I’m basing my comments about the Kentish Town Road pavement widening scheme on how the changes affect Eléonore’s (my 31 year old daughter) use of that road. She lives nearby and she visits her favourite café and balloon shops there.
It seems a good idea to widen pedestrian space along the west side of Kentish Town Road. It facilitates social distancing during the Covid lockdown. The pavements of this busy shopping street are never wide enough even during ‘normal’ times.
Ellie has profound and multiple learning disabilities plus unpredictable epileptic seizures. She needs two support workers with her whenever she is out and about. Ellie is pushed in her wheelchair along the street or walks arm in arm with her support workers. She has visual and hearing impairments and has no sense of danger.
You’ll see from the photos that the pedestrian spaces in the road are messy and unsafe. In fact one of the spaces looks more like a building site than a safe space for pedestrians. Several of the yellow ramps are so close to the traffic barriers that it would be impossible to turn a wheelchair onto the widened space if necessary.
Also, some of the barriers protecting pedestrians from traffic are missing so it would be easy for visually impaired people to step into the road.
Some of the above photos make it look as though the workers who installed them don’t really care. The barriers and ramps look so messy and unsafe. It’s a real shame because the ‘wider space’ idea itself seems good; and relatively cheap and quick to install.
In general, my daughter’s support workers would really benefit from Camden Council sending out ‘early warning’ emails about changes in road systems. This would help her support workers carry out their risk assessments when planning Ellie’s shopping trips.
Camden sends out email alerts for future parking bay suspensions, so they could use the same system for warning about changes in road use.