Sunday, June 28, 2015

Could Redbridge be a “Walkable Borough”

car: kɑː/ noun
a gas-belching, time-wasting, life-threatening prosthetic device

Since local planning and urban sprawl are hot topics here in Redbridge at the moment I thought this TED talk by Jeff Speck, an American urban planner, might go some way to enlivening the debate. To borrow a phrase from Jeff, borrowed from Churchill, “Redbridge Council can always be relied on to do the right thing, once they’ve tried everything else”.

The Walkable City by Jeff Speck via TED Talks (16 minutes)

Hat/tip Clive Durdle


  1. "Changes in level generally cause problems for many disabled people, particularly people with mobility or visual impairments. Even a single step can prevent access for someone who has mobility impairment and can present a trip hazard.

    Mobility ranges vary enormously between individuals with age and disability, while factors such as weather, topography (gradients) and obstacles can also affect mobility ranges. Recent research found that 30 per cent of disabled people could manage no more than 50 metres without stopping or experiencing severe discomfort and a further 20 per cent of those surveyed could only manage between 50 and 200 metres without a rest. 1"

    I am puzzled.

    Isn't blister paving a warning about a hazard? So why hasn't the hazard been removed?

    And isn't a dropped kerb a slope? I think it is more than 1 in 60!.

    Why isn't paving continuous and even and anything that also needs to cross over it made to adapt and give way?

    Isn't this a major design error that is being repeated all over the place that is extremely discriminatory?

    This link is about cycling, but are not the principles identical for disability issues?

  2. Would someone from the local authority please state what the annual actual and planned expenditures on roads, pavements and cycle tracks in Redbridge is? And how the new pavements in Quebec and Perth Roads, and crossover design, meet equality criteria?

  3. Oh, and think in detail about all parking issues!

  4. A short history of traffic engineering

  5. And the solutions are very well known ....

  6. Just some simple facts without the aid of an American. Redbridge is the 4th largest Borough in London. It has the most dropped kerbs/blister paving of any London Borough. The blister paving is there specifically for those who are blind or partially sighted and are a tactile warning that a person is getting too near the actual road.
    As well as those in wheelchairs, people with severe breathing conditions will not be able to 'walk' everywhere, whether they have a flat surface or not.
    People will have noticed that many of our pavements are no longer paved but tarmaced; this is cheaper to put down, to repair and generally unless a heavy vehicle or skip ploughs through it does not 'rut' and thus cause a trip hazard.
    I do wish people would be realistic; people are not going to give up the car; whether they have a medical need to get them from A to B; do shift work (and until we have a transport system that DOES operate 24/7, it ain't gonna happen); people taking others to hospital, school, clubs and even shopping. Part of my new job is 'enabling and supporting people', although working in a lovely part of Chigwell, the shops are at least half a mile away at Manford Way or Fencepiece Rd; Council offices for both Epping Forest or LBR are 5-10 miles away by car and at least 2 buses - an impossibly for those I support and I suggest many others.