11 April 2013: Camden has restricted motor traffic in two more streets with the space of a few weeks.
The Mayor’s Vision for Cycling in London talks about Quietways – pleasant, low-traffic side streets. One of the best ways of creating a quietway is to prevent motor traffic from going right through from one end to the other. A good simple way to do this is to put a row of bollards across the road: locals can come in by car, but generally need to exit by the same route. In the last months, Camden has implemented two new ones.
A new mid-point closure in Warren Street has put the final touch on the Fitzrovia improvements scheme. This closure changes what was a rat-run for taxis into a really quite liveable street. Have a look at the two east facing photos: there is no oncoming traffic all the way to Tottenham Court Road. Note that from Fitzroy Square you can turn right into Warren Street (which is two-way as far as the barrier). Then, of course you can pass through the barrier and ride all the way to the end; however that part of Warren Street is one way westbound and two-way cycling hasn’t yet been implemented, so if you try, look out at the junction with Tottenham Court Road. Probably useful for local access and for getting to Whitfield Street but who would want to cycle through Euston Circus?
This scheme has also brought
- a 20 mph limit through the Fitzrovia area (apart from the part in Westminster!) with some tables to reduce speeds
- the ability to cycle the entire length of Whitfield Street (which for motors is impassable due to a series of one way sections with alternating directions) thus providing a useful two-way alternative to Tottenham Court Road.
- being able to cycle in both directions on Charlotte Street-Fitzroy Street between Percy Street and Fitzroy Square, a useful extension to our planned SSL relief route.
- cycle parking in the carriageway at two locations
- removal of traffic signals at Howland Street and Maple Street intersections with Charlotte Street
Last week, Earlham Street was closed to motors at the junction with Shaftesbury Avenue.
This closure should reduce traffic on Earlham Street and Monmouth Street (north) making these streets more attractive as well as encouraging people to walk and cycle. People have already got used to walking all over the street and the atmosphere is quite changed. This closure must also help to reduce congestion on Shaftesbury Avenue as vehicles turning out of Earlham Street used to block other traffic approaching the traffic lights.
Camden Cyclists will be pushing for more such closures so as to discourage the use of private motors in favour of producing liveable streets where people live, work and play. As a side effect this should in a low-cost manner produce some new Quietways.