Camden Council is planning to remove the roundabout at the South east corner of Brunswick Square and replace it with a cross roads. The space reclaimed from the roundabout will be added to Brunswick Square. They have support from Marchmont Street residents association and we have already told them that we support this scheme. This roundabout is on a north-south cycle route along Judd Street, Hunter Street, Lambs Conduit Street and Red Lion Street which has recently been signed and is currently being improved by LB Camden. Some manoeuvres on the roundabout can be hazardous for cyclists. We have been asked to tell them what would be the best scheme for cyclists, to suggest what to put in the space reclaimed (e.g trees, bike stands) and to provide a drawing.
On the mailing list and then on the Holborn Inspection ride on 7th July, we discussed the issue. Participants agreed that there is scope for a great urban realm enhancement, especially benefitting pedestrians and cyclists. This is also an opportunity to close Lansdwone Terrace to motor vehicles, allowing two-way traffic on Grenville Street, turning the present roundabout into a simple T-junction. We drew up the scheme below for discussion at the members meeting on 16th July and with minor modifications, it was agreed with enthusiasm.
We are strongly in favour of closing Lansdowne Terrace to motor traffic and making Greville Street two way. We would like to see a pair of bollards at each end of a section on the curve (orange on our diagram), allowing that area to be reclaimed for community use, for example, for a garden or for displays about Corams Fields, the City Farm or the Foundling Hospital.
A closure of Lansdowne Terrace will reduce traffic noise in Brunswick Square Gardens and provide a more pleasant walk from the Brunswick Centre to Corams Fields. It also avoids duplication of motor routes and makes a safer route for cyclists, in particular, providing a safer left turn into Guilford Street.
In this scheme, the Hunter Street- Grenville Street corridor would have precedence over Bernard Street at the junction. This, together with a raised table and a zebra crossing should slow traffic in Bernard Street. Someone who rides this street regularly reports repeated conflict with drivers. With parked cars both sides, to safely avoid the dooring zone cyclists have to ride in a position such that there is just enough room for drivers to squeeze past, too close. To avoid that she rides assertively and occupies the whole road, and goes pretty fast, but still gets hooted by drivers who object to that use of the road space.
We have not shown zebra crossings on the north and east sides of the junction as we felt that they might be redundant, but we would have no objection to their being there.
Click on our diagram to see a larger version