Exhibition Road –
The top picture is taken from this flyer, advertising a talk given by Ben Hamilton-Baillie, entitled New Directions in Street Design, Safety and Movement. It was taken in early August last year, when the street was closed to motor vehicles for the Exhibition Road Show (more pictures here).
The bottom picture was taken by me at the same location, just over a month later, in September 2012, when the road was open to motor traffic, as it usually is.
It nearly always looks like this, particularly during the day.
I don’t know who was responsible for choosing that picture on the flyer. Nevertheless it is surely more than a little misleading to select an image taken when there were no motor vehicles present at all to illustrate how shared space street design can ‘reconcile traffic movement with the quality of public space’ – because, quite obviously, there was no motor ‘traffic movement’ on the days in question.
From the description of the talk –
Ben Hamilton-Baillie, one of the UK’s leading practitioners in street design and placemaking is coming to Leeds Met to deliver a lecture on current thinking, practice and issues surrounding traffic movement and the concept of shared space.
The need to reconcile traffic movement with the quality of public space in cities, towns and villages is widely recognised. We all use public or pivate transport to move around and we all want beautiful and safe places to live and work in. Shared space is one approach to resolving this issue, with a number of high profile schemes (eg Exhibition Road, Kensington and Ashford Ring Road in Kent) being delivered over the past decade where principles have been put into practice and from which experience has been gained.
What Exhibition Road actually demonstrates is that ‘traffic movement’ cannot genuinely be reconciled with ‘quality of public space’ without a considerable reduction in the amount of that traffic composed of motor vehicles.
The use of that picture on the flyer amounts to an implicit admission of the very same thing.
Lengthier analysis of Exhibition Road from me here