Shared Space Brings Shared Bonhomie to U.K. Village Center

The U.K. village of Poynton recently removed the traffic lights, signs, lanes, and even curbs from its center. The result? Rather than chaos, a film claims the project has helped revitalize the town's traditional center.
April 3, 2013, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"The village of Poynton in the U.K. has undertaken one of the most ambitious experiments to date in this type of street design, whose most prominent advocate was the Dutch traffic engineer Hans Monderman," reports Sarah Goodyear. "Variations on the shared-space model have been implemented in other European cities since the early 1990s, but never before at such a busy junction. Poynton's city leaders sought the change because the historic hub of their quaint little town had become a grim and unwelcoming place."

In a film made to document the effects of the $6 million project, shared-space advocate Martin Cassini shows how the new "roundels" and variety of pavement treatments have improved safety, foot traffic, and even congestion in the area.  

"It has a very calming effect," says one resident in the film. "And I think we’re all being kinder to one another, motorists and pedestrians alike."

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Published on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 in The Atlantic Cities
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