Another visit to London and once again another impromptu walking tour of the public realm with charming and insightful Iain Simmons the Assistant Director of City Transportation for the City Of London. This trip I was there to take a look at the Bike Superhighways and what using a bicycle to get around feels like, but after our interview, Iain took me around to several recent projects, including the just-opened-the-day-prior new project called Algate Square.
You can look thru the details of the project here, a $25 million pound mission to make like in Central London more efficient for all modes of travel but specifically to make the pedestrian and public space lives of people better and healthier. The final design removed many lanes of traffic
It seems to be a continual on-going quest to take on projects like this in the central businesses district. The quality of the pavers and design are exceptional. London seems to be slowly taking back real estate from the car either by making new car-free spaces, designing areas that make vehicles go slower or having shared-space arrangements with treatments to make vehicles aware there is heavy pedestrian or bike use.
I think in New York City we should be doing a lot this in lower & midtown Manhattan. We have huge numbers of pedestrians that deserve better. And the more of it we do, the less welcoming the city is to driving, which is better for everyone.