If you want streets that are friendly to people, not just traffic, you’re in the right place.
Better Streets is a group of Enfield residents from many different walks of life – parents, grandparents, community volunteers and so on. Some of us cycle to get around; many of us walk, use public transport and drive – but we’re all agreed that we want healthier, safer, better streets that work for everyone in the borough.
To find out more about our vision, see our manifesto. You can also find us (far too often) on Facebook and Twitter. Our latest news is below. Enjoy!
Work continues on the A105.
It’s great to see more plants going in along the route. Where the kerbs are built out to slow vehicles turning in and out of side roads, the designers have added ‘rain gardens’. These are patches of planting which soak up rainwater. They are crucial for London’s sewers, which can otherwise flood at times of heavy rainfall as water rushes along impermeable surfaces into the gutters. And they look very nice too.
Last week, at the N21 Festival, Clare and I met up with the police.
It came about through Twitter. In a discussion between Better Streets and others, Winchmore Hill police tweeted that intimidated/insecure cyclists should wear hi-vis and a helmet on busy roads.
What happens when anyone brings up the subject of bike helmets on social media…
Better Streets for Enfield members attended Chase ward forum this week, where Cllr Vicki Pyte (associate cabinet member and ward councillor) had chosen the theme of “traffic and transport”. Ward forums are public meetings that any local resident can attend – this particular meeting had its highest turnout in a long time. Traffic and transport are issues that people clearly feel strongly about.
Chase ward is bounded by the A10 in the east and the M25 in the north (this map does not show the whole ward)
What are the issues?
On the 21 June the Mayor released a draft of his Transport Strategy, outlining plans for London’s streets up to 2041. The main themes are very promising and line up with much of Better Streets’ manifesto vision and asks.
The Mayor’s vision
“London must become a city where walking, cycling and green public transport become the most appealing and practical choices for many more journeys. These active and sustainable transport choices not only support the health and wellbeing of Londoners, but also the city as a whole by reducing congestion and providing the most efficient use of valuable street space… We aim to change the transport mix across London, providing viable and attractive alternatives that will allow Londoners to reduce their dependence on private cars.” Continue reading
Back in May, twelve Better Streets members met at the (very nice) new No. 90 cafe on Aldermans Hill N13 to discuss the next steps for Better Streets for Enfield.
As for previous meetings, the best part was when each person in turn explained why he or she wanted better streets in the borough. For some it was about having a more vibrant high street; for others it was safe cycling or walking, for instance to get kids to school; and for many of us it was about the streets we live on not being blighted by speeding traffic. Continue reading
Hal Haines has been making the most of his bike-mounted camera to record progress on the A105 (also known as Green Lanes and Ridge Avenue). He writes…
I have been up and down Green Lanes enjoying the new finished parts of the cycling infrastructure and public realm improvements. Sometimes I go with a camera, but sometimes not – and it was without a camera that I saw a dad with a very young boy, perhaps 7 or 8 years old, riding on the cycle lanes and through the Ridge Ave/Church St junction. By the time I found my glasses and phone they had disappeared towards Green Dragon Lane, where the cycle lane finishes. It was a lovely sight and a taste of things to come – people of all ages feeling safe to cycle on this road.
A 6-year-old tries out her bike on the A105, having just bought it from the Cycle Enfield bike market
The real problem at the moment is that bits have been finished, but they are not joined up. The bits that aren’t finished are horrible, as the following video shows.
Over the last week Enfield has seen a spate of social media posts ridiculing cyclists and inciting violence against them.
Photos of cyclists riding outside the new cycle lanes, which is permitted by the Highway Code, have been shared hundreds of times and been accompanied by comments like “Hit him with the car” and “knock the *****s over”.
I have done a rough and ready video of Green Lanes showing some of the new bits of infrastructure and how to negotiate parts of it.
See the video here
A group of traders in Winchmore Hill this week described Enfield’s Mini Holland as “a £42 million kick-start for everyone”.
Describing the controversy over cycle lanes as “a fight between two drunks in a pub who’ve forgotten what they’re fighting about” they claim it has overlooked an important benefit of the scheme: regenerating the high street.
Newly revealed public realm improvements in Winchmore Hill including a ‘bus stop bypass’ for bikes