Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mixing Cars, Cyclists & Pedestrians on Exhibition Road – London’s Take on Shared Space

via sustainable cities collective

Way back in 2009 I blogged about plans to turn Exhibition Road – one of London’s most popular tourist destinations – into a shared space street, and in late 2011 work was finally completed. A shared space street is exactly as the name suggests – automobiles, bicycles and pedestrians all sharing the space, with few on-road markings to separate them. Though this may sound like an odd idea, similar schemes in European cities have been successful in reducing collisions, with road users paying more attention to their surroundings and travelling at a slower speed.
But can this work in a city like London, where car is king? I visited Exhibition Road in November to check out the completed project, and again last weekend to see how it was settling in.

Walkin' the Streets of London : Exhibition Road to Hyde Park to Harrods, by DimitraTzanos

When first opened, these seemingly temporary signs were dotted along the street informing those in automobiles and on bicycles that this is a pedestrian priority street. Making a busy London street pedestrian priority is a big change, and clearly informing road users of that change is critical. Sadly, during this visit I saw no cars or bicycles give way to pedestrians.
When I returned last weekend I found the very same signs in a different spot. Going pedestrian priority may never become second nature for London’s road users, and these temporary signs have now been made permanent.

mroe about London:

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