Saturday, 14 May 2011

It's not just cyclists

Today at Walthamstow Market where a road crosses the hugely busy pedestrianised High Street. The lights at the end of the road cause traffic to tail back across the pedestrian crossing. Pedestrians then cross between the cars who frequently start moving again.

It seems a yellow hatched box might help pedestrians and give motorists clear indication that stopping across the pedestrian crossing isn't acceptable.

There was a policeman around the junction today who stopped a lorry next to the junction at Selborne Road. Why, I don't know. But when the lorry moved away, the driver bullied his way through the pedestrians crossing (they were crossing on the red because the traffic was stationary the other way and he was blocking traffic on his side). He then overtook a couple of cyclists incredibly close, and immediately turned left before disappearing down some back-streets. It was a 3663 lorry, and only the awareness of the pedestrians and cyclists actually prevented a serious accident.


  1. Yellow-hatching is long overdue here. I once argued this with a traffic planner at the council but he insisted traffic never backed up to block the crossing.
    The other farce is that when one of the pedestrian lights turns to green, the other light remains at red and only changes later. This is because the lights are set for vehicles driving down the High Street which might want to turn right here, going to Palmerston Road. This of course only happens outside pedestrian zone hours.
    There was a time when Willow Walk was closed to traffic, and it would make a great deal of sense to reintroduce that closure. That's what would happen in the Netherlands. Drivers would be sent along Mission Grove/St James Street/South Grove, and only pedestrians and cyclists would have access. Traders would still have access via the High Street or at the rear of their premises. There is no real reason to keep Willow Walk open to motor vehicles, other than to prioritise the convenience of motorists.

  2. The council traffic planner has never seen traffic backed up across the crossing? Has he ever been to the junction? I struggle to find a time when it isn't backed up.

    Boxed hatchings would at least indicate to drivers to keep the crossing clear, even if some would ignore it. The lights for the high street do seem ridiculous - the whole junction is a mess.

  3. Council transport planners rarely seem to venture out of their offices, and when they do it is by car at very agreeable mileage rates. Evidently they drive from Low Hall Lane to the Town Hall to discuss cycling with local activists. How far is that - less than two miles surely.

  4. The pedestrians must have been wearing invisibility cloaks: