How Does Shared Space Work?
Shared space on main roads works for urban villages by actually reducing the distinction between road and pavement having just a dip between the two.
OUT goes a lot of ugly street furniture such as signs, metal guard rails and barriers.
IN comes more trees, planters, places to sit, better lighting and decorative features chosen by local people.
RESULT urban villages are easier to get around, especially for parents with young children, the elderly and the disabled. People are happier to shop there and hence the villages do not die. They tend instead to “go up” in the world.
Can it be Safe?
The short answer is yes. In studies of “Shared Space” projects such as the one on Kensington High Street, which has been running for three years accidents have been REDUCED. They are not just slightly reduced but dramatically reduced — by two thirds for pedestrians and by half for drivers.
This is because the Shared Space is designed to slow drivers down to about 20 mph in order to steer carefully through what is now a thriving village as well as a main road.
Great for Pedestrians–but I have to drive
Shared space is not anti-driver. Studies in Holland have shown that drivers actually navigate the Shared space area faster than before. Shared space actually tends to lead to less aggressive and competitive driving.
Is it right for Acocks Green?
Yes. A leading international Shared space designer has visited Acocks Green and believes that with our attractive central island, wide pavements and range of community facilities around the Green ours would be an ideal urban village for Shared space.