As cars stream past on both sides, a pedestrian perches on a tiny traffic island waiting for an opportunity to cross. A cyclist dodges round a 10-tonne lorry, held up by a driver trying to reverse into a tight parking space outside a high-street shop. Angry horns blare.
It’s intimidating to be on foot or a bike in a space dominated by motor vehicles. In that sense, this suburban street in north London is like many of the radial roads that flow in and out of cities the world over – not a particularly pleasant place to be.
This road, though, has been given an opportunity to change. Transport for London has awarded the local authority, Enfield, £30 million from its “Mini Holland” budget to transform four busy streets into routes with Dutch-inspired segregated bike lanes, where people feel safe to cycle and want to spend more time. Under the plans, Green Lanes is to get lightly segregated bike lanes running along both sides of the road; there will be six more zebra crossings for pedestrians; a bleak under-used public space will be remodelled with community involvement; pavements will be resurfaced; there will be more trees, more planters … Local residents and high street businesses must be thrilled?