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.
Our manifesto or vision is useful – but we haven’t yet specified how we want local government to bring it about. So at the meeting we began to compile a list of ‘asks‘, covering everything from speed limits to the school run. Many of them are already being addressed through the Cycle Enfield scheme, such as making major routes safe for all age and abilities to cycle on. Others go beyond the scheme – for instance we’d like to see 20mph limits where people live, work or shop, in line with 20’s Plenty. And while the Quieter Neighbourhoods proposals are yet to be unveiled, we are calling for through traffic to be removed from residential streets.
Stopping through traffic (e.g. by using bollards or planters to allow bikes and feet through but not cars) may seem radical. In fact it’s a backbone of Dutch road safety principles, creating a network of streets suitable for walking, cycling and socialising without the threat of too much car traffic. And of course it has been carried out in Waltham Forest’s Mini Holland, achieving a reduction in car traffic by 16% – even taking into account the main roads around the low-traffic residential streets – across their first low-traffic neighbourhood.
The asks are not set in stone, so before we formally submit them to Enfield Council and Transport for London, we’ll be asking our members to discuss them and see if they can be improved on.
A new committee
Better Streets has no official leaders, but we did form a committee for the first time. We want to be transparent to outsiders rather than hiding behind an anonymous organisation, so we plan to name our committee members on our website with some information about each one and why they support better streets. No one will have an official ‘job title’ but some members will work on areas that interest them, such as social media or liaising with local business.
Our committee members are: Clare Rogers, Basil Clarke, Ibrar Dar, Hal Haines, Maggie Westhead, Alex McRae, Claire Brady and David Hilliard.
Other items on the agenda included supporting businesses along the A105 to get the most out of the Cycle Enfield scheme and helping a school in Southgate to hold a cycle-themed fair.
Finally, if you’re in the area, do pay No. 90 a visit. The food was lovely and the owner gave us very friendly, professional service – plus his takeaway service is by bicycle, so it’s sustainable and non-polluting 🙂