"I fear for my own safety when strapping my child into a car seat from the street side..." (MZ)
DRAG and a representative from neighbouring Gellatly Road were lucky to be able to host Mayor Sadiq Khan's new Walking and Cycling Commissioner, Will Norman. We were supported by the Deputy Mayor for Lewisham - Cllr Alan Smith, local Ward Councillor Luke Sorba and our GLA member Len Duval.
After a walk around the neighbourhood, to demonstrate the challenges faced by residents, there was a discussion of DRAG's suggested actions to improve pedestrian and cycle safety.
Drakefell Road suffers with speeding traffic, which makes it difficult to cross, and results in cars being damaged by speeding lorries and vans. It also suffers with congestion during the late afternoons and early evenings, which also makes it difficult to cross between the parked cars on the pavement, and the limited gaps left by frustrated drivers.
Residents have commented in the online survey that they are often forced to make dangerous detours into the road, as the pavements are blocked. Mothers with pushchairs have to take their lives in their hands by venturing into the road when the pavements are blocked.
However DRAG is proposing to Lewisham Council that we deal with the problem of speeding traffic, limited opportunities to cross the road safely and blocked pavements, by developing solutions to deal with all these problems at once.
The answer to these problems is - better designed streets. By re-designing the street for residents, we can rebalance the street towards a fairer allocation of the limited space towards residents, making it easier to walk and cycle.
We are not calling for a ban on all traffic, we want a better designed street which enables safe parking for cars, 2 metre pavements and traffic calming measures with safe places to cross. This would make a tremendous difference to the way we use the street; drivers would be forced to slow down – to within the 20mph limit. It would not only be safer, it would also reduce noise and vibration. And there would be a change in attitudes, where streets are improved, drivers change their behaviour – they would be more respectful if they were forced to notice us.