Principles underlying the Vision
Each road and street should do just one thing – you don’t encourage speeding through traffic down residential roads.
The Vision for Hackney identifies every street in Hackney into one of three categories: 1) local access, 2) connector roads or 3) main roads.
Differences in speed and mass of different users in the same space should be minimised and ideally eliminated – you separate a lorry doing 30mph from a child pedalling at 5mph.
All users on a road should instantly understand what they can expect and what is expected of them on each road: you don’t turn a corner and suddenly find a car coming the other way.
Everyone makes mistakes: roads should be designed so they don’t get hurt as a result..
Step 1: Categorising roads
i) Local access
These are streets that should be quiet, safe and have low volume and low speed traffic. The only motor vehicles on these streets would be those that are servicing the properties on that street, with no through traffic. Pedestrians and then cyclists have clear priority. Without through traffic, the space on these streets can be given over to trees, seating, and pocket parks. Local access roads are created by installing modal filters.
The green roads on the map are the roads that are currently sufficiently quiet to be safe and pleasant. The orange roads have the potential of becoming green, but require additional measures to achieve this.
ii) Connector roads
Connector roads are roads that are used to connect to other streets. Many connector roads would be very low traffic, as they only connect to a small number of local access roads. Others may be busier, and some may include bus routes. Connector roads may be on the boundaries or within a low traffic neighbourhood cell.
The required treatment on connector roads may include protected cycle tracks, bus gates or filters, depending on the road.
Connector roads are outlined on the map. However, more work is required to identify the precise treatment required on these roads, and we welcome discussions on this. Many include filters, and so would be low traffic. All connector roads should enable safe active travel.
iii) Main roads
Main roads have high volume of motor traffic, including HGVs and buses. The roads often provide the most direct route and often have shops and other amenities and therefore also attract high numbers of people on foot, bike, bus and motor traffic.
Just as pavements provide protected spaces for pedestrians, cycling also requires safe spaces on main roads that remove conflict with motor traffic and with pedestrians. Separated cycle tracks is often required to ensure safe provision for all-age, all-ability cycling.
Step 2: Define Low Traffic Neighbourhoods
Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) create quiet and safe areas where short driving journeys are discouraged and active travel is enabled and supported. While all roads and properties are accessible by car, driving through a LTN is not possible, thus eliminating all rat runs and opening up the roads to people walking and cycling. Bus routes are maintained. By implementing LTNs, driving short distances become more difficult, and so the 30% of trips that are below 1 mile would be replaced by walking and cycling, leading to healthier and more pleasant neighbourhoods. People who need to travel by motor vehicles can still do so. LTNs open up streets and connect communities.
More information on LTNs is given in Living Streets and LCC’s Guide to Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, and Healthy Streets for Harlow provide a good explanation. We already have a couple of LTNs in Hackney , and across the borough boundary Waltham Forest has created several successful LTNs, and Tower Hamlets have big plans. Internationally, the same concepts underpin Paris’ plans for a ’15-minute city’ and Barcelona’s Superblock concept. LTNs have long been fundamental to urban planning in the Netherlands, and the transformation in Utrecht is instructive of the changes LTNs could have in Hackney.
The Vision for Hackney identifies 32 LTNs that cover the whole borough. Just a handful of new filters and bus gates in each LTN are required to create the cells.
There are many legitimate questions raised when creating LTNs. Concerns over increased pollution, negative economic impact and reducing connections are disproved by London and international experience. Living Streets and LCC’s Guide to Low Traffic Neighbourhoods dispel many of the common misconceptions of LTNs.
Step 3: Define all existing and required infrastructure
With the LTNs mapped and all roads categories, we then added all the existing infrastructure. Hackney already has over 100 filters, cycling permability feature and has recently started building separated cycling tracks.
We have identified all the new infrastructure that is required to ensure that the LTNs are created and the provision that is required on main roads to ensure safe cycle and pedestrian access and travel. It’s not all filters and cycle tracks – we have also identified where 13 new public spaced and parks could be reclaimed from asphalt.
Explore the Vision Map, and toggle to see the various new interventions that are required to fulfill Hackney’s promise as a healthy and active travel borough.
We have mapped a viable overview for how Hackney could become a world leader in active travel and urban health and wellbeing. We plan to add more detail to the plans, working with local residents and organisations.
Mapping pedestrian improvements
The Vision takes a fundamentally pedestrian-friendly approach, returning pedestrians to their rightful place at the top of the transport hierarchy.
We are working with Living Streets Hackney to highlight where pedestrian improvements should be prioritised, and plan to add these to the map over Summer 2020. Please send us your suggestions, such as where additional social distance measures should be taken, where staggered crossings should be remodelled to shorten pedestrian waiting times, or where the green pedestrian lights are too short.
As the Vision develops, pedestrian improvements will always feature prominently in our campaigning with the Council.
Working with partners
The Vision has benefits beyond providing safe cycling. When cycling rates increase, public health, environmental benefits and community cohesion are all benefited. And the local economy can benefit as the streets and pavements become places to dwell and enjoy.
We will be working with health providers, schools, TRAs and local residents to promote the benefits of active travel and urge the Council to take bold and decisive actions.
As other ideas and options are raised, and as projects are implemented, we will revise the details of the Vision. Have you identified a better position for a filter, or spotted something we have missed? Get in touch to let us know. The Vision is a living document that will be altered, within the principles outlined above.
Working with the Council to make the Vision a reality
We are fortunate in Hackney to have a Council, Mayor and Cabinet Member for Transport and Public Realm who are supportive of active travel.
We will be presenting the Vision to them and work with them to push them to be bold and ambitious in their plans.
Continue exploring the Vision for Hackney
Hackney’s health, pollution and obesity issues will be improved by implementing the Vision.
Categorising roads, identifying Low Traffic Neighbourhoods, mapping new infrastrucrure.
View the Vision map and explore the proposed interventions for each of the 32 LTNs.
How much more has to be implemented for the Vision to become reality? Take action to make it happen!