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Removing Traffic Lights And Creating 'shared Space' On Busy A Road Junction

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http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/04/lots-cars-and-trucks-no-traffic-signs-or-lights-chaos-or-calm/5152/

The film, which documents conditions before and after the change, is made by Martin Cassini, himself an avowed foe of traffic lights and signs and advocate of the shared space concept. So consider the source, and be aware that the shared space concept has come under criticism in the Netherlands, where it originated, for being unfriendly to cyclists. Local online forums in the Poynton area have seen their share of negative commentary as well, much of it from people who predicted an increase in collisions and injuries before the plan was fully implemented.

But in at least one other U.K. community where a shared-space scheme has been in place for several years, dire predictions of rampant crashes have proved unfounded. The town of Ashford has seen its roads become measurably safer since the implementation of its traffic transformation, according to the Financial Times:

In the three years before the scheme opened in November 2008, there were 17 accidents involving injury on this stretch of ring road. Since its creation, there have been just four, and Kent police have reported only one serious collision, when a pedestrian sustained a broken ankle.

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It's a bit of a nuisance in Poynton when I've been through at weekends. I dread to think what it's like at rush hour. An idiotic idea for a fairly heavily used through-route although perhaps not such a bad one for side streets.

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It's a bit of a nuisance in Poynton when I've been through at weekends. I dread to think what it's like at rush hour. An idiotic idea for a fairly heavily used through-route although perhaps not such a bad one for side streets.

Astonished by your comments.

Video evidence completely refutes your view.

Turned from a typical grotty main road junction into a fabulous free flowing shared space.

Were you a regular user of the junction prior to it's change? It's been a ghastly nightmare for decades.

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Love it.

I'm convinced traffic lights (and buses) cause most of the traffic. Even on major intersections in London the traffic flows noticeably better when the lights are out.

But also, it's about pedestrians reclaiming space. We all rely on roads, but they shouldn't always have ever increasing priority, especially through town centres like that.

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Bring 60s planning back. Segregated motor and non motor routes.

All this 'prohibits pedestrian movement' is utter rubbish. Never have I or anyone else i know not bothered walking into town because we have to traverse an overpass or underpass.

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Bring 60s planning back. Segregated motor and non motor routes.

Yes like motorways, OK if there is space, and the non-motor routes are not diminished or removed.

All this 'prohibits pedestrian movement' is utter rubbish. Never have I or anyone else i know not bothered walking into town because we have to traverse an overpass or underpass.

Silly comment, it's like the economy, individual decisions are just noise, it's the cumulative effect of tens of thousands that produces phenomena.

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Bring 60s planning back. Segregated motor and non motor routes.

All this 'prohibits pedestrian movement' is utter rubbish. Never have I or anyone else i know not bothered walking into town because we have to traverse an overpass or underpass.

That strategy created real hell holes of city streets.

The problem is that if you want cars to be able to access town centres (the best solution is to keep them out, of course), you need to integrate all users of the street. Segregation means handing over vast chunks of real estate to cars - as they're simply so damn big and unwieldy.

Segregation works OK out of town (M-ways, for example).

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Very interesting. I think the principle work work in most town centres. You would need to consider pedestrian safety but it clearly makes the place look much more attractive and more in keeping with how the streets were originally intended to function.

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When they first made Exhibition road in South Kensington a shared space, it was pretty a much a daily occurence to see cars driving down the pavement, lost.

It helped when they put bollards in at the Cromwell Road junction, (a junction that doesn't allow any left or right turns) but in the last week I've seen a moped cut through the bollards to turn onto exhibition road, a car sit at the lights on the wrong side of the road thinking it was a one-way street and a parked car outside the natural history museum drive forward onto the pavement.

Add to this that the new roundabout half way up the road marks a point where the opposing lanes split and are separated by bollards up to Hyde Park and you really have a road that wasn't well thought through.

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Interesting, but I see the safety stats- 17 incidents in three years prior, compared to 4 in 4 months since installation(vid says Sept installation, and was uploaded in Jan. That looks like a marked decline in safety, or if the incidents are recorded to present day, it looks like no improvement.

What are the queues like waiting to join the junction now?

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Astonished by your comments.

Video evidence completely refutes your view.

Turned from a typical grotty main road junction into a fabulous free flowing shared space.

Were you a regular user of the junction prior to it's change? It's been a ghastly nightmare for decades.

No, admittedly not regular and only on the occasional weekend, when it doesn't seem any better for traffic throughput and you're far more at risk from some idiot. The idea of shared space on a major road is stupid.

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No, admittedly not regular and only on the occasional weekend, when it doesn't seem any better for traffic throughput and you're far more at risk from some idiot. The idea of shared space on a major road is stupid.

Hmmm... Stupid heh?

In the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy, the alien takes the name Ford because he believes cars to be the dominant species on our planet.

Allowing dirty, ugly, cars to rule our shared spaces in the first place is stupid.

Bravo Poynton! Now for Tunbridge Wells. We have an industrial park where traffic congestion is terrible... And why? Purely because of unnecessary traffic lights.

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When they first made Exhibition road in South Kensington a shared space, it was pretty a much a daily occurence to see cars driving down the pavement, lost.

It helped when they put bollards in at the Cromwell Road junction, (a junction that doesn't allow any left or right turns) but in the last week I've seen a moped cut through the bollards to turn onto exhibition road, a car sit at the lights on the wrong side of the road thinking it was a one-way street and a parked car outside the natural history museum drive forward onto the pavement.

Add to this that the new roundabout half way up the road marks a point where the opposing lanes split and are separated by bollards up to Hyde Park and you really have a road that wasn't well thought through.

Pretty much the way I have experienced the place. I think if drivers were used to the set up it might be fine but it just makes people confused, it's such a relatively small route that I don't think it looks like there is much impact but move it to a larger scale it would be a bit of a disaster.

Having said that I do think there are far too many traffic lights about, some times they are vital but often they are a total hinderance. One particular example is Catford on the South Circular, I drive to and from work and the place is a total bottle neck. The total journey time is something like and hour and 20 minutes but 30 of that is stuck in a 1/2 mile section coming in to Catford. However on occasion the traffic lights fail and every time that happens there is no waiting at all.

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Pretty much the way I have experienced the place. I think if drivers were used to the set up it might be fine but it just makes people confused, it's such a relatively small route that I don't think it looks like there is much impact but move it to a larger scale it would be a bit of a disaster.

Having said that I do think there are far too many traffic lights about, some times they are vital but often they are a total hinderance. One particular example is Catford on the South Circular, I drive to and from work and the place is a total bottle neck. The total journey time is something like and hour and 20 minutes but 30 of that is stuck in a 1/2 mile section coming in to Catford. However on occasion the traffic lights fail and every time that happens there is no waiting at all.

Catford is a freaking nightmare! I've been stuck for an hour on that tiny stretch for no apparent reason.

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Hmmm... Stupid heh?

In the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy, the alien takes the name Ford because he believes cars to be the dominant species on our planet.

Allowing dirty, ugly, cars to rule our shared spaces in the first place is stupid.

Bravo Poynton! Now for Tunbridge Wells. We have an industrial park where traffic congestion is terrible... And why? Purely because of unnecessary traffic lights.

Which is the same as saying "allow people to get about easily" is stupid. Transport has always been the main purpose of roads and traffic problems have existed long before cars. If you don't want a bypass (or the road isn't busy enough to justify it) then put up with the traffic. That's about the sum of it.

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I treat all UK road safety figures as suspect.

We have an excellent record of child safety on our roads, especially if we exclude teenagers. How's that? It's by making our roads so dangerous that parents won't let their kiddies go out unsupervised. What a helluva price to pay!

When they introduce different road schemes, be it shared space today or terrible miles of barriers in the 1960s, does anyone consider who is excluded entirely? The planners and members of the public may or may not, but the "road safety" statistics don't. My late neighbour who could only walk very slowly and on two sticks was basically confined to the home, because the road was too dangerous for her and the parked cars block the pavement.

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That strategy created real hell holes of city streets.

The problem is that if you want cars to be able to access town centres (the best solution is to keep them out, of course), you need to integrate all users of the street. Segregation means handing over vast chunks of real estate to cars - as they're simply so damn big and unwieldy.

Segregation works OK out of town (M-ways, for example).

In quaint old town centres id agree. For anything built post 1945, its all as ugly as hell. The 'pedestrian friendly' olympic park is every bit as ugly and characterless as any 1960s concrete jungle.

Its not transport policy, is the architectural establishment in this country that have ruined our built environment.

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Which is the same as saying "allow people to get about easily" is stupid. Transport has always been the main purpose of roads and traffic problems have existed long before cars. If you don't want a bypass (or the road isn't busy enough to justify it) then put up with the traffic. That's about the sum of it.

Transport has always been a purpose of a street. And through-traffic was always historically a minor use for all but a very few thoroughfares. Streets serve all sorts of other functions. A place to stop and talk. A place to sit and eat. Somewhere to play. A marketplace to buy and sell. Even temporary storage.

The best streets still retain a mix of uses. Think about the sort of places you might remember from a great holiday or visit - it's seldom next to a fenced off dual carriageway, I imagine! And the "shared spaces" ideas are an attempt to allow motor traffic to enter - alongside everything else.

It's not necessary to "put up with the traffic". But it is necessary to make the traffic respect the other users of the street.

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No, admittedly not regular and only on the occasional weekend, uwhen it doesn't seem any better for traffic throughpt and you're far more at risk from some idiot. The idea of shared space on a major road is stupid.

I think you're missing the point completely (intentionally or otherwise).

I understand similar plans have been proposed for Altrincham centre. Ghastly current set up with pedestrians penned in like sheep behind iron railings and steel bollards every 6 feet.

The purpose of roads certainly is not to accomodate traffic - research some history on it - though that clearly has been what has erroneously happened over the last 30-40 years or so. Better still watch the video in the link where they've very helpfully shown you how it used to be shared space. Works for trams in Mcr city centre for instance.

Time for this to be reversed and not a day too soon either.

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Transport has always been a purpose of a street. And through-traffic was always historically a minor use for all but a very few thoroughfares. Streets serve all sorts of other functions. A place to stop and talk. A place to sit and eat. Somewhere to play. A marketplace to buy and sell. Even temporary storage.

The best streets still retain a mix of uses. Think about the sort of places you might remember from a great holiday or visit - it's seldom next to a fenced off dual carriageway, I imagine! And the "shared spaces" ideas are an attempt to allow motor traffic to enter - alongside everything else.

It's not necessary to "put up with the traffic". But it is necessary to make the traffic respect the other users of the street.

And are those great streets in places where people actually trying to get on with their day-to-day lives have an alternative so there isn't any (or much) conflict, or do you simply not notice because you're there enjoying the place on holiday and not having to actually get on with your life?

With schemes like this the choice is to put up with the traffic when you're not in the car or put up with having awful traffic when you are. Remember most people are both pedestrians and drivers at different times.

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I think you're missing the point completely (intentionally or otherwise).

I understand similar plans have been proposed for Altrincham centre. Ghastly current set up with pedestrians penned in like sheep behind iron railings and steel bollards every 6 feet.

The purpose of roads certainly is not to accomodate traffic - research some history on it - though that clearly has been what has erroneously happened over the last 30-40 years or so. Better still watch the video in the link where they've very helpfully shown you how it used to be shared space. Works for trams in Mcr city centre for instance.

Time for this to be reversed and not a day too soon either.

Which I'm sure will work fine if most of the traffic can be routed around the town centre (which it probably can be with Altrincham). Ditto with Manchester city centre and the trams, there are alternatives for most of the traffic so you're not forcing some horrible conflict out of confused idealism, whereas in Poynton you've got roads that have to handle fairly large volumes of traffic, which you're now trying to mix with pedestrians. There are still the same large numbers of vehicles trying to get through the place.

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in poynton what tends to happen is that people do not know whose right of way it is so traffic tends to back up. the worst junction is the x roads by waitrose so if you want turn left or go straight on no problem, but if you want to turn right therefore going in front of the opposing car nobody will commit. the series of roundabouts on the main macclesfield to stockport road again people do not know whose right of way it is. during rush hour the traffic backs up in both directions. is it any worse than it was before with traffic lights. I suspect about the same.

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in poynton what tends to happen is that people do not know whose right of way it is so traffic tends to back up. the worst junction is the x roads by waitrose so if you want turn left or go straight on no problem, but if you want to turn right therefore going in front of the opposing car nobody will commit. the series of roundabouts on the main macclesfield to stockport road again people do not know whose right of way it is. during rush hour the traffic backs up in both directions. is it any worse than it was before with traffic lights. I suspect about the same.

It's nobody's right of way. I suspect that's the whole point.

You've only mentioned traffic - what about pedestrians?

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Which I'm sure will work fine if most of the traffic can be routed around the town centre (which it probably can be with Altrincham). Ditto with Manchester city centre and the trams, there are alternatives for most of the traffic so you're not forcing some horrible conflict out of confused idealism, whereas in Poynton you've got roads that have to handle fairly large volumes of traffic, which you're now trying to mix with pedestrians. There are still the same large numbers of vehicles trying to get through the place.

Again you see the issue as relating to 'traffic' for some reason. The clue is in the words 'shared space'.

You're in the 'no' column but thanks for your contribution.

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  • 239 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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