VIDEO: The Brockley Cross challenge


Improving pedestrian safety in Brockley Cross will likely be top of the agenda at tomorrow’s meeting to discuss the Council’s plans for redevelopment of the area.

At the moment, the Council’s position is that free flowing traffic should be the top priority, ahead of pedestrian safety, with minimal improvements to improve crossing points planned. We think that’s lamentable, but we don’t see that pedestrian safety and traffic flow should necessarily be incompatible. Traffic flow isn’t aided by drivers being able to race up to the roundabout – that’s what causes accidents and confusion. Traffic flow isn’t aided by the approach roads currently being dual-carriage, they lead to more driver confusion and encourage double parking, with cars and vans usually blocking the spare lanes.

With the Council seemingly unable to take effective action against illegal parking, we think there is an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone and design out illegal parking by narrowing the roads, down to a single lane in all directions and on all sides by widening the central islands. This will make crossing easier, traffic approach slower and double-parking impossible. No-one loses in that scenario, except the illegal parkers.

Apologies in advance for this incredibly dull video, but it shows how user-unfriendly Brockley Cross currently is for pedestrians. The reservations shown at 1.25 and 2.25 could be widened far more than the current plan imagines without damaging traffic flow and to provide better crossing points. The zebra crossing at 1.30 needs work to make it safer too, perhaps bringing it further towards the roundabout, so that traffic coming around the blind bend has more time to see pedestrians and traffic coming from the roundabout will have less time to accelerate.

The video doesn’t really do justice to the horror of Brockley Cross, as it was recorded on the January bank holiday because, although we are happy to give up our social life in the service of Brockley, we are not yet ready to lay down our actual life.

25 comments:

H said...

Narrowing the lanes will make it more dangerous for cyclists.

Brockley Nick said...

Why? There are no railings to get squashed up against. I'm not suggesting the roads become so narrow that a car and a bike can't fit side-by-side, just that we reduce the approach from two lanes to one normal sized one.

Brockley Nick said...

PS - I cycle through there all the time, so wouldn't want to do something that endangered my own life.

Coney. said...

In the past couple of years driving around London, you can see that road layouts like this where its pure 4 wheel dominance are being overhauled to balance things more in favour of pedestrians, cyclists, buses

I'm thinking New Cross Gate, Camberwell, Brixton. I have faith in the planners they'll do good.

Anonymous said...

They could put a hump on that blind bend which would make traffic slow down.

Penny Farthing said...

If they reduce the vehicle approach to one lane then there is plenty of space for a dedicated & separated bike lane . . .

Cecil B(rockley) deMille said...

Interesting - but not a patch on "172 to St Paul's" . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxA186Nw9pY

Brockley Nick said...

That is the gold standard of boring Brockley videos.

Ed said...

I thoroughly approve of any and all articles, video based or otherwise, highlighting the horrors and dangers of the BX junction.

Is there not a standard whereby councils have to ensure pedestrians can cross roads safely? Surely they must have found crossing as difficult and dangerous as we do during their site visit yet this is not addressed in the proposal.

I hate the expression but this is shaping up to be and 'EPIC FAIL'.

Anonymous said...

There not going to start work on the Courthill Road pedestrian issue till 2012,so how long before this issue is addressed.

Anonymous said...

Gosh Brockley X looks absolutely horrible. Im glad I walk the other way from the station to get home.

Monkeyboy said...

Good film, Louis Theroux must be shitting himself.

Reg said...

I'm dizzy.

Mb said...

.....omitted the ;-) after my sarky comment.

Anonymous said...

Whoever made that video has no idea of what a dangerous road is.

What an absolute joke.

Brockley Nick said...

Erm, I made it. I think I am relatively familiar with roads.

There are obviously more dangerous roads in the world - but this is the road system that Lewisham is spending money on, so we may as well get it right.

max said...

You haven't escaped the curse of the street documentarist, once you start your camera all the usual dangers make themselves scarce, maybe with a pram next time, like Battleship Potemkin.
Good commentary though, makes it clear how awful it is.

Anonymous said...

Why are you trying to get to Howarth timber? I thought you said they were mean to you one time...

Chicken said...

Why did the blogger cross the road??

Egg said...

... because he wanted to increase his hits

Brockley Nick said...

on a similar line:

Because it was good for traffic

Mike F said...

You didn't give a reason why you didn't use the first option (using the central reservation) which would have been the quickest and safest. That weakens your main point, the danger and difficulty for pedestrians that certainly exists with the present set-up.

Brockley Nick said...

@Mike - I suppose the idea of the video is to show how inadequate the whole system is for pedestrians, so I wanted to make video which showed all of it.

Had I crossed where you suggested, it still would have involved two crossing points, so isn't any better than the route I chose, which at least has the zebra crossing in its favour.

However, specifically with regards to the central reservation, it is too narrow for someone pushing a pushchair to use (I speak from experience) so is inadequate. On a normal day, the pavement usually has vans parked or double parked on it, which means that crossing at that spot can often be tricky anyway.

As a healthy adult, I cross there quite often. When escorting young kids or pushing a pushchair, the experience can be pretty hair-raising.

Marc said...

Looks like the Germans struggle with roundabouts too, even if its not a double roundabout.

http://tv.gawker.com/5732910/germanys-downfall-will-be-facilitated-by-this-roundabout

Richard Elliot said...

@ Nick - very late in commenting on this one, but I wanted to take some photos in Sydney to illustrate my point which I finally got round to doing today.

Re: your points about narrowing the road to one lane and making sure the junction remained cycle friendly. In the Sydney CBD they've done some cycle friendly road narrowing using raised kerbs that I think could be applied to the junction. See photos here and here.

The Economist had an article on cycling last week and it mentions raised kerbs as a good idea too. The link is here here (penultimate paragraph).

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