Tag Archives: Streetscene

Negotiating the orchard walk

By New Year we hope there will be a new all-weather walk by the orchard. Together with the new pedestrian span of Cow Bridge, this will give a pleasant circular stroll across the Lea and back via the filter beds.
The path follows the
desire line near the bench

MUG committee member, and designer, Harry Hewat researched a low-impact method which allows the path to run unobtrusively among the big waterside trees. The surface will be gravel chosen to look as natural as possible.

The committee has been working with council officers on this project since April (background here), when the group decided (minutes here) it would like a path, so long as the route, width and surface are right for the orchard area.

Worn ground shows where people like to walk behind the thicket
The walk will link to
the footbridge

The original council proposal took a line through the middle of this space, since it had to steer clear of trees because the proposed building method would have damaged the roots. MUG’s proposed alternative involves a plastic grid laid on a shallow base and filled with a gravel mix. So far, it has satisfied the requirements of both LBH Parks tree officers, for tree root protection, and of LBH Streetscene engineers for a practicable method for council contractors.

Funding is from Transport for London’s annual sustainable transport allocation to Hackney, so it’s not using any of the park’s own project funds. We explained LBH’s reasons for wanting to get on with the project in our April posting, and although it’s not MUG’s highest priority, it seemed sensible to take the opportunity.

Harry puts MUG’s ideas to a site meeting  involving Streetscene,
parks tree officers, and our park development officer

By engaging with the council on this, the committee has also been able to negotiate a council commitment to redesigning the walking/cycling shared use arrangement on the Black Path, something that MUG called for in 2008 but which was shelved during the master plan consultations. If it came to a choice, the group might prefer to spend TfL’s money on that, but it seems that both projects can be afforded from this year’s money.

Zebra saved from floods

For the past few years residents of Powerscroft Road and nearby streets have faced a giant puddle — OK, a small lake — when they headed for the park after rain via this zebra crossing. (For those who don’t come this way in the wet, it’s at the 5-way junction of Powerscroft, Millfields and Chatsworth Roads, which is tricky enough as it is, especially if you’re not in your nimblest years, or crossing with a child.)

Road contractors created the water feature when they filled in a gutter during the last redesign of the junction, so that the water no longer flowed to the drain intended to catch it. They left the gutter nice and horizontal, apart from a decorative little upward slope, which isn’t really the point with gutters. Emails to the Streetscene project manager at the time got no joy.

But we now have a rather more responsive set-up at Hackney Streetscene, at least as far as Millfields is concerned. When I raised it again recently, they promised to fix it by mid September. So two provisional cheers, saving the third for when the work is done.