Sunday, 26 February 2012

Exhibition Road Single surface (draft)

Street London inspection visit to Exhibition Road, a 'single surface scheme'
(Background on new Street Design - Angela Saini on Thinking Streets BBC January 2012)

Research recordings on-site 25 Feb 2012
(recording 120225.000)
[RBKC Highway Engineer]...and that was because of the [CB??] that we put the parking in the centre of the road as opposed to the kerbside as well.
The other thing was that we did reduce a number of the trees in Exhibition Road, and, again, we did actually cut some down, but we replaced more than we cut down, with semi-mature trees as well. All of the eight trees along there were all planted as part of the scheme, they came in from Holland and...
Traffic noise / about scooter / motorcycle parks (Question by Amanda UDG)
There aren't any on Exhibition Rd but there are some down in South Kensington
..and there's no cycle parks up this end...?
No, you are right and yes, that is something that we are reconsidering, actually..
Thats alright..
There is a huge number of resident car parks here with no cars on them - have you got an opportunity to re-visit that assessment and perhaps take some of them out? 
Absolutely, yes, that's right.
And maybe put in more trees?
Trees are a little bit tricky actually, you've got services, and we've also got the tunnel and that sort of thing.
But, yes we are in a sort of assessment period, we only finished the scheme in October last year. So we'll wait and see how it beds in.
As I said before, vehicle speeds are a little higher than we'd ike especially on the section and particulaly in the evening as well. So we migfht have to come back and tweak to do that - maybe just enforcement..
and also some of the turning bans of the A4 are being ignored as well, so we have to look at that.
So the other thing is we are getting requests for more benches down the south section as well - coming out of the Tube station you've got nowhere to sit. There's a bit of resistance from residents there though, because they tend to attract undesirables as well...

1'55" author in informal discussion with Q*
[Practicing urban designer working at an architecture firm in London who studied at University of Queensland, Brisbane]
"We don't really do benches any more, do we?"
Single surface is designed so pedestrians can cross but not walk up and down the carriageway
People seems to be doing the same speed
How do people know where to park and where not to, here? For example, is that guy there doing the right or wrong thing?

(recording 120225.001)
...background in planning or architecture? Architecture actually...
There's no signage here saying no left turn.
Back there at the traffic lights there is, no left turn on the actual traffic signals there. We are looking at getting some road markings put in and possibly even building up the kerb..
Is that what all that temporary stuff is for? (cnr Cromwell & Exhib Road)
Yes, its taking a while for people to get used to it.
This also marks the point where the character of the road changes - from this point north its more to do with museums - from this point south you've got lots of cafes and restaurants and shops. We are in the process of issuing tables and chairs licences to allow people to use the space in a better way kind of thing.
These things you see here sticking out of the road, they are called lanterns, and what they do is provide natural light to the tunnel, pedestrian tunnel underneath, and as part of the first stage of the scheme we actually removed them and refurbished the. They actually fell apart - they have been there since 1850, so it took a while to refurbish them.
Also the street lighting's changed here its more in proportion with the scale of the buildings and that sort of thing as opposed to these big masts
... they were expensive, they were £23000 each those lamp columns and the foundation is a huge great block of concrete, which was the first operation we did, to make sure they were all in line
As big as a tree root-bulb?
Bigger than that, they are about 2metres by 2metres, and we had to allow services to go through them.
Basements were the biggest challenge on this job
if you go anywhere near them they start leaking water, then you've got disputes with the owners...
Are the lights on all night?
Yes I believe they are.
Projectors cast light on the whole width of the road
So it is a shared lighting scheme?
It is.
We've only got minimal road markings
[Amanda UDG]
The banding seems to encourage (motorists to turn diagonally)

(recording 120225.002)
We are on the corner of Exhibition centre opposite the Ismaili Centre, Cromwell Road
Well I tell you on the funding side of things
Kensington and Chealsea 13 million pounds
Mayor of London 14 million
Westminster 1 million
so they (Westminster) didn't put much money in at all
for some reason they insisted on a more conventional layout (north of Prince Consort Road)
Its more residential and
It could have been a square
Its a political thing
The residents don't any other users to come up
Is that because of litter?
They pay 2 million pounds a bedroom
The residents don't want the great unwashed hanging around
Forty percent of the road is in Westminster, actually, that's from Imperial College Road
So they did agree to this layout on part of the road...

(recording 120223.003)
The York Stone is all recycled that you currently are standing on at the moment,
Again, before we did the work, there was guardrail running all over the place, lots of traffic lines, all that sort of thing, making it difficult for pedestrians to move around. Now we have taken all the guard railing out, we have got a straight across crossing. We have used york stone here, but we are getting people parking on it, which is why its a bit cracked in some places.
In conclusion, the borough policy is trying to use wherever possible high quality materials and reducing street clutter.
Thank you (applause)
We are Street London, the young Urban Design Network and the Urban Design Group
More tours coming up...

Click on picture below for Street Design photos including Exhibition Road

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