Brixton Liveable Neighbourhood - improvements for pedestrians and cyclists

Discussion in 'Brixton' started by teuchter, May 8, 2019.

  1. toblerone3

    toblerone3 Grrrrr

    It was successful without containing any impact assessment or traffic modelling. The first phase of the project has been all about consultation and engagement and at the same time to do traffic modelling on different potential scenarios. There is a tension between being open to taking on board the views of residents to form/modify a proposal and the need to devise a proposal detailed enough do modelling on. The whole thing is also highly political as you can imagine.

    Modelling also takes a L----o----n----g time.
    thebackrow likes this.
  2. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    Yes, and reaching much further out than the South Circular. IMO all those ancient diesels (in particular) really do need to be cleared off the roads, which will impact poorer Londoners disproportionately, so some form of trade in/buy back scheme is necessary. However, while that might improve air quality a little, the noise, congestion and danger will remain because most of the commuters can afford modern vehicles. It's no more than a sticking plaster.
  3. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    Successful in the sense that a fairly busy road has been closed with the traffic re-routed elsewhere?

    I can certainly see the tensions and politics you mention, and the timescales. Perhaps they're why the wishy washy proposal under discussion has been left so vague?
  4. alex_

    alex_ Well-Known Member

    I’m sure this is the plan, but the further this goes from central London the bigger the impact upon people who have to scrap their older cars which disproportionately impacts the less well off. The longer they make this take the lower the impact, as compliant cars will be cheaper and more people will have compliant cars already.

  5. thebackrow

    thebackrow Active Member

    Yes, agree with that. It *will* improve air quality by taking the worst vehicles off the road but to address noise congestion and danger need to move people out of cars for more of their trips. Subsidising people to buy a new car isn't going to help.

    TfL have lots of evidence on travel.
    P45 onwards is the relevant bit on 'potentially switchable trips' and it seems to show that it's not commuters who are the main problem. 25% of rush hour traffic in London is school run - in Netherlands next to none of that would be driven.

    "The analysis uses criteria, based on knowledge of trips currently made by sustainable modes, to determine whether trips recorded in LTDS could feasibly be made by a more sustainable alternative. These include: • Distance – is the trip too far to be walked or cycled? • Encumbrance – is the person travelling with heavy or bulky items or with children or elderly people? • Journey time - how does the alternative mode journey time compare to the current journey time? • Related journeys - is the person making any other journeys (as part of a ‘tour’) that couldn’t be switched?"
    "27 per cent of switchable private vehicle trips per day are leisure trips, 27 per cent are for shopping or personal business reasons, and about one-sixth are related to work (either commuting or other work-related travel)."
    "Some 71 per cent of private vehicle trips could feasibly be made by an alternative mode"
    toblerone3 likes this.
  6. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    Sure, but forcing the poorer drivers off the road, leaving it clear for the better off isn't acceptable. Whatever measures are introduced- and I'm in favour of getting serious about this- can't be done by purely pricing the poor off the roads. That's what the Congestion Charge does: most of my mates avoid the zone while one or two just shrug and pay it because they can.

    That's a very comprehensive report- far too much to take in at once. It does focus on trips, so a 1 mile school run has the same weight as a commute from outside the M25 to Zone 1: in terms of congestion that's perfectly reasonable, less so for pollution and so on.

    Moving from the specifics of Atlantic Road to London wide problems, how do school runners get persuaded out of their vehicles? Many are rich enough to buy huge engine 4wd's specifically for the wider wheels which go over little humps more comfortably, they're not going to be deterred by road pricing or much else. Nor, apparently, by nudges that their little darlings are even more obese because they never walk anywhere. They ignore the signs and yellow lines when they double park outside schools and sit there with their engines running while they wait, seemingly oblivious to exhaust fumes in kids faces. Find a solution for that knotty problem and you'll make a real difference.
    Gramsci likes this.
  7. co-op

    co-op Free the rhubarb crumble!

    If you care about poor people you will support anything which reduces the number of cars on city roads. Fewer than half the households in Lambeth have a car and yet they are forced to put up with the almost total domination of public space and transport policy by the car-owning minority, who are joined by outsiders who simply drive through the area polluting, killing and ruining the amenity value of our local streets.

    Poor people also are disproportionately likely to live on busy roads that get the worst pollution and to have their children killed or maimed by cars.

    There's a small middle group who can just afford a car who will suffer but they overwhelmingly aren't "poor" in any meaningful sense. The obvious and fair solution is to make non-car ownership the default and to structure public space policy around that. Cars take ridiculous amounts of space and are ecologically indefensible.

    Also your "displacement of traffic" is just plain wrong, it's been disproved time after time. It belongs in the bin with all the other supporting myths of Predict and Provide. It's never worked. Generally speaking, people will drive if it's quicker, cheaper, more convenient - or all three as it so often is nowadays. So every time you reduce those benefits, a few less journeys are made.

    You make the whole of Lambeth subject to filtered permeability - let pedestrians and cyclists get anywhere they need without having to use main trunk roads but make back streets dead ends for cars. They can be used for access and parking only. People tend to drive better (ie less anti-socially) in their own streets so this also tends to improve that.

    It's only when it's genuinely safe for people to cycle their children to school - or even let them go on their own - that people will do it. Faffing around with a few metres of cycle lane here or there is a distraction. Huge numbers of Lambeth children say they want to be able to cycle to school - back in 2010 I remember seeing some school travel plan where over 30% of local children said their preferred method of travel to school was bike, but only about 2% did. Why? Because parents thought it was too dangerous - and of course they're right. Meanwhile we waste billions in the NHS on tackling obesity and spend a fortune "trying to get children to take exercise" when the reality is we're banning it.
    teuchter, BigTom, Winot and 3 others like this.
  8. thebackrow

    thebackrow Active Member

    It does focus on trips but 70% of London trips are sub 5miles and the factors considered in terms of 'is it necessary' are the same for both long and short. Few people are arguing for a complete ban on cars - there are trips where they are the best answer but it's a lot fewer than now

    So what do you suggest? There aren't many levers to pull. I figure you need to make something other than driving the best choice - the quickest, cheapest, easiest, most fun. Cycling is already usually the quickest way to get around for pretty much any trip inside zone 2 and 3 (sometimes public transport) but it doesn't feel safe or comfortable. So, better conditions for cycling. Secure parking in more places (bike theft is a problem).
    Driving needs to be made more expensive and difficult. We need to make the cost of a single extra car journey real (it isnt at the moment - car is paid for, tank is full - it feels "free" compared to getting your card out to pay for a bus or tube ride). So per mile charge for driving - a modern congestion charge. Then stop the rat runs through back streets - make it so it's only worth getting in a car for a longer journey. Cut back on parking spaces and make it more expensive.

    The rich will always find a way around charges for sure - a full time taxi if it comes to it. The answers not pricing the poor off the roads, it's making it so that they dont need or want to drive (and anyway, a car by any measure is a luxury in London. Almost no-one *needs* one and the true poor definitely dont own them - there's a very strong correlation between income and car ownership.
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
    teuchter and Winot like this.
  9. thebackrow

    thebackrow Active Member

    School streets. Close the street outside the school to motor traffic at drop off and pick up. Ban all parking in the vicinity and enforce it. Make it so the little darlings have to walk far enough that it's not worth getting the car out for it. Even most driven school commutes are short. It seems to be working pretty well where it has been done so far.
    teuchter, BigTom and co-op like this.
  10. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    I said 'poorer' not 'poor'. I accept what you say, but while everyone benefits from improved air quality the only people the ULEZ would actually deter from driving are those that can't afford a newer vehicle or the daily charge. There are no serious downsides for those without a vehicle, or those with a newer one. I don't like to see one relatively poorer economic group targetted like that.

    This is a single, piecemeal, rather vague proposal in isolation. Tell me where the claimed 6,000 daily journeys along Atlantic Road per day are actually going to go. Are you really saying they will all just vanish without trace?

    Again, this is general rather than specific, but go for it, I'm in favour of that, subject to impact statements on those who live and work on the main routes. Massive reductions in vehicle movements and emissions are required, and while nudging or forcing people into electric vehicles may improve air quality it won't necessarily impact road safety or, as you say, get kids walking or cycling to school. I think I'd like to see the Mini Holland experiments on a bigger scale and with greater ambition. Let's have a Lambeth wide proposal for a properly thought through scheme to massively reduce vehicle movements.

    As I keep trying to say, my concern remains that closing just that stretch of Atlantic Road will have a negative overall health and wellbeing effect. No-one has yet addressed that.
  11. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    I'm being drawn into a debate about the general case, somewhat against my will.

    If you want to propose banning all parking in the vicinity of every primary school then go for it. I'll vote for it, but I don't live near to one. I doubt the people who do will be impressed.

    Can I just point out that it's all very well proposing to 'stop the rat runs through back streets' but Jubilee primary school, amongst others, is on a main road and they'll breathe in the displacement.
  12. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    I already did, admittedly without much in the way of supporting evidence or detailed planning.
    Technology backed road rationing is probably the outcome would have the greatest effect, subject to effort from the likes of TfL to flesh it out. x number of hours per year per person of private vehicle usage, including taxi, anywhere within the M25, factored according to the number of people in the vehicle. Disabled & age exemptions, or greater limits, apply; hours can be traded, like carbon; sharply escalating fines by the hour for those who exceed their limit. Sadly it implies an even greater surveillance society than Oyster, which probably isn't such a great idea, so it's about as likely as banning all traffic near schools.
  13. co-op

    co-op Free the rhubarb crumble!

    TBH I think this is splitting hairs. Everyone is "poorer" than someone so what does this mean? Broadly speaking cars are for rich people, and they are a huge series of imposed burdens on poor people (and many others too of course). My point is that if we bring income or social status
    into this, then anyone interested in social justice has to come down against cars.

    No because as you say piecemeal measures that affect one part of a journey can be bypassed but equally, the more constriction that is placed on car journeys the fewer there are. But in a highly complex urban environment shot through with rat runs it's pretty hard to measure the effect.

    But the idea that all journeys are simply displaced is wrong. It's a legacy of Predict and Provide which said that if you work out what journeys are 'necessary' and then provide that road space then you've solved the capacity problem. Except that as soon as you increase capacity, you also increase the numbers of cars as drivers take advantage of the quicker journey-times. Broadly the reverse is also true; cut capacity and you cut journey numbers. People drive to a rough estimate of the journey time - the worse that is, the less they'll drive.

    Basically agree with this - although it's highly specific not general. Filtered permeability means you choose the network of trunk roads through the city which will be for car journeys and all other roads are localised by making them closed to through traffic. That way cars can still be used but healthier, cheaper, less anti-social, environmentally better modes of transport can also be used by the majority who want to do this. It should be London wide, not Lambeth wide.

    As you said, it's piecemeal and therefore not going to make the big change that we need. And this is the way with transport in cities, everyone is cowering in front of King Car and so everything is done in little cowardly creeping changes instead of grasping the nettle and actually sorting this problem out. It can be done - it's the case all over the Netherlands.

    But I completely disagree that it'll have a negative well-being effect, it'll make AR vastly nicer while making everywhere else more-or-less the same. And AR is a pretty key road for the centre of Brixton.

    It's also one miserable, trembling little step in the right direction.
  14. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    Fine. I've run out of steam. When this proposal turns to something substantial we can look at whether it'll add 25% extra traffic to the main drag.
  15. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    So can you explain to me why in my area Loughborough Junction poor people overwhelmingly resented and opposed a similar scheme to that being proposed in Brixton?

    I sat at meetings where residents from the Council estate were shouting at Cllrs over the imposition of road closures. People I knew on estate , who can't afford a car, also opposed it.

    If you care about poor people would you still impose a scheme like this this even its opposed by the people you say you care about?
    newbie likes this.
  16. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    I regularly see this in Chelsea. Where the rich pick up Tarquin from his private school.

    As some posters here have widened this to London wide issue how about concentrating on wealthy areas first.

    And whilst we are at it banning the rich scum who now infest London from owning high end SUVs.

    Its one reason why it was resented in Loughborough Junction. That changes in transport use were being tested on them a poor community. Rather than well off areas.
    newbie likes this.
  17. toblerone3

    toblerone3 Grrrrr

    Sometimes its difficult for people to imagine positive change. The opening of the Mini Holland in Walthamstow was greeted by opposition including the parading of a coffin representing the death of the street. Three years later its not even controversial.

    Google Image Result for
  18. Mr Retro

    Mr Retro Beware hedgehogs

    Mini Holland here is great, really support it. Anecdotally I don’t notice less cars and more cyclists. Just horrific traffic on the main roads.
  19. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    All sorts of effort goes into making the case for planning changes, with glossy brochures, carefully chosen stats and defined ambitions. Maybe it's just that they're not so well publicised, but there seldom seems to be a subsequent assessment of outcomes judged against objectives.

    For instance, the Herne Hill project mentioned earlier led to this FoI request to determine if it "delivered on the aims of the regeneration project". The reply was that Lambeth don't have that information.
    Gramsci likes this.
  20. co-op

    co-op Free the rhubarb crumble!

    I'm a bit rolleyes about this kind of post.

    Of course I couldn't explain it without knowing what road closures were being proposed. There's a hundred reasons why people oppose a particular scheme, some of them good, some stupid. It's obvious that being poor doesn't automatically make you au fait with every bit of data about how cars fuck most poor people up and some poor people wouldn't give a shit even if they knew, just like some middle-income people, some rich people etc etc. Top down, imposed schemes routinely trigger massive opposition from a multitude of groups for a multitude of reasons - anyone who's been involved with traffic schemes knows that most "consultations" are thoroughly bogus, I have taken part in some from Lambeth which are literally full of obvious lies. People aren't stupid about this. I've opposed "bicycle schemes" and "eco transport projects" because they've been designed by traffic engineers who clearly haven't got a fucking clue what it is like to live in my area and to cycle or walk there. Remember those fucking "niblets" on Milkwood Rd that forced cyclists out into the traffic flow to slow cars down? Effectively using cyclists as speed bumps. I do. I also had several rucks with cars who tried to kill me when I was going round them. Utterly predictable; they were dangerous, stupid, anti-bicycle and also annoying for drivers.

    It's also often the case that tiny piecemeal schemes cause a lot of aggro for little benefit. Will these road closures actually allow anyone to send their child to school safely on a bike? Almost certainly not. Hence the need for systemic change.

    My point was that pleading "concern for the poor" in urban transport policy as a basis for supporting cars and car-use is just utterly wrong and ridiculous. Car-based transport policies favour the rich. Please don't try and put any other words in my mouth.
  21. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Somebody who came to recent LJ Neighborhood planning forum went up to Walthamstow recently and talked to small business. Some said it had an adverse affect.

    In schemes like this there will be winners and losers.

    As newbie points out follow up impact assessments arent always done.
  22. toblerone3

    toblerone3 Grrrrr

  23. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    What I asked was this:

    If you care about poor people would you still impose a scheme like this this even its opposed by the people you say you care about?

    What I was taking issue with was when you said:

    You've qualified this by saying if you don't agree with the traffic planners ideas for a particular for a street you would oppose them.

    And if I get you right are saying piecemeal changes won't work. A systemic wide change of road use is required. Stopping traffic using side streets. Making them keep to main roads.

    My question was would you impose these changes on an poor area (such as north side of LJ) even it that area opposed it. I think the answer is yes.

    As its for the greater good and all studies show the benefits of it.

    Imposing things top down on citizens as the authorities decide its good for them is one way to do things. It also works. It reminds me of XR rebellion. They (at least the main theoreticians behind it) seek top down state of emergency to deal with climate change. Using civil disobedience to bring government to a standstill to be replaced by state of emergency with elected politicians largely replaced by unelected people's assembly. Its feasible. But its not democracy.

    In the case of Lambeth this administration says its a Coop Council. That it wants to involve the community more. Co-production is one of its buzzwords.

    If this is to be ditched in favour of top down change the Council should say so.
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
  24. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    Mr Retro likes this.
  25. Mr Retro

    Mr Retro Beware hedgehogs

    Have a look at this for a vision of utopia. If this is what Walthamstow was aiming at they have come nowhere near it

    co-op likes this.
  26. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    'Mini-Holland' schemes have proved their worth in outer London boroughs | Peter Walker

    I did look up these before to see if any impact assessment had been done. These studies are about affects on cycling and whether people , are in the awful jargon, more "active".

    I haven't found anything that looks at effects local business or what local people think now.

    The study does say the representative sample is small. Cost meant face to face interviews weren't possible for example.
  27. Gramsci

    Gramsci Well-Known Member

    Just to make it clear I cycle every day and swim on weekends. Because I like exercise.

    I just don't want the authorities nudging or coercing me to be more " active"

    As posters here know I'm involved in trying to save the local adventure playground and have done my bit to try to keep Brixton Rec.

    At times against the authorities.

    The adventure playground the Council deemed there was " no demand for". There words.

    Yet when it suits them they want to impose plans on Joe public.
  28. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    The thing that strikes me- apart from the city planning stuff- is that in the parts of that I've watched not a single young man has been clad in lycra or riding a space age machine. I've been cycling in London most days for decades, I can cope with the traffic and deal with the tourists but other cyclists terrify me. I avoid the packs so far as possible, but don't enjoy being bullied off the road by someone on mission to maintain his cadence while he's fantasising about being in Team Sky.

    From my old, slow and never-lycra perspective the impulse is exactly the same as the worst of the petrol heads. I don't know why young (ish) men (mostly) here behave the way they do, which is so different from the more relaxed and far less macho intimidating approach in the film, just a short distance away? But I do think that while that is the prevailing impression of cycling it's never going to become as popular as in the Netherlands.
    Gramsci, T & P and Mr Retro like this.
  29. thebackrow

    thebackrow Active Member

    That seems a hugely complex approach. The rich can get around it - they can buy up the miles, or pay the fines. The costs of administering it would be huge - it's a whole new layer on the benefits system that every Londoner needs to be registered for.

    Surely much simpler to move to GPS based road pricing potentially with different charges at different times of day/different roads. Singapore are building a system like that now - its almost certainly technically possible now (shit, this stuff should be *easy* compared to self driving cars which Tesla are claiming will be on the roads in a few years though that is pretty contentious). The profits of the system are spent on subsidising/improving public transport and walking and cycling facilities. You don't need to give people cash.
  30. newbie

    newbie undisambiguated

    I fully accept that the idea isn't going to fly because no-one wants to be tracked. I'd like the future to be fair, though.

    The trouble with simple road pricing is that it pushes the poorer off the road and, as with parking charges, just ignores those who don't have a car. Rationing and trading rewards not having a car and incentivises reductions in use. Basing road pricing on the vehicle may be simple to administer but takes no account of occupancy and, as with the CC or ULEZ, will result in the exclusion of the poorer.

    But something sure has to happen, so if you want to propose road pricing go for it. You could start with every vehicle that crosses either or both of the M25 and the South Circular before say 10am. Tax commuters every day until they stop driving and move onto public transport.

    Problem is there's no way that's going to win any elections, any more than proposing taxing the school run would. And it clearly favours the better off.

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