Delighted with scheme which will bring streets to life
I am very pleased to see that Camden has at last decided to proceed with a living streets scheme, as is now underway in Camden Town, taking out unnecessary clutter and raising the street level to (almost) the pavement level (Camden Town stripped bare, H
I am very pleased to see that Camden has at last decided to proceed with a 'living streets' scheme, as is now underway in Camden Town, taking out unnecessary clutter and raising the street level to (almost) the pavement level (Camden Town stripped bare, H&H November 26).
I'd like to congratulate Cllr Chris Knight in bringing this forward (though I am tempted to say it is too little too late). These schemes, which have been trialled in many parts of Europe, have been shown to reduce traffic speeds and accidents by creating streetscapes where cars no longer feel they own the road.
Streets are made neater, pedestrian areas wider, and pavements made safer and easier to navigate for disabled people.
I hope that this will be one of the first truly radical street schemes introduced by Camden Council, which has to date been pretty conservative.
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We need similarly innovative schemes in other areas, for example Kentish Town High Street, which could be turned into a much more popular shopping area if the congestion and division caused by the street was addressed.
Also, Highgate High Street - if officers from Camden and Haringey would work together as ward councillors have tried to persuade them to - could be reclaimed as part of the village, rather than a busy arterial route.
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And as Farook Khorooshi is campaigning for in the Hampstead 20:20 campaign, Camden Council could make Hampstead High Street much less threatening and quite excitingly transform Whitestone Ponds into a village green and pond rather than a roundabout with a concrete watering pond.
There are lots more opportunities. For example, when Kentish Town High Street was up for modernisation, myself and fellow Greens asked for an innovative scheme like the one now being undertaken in Camden.
We have also called for general road safety measures, like 20mph speed limits on all our roads, as introduced by Islington. We will continue to seek such exciting schemes and safety measures which allow us to reclaim our streets and to turn our high streets back into friendly, unthreatening local hubs.
Cllr Maya de Souza
Green Party, Highgate ward