‘Can we reimagine Haringey’s streets for a sustainable future?’ – hamhigh.co.uk
Louise Wass, Haringey Living Streets
“Tag!” we cheered, charging from one pavement to another.
It was the early 1970s, local car ownership was low. As children, we were out all day: playing, exploring, climbing, biking. I knew every nook and cranny in our neighbourhood and formed a deep attachment to the landscape.
In the last 40 years, there has been a drastic decrease in children’s freedom to roam – they are visibly absent from our streets.
Sixteen children are killed or seriously injured in road crashes every week so this is no surprise. Air pollution affects us all, particularly the youngest.
Should children not have the same freedoms that we enjoyed? Why have we allowed unfettered car dominance to grow at the expense of our children’s well being? Hands up, when I owned a car, I did make some unnecessary journeys – it’s an easy habit to slip into.
Recent neighbourhood filtering in Haringey has met with some resistance. Low-traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) are often judged on their short term impacts, with little discussion on their vision or the multiple long term benefits – instead, “for or against” polemics are surfaced in an attempt to avoid the issues.