Edit on 9/5/2014: As you may have noticed since we posted this blog the star on the junction of Gale Street and Rugby road has been removed. Although the star was successfully slowing traffic down significantly on its approach to the crossing point the realised design of the star was not in line with original resident ambitions (pictured below) of a filled in star/sun shaped pattern surfaced in a light coloured material. Therefore we’ve removed the outline of the star in light of community feedback. The painting and removal of the yellow lines cost (including materials and labour) under £400.
We’re currently assessing options for reworking the junction with the community and all stakeholders to ensure that resident’s ambitions of slowing traffic and making it easier and safer to cross are at the heart of any changes. We’d very much welcome you to be involved in this exciting process. For more information please email Phillippa.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7780 7205.
On Friday night the road painters were out for an unusual (and difficult!) task of transferring the star in the middle of the junction from the designs on to the Gale Street/Rugby Road junction. The star is already achieving its aim of slowing all traffic down on approach to the junction and crossing, which is exactly what the residents asked for.
The star has been on all drawings and designs since the ideas were first discussed at our resident co-design workshops. Here, we used a number of different tools to model how changes to the street would affect traffic speed and make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to move through the neighbourhood. You can read more about our process of working with the community here.
This junction was highlighted by residents who told us that it was really difficult and dangerous to cross. At the early community engagement meetings residents told us ‘the drivers drive so fast down Gale Street they don’t see people are waiting to cross at the zebra’ and ‘cars swerve across the road into Rugby road, I’ve seen many near misses’.
Whilst looking specifically at this junction residents were thinking of ways they could make it easier for people to cross where they wanted to – they talked about the diagonal pedestrian crossings at Oxford Circus. Drawing lines across the plan of where people might want to cross from the shops or across to the Park, it began to look like a sun or star shape connecting the corners of the junction.
In the designs that were taken to all the other community meetings with residents and discussions with the Council Highways department, the star developed as a great way to slow down traffic.
The star is designed to increase drivers’ awareness of the surroundings and to slow traffic speeds. Because it is non standard, unfamiliar and allows pedestrians and cyclists to gain confidence when crossing to the park and shops it achieves the aim of slowing down traffic.
It is a deliberately unconventional design with the purpose of attracting drivers’ attention to this key place in the neighbourhood. It is different and will take time for people to get used to it but will not lose the impact of creating a totally different environment for drivers, slow the junction down and make it easier to cross for pedestrians and cyclists.
We are looking forward to when trees, bollards, signs and surfacing are also installed in the area to complete the designs.
We’ve already seen a big change, with cars travelling much slower –it’s an important step in making the streets in the neighbourhood places to live, play and spend time in, rather than just speed through.
It’s an exciting time going forward and it’s great to see people crossing much more easily at this junction already due to the reduced speeds and raised table making the carriageway and pavement the same level.
Finally a big thank you to everyone who came to help us with our Guerrilla Gardening day on Saturday! The flowers around the tree circle in Porter’s Avenue look lovely.