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We need new ideas to deal with congestion on Kentish Town Road, says Oliver


Reported by Oliver

Published on Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

Solutions journalism street access
Blogs

We need new ideas to deal with congestion on Kentish Town Road, says Oliver


Written by Oliver

Published on Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

Solutions journalism

street access

Dealing with congestion is a challenge which is why it is important to trial new ideas. 

A solution for the Kentish Town Road pavement widening is to remove the kerb entirely and create a shared space for pedestrians and cars. The Streetscape at Exhibition Road near the Science Museum is a good example of how this could be done. Street art relating to disability awareness could be incorporated, similar to the LGBT rainbow zebra crossing on Queensbridge Road in Hackney. 

Pedestrian only pavement on Exhibition Road
The pedestrianised pavement on Exhibition Road, Kensington was developed in 2012. Image by Romazur. CC BY-SA 3.0

The space could be made more accessible by including tactile paving between the pavement and the road to help those who are visually impaired. In the case that we go down to one lane instead of two, we could remove the traffic lights and create a colourful, flower-garden pop-up roundabout to improve the traffic flow. My inspiration for this idea has come from observing the Dutch traffic system which has proven to be highly effective. 

Another great way to improve traffic flow and reduce accidents would be to ban petrol cars on certain roads. There is a belief that petrol cars are not able to slow down as quickly as electric cars and for this reason they are more prone to accidents. 

The roads coming up from Leighton Road, Regis Road, Prince of Wales Road, Castle Road have very ineffective traffic light systems. These are great examples of areas that could benefit from having a shared space for pedestrians and cars. 

The Kentish Town Road widened pavement
The Kentish Town Road widened pavement

In cities like Milan they incorporate a method whereby cars ending in either odd or even numbers are able to drive within the city on alternate days- a fantastic idea which has cut traffic in half. I would love to see something like this in Camden. 

A futuristic approach for smaller roads would be to have sensor systems installed for every metre that can detect approaching cars and will therefore prevent drivers from waiting behind red lights unnecessarily. The old fashion way is to have the police controlling the traffic flow like I see in most continental countries. 

Lastly, a pay per mile congestion charge could be adopted to discourage people from driving in the city.

Written by Oliver


I am a young artist and activist on the autistic spectrum who has studied at Westminster Kingsway College and Byam Shaw College among other institutions. Painting has been a way of expressing myself and helped distract me from my obsessions. I am very aware of the social barriers caused by ageism which led me to begin an initiative called ‘Engages all Ages’. Myself and a group of friends hold regular meetings and events as part of this project. I appeared on a Channel 4 TV show called the Undateables, which shows the dating agency ‘Stars in the Sky’ helping Disabled people to find love. You can see some of my art work on display at Oliver’s Village Café NW3, our family café, where I also bake some of the cakes.

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