Reclaiming the Roundabout

I pass the roundabout next to Kings Heath Primary every day – It’s regularly the site for frayed tempers and near accidents. It was designed on the ‘open space’ concept – for drivers and pedestrians to make way for each other, the intention being to open up the road for more vulnerable bikes and pedestrians. In reality it seems to have opened up the pavements for drivers to cut into.

It is the ideal location for a series of installations to encourage people to think a little more imaginatively about the space, and maybe make way a bit more so everyone can use. I imagine a series of simple interventions to make people think a bit. It could be something along the lines of an armchair and lamp with someone reading a paper in the middle, a temporary replanting, willow sculptures, a singing bike mechanic, smart mob, a small library with book-reading activities, a morris dance, something, anything people are willing to offer to make the space more exciting and focus people’s attention on thinking about what we use the space for (i.e. not just for cars), and to keep changing over the course of the year as we book things in. It sounds crazy and may appear to limit the space, but should make space, moving cars back into the road. It has been done successfully before in other cities drawing attention to street use.

 

With your help, I think we can get support from the school, friends of KHP, Graham the lollipop man, other groups. Please let me know what you think (or maybe something like this has been tried before?), and forward to others who might be interested.

Marcus Belben

2 thoughts on “Reclaiming the Roundabout”

  1. That roundabout is apparently going to get a lot more cobngested when the empty house is convereted to a toddler’s nursery. As I hear it, there will be a small car park on one side, but that sounds like it will leave car-based parents parking on the pavement or otherwise congesting the junction.

  2. Thanks for letting us know. It used to be an old people’s car home I did a bit of work at. I’m sure more irate parents who can’t park their cars will add to problems.

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