Friday, 11 October 2013

Back to the Future - 1977 - 2013 the Balham Experiment

On Monday evening this week, I was speaking at a Wandsworth Living Streets meeting on the approach I'm advocating in terms of trialling new street layouts using temporary measures so that local residents can experience the difference. If it felt to be an improvement we can keep the changes or upgrade them as necessary.

A local lady, who has been a resident in the area for quite a bit longer than me, passed to me a document "The Balham Experiment". I hadn't looked at it in detail until a short moment ago. It was printed in January 1977 (so the document is a few years older than I am).

On the back is a section titled: The Flexible Approach

It goes on:

"The solution to the conflict between traffic and the environment is not simple. New methods must be tried and tested, developed or rejected. Our aim is not just to stop the decline in environmental conditions but to improve them."

So I'm puzzled as to why over 30 years later this isn't in place. This document was unbeknown to me, and I've set up this petition for Dr Johnson Avenue, which could have been lifted from the picture above.

"The Flexible Approach" is exactly what I'm asking our council to adopt. What is worrying is that some 30 years ago, officers clearly were advocating the same thing, but it didn't happen.

Let's not make that mistake again.