Planters into chicanes

Xmas tree on Stambourne Way planter

Whatever might be in store for the LTN, one thing for sure is that the planters will become redundant. Here’s a proposal to make use of them that requires the least effort or transport costs. Some members of our community clearly like their planters, so this proposal offers continuity for them to care for and decorate ‘their’ planters.

We have been using the data from the speed device to report on traffic volumes, but now let’s revert to analysing speed. The reason that residents have this data from 2013 and 2019 is that they have been complaining to the council and to local MP Steve Reed for almost a decade and so far all it has produced is an ignored 20mph speed limit and speed bumps that modern SUVs just glide over.

DateDay85th pctl (mph)Max SpeedAvg Speeder% Speeders
Daily 85th Percentile Incoming counts from speed device in Auckland Road

It is almost inconceivable that anyone would drive at over 60mph on a residential road, on a bend and inclination, approaching speed bumps with cars being parked either side of the road. But this happened every day, with a maximum recorded speed of 70mph. 85% of traffic is approaching each other at a closing speed of over 90ft every second.

It demonstrates starkly that the present speed bumps are not fit for purpose.

Proposal 1

Move the planters and concrete blocks a few hundred metres to Auckland Road, where they can be reconfigured to become chicanes to control excessive speed.

Highway Code: Rule 153

A properly designed and positioned chicane has psychological advantages:

  • drivers know that they may have to halt
  • they have to pull out of their dedicated lane
  • they are a physical reminder that this is a residential area
  • there are expectations about standards of driving

Re-using the planters and concrete blocks will save resources and all that needs to be paid for is a few signs and road markings. Fines from the bus gate will cover this in a few days.

Due to a lot of positive feedback and additional proposals, we have added…

Proposal 2

Move the planters and concrete blocks to all the ANPR locations to create a pinch-point that is wide enough to allow a fire engine through.

Place planters at ANPR controlled pinch points, but TWO signs, not six please!!!

Proposal 3

Here’s a good example of how they can be adapted:

Raiton Road LTN parklet gives inspiration

Long term

Aim to have all residential streets looking like this (minus the rubbish bins of course).

Van Gogh Walk in SW9

4 thoughts on “Planters into chicanes

  1. Are you serious?! After all this you finally suggest something that addresses what you’re actually worried about – rat running and speeding. Why did you not come up with this idea when it was suggested months ago, instead of going for an impossibly “ambitious” solution of closing a ginormous area and trying to hide behind a climate change fig leaf, when everyone that has seen the main roads for themselves can tell you, without the need for a study or monitoring devices, that traffic is much worse, idling traffic increased ergo worse pollution. You’ve been pushing for a scheme that worsens pollution – utter utter madness


    1. We have been pushing for a solution that provides a safe place for people who currently drive to convert their journeys to active travel in a safe environment. This is what the LTN offers and the tripling of people walking and the number of children cycling to Cypress School proves it is beginning to work. This post is arguing for more measures to reduce speed which will make Auckland Road even more attractive for people to try out cycling and walking.
      The answer to too much traffic on main roads is to tackle over-use of cars and over time this website will be devoting more attention to this. In the meantime you can find many authoritative papers in our Resources page. One that might be of interest is: Green Light: Next generation road user charging for a healthier, more liveable, London


  2. Extraordinary that this makes zero mention of Church Road. If you really want to be ‘Crystal Palace LTN’ you need to take into account what happens outside of the planters!
    I am broadly in favour of the LTN and think it’s ‘bedded in’ (and would thus be interested in what attitudes would be now in consultation – most negatives might have softened now the temporary lights have gone?) but have major concerns that it has made speeding on Church Road (and possibly Auckland Road) worse. With the roads blocked off, Church Road is now a straight, flat stretch with no cars pulling in or out of Fox, Stambourne etc, and this has made speeding a huge problem. An FOI request found that the only time police have measured speed was when the temporary lights were in place… no surprises that speeds were low.
    But please, whatever your campaigning angle, it’d be a real blow if you failed to consider impacts on streets around the LTN, and only focus on those within. It’s that that’s caused real irritation for many because it felt that this was a boon for a few, while others paid the price.
    Whatever happens we have to pursue the wider goal: lower traffic, and slower traffic. Calming like you’ve suggest above would be welcome, but it has to also stretch to us up on Church Road.


    1. Thanks for your challenge KB. Traffic on the boundary roads to the LTN is the next dilemma we need to address. The LTN on its own can do little to address this, other than to offer a safe haven for people to convert their car journeys on main roads to walking or cycling on the now safe Auckland Road. This is the ‘carrot’ for those who make under 3km journeys (more than 50% in Croydon). The greater number of people walking and cycling on Auckland Road shows that it has had some success, but insufficient.

      I suspect that there also needs to be some element of ‘stick’ to encourage people out of cars. User road charging and reduced parking seem to be on the horizon.

      But how we design and control access to our roads is also key. I can think of many ways to control traffic on Church Road, for example:

      – add more zebra crossings
      – add chicanes or pinch points
      – pedestrianise the triangle or parts of it

      It would be interesting to see how many people would agree to this! There are bound to be people who argue you can’t do this because it is a main road, but why should we be limited in our vision. We are certainly going to have to face up to some very stark choices if we are to tackle climate change.


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