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New E&C road layout appears to be working?

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Wednesday 20 April 2016 7.53am
jackie rokotnitz wrote:
Absolutely scandalous Alberta. We passed just as they were using candles to wax them. I was shocked at the wanton disregard for a supposedly public facility. SURELY something can be done.

Wednesday 20 April 2016 8.48am
jackie rokotnitz wrote:
Absolutely scandalous Alberta. We passed just as they were using candles to wax them. I was shocked at the wanton disregard for a supposedly public facility. SURELY something can be done.

As much as I sincerely agree with your feeling on this jackie, nothing WILL be done, because those that COULD do something are simply not interested.
You might just as well be sitting in an Anderson shelter in 1940 or 1941, shaking the dust from your hair as the bombs explode around you, and say to your neighbour, "This can't be right, SURELY something can be done."
Tuesday 26 April 2016 10.51am
Scrape scrape scrape...WTF??? They are scraping the surface of the paving around the Faraday Memorial day after day...what ARE they doing? Apparently they didnt like the paving stones so they are going to put another surface..or something. Anyway the noise is awful, sounds like an animal in pain all day long...anybody know what the idea is?
Tuesday 26 April 2016 10.16pm
The scraping I saw was of the concrete surface adjacent to the stone, which I think they're going to apply a top dressing to, perhaps a bonded gravel? Eventually (sometime next decade) the cafe may sit here. I also chatted to a man sandpapering the stone paving outside the Bakerloo line today, removing a Pollack-like spillage of red and yellow paint.

Meanwhile on the gardening front it turns out the 'stolen' trees I heard about from Twitter that disappeared from the tomb-beds outside Betfred were actually removed by the contractors. They got muddled and had a van load of plants they didn't know where to plant, they were told to stick them in anywhere until they figured it out... the 10 hazels (I think) were destined for a school and went. Today they finished the planting these beds with an odd seasonal assortment of largely herbaceous perennials (rather than the more practical shrubs such as the lavender they said they'd plant): helebores, ajuga, cranesbill, Japanese anemone and an ornamental grass. It's a mix that has some fairly messy moments in the year that require an assortment of different tending regimes by species, a level of after care far removed from the roundabout's regime of occasional mowing and shrub hacking. The planters say there is currently no contract for aftercare. They also broke the news that the promised 'orchard' of fruiting trees we were marketed in the second round of consolation (using an image of the apple tree I planted outside Perronet House) is in fact a small formation of ornamental, non-fruiting cherries of what they called "typical London cherry". At least there are a few American sweetgum trees on the Perronet House side, which become particularly colourful in autumn, and bring some much needed colour and joy to an otherwise tediously bleak landscape design (I miss the subway tiles).
Friday 29 April 2016 12.03pm
The new cycle lanes are very convenient for me, but the manoeuvre to get from CS6 to turn south towards the Walworth Road / Newington Butts junction is very clumsy as the phasing on the cycle lights put you in conflict with the adjacent pedestrian crossing.

As a result I saw two people last night riding southbound on the narrow northbound lane in front of the Tabernacle. Despite the legion of TfL marshals, none of them challenged the cyclists going the wrong way.

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Wednesday 4 May 2016 10.22am
Agree. the configuration is odd and creating new dangers.

I had a chat yesterday with four of the eight marshals posted along the Tabernacle-side segregated lane, several with megaphones to warn pedestrians, but not cyclists (who were using the pavement and pedestrian crossing on a couple of occasions to take a short cut rather than follow the U bend towards LCC).

Employing 8 people in blue coats 'to raise awareness' is daft. Awareness raising is slow and expensive. The design needs to be intuitive. A coloured surface (blue or green) or at least some coloured markings would help tweak a bad design - a lot of investment has been made in establishing these as codes of cycle routes. The black tarmac, occasional cycle logo and tiny dropped kerb is hopelessly subtle, especially in a congested area next to bus stops. But the anti-paint brigade rule supreme. A CVU contractor on the North-South cycle superhighway reminded me yesterday that the designer there, David Samuels, hates blue paint, loves "vistas of stone" and even instructed them to move a litter bin to somewhere "less visible" because it disturbed his spectacle. Designers now trump engineers, as the snap shot becomes more important than the function.

The cycle infrastructure was of course partly an expression of gesture politics rather than crafted to do the job well for all users. Why else would the objections from cycle campaigners and pedestrians to the proposed design have been ignored? The 'consultation' presented two inadequate options for this bit of the design, the only part of the whole proposal where an option was even conjured up.
Wednesday 4 May 2016 10.44am
I'm watching use pick up with interest. The lanes as presented are a new format, in most of London - on roads - you either have a right of way, or you don't. Lots of points on the new layouts (here and elsewhere) were manners and common sense are called for, not a local strength.

Southbound is going to be an issue, but when the center is rebuilt there is every possibility (should the steps be being taken) to sort it out, and have a mirroring southbound land and (wider!) bus stop island. Perhaps a useful focus of efforts at this stage would be to get Delancy on board with that idea before they go to planning?
Wednesday 4 May 2016 10.56am
My recollection of a Delancey 'consultation' meeting / workshop last autumn was anxiety about the shared space on the piazza outside their development (even Delancey are concerned) and anxiety about the encroachment on pedestrian space of moving the development up to the edge of the pavement, removing the 'moat' which currently provides some useful pedestrian space. North-South flow through the new centre will be curtailed by a large retail unit on the south side (Delancey mooted one could walk through the shop) as they want pedestrians to take the longer route towards Walworth via the Market Square. One emerging issue of the Delancey proposal is greater pedestrian congestion on the pavement on the east side of the link road, something that architect Stephen Witherford encouraged me to raise as an issue after he reviewed the proposals (he's not a fan of their expansion towards the very limits of their boundaries and even beyond that on the south side on what is now TfL land.

In that context of growing anxiety about pedestrian conditions, creating new space for cyclists seems an unlikely outcome. If there's any space to spare, whether from the road or the development, the need surely falls most with pedestrians?
Wednesday 4 May 2016 11.04am
The key point for me is that more space is required for n-s users of both modes.

Piazza issue can be put aside fore the moment IMHO. I'd rather a decent segregated lane than any shared solution.

I'd like a N-S cycle lane liek the S-N one (1.5m), bus stop islands (3.5m), and a decent pavement that isn't also trying to be a market/bus interchange plaza (3m). Total space required is 8m - seems reasonable. What do you want? There's all this stuff that's done and happened, but this hasn't, so there is an opportunity.
Wednesday 4 May 2016 11.25am
Agree. If the western boundary of the proposed shopping precinct was where the wall of the current centre is that would perhaps be enough space to share out the land in a segregated way for cyclists and pedestrians? Inevitably and unfortunately Delancey want to build out as far as possible, which means to the edge of the current surface level pavement filling in the moat. This 'land grab' will be justified by their fashionable marketing of the new called "Farrell Square" (I think that was the name) a shady space nestled within the heart of their towering development. We will hear a lot about it being a great 'landscaped public realm' and "civic space", playing sympathetically into our local politicians love of public spaces that are for lingering in rather than passing through safely and pleasantly.

Delancey will also continue pushing their nonsense that the current centre is completely impermeable and that everyone needs to move around it. It was one of the most ridiculous slides from Allies and Morrison (Delancey's architects), with a map of the current development surrounded by arrows as if the centre was a castle fortress. If you believe this lie then the routes to and from Farrell Square are perfectly adequate for pedestrians. Several of us pointed out that the current subterranean north-south route through the centre was very tangible and practical and while it had lost some convenience since the demise of the subways, retaining it at surface level would be useful. But that's not the intention, the new route is less direct, and of course no longer sheltered from the elements.
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