Monday, February 04, 2008

Kensington High Street

On the radio this morning I heard that Councillor Daniel Moylan is to receive another award tomorrow for his work on de-cluttering Kensington High Street , this link is to a full case study of the project.

In summary the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea removed much of the 'street furniture' that was misguidedly regarded as being essential for the safety of pedestrians, and bizarrely for motorists. We all know the masses of fencing, lines in the road and street signs, so the council got to work and, for once, it has worked.

It works along the lines of a project piloted in Drachten in Holland. It worked there by liberating motorists and pedestrians from constant badgering instructions and directions by, amongst other things, removing conventional street signs. It made people actually pay attention themselves and make decisions, rather than acting like robots. As a result in Drachten waiting for a bus went down from 55 to 9 seconds, because it speeded up traffic flow, and accidents dropped by over 40%.

Similar results have been achieved in Kensington and it is good to highlight, for a change, good work by a local authority. It is also more aesthetically pleasing, and what a way to prove greeny/environmentalists wrong.

Now, let's start using the same principle on every area of human activity and move towards a truly free and liberated life.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Better Off Off!

Martin Cassini said...

Ken Hi St is often cited as an example of shared space but I'm afraid it's severely compromised. It is still plagued by traffic lights at both ends and in the middle. The wider pavements and central islands mean narrower carriageways which mean no room for cyclists to squeeze up the inside or outside of traffic queueing at the lights. I believe Daniel Moylan wanted to do a more complete shared space scheme but he was blocked by conservative forces in the traffic department.

Gregg Beaman said...

Thanks for that Martin. I suppose it should be really seen as a good start. Interesting to see that bureaucrats still managed to blunt Daniel Moylan's real plans.

I did hear of a scheme somewhere, can't remember now if it was the Dutch one, where all traffic lights were abolished and it worked wonders for traffic flow.

Martin Cassini said...

Yes, the best known example of shared space is in Drachten, Holland. Since the late Hans Monderman removed lights in Drachten, accidents and congestion have disappeared. Bohmte in Germany followed suit last November and I understand is already getting stunning results.