MANAGING STREETS AS PUBLIC SPACES

Urban and rural streets have several additional roles besides their use as traffic corridors that has become dominant during the last four decades. In this paper, the Director of the UK's Pedestrian Association presents his views on this issue. He considers that it is necessary to rethink streets and their purpose as public places. They need to be treated as places, not routes, with people having priority over vehicles. This will require some difficult transport decisions, and extensive changes in highway engineering and design. Brixton High Street in London is discussed as an example. It is expected to provide an attractive local community centre, but also a major traffic corridor from Central London to the south. The present belief that the main function of streets is to maximise traffic flow permeates transport planning, but its price is high: noise, air pollution, danger, divided communities, and loss of public space. However, things are beginning to change. Local authorities are preparing to establish pilot 'home zones' where social activity has priority over traffic movement. Local Transport Plans will need to promote walking and cycling. Traditional transport priorities need to be reversed, by giving precedence to the non-traffic functions of roads in urban and rural areas. For the covering abstract see ITRD E105245.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 6 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00794935
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jul 7 2000 12:00AM