Thank you to everyone who came to our second design workshop last week. We had a great group of residents and Police Community Support Officers who joined us for idea development and collaborative ‘sticker’ work on the possible designs of the four focus areas that residents have chosen.
We started the workshop by trying to feel a sense of empathy towards other residents with different points of view. We read out the views of five different ‘characters’ all with different priorities. As part of this process we are designing for everyone and it’s useful to try and put yourself in other people’s shoes in order to imagine how they might feel on a street or space and how it can be improved.
Here are some of the different points of views (names changed) of people in the area who I’ve spoken to who all have different wants and needs of the area.
Alan – 40
The sloping pavements towards the road are really dangerous if you’re in a wheelchair like me and often I end up in the road anyway as I can’t pass by on the pavement because car’s over park and often hedges are overgrown.
The drop kerbs are so uneven and I have to plan out my route in advance to go to the shops or to drop the kids off at school. It’s not exactly freedom.
Mary – 31
The streets are diabolical basically. They’re dangerous for the kids, for parents walking along them, for prams, for everyone. We need more room on the pavements; the cars on the pavements take up all the room and cause a lot of arguments with drivers because the prams can’t get through. And on a Tuesday you can forgot about it – bin day!
We’re known for walking on the road with our prams in this area – it’s so dangerous. I try and teach my kids the safe way to cross the road but there’s no good place, even on Rugby Road you can never see when cars are coming. You get into arguments with drivers, especially outside the school.
Jean – 78
It used to feel so nice and safe walking around the estate – when my mum moved here when you signed for your property you agreed to clean the windows once a fortnight and cut the grass every month. Nowadays it’s different although for the Olympics we had some flower boxes attached to the railings on Porter’s Avenue. We all thought they’d get stolen but they weren’t! I can’t walk far so more places to sit down would encourage me to walk to the shops more it would be nice to get out more.
It worries me that there’s nothing for young people to do these days. I used to play in the street all summer along with my friends – it was much safer then.
Jack – 15
I hate all the dog poo that’s on all the pavements – it would feel so much nicer if people cared about the place.
What this community needs is more events and places to get together and learn about each other from other cultures and generations. Often older people look at me like they’re scared of me but me and my friends aren’t doing any harm – we’re not in a gang or anything. And why can’t we use all the greens that are not being used by anyone? They could have some play equipment in if people don’t want kids to play football in them. The whole area needs more colour and better lighting so people feel safer.
Also I want the roads to be safer so mum will let me ride my bike on the road – at the moment I just go on the pavement as the cars are going to fast. Perhaps we can have some proper good street art that everyone helps to create?
Sam – 46
We really need parking to be restricted to short stay so customers can park and support their local shops. It’s hard enough to keep going as it is without people being able to park in the spot for hours. We also need the anti-social behaviour to be sorted out in front of the shop parade as my customers are afraid to come out at certain times.
The pavement really needs to be resurfaced and it would be great if we could stop all the litter, perhaps have nice tables outside in front of the shops? That would be posh!