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Union Street/Flat Iron Square

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Friday 27 May 2011 11.24am
Tom Minney wrote:
On bike or feet I aim to avoid pedestrians, cars, lampposts, etc and usually find that shouting or smiling at them have same effect, i.e. none, but the latter usually feels better, at least to me. My wish - clearly marked cycle lanes on a different level which pedestrians can't wander into without realizing it. Oh yes, and going all the way from Union St to Westminster please.
Ha! Very true.
I honestly don't think a different level makes any difference. I used to cycle down Petty France in Westminster, and it is one of those cycle lanes on road level but with a curb seperating the cycle lane from the traffic (one way street, cycling against the traffic flow). Pedestrians seemed just as likely, if not more so, to step in to it without looking. I had several near misses, one of which was a woman crossing with her (young) kids. She stopped them at the side of the road and got them all to look one way, but not the other!!!

The way I see it is that everyone, no matter whether they're on a bike, on foot, in a lorry or a helicopter, should just use common sense and consideration. It isn't rocket science and doesn't require fancy signs or lanes. If pedestrians know that cyclists use a certain area, be aware and don't walk in a big crowd covering the whole pavement. If cyclists are using a shared space, or on the pavement, slow down and be prepared to get off your bike to let others pass.

It shouldn't be hard, and shouldn't require a militant allegiance to one particular group.
Zoe
Sunday 29 May 2011 8.12pm
It's open now and it is much nicer, but I have to agree that it is perhaps a little 'flat'. It didn't seem that way in the plans but it can be hard to tell what the end result will be when looking at a mock up.

The 'cyclists dismount' sign is gone, but there's no actual bike lane, so I'm a little unsure what to do. However there's plenty of space, so I've not had trouble getting by, even past the many people stood in the road drinking on Friday.

It does make you wish we had more pedestrianised areas, the really do make a difference.
Sunday 29 May 2011 8.26pm
It looks to me as if its mixed use but they should put a sign up to say so as to avoid the usual 'verbal dynamics' between cyclists and pedestrians. I do think it needs some degree of detailing though, it just looks like a car park without the cars.
Monday 30 May 2011 12.04am
Tolstoy wrote:
It looks to me as if its mixed use but they should put a sign up to say so as to avoid the usual 'verbal dynamics' between cyclists and pedestrians. I do think it needs some degree of detailing though, it just looks like a car park without the cars.
Agreed. Those wooden posts they put up don't seem to have a specific purpose either. Maybe this is some ingenious concept designed to confuse people into using common sense?
Monday 30 May 2011 8.57am
I dare say they'd be described as a 'feature', designed with the intention of preventing vehicles seeking to sneak across the square. It looks a little like a student design project to me, I'm afraid. I suspect that the lack of street furniture is intended as a deterrent to those who would loiter in the area. Shame.
Monday 30 May 2011 11.24am
I think this is a good example of design via software, rather than feet on the ground. Design drawings always go out of there way to picture an ideal, rather than that of a lived space. The clean lines and projections of a computer model sadly look rather dull in the real world. A missed opportunity to do something interesting here I feel. A colleague of mine works with 3D design students at the Royal College and every year when they are given an actual space to display their work they invariably try to get away with sticking a monitor on a plinth. But then, having equally been rather amused by the response of students when you put a typewriter before them to explore ideas of illustration and they ask how you make the typeface bigger and use different colours, it doesn't surprise me.
Tuesday 31 May 2011 10.21am
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157626724304665/

It occurs to me that perhaps they are channeling the word 'flat' here. Whilst taking these pics two vans and a cab 'negotiated' the features, so it appears to be a free for all at the mo'.
Zoe
Tuesday 31 May 2011 11.04am
That's terrible, it clearly needs some better signage.
Tuesday 31 May 2011 11.32am
Yep. I saw a car driving over it yesterday.
Tuesday 31 May 2011 12.10pm
beetroot wrote:
Yep. I saw a car driving over it yesterday.

I think I am right in saying that when the traffic lights on SBR alongside the Island Cafe are green, there is an arrow indicating forward and another indicating left which takes them immediately onto the new flat area, so perhaps those who are not familiar with this new layout who then turn left, they have no option to carry on across the square. I don't think the traffic lights have been altered since you could enter Flat Iron Square from the two roads that meet at Union Street (outside the Rose & Crown.
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