This post attempts to understand and to respond to a proposed cycle route through Hornsey towards Crouch End.
This opinion is mine alone, the Forum has not had an opportunity to discuss and agree a position. It is my view that the forum should not support the creation of this portion of a cycle lane from Turnpike Lane through the centre of Crouch End to Archway.
Background and some of the players.
In the true spirit of not wanting to waste a good crisis a number of pressure groups are looking to leverage the current situation to change the way our roads work.
- Top of the heap, the UK government, which has updated its guidance under 2004 Traffic Management Act . There are a lot of bullet points in the guidance, but widening pavements and pop-up cycle lanes are included.
- Closer to home the Haringey Living Streets pressure group maintains a lively twitter feed including many retweets of suggestions from cycling groups.
- Our Crouch End councillors are also very active in pursuing various changes, which they have shared with the Forum and on which we have provided feedback.
- There is also an individual called Jake Morris pursuing a similar agenda, certainly via the medium of Facebook , and possibly elsehow.
- And then of course there’s us, the Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum. We don’t usually think of ourselves as a pressure group. Our role is based around the concept of planning, that is, thinking about what is happening now, and trying to propose ways in which it might happen differently in future, or perhaps happen the same in future, but better. But given the urgency with which this proposal is being pursued, here are some ideas, for further discussion.
This particular proposal
To eliminate almost all parking (the Councillors’ proposal) or to move the parking away from the kerb (Jake Morris) from the railway bridge on Hornsey High Street through to the centre of Crouch End in order to create a cycle route. This section forms part of a larger ambition to create a cycle route from Wood Green, and points north, towards Archway.
As far as I can tell from the narrative descriptions the route is what I have marked red on the map at the head of the blog
Why do I not think this is a good idea:
1. It is a huge intervention. Slipping it in under cover of a pandemic , quickly and without consultation seems a bit naughty
2. There is probably little demand for it as a route, even taking into account any induced demand:
- Now Google knows a thing or two and asking it for a cycle route between Wood Green Station and Archway Station produces this
The reason Google chooses this is the hills. The longer route is much less hilly.
- It is also true that Green Lanes has long stretches of cycle lane already
- Further discussions are well advanced to provide cycle lanes on Seven Sisters Road beside Finsbury Park (possibly even through the Park)
- Change the destinations to Bank, or Oxford Circus, both of which are much more likely for commuters, the Google route choice becomes not just the first, but really the only, choice
3. Haringey is not fleet of foot. Overcoming its natural inertia will not be easy. Let’s go for something on a manageable scale that benefits the Town Centre
4. One of the justifications that has been put forward is something called the SCA (Strategic Cycling Analysis) . There is a map in there that shows potential cycling routes. This very clearly has gaps on the one way system to the north of Crouch End. So while I can see demand for cyclists to get out of Crouch End, particularly to the south, up Crouch End Hill towards Archway, the City and the West End, I see no demand for this route through Crouch End.