Published on February 16, 2014
What we’ve been up to in Hackney
Hackney residents modes of travel to work % 1991, 2001 & 2011 censuses
The Narrow Way (Mare Street) Trial Part-Pedestrianisation Source: Bing maps
The issues • Narrow Way (Mare Street) - heart of Hackney Central – but struggling - riots, Stratford City & street environment • Street environment uninviting as a shopping or social destination: •Narrow high street dominated by motor vehicles (primarily Buses) •Closed to general traffic •Up to 150 buses in peak hour •Little room left for pedestrians and other users •High levels of noise and air pollution •Dated public realm and shop fronts •One way system a barrier to northbound cyclists on key corridor
Worse than Oxford Street! The Council recognised that the Narrow Way deserves a street environment that is functional, flexible, high quality and enjoyable – but this is only achievable without the buses Source: Bing maps
Challenges to overcome • Hackney Council has been investigating potential ideas for the town centre area since 2005 • Proposals for Narrow Way formally put forward to GLA/TfL in late 2011/early 2012 • Key challenge was persuading TfL Buses to agree to trial • Concerns from local businesses about impact on trade & gentrification – rising rents, etc. • Recognition that we had to make strongest case for partpedestrianisation during the trial period
Not just a traffic scheme • Trial scheme agreed in Jan 2013, starting June 2013 for 6 months • There were some relatively minor engineering interventions required such as a new bus stop and signal timings • All southbound bus routes re-routed via Dalston Lane and Amhurst Road • Servicing for businesses and legitimate access retained, but outside of core 10am – 4pm window (same as before) • Cycling allowed two-way on Narrow Way • Cultural/events programme developed • ‘Temporary’ public realm interventions to make it feel like a public space
Temporary public realm interventions - visualisation
Artwork – like marmite Big, bold graphics and motiffs painted on the road to make it look more like a public space and dramatically change the look of the street
Planters & seating • new seating to welcome people to gather and spend time in Narrow Way • new planting to green the space, help to improve the air quality and to adjacent green space
Cycling now two way
The story so far • Pedestrian Volumes have remained consistent. C 135,000 per week. Slight increase of 1.5% • Cycle volumes have fluctuated inline with seasonal trends but increase in northbound flows • Most correspondence received has been positive – cyclist behaviour/speeding biggest problem • Business feedback mixed – some still have concerns • Bus journey times increased – average 2 mins • But….customer surveys suggest people feel bus services have improved • Trial considered to be a success so far……
The next steps • Monitoring and evaluation in final stages • Final report currently being prepared for discussion with Senior Management (LBH/TFL) and Members • Major Projects bid submitted to TfL in anticipation that there is appetite to see changes made permanent • Decision making process taking place over next 2 months • If agreed – work to start on design of permanent public realm changes in the near future
Quick win complementary cycling measures
Digital display cycle counter • Detector under carriageway – 1st in England • Not just a gimmick – very well received • 500k in 5 months - almost 50k since 1st Jan 2014 • Highest daily flow 20th Aug (5,825) Lowest 1st Jan (256) • Council website shows latest count data • Raises the profile of the route as a key cycling corridor • Gateway feature welcoming cyclists into Hackney • Shows that cycling is a major mode of transport • Shows to other road users level of cyclists using route • Allows us to monitor growth and cycle flow fluctuations
Public bike pumps • Again very well received • Makes a statement that cycling is a primary mode of transport that we need to cater for • Too popular – maintenance an problem • User knowledge an issue • Need to make them lower for short people!
Car shaped bike ports trials • Gauging level of demand for on street cycle parking • Temporary 8 week installation acts as informal consultation process. • 35 trial sites assessed in past 18 months
End result Permanent carriageway cycle parking ranks – between 6 and 12 stands per rank – will have 12 across the borough by end of March 2014 Where requested car shaped bike port installed on permanent basis – 2 so far
Play Streets • Road closed off for up to 3 hours at a time to enable neighbourhood children to safely & freely play out on the road with each other • 13 streets regularly holding events – ranging from once a week to once a month • Allows children freedom to play semi-supervised on their doorstep – encourages active play • Brings communities closer together and promotes spin off community involvement ie street parties, improves interaction and general wellbeing
STREET AS A PLAY SPACE
Ben Kennedy - Principal Transport Planner Ben.Kennedy@hackney.gov.uk 020 8356 8023
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