Is it reasonable to expect pedestrians to take 4 minutes 15 seconds to cross a street?

On Tuesday Assia Nikoforova was killed by a lorry while she was crossing Edith Grove, SW10.

I met her children; you could see from their eyes that dealing with the loss of one’s mother from traffic violence is a tragedy that brings out many emotions.

Flowers left by a witness, Lady Nadia Essex (her picture)

The son explained that his mother probably started crossing with the green light. The lorry must have stopped over the ASL and started off without looking; the poor woman was dragged by the low front fender and then crushed to death.

Large lorries do not respect ASL and cannot see children in front of them

Examining the site at 15:30, one could not help noticing the number of young children holding hands to their parents. And yet the conditions for pedestrians are woeful.

  • There is no all-green pedestrian phase
  • One arm has staggered crossing, with up to 60 second wait in the middle
  • One arm has the crossing pushed back 20 metres
  • One arm has NO pedestrian lights.

Father and child risking their lives with 50kph traffic and no green man. The alternative is a four minutes and fifteen seconds ordeal

If a pedestrian, say a 69 year old woman like Assia, doesn’t want to risk crossing at the arm with no lights, she would have to cross the three other arms. This takes four minutes and fifteen seconds.

Alternatively, imagine you are the parent of an 11-year old walking to school. What advice are you going to give him?

How can TfL be so contemptuous of ordinary citizens, especially the young, the old and the less mobile?

Let’s also see whether the Metropolitan Police yet again are going to accept the lie of “I didn’t see her” as an excuse for not prosecuting the killer.

UPDATE 15.1.15

Here is the response by TfL to my concerns that there is no pedestrian traffic signal on one arm of this very busy junction (my emphasis):

Dear Andrea Casalotti 

Thank you for your recent correspondence regarding pedestrian crossing provision at the junction of Edith Grove with Kings Road. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you.
We were very sad to hear of the fatality which recently occurred at the junction and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the injured party. We are working closely with the Metropolitan Police to understand the circumstances in which this occurred and are awaiting their feedback which will inform our further investigation of this junction.
Whilst we understand the benefits for pedestrians to be provided with all round pedestrian facilities at the junction, we need to balance the needs a of all road users. Where there is not enough time in the signal cycle to create dedicated pedestrian crossing facilities this will result in a detrimental impact to the traffic flow.
In the current signal method of control the junction, due to the high volumes of traffic at this junction the amount of time which can be given to pedestrians in each cycle of operation is limited. Pedestrians cross the western arm of the junction in a ‘walk with traffic arrangement’ and do not have a dedicated pedestrian stage with a green person aspect in the signal head as is seen on the eastern and northern arms of the junction. To this end, we would need to alter the signal arrangement of the junction in order to provide a new formal pedestrian crossing facility on the western arm of the junction so that traffic does not conflict with the movement of pedestrians.  
We are presently working on early stage concepts for improvements at this junction and as part of this, consideration will be given to what pedestrian crossing improvements can be achieved within the constraints of the network and its current operational performance, amongst other improvements for the wider users of the junction. We hope to be in a position to share these proposals in the coming year.
Again, please accept my apologies for the delayed response. I do hope this adequately responds to your comments. If there is anything else we can help you with, please reply to this email. Alternatively, you can speak to one of our Customer Service Advisers on 0343 222 1234.


Kind regards
Anthea Elias
Customer Service Adviser
Transport for London Customer Services 

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