VolkerHighways worked with Haringey Council and green travel charity, Sustrans, to deliver a DIY Streets urban regeneration project for local communities in Haringey.
DIY Streets, an initiative created by Sustrans, has two elements. It proposes modest but effective physical changes to tame traffic dominance and make an area more amenable for pedestrians and cyclists. Rather than the blunt tools of speed bumps and chicanes, drivers are persuaded that they are in a residential area through almost unconscious cues, such as patterned blockwork junctions, flowerpots in place of bollards and extended, gently rounded kerbs where pedestrians cross.
Pilot schemes were trialled throughout the West Green area of the borough, targeting areas that suffered from high levels of accidents. The junction of Stanmore and Waldbeck Roads was selected for improvement and alternative traffic calming were installed to make the area more pedestrian friendly.
With an infrastructure budget of £400,000, the work was necessarily modest. Each entrance to the neighbourhood was marked with blockwork in a pattern designed by local people, as well as cherry trees. The resulting effect has seen car drivers reducing their speed within these areas.
The project also helped to draw communities together through consultation meetings. Local people were asked to help redesign their neighbourhood and play a direct role in it's upkeep for example "adopting" tree beds to plant with flowers.
When asked, even those that didn't attend the consultation meetings felt an increase in community spirit and a sense of positive change on their doorstep. Loneliness has been identified as an increasing problem within the area. As the plans progressed local people started to feel less lonely and that a sense of purpose was entering the community.
The initiative has also been awarded Runner-up in the catogory of Community-led Project at the Street design Awards 2012.
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