Is a living street actually part of the transport system, the environment, or the public realm?
That seemed to be part of the misunderstanding, when Deputy Mayor for Transport, Isabel Dedring was questioned about the King's Cross area on 17 October at Camden, and mentioning the project to review the gyratory, (the one-way traffic system of red routes in King's Cross) she spoke only of "roads".
There was no mention of the public realm function performed by important routes (despite the existence of 'TfL London Streets' and Better Streets 2009) in the town centre of King's Cross:
- A501 Pentonville Road, Gray's Inn Road, Acton Street, Swinton Street
- A5203 Caledonian Road, Wharfdale Road
- A5200 York Way
- A201 Penton Rise, Kings Cross Road
- A5202 Pancras Road, Midland Road, Goods Way
Safety at junctions took precedence in the discussion over wider notions of public space like environment, business vitality, and legible and walkable streets. Transport people (even keen cyclist Isabel) often think of transport systems as being mainly for wheeled transport. What will become of the public realm functions of these routes in King's Cross? Will the street environment (air, noise, trees etc.) - and its shops, offices, entertainment business es, and places to walk through and talk - be considered?
(see Manual for Streets 2 http://j.mp/MfS60seconds)
Will TfL and its consultants talk to the users (11 months, no word yet) and will they think beyond wheeled traffic flow?