Thursday, 11 November 2010

King's Cross Gyratory options

King's Cross 'traffic gyratory system' is a legacy of the 'regional ring roads' traffic system of the 1960s. Like the town of Ashford has calmed part of its ring road, there are parts of central London's 'ring roads' which will also evolve in the 21st century.

For discussion purposes, we came up with three very broad diagrammatic ideas to improve the liveability of streets on the King's Cross gyratory system:

1. Making the ground level streets habitable for walking, shopping, markets etc., by putting all the heavy vehicular traffic underground; between the canal, Penton Square and the Town Hall, possibly limiting the height and carbon emissions of vehicles in the tunnels, and hiding escape stairs/ventilation behind buildings or feeding those into the existing London Underground tunnel network.

2. Pedestrianising the area completely except for handcart access for goods deliveries from parking in King's Cross Central, and diverting all motorised through-traffic away from the area.

3. Create 'shared' spaces in public streets along the arteries, with movement limited to a single lane at 5mph with some controlled crossings for vulnerable people. This will naturally divert some of the heavy goods traffic and make more space for civilised pedestrian street activity around the stations, making spaces more worthy of King's Cross' national and international pedestrian patronage.

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