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.