From 26th July to 1st August 2020, CoHSAT organised a popup experience in an empty shop in the centre of Oxford.
The aim was to spark discussion for a re-imagined Oxford, sharing our ideas for better public realm, more cycling provision and pedestrianisation. More specifically, we want to see an ambitious approach to tackling congestion and improving public transport and walking and cycling in Oxford.
The popup shop was a great success. We had about 360 visitors overall,
including several councillors, plus masses of feedback and
approximately 60 postcards with written support to send directly to
councillors. Plus lots of activity on social media and featured in local
newspapers, radio stations and TV news.
Visit the popup online
The High Street and St Aldates are extremely congested areas for pedestrians: improvements depend on the implementation of the city centre bus gates.
The High Street looking west towards Carfax, from the Longwall traffic lights: One-way traffic in the High Street and St Aldates is an alternative vision which would reduce the congestion in St Aldates and free up space for safe cycle routes and attractive walkways. Picture from Andy Coram. Sketch by Frazer Hembrow.
Hythe Bridge Street is the gateway from Oxford train station to the city centre. Conditions for pedestrians are extremely poor. The pavements are narrow and overcrowded, but are used by around 10,000 pedestrians a day, with large numbers pulling trolley cases. This is a principal cycle street.
When the Worcester Street bus gate is opened in August, traffic will be a lot less, so Hythe Bridge Street can be made into an attractive place to walk and cycle. It would be a worthy entrance to the City.
Hythe Bridge Street re-imagined
Hythe Bridge Street re-imagined as a canal basin
Present day Hythe Bridge Street
Hythe Bridge Street now
Hythe Bridge Street now with poor pavements
A pedestrianised Walton Street, by the Phoenix cinema, looking south.
A pedestrianised Walton Street, looking east along Observatory Street.
Replacing the barrier
Pedestrianisation could make Walton Street a thriving
eating and shopping destination.
Resident only traffic in Jericho.
St Bernard’s Road, Leckford and Kingston Roads re-imagined
Once at the Park & Ride, people may be reluctant to get on public transport while the coronavirus is so active. A new choice for them could be to Park & Pedal, using their own or a hired bike.
St Giles is one of Oxford’s jewels, but currently the space is devoted almost entirely to parking and traffic movements. In contrast to the wide expanse of carriageway and parking, footways are narrow. Pedestrian congestion along the west side is often severe. Removing the parking and narrowing the traffic lanes would create a wonderful space for people, enhanced by cafés, flowers, and sculptures. This could happen overnight. In the longer-term, a Las Ramblas solution could be even better, with all the people in the centre and the traffic on the edges.
A re-imagined St Giles, East Side
Las Ramblas, Barcelona
Photo of St Giles during the pandemic