Been meaning to write this for some time, if youve looked out the window today it seems like a good day for blogging. Firstly want to just say these are my observations as a 35 year on road cyclist, if youre reading this as a professional that works in highways or engineering, :- contribute in the comments section if you can bring more to the conversation. Much interest shown recently about the subject title, this is in effect closing neighbourhood streets to through traffic- and seems like a key aspect of how we can change the streets we live in for the better. The BH Active Travel forum which I chair is very keen on meeting with engineers and designers of upcoming road schemes which are aiming to increase active travel, we have illustrations and examples of work elsewhere to share and made a formal requestto meet every 6 weeks in the upcoming years. Political will has changed in the area with several great appointments we want to influence this process.
I wanted to show the top two pictures as they are old pieces of work by the then Poole Boro Council. The concept then isnt new- it might have been easier to implement in the 1970s which I imagine was when these schemes went in, but they are now needed more to limit the amount of ‘rat running’ or cutting through residential streets to avoid guess what? queues of other cars on main roads. Making streets either destination or origin pacifies neighbourhoods and can along with other interventions such as those shown below, parklets and bike parking harmonise them to residents. Taking away the sense that places are just to pass through, rather be in. Theres lots of lucky Urban designers that get paid to imagine these schemes too now, so its moving into mainstream awareness which I hope this blog contributes to. I’ve mentioned before about how engaging public, seeking views and making trials of Modal filtering must also be part of the process. For an example the cycling officer for Poole has several streets on the Ringwood road earmarked for filters, I’ve offered to go and meet residents, take their views and educate them on such interventions, the BH Active Travel forum offers to do these consultations. You saw my Wallisdown consultation piece last year? Alton Road is the exact type of place that would benefit from a modal filter, aiming to bring the families around the corner to St Marks Primary, Talbot Primary actively. This wasnt included although the other three quarters of making the best of the area were which I’m pleased with. We could always expect to advise on more than highways depts could be expected to implement, such is the life of campaigners. So what I’m saying in this blog is there is evidence in the area already of these interventions, start making more of them and we could start seeing more harmonised localities conducive to active travel. Thanks for reading.
Pictures below thanks to Ranty Highwayman, a Highways Engineer involved in this dialogue