London's first Open Streets event

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Monday 3 February 2014 8.34am
Is it just me or is this madness? I get totally street closures for events or festivals, things of interest but to shut the streets to celebrate streets being shut! I'm thinking it's just going to make traffic everywhere else busier and congested...
London Open Streets Event

Life's too short live it!!!

D x

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Monday 3 February 2014 1.23pm
They've done this in NYC the last few years and people seem to really enjoy it.
(http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/summerstreets/html/about/about.shtml)

Other cities do it as well.

I think people appreciate it from the standpoint that it gives them a chance to walk or bike on a street in the heart of the city. Pretty unique and enables them to soak up the surroundings in a quieter and more peaceful manner since there's no traffic.

The festival is being held on a Saturday, and as long as it is held in the morning hours, which presumably it will be, there should be less disruption than you think - it will likely be over by 1:00.

Bob
Monday 3 February 2014 1.25pm
They have plenty of time to organise it well and road users can plan around it. I think it's a good idea, am looking forward to it, should be fun.
Monday 3 February 2014 1.42pm
To balance things up, they should have an "Open Pavements" event whereby all pavements are closed off to pedestrians for a day so cars can drive up and down them! No doubt there's a government grant for this nonsense. From the website:
"The design of our cities boxes us up, separates us out, and rushes us though the public space we call roads. Open Streets not only opened our roads yesterday, it opened our minds. And that was what made it so special."
"The public space we call roads"? They're called roads, as they have been for hundreds of years, and they are designed for vehicles to travel along. Adjoining these things are "pavements" that are designed for people to walk along. It works, why change it, even for a day?
Monday 3 February 2014 2.04pm
RobB wrote:
The festival is being held on a Saturday, and as long as it is held in the morning hours, which presumably it will be, there should be less disruption than you think - it will likely be over by 1:00.

Bob

It's 11am till 4pm.
Good idea but should be more often and for longer.
Monday 3 February 2014 2.08pm
Pieces of Eight wrote:
To balance things up, they should have an "Open Pavements" event whereby all pavements are closed off to pedestrians for a day so cars can drive up and down them! No doubt there's a government grant for this nonsense. From the website:
"The design of our cities boxes us up, separates us out, and rushes us though the public space we call roads. Open Streets not only opened our roads yesterday, it opened our minds. And that was what made it so special."
"The public space we call roads"? They're called roads, as they have been for hundreds of years, and they are designed for vehicles to travel along. Adjoining these things are "pavements" that are designed for people to walk along. It works, why change it, even for a day?

My sentiments exactly...

Beetroot wrote:
It's 11am till 4pm.
Good idea but should be more often and for longer.
No...sorry IMO it's madness...

Life's too short live it!!!

D x
Monday 3 February 2014 2.52pm
The Mall is closed to traffic every Sunday, and that seems to work very well in terms of attracting people to walk/cycle, and it's hugely popular with families. For the last couple of years they've closed Regent's Street and Oxford Street for a weekend before Christmas, and that's been very popular.

Southwark Street is a lot less busy on weekends than it is during the week, so I don't really see why this is such a problem. To answer your question - why change it - perhaps some people don't like to walk alongside busy, noisy roads. Wouldn't you rather shop in pedestrianised Covent Garden than on the noisy, congested Edgware Road?
Monday 3 February 2014 3.00pm
On the one hand, just because others are doing it doesn't necessarily mean it's a good idea. But more importantly, on the other hand, this wouldn't be spreading to so many urban centers throughout the world if it were a 'disaster' or chaotic.

Here's something I found on another website with links to other cities' festivals.

http://openstreetsonstatestreet.org/otheropenstreets

Open Streets in Other Cities
Open Streets follows a Ciclovía (which means “bike path”) model that first emerged in Latin America in the 1970s as a response to the congestion and pollution of city streets. Ciclovías allow residents of normally congested cities to come out and enjoy healthy recreation in the streets.
“Open street” events have popped up across the world—including elsewhere in Latin America, Europe and major U.S. cities such as New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Each of these events attracts hundreds of thousands of people and receives support from residents, businesses and visitors alike.
Check out how other cities are opening up their streets! (see links to other cities' festivals by clicking on the link above)

Here's a video showing one of the first cities to do this -
http://youtu.be/ELa5CHsUepo
Monday 3 February 2014 3.17pm
It'll be fun - it'll make Southwark Street a lot livelier for a few hours, hopefully with lots of local people.
Monday 3 February 2014 4.34pm
Pieces of Eight wrote:
It works, why change it, even for a day?

Does it work? I'd say that London's roads do the opposite of 'work' given the amount of congestion, horn-sounding etc that can be seen, heard and experienced on a dailly basis.
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