Most of the safety we’ve been told about the designs for crossing in Finsbury Park is about the bollards going into place at the corner of Seven Sisters Road and Seven Sisters Road – though the road also bisects the high street.
I visited the site of the proposed pedestrian crossing yesterday and stopped at what appears to be an ugly ‘like bin liner’ bench at the junction.
While this showpiece bollard was originally proposed because of fears that car windows could get caught on the spongy padding on the benches, it is now not even as big as the little corner shop at which I often sit.
A nearby shop was still selling drinks and snacks to a pedestrian on this bench today. He was happy to put his money on the bar and then catch a bus to Seven Sisters Road. He had heard of the plans for these seats but was not impressed by them, preferring to sit on his friend’s chair on the other side of the road.
Apparently, the bench at the junction was one of six new ones that the council has now announced would be installed in the area, as pedestrian walkways. Apparently it is to be designed to make pedestrians feel safer. I have had the experience of being just barely there and run over by a bus that looks like it has been swerving very quickly. I looked up and saw all four of the people on the board behind the bus had lost their footing and fell to the ground. What you could see from where I was stood was that the seat was in good position, but also there was some heavy congestion on the road itself.
Which might be more worrying than having people literally falling to the ground while walking across the high street at slow speeds – especially as it is suggested this new type of seating will provide a place for families with children to run from gate to gate, safe in the knowledge that they are always going to have a seat. The engineering could have been better, so maybe the idea of the benches is not the best solution either.