Waterfall Road Pedestrian Crossing Safety Enquiry- MEQ

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The resident states that Waterfall Road lacks safe crossing points but the road does benefit from a number of pedestrian refuge islands at strategic positions along its length and, a review finds, a general absence of pedestrian casualties. A position near the entrance to Arnos Park is mentioned where one such refuge island is located. There is no record of a pedestrian injury incident near here across all 23 years that data under the national protocol instituted in 1999 has been collected, as viewed online at crashmap.co.uk.

Refuge islands are a good option where crossing demand is relatively modest. They offer a 24/7 slowing effect on traffic even if seldom in use. They allow pedestrians to cross in two stages and where the resulting lane widths are well constrained, as applies here, this should not be overly challenging for most pedestrians once a suitable gap in approaching traffic arises. It is harder to justify expenditure on pelican crossings unless demand is high or some specific project work is being advanced with funding identified. Zebra crossings offer a higher level of provision than a refuge island, at somewhat less expense than a pelican crossing, but also rely more on good driving standards and some existing zebra crossing sites on our network continue to attract their own complaints or concerns about road safety. So definitive statements about the relative degree of safety each type of crossing provides are not easily substantiated.

Hence, on balance, Waterfall Road – and the particular location identified near the park entrance – seem fairly well served by the existing crossing facilities relative to the demand I have witnessed when making observations there in previous years. No notable issues with road safety can be inferred from the data we have available so my instinct is that, while some pedestrians will feel refuge islands offer less convenience or sense of security than other types of crossing, the existing facilities appear a good match for their context. 

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