Visions 2 Road closures.
A timely post as I had my written ideas for my Sunday Road closures for Bournemouth ready when coming across the action from Bristol on Saturday this Brilliant Bank Holiday weekend. No doubt the Bristol planners are aware of the inspirational Taras Grescoe book Straphanger which outlines worldwide innovations such as this. Im keen to add my area Visions which motivate me and assist my day to day work of promoting cycling, teaching children and adults Bikeability. The Bristol story closing a central road, Park street can be read here- The parallels between this steep hill and our Richmond Hill are irresistible- come on Bournemouth lets do this and my weekly Sunday road closures plan below. Theres no detriment to moving transport across the Wessex Way, making town centre traffic free for bikes, scooters, rollerblades, strolling would be total win, I guess theres lots of bloggers writing up ideas for Peopling Places, please do point them out to me. Borrowing directly from Grescoes report on Bogota, Columbia, Ive located the roads that would need to be closed to enable a weekly town-centre wide road closure event. ‘Sunny Sundays’ or similar. Wait:- even casual readers can see that the West -East roads need to be kept open, so, with the thought that no-one needs to go south into the sea this makes Bournemouth an even easier place to start this idea. Running bus turnarounds into the Triangle from West, Old Christchurch Road from East and Wimbourne Road/ Lansdowne Road from North to bring people into town, with closed roads for cycling, pedestrian areas maintained. Imagine family cycling along seafront, family games and activities in Meyrick park, market stalls coffee and goodies along a closed road Lansdowne Boulevard. It would be great. If Lorena Jones could close the whole town centre last year mid summer season, to run one of only 2 British towns combined Sky Ride/ Omnium racing this could be done. Every time theres a road closure people love it, re-peopling place. Worldwide breakdown of the Cities that run these events can be read here- truly inspiring. Click here for a big breakdown
More info on the weekly Urban treat from Bogota here
Borders of proposed road closures below.
Directional perfection is also what I like, going exactly to where I want, parking the bike outside means I will always be able to say how long it takes to get somewhere without fail. This particular link between the end of Evering Avenue, and Bloxworth follows a gravelled track (with emergency vehicle access) to meet the end of Bloxworth shown on the map which Ive been riding as an alternate to the Mountbatten arms route, or the Alder hills route between Poole and Bournemouth- both unpleasant and often continuous vehicle queues. Along the highest point of land in the area, we can view the stream and the fenced areas with grazing animals below and in the distance Bournemouth town. This superb link would benefit so much from a cycle route, taking people down onto the beginning of the Bourne Valley Greenway and allowing that 5 Kilometre journey into central Bournemouth. This place is fully protected already, and I value that- for example on the way through the other day the instant I entered after the gate, heard a Stonechat clicking away, saw the male and within a few metres right next to the track the female- brilliant! people spend ages trying to find these particular birds and they live right here on our doorstep if you know where to look. Adding an official route with a tarmaced surface wouldnt lead anyone down into the actual heath, it would just open up more superb routes for active travel. Full route plan here
the map above shows even more accurately this brilliant route of directional perfection. Visions of how to use our area and make it work for Active Travel, Im riding it now, and can imagine all this for a healthy outdoor future.