'll have years of enforcement blitzes and haranguing. I may well be too pessimistic here, it's just that the lack of detail doesn't inspire confidence. What is clear is that if the pedestrianisation plans gradually proceeded to take in all of Oxford Street, a very important connection would be lost to cycling, not to mention buses.

    The very centre of London is insanely well-connected, in both senses, and for a long time the connection by public transport was more than enough to satisfy the powerful interests clustered there, without doing many of the things seen in smaller places. The downturn of the 60s and 70s, as more and more people moved out of London, gave birth to proposed stimulus policies such as the one that has now led to Crossrail, which had effectively become completely unnecessary by 2000, but because it was still remembered by a certain 80s GLC leader-turned-Mayor (there was also still a company tasked with getting it moving), it was pushed forward, and we'll now have to live with the consequences.

    Needless to say, retail today is threatened by the Internet more than by anything else, and I personally am fully in favour of making town centres more attractive just for that reason alone. I just don't think that Oxford Street is threatened in the same way that smaller centres are, and, ironically enough, if the Internet meant that fewer people got off Crossrail in Oxford Street, it would mean that perhaps we'll see lower pedestrian volumes than expected. Who knows.

    They seem to want to do the traffic work this year and next year.

  • I thought a major complaint of Westminster towards Khan's plans was that Oxford Street is a thoroughfare and they didn't want to it cut.

    I'm half joking when I say that Westminster plan this only to interfere with cycling through the area, the pedestrian benefits are just an unintended consequence.

  • I thought a major complaint of Westminster towards Khan's plans was that Oxford Street is a thoroughfare and they didn't want to it cut.

    Yes, but even Westminster can't ignore the forecasts of how many pedestrians are meant to arrive at Oxford Circus via Crossrail. There's a public safety issue if they don't have enough space to spill out into. Keeping the pedestrian space the same could lead to people being crushed. I expect that at extremely busy times, people may occasionally even be prevented from getting off Crossrail there for a few trains until there's enough clear space again. As I speculated above, those forecasts may not come true entirely, but we'll see when it happens.

    I'm half joking when I say that Westminster plan this only to interfere with cycling through the area, the pedestrian benefits are just an unintended consequence.

    Well, what is clear is that cycling through that stretch will be much slower than before. Right now, we don't know yet if cycling will be banned there. I think it's a distinct possibility, but let's wait until we get the information.

    To be honest, I think that Westminster are probably trying to do the minimum here that they have to. As above, I think Crossrail's a mistake, but I have no idea to what, if any, extent it's Westminster's fault. Livingstone was the main driver, and to everyone's surprise he wrangled the funding out of Gordon Brown.

  • I don't really see the big issue for cycling, there are plenty of parallel roads you can use as alternatives. If it gets rid of the bus / cabs hellscape that is there currently and makes it pedestrian only I am all for it. London needs nicer public areas, it was so clear during lockdown how car traffic cuts up the city and makes large parts inaccessible.

  • No, permeability is crucial for cycling. As I said somewhere up there, if you send cyclists on diversions or force them to walk, you reduce cycling. Pedestrian zones are one of the main reasons why cycling went down in post-war decades. Interestingly, as I've been expecting for a while, something similar now seems to have started/be going on in Amsterdam:

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/m­ay/21/trouble-cyclists-paradise-amsterda­m-accused-favouring-pedestrians

    You don't want cyclists to have to use 'alternatives'. You want them to be a visible presence on hugely important streets like Oxford Street.

  • But once you remove traffic there is no viable solution to keep working infrastructure for cycling in a busy area like that. Pedestrians in the UK gravitate towards the bike path first.
    I see that all along the routes I cycle from the South East to the west end.
    In the inner city the car traffic works as a deterrent and keeps people from spilling into the road and as a side effect keeps cycle lanes on the side reasonably clear unless they are needed for parking of course.
    So I prefer the pedestrianise it which is better than what is there now rather than wait for an utopian ideal solution that will not work with actual people and how they behave.
    They will get enough opportunity to test their reflexes from e-scooters once its pedestrianised.

  • Marginally better than the nothing that's there now.

    Meanwhile in Hackney, Church Street is getting a bus gate and CS1 is getting two extra filters:
    https://rebuildingagreenerhackney.common­place.is/proposals/stoke-newington

  • Marginal improvements that have little to no utility . The shared space is usable for an under 8, the on road sections are just normal road.

    CS1 needs to be put out of its misery.

  • Haringey LTN plans have now been released for consultation. One particular thing to note is that the St Anns one has two different options: Option A which cuts out all through traffic and Option B which still allows through traffic on Black Boy Lane and a few other streets.

    https://www.haringey.gov.uk/parking-road­s-and-travel/travel/transport-strategy/l­ow-traffic-neighbourhoods-haringey/low-t­raffic-neighbourhoods-public-consultatio­n

  • Thanks, hope you don't mind me re-posting that here:

    https://www.lfgss.com/comments/16151282/­

  • LTN that is close to my heart, since I ride down it all the time, Railton Road LTN is on consultation to make it permanent.
    Fill in the survey and pass on to anyone you know who lives in Brixton/herne hill region..

    https://beta.lambeth.gov.uk/consultation­s/have-your-say-railton-low-traffic-neig­hbourhood

  • That survey doesn’t let you say letting black cabs use it as a rat run is a bad idea !

  • Thanks Cornelius for posting the consultation, I cycle through that every now and again and its a massive improvement - incredible. I urge as many people as possible to respond to the consultation.

  • I live on one of the roads expected to have more traffic as a result of the Church street LTN so it'll be interesting to see what happens.

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Centralised discussion space for TfL plans and cycling in London

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