Monday, 21 March 2011

The continuing degradation of the walking and cycling environment in Waltham Forest

(Above) Typical Waltham Forest joke cycle lane

One of the central themes of this blog is that for cycling and walking things are getting worse, not better. Well, they are in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Here are some photographs of two streets where footway parking used to be banned. Now, in the name of ‘regeneration’ and ‘smoother traffic flow’ see the results.

The photo above and the two below show Wood Street, Walthamstow. In the name of ‘regeneration’ the footway has been seized for car parking. Naturally once you allow footway parking, some drivers park in the areas they aren’t supposed to. Instead of re-arranging street space to benefit cyclists and pedestrians, Waltham Forest council is doing exactly the reverse – promoting increased car ownership and use at their expense.

(Below) Wingfield Road E17. Parking on the footway used to be banned. But as car ownership grew and filled both sides of the street this created problems for larger vehicles. Instead of solving this at the expense of the parked vehicles, the Council decided that pedestrians would have to pay the price. A dashed white lane was painted just beyond the kerb. You can see how well this has worked out.