Hackney LCC meeting 3rd June 1999

Present:
David Fowler
Tim Evans
Bronwen Manby
Oliver Schick
Nick Hutt
Patrick Field
Roger Blake
Tom Kelly
Claire Tansley
Trevor Parsons

Apologies:
Gill Dibben
Katie Trent

Topics discussed:
1. Shacklewell Lane
2. Dalston Lane junction with Cecilia Road
3. Church Street Festival
4. Friday 18th – Breakfast, Biking the Bounds, and J18
5. Meeting venue
6. Travel to school
7. Any other business

1. Shacklewell Lane

Gill Dibben had sent her apologies (can’t make Thursday nights – good thing she’s on the mailing list) and asked for us to think about Shacklewell Lane again. (See here for background). She lives close by and has had another close shave near the junction with St. Mark’s Rise.

We will be asking for a progress report at the next cycle liaison meeting, and also we will suggest that someone looks urgently at useful temporary measures like squaring off the junction with St. Mark’s Rise with some of the City of London’s spare ‘lego'(!) or some such material. Roger Blake said he would have a look at it on his way home from the meeting.

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2. Dalston Lane junction with Cecilia Road

Gill also wanted us to think about this junction. The problem is that a pedestrian refuge (island) has been removed, meaning that many motorists sweep around this corner even more recklessly than they used to, making it very difficult to cross the road or to make the right turn from Cecilia Road into Dalston Lane. (This turn is presently banned for all traffic, but we see no reason for it to be so for cyclists as it is presumably an anti-rat run measure).

As ever, Roger was a good source of inside knowledge. The pedestrian refuge was removed to make it possible for low floor buses to use Dalston Lane. It seems that the refuge was the only obstacle along the whole route, so it is understandable that the decision was made to remove it. An additional problem is that there are listed buildings and even railings on this corner which cannot be altered. Roger emphasised how difficult it is to balance the needs of competing road users, even when they are all high on the new road user hierarchy.

However, the difficulties for pedestrians and cyclists do seem to have been increased by this particular decision, and we will be raising it at the cycle liaison meeting and with the engineer responsible, Memet Masar, to see if some improvement can be made. Bumps in the road are apparently ruled out as a solution here, and anyway both Roger and Patrick expressed their scepticism about such solutions. Roger sees them as “a fig leaf” and Patrick said that they were “a very reactive measure which doesn’t enable anyone.”

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3. Church Street Festival

…is coming up on Sunday 13th June. We are planning to run a bikepark-cum-stall as last year, near Clissold Crescent. Various people kindly volunteered to do an hour or two, and Trevor is cooking up a rota.

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4. Friday 18th June – Breakfast, Biking the Bounds, and J18

Breakfast

Further to the plans we made at our May meeting

Roger suggested maybe moving the venue a little to the big, becalmed crossroads at the junction of Northchurch Road and Lawford Road, so as to minimise the possibility of annoying Mr/Ms Angry of leafy De Beauvoir. We didn’t really make a decision on this. We again discussed the shelter issue. Trevor had looked into hiring a small marquee, since the Traffic and Transportation Section had made noises about being able to provide some sponsorship money, but some people were still quite keen about us buying a gazebo as decided last month! There is also the issue of tent pegs – how do you get them into tarmac?! Again, lots of kind offers of help. Anyone else fancy helping? Email Trevor.

Biking the bounds

Claire said that the route cards are ready and everything is looking good for this pleasant early evening jaunt. For details, see diary.

J18

June 18th is sure to be a busy day on the east side of London. Oliver gave us details of the various events being (?)organised to coincide with the G8 summit. Our breakfast clashes with the early morning mass ride, but there’s always the bigger surprise event in the middle of the day, meeting at noon at Liverpool Street Station. Details can be found at the J18 website.

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5. Meeting venue

Nick Hutt said that unfortunately he is unable to offer the meeting place for the next couple of months, or maybe not until September, so we talked about various options for temporary venues in the meantime. Tim Evans took on the responsibility of making the final arrangements. We will probably go for meeting in The Downs pub on Downs Road, but don’t worry – if you come to the current venue (see meetings index page), you will be redirected.

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6. Travel to school

Patrick announced that Hackney Agenda 21 is planning to hold a seminar on travel to school on Thursday October 14th, and that he is helping to organise it in conjunction with Kate Bainbridge, who is now second group manager of the Traffic and Transportation Section at the Council. Roger helped us out again here: issues around travel to school are dealt with not only by the traffic engineers but also by the Economic Regeneration Unit under Geoff Elliott, so he will also be in on the discussions about the seminar.

It was noted that although the travel to school issue is generally known by the title ‘Safe Routes to School’ nowadays, the focus is wider than simply routes themselves. One of the major obstacles to encouraging more travel by cycle is the almost total absence of cycle parking at schools. Only one of Hackney’s nine secondary schools provides any parking for pupils, and there is precious little for staff anywhere either (Stoke Newington School reportedly has some).

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7. Any other business

Roger reported that the Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Committee had just voted to go on to detailed consultation on bringing in Controlled Parking Zones in three mini-areas. We agreed that this was A Good Thing, but that we should be vigilant in making the CPZ process work in the interests of reducing motor dependency and promoting more elegant living – including resisting the pressure for the introduction of more one-way working, and making sure that cycle parking is an integral part of the plan.

Patrick drew our attention to the fact that building contractors have put up a fence across Hackney Grove – part of the popular Market Porters cycle route. This is a sign of an ignorant, if not downright disrespectful, attitude towards cycle traffic. Fences do not appear across the general highway – at least not without some advance warning and a signed diversion. Another one for the cycle liaison meeting.