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Next entry: St Mary’s Church - then and now

Previous entry: Pantomime crossing in Oxted

Thursday, 31 January 2013
Zebra Crossing Part Two

image
So the workers are back today installing a rough anti-skid surface to the road on either side of the zebra crossing.  Apparently this is because the Road Safety Audit of the design, that was conducted in March/April 2012 by members of the Surrey County Council Transportation Management Division, Network Management and Information Group, determined that there was a risk to the safety of pedestrians crossing due the location of the Zebra crossing.

Summary: pedestrians vulnerable whilst crossing.

The proposed zebra crossings will alter the braking requirements of approaching drivers, especially during wet / icy conditions. Drivers required to brake late / suddenly when pedestrians are crossing may be unable to stop without encroaching into the crossing widths. This raises the potential for pedestrian conflict.

RECOMMENDATION

Provide high friction surfacing on the approaches to the proposed zebra crossings.

This recommendation was accepted by the designer and incorporated into the design of the zebra crossing. The surface that is being laid on the road looks as follows:
image
Now, while I’m very much in favour of promoting safety for pedestrians (and all other road users) this “bolt-on” change to the design seems a bit strange: it’s surely not addressing the cause of the risk, which is a combination of: (1) the location of the crossing; (2) the speed of oncoming vehicles; and (3) the visibility of pedestrians.

On this last point (visibility) a further risk is identified:

Summary: pedestrians at risk during dark conditions

Site observations reveal there is no street lighting in close proximity to the proposed zebra crossings. During dark conditions pedestrians using the crossings will not be positively illuminated in accordance with current advice, which places them vulnerable to conflict.

RECOMMENDATION

Investigate existing street lighting levels.

Provide street lighting as required to positively illuminate pedestrians crossing during dark conditions.

On this recommendation the designer agreed to lighting assessments being carried out by the Council subcontractor (Skanska) and to an upgrade to the street lighting to be incorporated into the scheme at detailed design if necessary.  So hopefully there will be improvements here still.

On the speed of vehicles approaching the zebra crossing, there has been a narrowing of the carriageways on the blind bend in the road, which I noted before. However nothing has yet been done to reduce the speed of vehicles coming from other directions. Perhaps a pinch point would have done this, or a 20mph speed limit? Then again 20mph speed limits, and some kind of street furniture to slow down vehicles and make the road more friendly to pedestrians might have met the original objectives of the zebra crossing.

Then again, what do I know: I realise that I have opinions, but I’m not an expert and my opinions are not always informed ones!

Other people on twitter commented on this new road design:

oxted (@oxted)
29/01/2013 20:57
Did anyone else think there was something funny about the new zebra crossing in Oxted: bit.ly/1196aeX /via @bigbluemeanie

To which there were some replies:

Naomi Danby (@simpsnao)
29/01/2013 22:51
@oxted @bigbluemeanie, the one that is not only hazardous to drivers & pedestrians but is positioned on a stretch of road with no footfall?!

Alison Kelly (@ali_k15)
29/01/2013 22:56
@oxted @bigbluemeanie both zebra crossings are in extremely dangerous places right on top of a busy junction. An accident waiting to happen

Anne Dickins (@Anne200solo)
29/01/2013 23:14
@ali_k15 @oxted @bigbluemeanie no lights nearby make it invisible at night.

Alison Kelly (@ali_k15)
30/01/2013 00:15
@Anne200solo @oxted @bigbluemeanie all in favour of safe place to cross but agree with you, no lights and much too near dangerous junction.

Matt Park (@matt_park70)
30/01/2013 05:49
@Anne200solo @ali_k15 @oxted @bigbluemeanie I complained about the crossings last week and was sent a copy of the safety audit. E-mail?

Posted by bigblue on 31/01/2013 at 02:49 PM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (1) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

The story made a local newspaper:

MOTORISTS have been bewildered by the creation of two new pedestrian crossings in Oxted – which they were then told not to use.

Read more: http://www.thisissurreytoday.co.uk/Ridiculous-signs-block-new-road-crossings/story-18144154-detail/story.html

Posted by bigblue  on  14/02/2013  at  09:01 PM

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